Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Despite online growth, here's why stores will still be packed this weekend

EPA USA BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPERS EBF CONSUMER GOODS USA VAOver the long holiday weekend, tens of millions of consumers will drive into crowded parking lots, push through hordes of other shoppers and wait on snaking checkout lines to score deals on TVs, sweaters, Start Wars toys and more.

This is despite the fact that retailers have made it easier than ever to shop for discounted merchandise from the comforts of home.

Even in this increasingly digital world — where a growing number of shoppers purchase products via computers and smartphones — the bulk of spending still happens at brick-and-mortar stores.. . . more

Somebody is getting new shoes this Christmas

In addition to the requisite comment about expecting the holidays to be highly promotional, Famous Footwear also expects the momentum it saw during back-to-school season to carry over to the fourth quarter.

Famous Footwear’s third quarter same store sales increased 4.4% and total sales increased 4.8% to $456 million, excluding the performance of the divested business, to represent 63% of parent company Caleres total sales of $728.6 million. Caleres is the company formerly known as Brown Shoe Company that changed its name earlier this year.. . . more

Kohl’s Joins the Small-Format Trend

Department store chain Kohl’s is aggressively pursuing new distribution channels, including smaller format stores, outlet stores and the expansion of Off-Aisle, its pilot concept that is stocked exclusively with returned merchandise. Kohl’s Chairman, President and CEO Kevin Mansell detailed the retailer’s plans during its recent earnings call.

The initiatives are part of a larger strategic plan that Kohl’s calls the Greatness Agenda, which kicked-off last year after several months of internal discussion, Mansell explained during the WWD Apparel & Retail CEO Summit last month. Kohl’s launched the Greatness Agenda in an effort to reinvigorate the company, which caters to middle market, middle income consumers.. . . more

Warm weather didn’t hurt this retailer’s sales

The parent company of Zales and Jared is looking forward to a happy holiday after producing third quarter results that met the company’s growth targets.

Signet Jewelers Limited, operator of 3,618 stores under banners such as Zale, Jared, Kay and Signet, said its total third quarter sales increased 3.3% to slightly more than $1.2 billion and same store sales increased 3.3% on top of a prior year increase of 4.2%. The company said it expects fourth quarter same store sales to increase between 3.5% and 5%.. . . more

Customers will make merry online

Online spending this holiday season is shaping up to be downright joyful for retailers.

According to comScore, total online retail spending for the November–December period will reach $70.1 billion, representing a 14% gain from $61.3 billion a year earlier. Total desktop spending is expected to reach $58.3 billion, up 9% from $53.3 million.. . . more

Retailers fall short on omnichannel returns

Image result for in store returnsWhile most large retailers now offer omnichannel return capabilities, the experience may leave something to be desired.

According to The Omni-Returns Experience Report, a new study of 25 major retailers including Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Apple, Gap, Sears, J.C.Penney and Macy's from StellaService, more than 75% of evaluated retailers offer buy online, return in store (BORIS).

However, while BORIS offer customer convenience, retailers are not taking full advantage of its opportunities. For example, retailers missed the opportunity to save the sale or upsell 87% of the time.

In addition, 40% of retailers offering BORIS did not consistently make the option clear to shoppers in packaging.. . . more

Drive-through grocery pickup coming to South Portland

Hannaford To GoOrdering groceries online, with drive-through pickup, is the latest way Hannaford grocery stories in Maine are keeping up with the competition.

And, offering customers new choices in how to get their groceries is setting Hannaford stores apart, according to company spokesman Eric Blom.

That’s because Hannaford is the only supermarket chain in Maine offering curbside grocery pickup, he said. . . . more

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fast food giants back on track with big quarter sales

Fast food giants back on track with big quarter salesThe burger giants are back.

For the first time in years, the Big Three fast-food burger chains — McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s — are all on track to post same-store sales growth of at least 3 percent this quarter. What’s more, that growth is coming at the expense of other big chains like Denny’s, IHOP and Cracker Barrel.. . . more

The U.S. economy got some good news Tuesday

us economy housingThe economy grew by 2.1% between July and September, according to the Commerce Department. That's better than its first estimate of 1.5%.

