Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from KeyPoint Partners

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We wish you all a happy Thanksgiving! Bill, Bob, Brian, Mark, and the whole team at KeyPoint Partners hope our clients and friends in the industry enjoy a relaxing holiday with loved ones.

DSW tops Q3 expectations

DSW Inc. exceeded Wall Street expectations for net income and sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2014. Net income fell a less than expected 10% to $49.55 million from $54.96 million the same quarter a year earlier, with higher operating expenses and lower pretax income contributing to the decline.

Sales totaled $670 million compared to $633 million and same-store sales rose 2.6%.. . . more

The Holidays Are Here! Where Are Affluents Shopping?

Who wants to push their way through crowded stores (let alone find a parking spot) during the holiday season? Based on an August 2014 study by Shullman Research Center, affluents are trying to avoid this. Among US internet users with a household income of $75,000 or more, online-only stores such as Amazon.com and eBay were the shopping venues of choice, cited by 71%. - See more at: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Holidays-Here-Where-Affluents-Shopping/1011634/1#sthash.3sQj8f4I.dpuf
Who wants to push their way through crowded stores (let alone find a parking spot) during the holiday season? Based on an August 2014 study by Shullman Research Center, affluents are trying to avoid this. Among US internet users with a household income of $75,000 or more, online-only stores such as Amazon.com and eBay were the shopping venues of choice, cited by 71%. - See more at: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Holidays-Here-Where-Affluents-Shopping/1011634/1#sthash.3sQj8f4I.dpuf

Based on an August 2014 study by Shullman Research Center, affluents are trying to avoid this. Among US internet users with a household income of $75,000 or more, online-only stores such as Amazon.com and eBay were the shopping venues of choice, cited by 71%.

However, affluents won’t shun brick-and-mortar shops completely. The majority planned to head to discount stores to save a few dollars, and 53% said they would also visit mainstream department stores, likely so they can check off gifts for a wide range of people all at once. - See more at: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Holidays-Here-Where-Affluents-Shopping/1011634/1#sthash.3sQj8f4I.dpuf

However, affluents won’t shun brick-and-mortar shops completely. The majority planned to head to discount stores to save a few dollars, and 53% said they would also visit mainstream department stores, likely so they can check off gifts for a wide range of people all at once.  . . . more

Don't Let Other Formats Steal Market Share

While supermarkets have been a phenomenally successful format, accounting for a large proportion of the food retail market, their market share continues to be under pressure as new formats emerge and others raise their appeal.

Combined, e-commerce, c-stores, drugstores and club all pose a significant threat as they seek to grab a greater share of consumers’ grocery spending. And while the concept of channel migration is not new, the impact of new technologies and changing shopping behaviors is accelerating this trend.. . . more

Ailing Wet Seal in financial review

Struggling teen apparel retailer Wet Seal has hired an investment banker and a senior adviser to analyze potential financial alternatives. Similar to other retailers in the teen sector, Wet Seal has faced  stepped-up competition from fast-fashion leaders such as Forever 21 and H&M.

The company said it has hired investment bank Houlihan Lokey and former Tilly's Inc. CFO William Langsdorf to aid in a strategic review. Wet Seal said it has not set a deadline for completion of the process and that “there can be no assurance that the exploration of the potential alternatives will result in a transaction.” . . . more

Opening stores on Thanksgiving doesn't boost sales

They justify opening on the famous American holiday because of competition. Others are doing it, so they have to as well or they'll lose out on sales.

Yet opening on Thanksgiving does little to boost sales, according to the data from recent years. Instead, it merely shifts some shopping that would have been done on Black Friday to Thursday. . . . more

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ahold Unveils Online Retail Strategy Goals

Ahold, the Netherlands, has announced that the company’s online sales are expected to reach $1.7 billion by the end of 2014 and the company hopes to reach $3.1 billion in online sales by the end of 2017. Following the acquisition of bol.com in 2012, the company now employs over 1,000 IT experts, based in four technology hubs in the U.S. and the Netherlands.


Commenting on Ahold’s online retail strategy, Ahold CEO Dick Boer said: “Our