The revision is a sign that the economy is weathering the global economic slowdown better than some had previously expected. It also comes just weeks after the best report on jobs growth of the year in October.. . . more

The biggest threat to retail sales growth

A pedestrian passes by a Black Friday discount sign at a Joe Fresh retail store in New York. While many Americans still enjoy the thrill and madness associated with these doorbuster deals, the shopping bonanza over time has lost much of its ability to rouse consumers from their beds.

The reason? A deflationary spiral that's turned 40 percent off promotions into just another day at the mall.. . . more

DSW profit hurt by tough retail environment

Image result for dsw shoesDSW Inc. on Tuesday reported that its profit sank 21% in the latest quarter as the company pointed to unseasonably warm temperatures, cautious consumer spending and slower tourism denting sales in an overall weak retail environment.

"Our third-quarter performance was disappointing," said Chief Executive Mike MacDonald. He said the shoe retailer took steps to manage inventories and canceled orders both within the quarter and for future periods, ending the quarter with total inventories nearly flat to the prior year on a cost-per-square-foot basis.. . . more

Hitting a holiday reset

Image result for holiday shoppingHoliday is going to have a new look this year, as retailers take a different approach to the shopping season. As a result of consumers’ overwhelming focus on price, online shopping and free shipping incentives, retailers have been forced to rethink their strategies. As part of our ongoing series of retail industry surveys, HRC Advisory recently spoke with over a dozen top U.S. retailers to gauge what’s to come for the 2015 holiday season.

Deep discounts, exclusive invitations, and greater personalization through the use of beacon and digital marketing are among the key strategies retailers are leveraging to grab share of wallet.  But exceptionally warm fall weather, mediocre Back-to-School and Halloween and soft Q3 results are forcing retailers to re-think their approach on everything from Thanksgiving hours, to overstocked shelves.. . . more

GameStop unclear about holiday sales

GameStop forecast an exceptionally wide range of same store sales possibilities during the fourth quarter following weaker than expected third quarter results.

GameStop said it expects its fourth quarter same store sales to range from a 1% decline to a 6% increase. While that range of possibilities might seem wide compared to retailers in other sectors, GameStop offered an equally wide range last year. The company recorded a 1.8% decline in the fourth quarter same store sales last year after providing guidance that called for a 5% decline to a 2% increase.. . . more

Petco trades private equity owners

The convoluted ownership history of Petco has just taken an interesting new turn that cost $4.6 billion.

According to a statement release by Petco, funds affiliated with CVC Capital Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) entered into a definitive agreement to jointly acquire Petco from a group of investors led by TPG and Leonard Green & Partners for approximately $4.6 billion. The acquisition of the 1,400 store retailer is expected to close in early 2016.. . . more

Monday, November 23, 2015

Liquor Stores NA Set To Expand Into The Northeast

Liquor Stores NA Ltd., a Canada-based retailer whose U.S. presence has so far been limited to Kentucky and Alaska, has announced plans to enter three new states: New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut. In New Jersey, Liquor Stores NA has agreed to pay $15 million to acquire a 51% stake in Birchfield Ventures LLC, which owns two large-format stores operating as Joe Canal’s Discount Liquor (in Lawrence Township and Woodbridge Township). Under the terms, Liquor Stores NA has the right to acquire the remaining 49% interest in Birchfield in the future. Birchfield had sales of $47 million in 2014, and is expected to exceed that total this year. . . more

L.L. Bean opens new locations on its march to 100 new stores

Image result for ll bean store easton ohAs more retailers flock to the Internet, L.L. Bean Inc. is going in the opposite direction.

The Freeport, Maine-based retailer, which for more than 100 years has been selling its signature boots, apparel and outdoor gear via catalog and online, is running counter to the industry and focusing on brick-and-mortar stores.. . . more

Under Armour may be working out Lululemon purchase

Under Armour may be working out Lululemon purchaseLululemon suddenly seems to be in better shape, thanks to a sale rumor on the Street.

There is plenty of chatter that Under Armour is in talks to buy the maker of sometimes-sheer yoga pants, sending Lululemon’s shares up more than 7 percent on Wednesday and Thursday.

The stock got an additional boost on Friday when Bloomberg Gadfly speculated that Nike — instead of spending $12 billion on a stock buyback — should be spending $7.5 billion on Lululemon.. . . more

CVC, Canadian Pension Said to Agree $4.7 Billion Petco Deal

CVC Capital Partners and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board have agreed to buy Petco Animal Supplies Inc. in a deal worth about $4.7 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The two firms beat a joint offer from buyout firms KKR & Co. and Hellman & Friedman, as well as a bid by Apollo Global Management, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The deal may be announced as soon as this week, the people said.. . . more

Retailers are growing anxious as holiday shopping season looms

Stores roll out holiday shopping dealsRetailers are going into hyper-drive to attract shoppers with the approach of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that officially kicks off the holiday shopping season.

Unlike previous years, retailers are no longer tripping over one another to announce earlier-than-ever opening times on Turkey Day as they race to win shoppers away from rivals. Instead, merchants are heavily promoting discounts well before the turkey is carved.. . . more

Destination XL adds global strategy exec as sales grow

Destination XL says it is on pace to open its 175th store next year as the big and tall retailer also posted a jump in same-store sales and filled a newly created position with a veteran from Genesco.

For the third quarter ended Oct. 31, same store sales at the company increased 4.3%. Destination XL also narrowed its loss to $5.47 million, or 11 cents a share. In the previous year period, the company reported a loss of $6.28 million, or 13 cents a share.. . . more

Is Abercrombie & Fitch on the comeback trail?

It appears that Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is starting to making progress in its turnaround efforts.

Helped by a less promotional stance and cost cuts, the teen retailer saw its profit more than double in its third quarter as it beat expectations. But similar to many other retailers, Abercrombie struck a cautious note and said it expects fourth-quarter same-store sales to be about flat.. . . more

Which retailer will dominate online holiday shopping?

A familiar name factors heavily into the online holiday shopping plans of consumers.

According to a new poll from Reuters and Ipsos, 51% of consumers plan to do most or all of their online holiday shopping at This dwarfs the next-most-popular specific retailer, Walmart, favored by 16%.. . . more

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mount Kisco's '$25 million' Stop&Shop opens

A variety of apples for sale at the Stop & Shop inStop & Shop on Thursday completed the conversion of the former A&P store here in a small event with oversized elements.

There was an oversized ribbon, oversized scissors, an oversized check given to a local nonprofit, and an oversized price paid: a whopping $25.4 million for the 39,000-sq.-ft. store, the most profitable location auctioned off in the liquidation of the bankrupt A&P's assets.. . . more

Online gaining at The Buckle

Leading mall-based denim retailer The Buckle said its third quarter profits fell after strengthening online sales couldn’t overcome in store weakness.

Profits at the operator of 469 stores, billed as a denim destination, declined to $35.9 million during the third quarter ended Oct. 31, compared to $40.6 million during the third quarter the prior year. The profit decline was expected as The Buckle had previously reported that same-store sales had declined 5.2% and total sales had declined 4.1% to $280.2 million.

In what has become a recurring theme with retailers, The Buckle said its online sales grew a respectable 13.6% to $25.9 million and now represents 9.2% of total sales.. . . more

Fresh perspective has Fresh Market ready to grow

Fresh Market’s new CEO Rick Anicetti said he is making changes as fast as possible to restore growth to a retailer he contends has enormous untapped potential.

Anicetti, a veteran food retailer who joined Fresh Market Sept. 1, maintains he is excited about the opportunity to guide the company's future direction even if the long-term direction isn’t entirely clear. Six weeks after he joined the company, Fresh Market announced it had begun a strategic review of the business, which could result in the company continuing to pursue value-enhancing initiatives as a standalone company, capital structure optimization, a sale or other business combination.. . . more

Gap Cuts Profit Outlook After Sales Fall Short

Image result for old navyGap Inc. on Thursday cut its profit outlook for the year after reporting disappointing sales for its third quarter.

The San Francisco-based clothing retailer said sales fell 4 percent at established Gap locations, following a 5 percent drop in the year-ago period. Banana Republic fell 12 percent, after sales were flat a year ago. The bright spot was Old Navy, which saw a 4 percent increase, after a 1 percent jump in the year-ago period.. . . more

Cabela's Fields Bid Interest, Weigh Options for Company

Cabela’s Inc., which came under pressure from activist investor Elliott Associates last month, is fielding potential takeover interest and weighing whether to begin a sales process, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The retailer of hunting, fishing and camping supplies is working with its regular advisers at Guggenheim Partners, which has begun reaching out to a small group of potential private equity buyers and strategic acquirers, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private. Competitor Bass Pro Shops is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to help it explore a bid for Cabela’s, other people said.. . . more

Long live Black Friday! NRF expects bigger crowds

Black Friday sale signs at a retail store in New York. Bargain-hungry shoppers are planning to hit the stores en force over Black Friday weekend.

According to a survey released by the National Retail Federation on Thursday, 58.7 percent of shoppers, or 135.8 million people, said they "definitely will" or "may" shop on Thanksgiving, Black Friday or the two days that follow.

While the trade group's findings fall roughly in line with last year's prediction, when 61.1 percent said they would shop over that four-day period, it's more than the 55 percent, or 133.7 million people, who said they actually did.. . . more


Landlords Find Silver Lining in Recent String of Retail Bankruptcies While recent retail bankruptcies have left mall owners, REITs and landlords scrambling to fill empty stores, others are finding opportunity by charging higher rents to new tenants.

When grocery chain A&P filed for bankruptcy in July, Brixmor Property Group bought back three leases in the bankruptcy auction. The grocer was paying $6.59 per SF, but Brixmor will now charge up to $30 per SF—a whopping 355% increase. . . . more

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Modell’s Sporting Goods continues to expand

How busy is Times Square? Enough to support two Modell’s Sporting Goods stores.

The retailer is opening two new stores in the New York City metro area, including one at 136 West 42nd Street, its second Times Square location. Modell’s is also opening a store at Crossroads Plaza East in Rocky Point, New York.

The two new locations will expand the retailer’s portfolio to 155 stores in 10 states.. . . more

Holidays not looking so happy for Best Buy

More robust omnichannel capabilities have Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly confident about his company’s ability to execute during the holidays, but his views on overall demand for consumer electronics are another matter.

Best Buy said it expects weak demand for consumer electronics in the fourth quarter and forecast flat same-store sales at domestic locations following a 0.5% third quarter comp increase that was aided by an 18% online increase.. . . more

Staples’ customers take dim view of $6B Office Depot deal

Staples’ customers take dim view of $6B Office Depot dealStaples may need to “Make More Happen” to resolve antitrust concerns about its proposed takeover of closest rival Office Depot.

Several of Staples’ big corporate customers have told government regulators in recent days that they aren’t satisfied with the company’s proposed asset sales to win regulatory approval, The Post has learned.. . . more

Aquarium study says Chiofaro harbor project will clog traffic, cut parking

The New England Aquarium ripped anew into developer Don Chiofaro’s 
$1 billion plan to redevelop Boston’s Harbor Garage with the release yesterday of a study that says his huge two-tower project would significantly clog traffic, displace parking and impede visitor access to the aquarium and downtown waterfront.

Chiofaro Co.’s proposal, unveiled last year, called for a 1.3 million-square-foot project with condos, a hotel, office and retail space, and a 1,400-space parking garage to replace the existing 1,475-space garage. In June, the Boston Redevelopment Authority recommended a 900,000-square-foot limit for the project.. . . more

Bon-Ton's loss widens to $34 million in tough retail market

Image result for bon-ton storeBon-Ton Stores Inc.'s third-quarter loss widened as unseasonably warm weather cut into fall sales in an already tough retail market, the company said Thursday.

Bon-Ton, the parent company of Boston Store and Younkers, posted a net loss of $34 million in the quarter. That compared with a loss of $11 million in last year's third quarter.

Net sales were down 3% in the period, to $623.4 million from $642.7 million in the third quarter of 2014 for Bon-Ton. Comparable store sales – sales at stores open at least a year – dropped 2.6%.. . . more

Fifth Avenue Is the Most Expensive Retail Corridor in the World

Upper Fifth Avenue is the most expensive retail corridor in the world by a long shot.

A square foot of retail space on the world famous avenue was priced at $3,500 through the first half of this year -- nearly twice as much as Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, which was No. 2 on a list released Wednesday by global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.. . . more

Ahold And Delhaize Add To Exec Team As Merger Proceeds

Image result for ahold delhaize mergerAhold and Delhaize Group this week revealed the executive committee of Ahold Delhaize, effective upon completion of the proposed merger of the two companies.

The future executive committee will be comprised of the management board members as announced in June and will be supplemented by the following four members, who will report directly to Ahold Delhaize CEO Dick Boer.. . . more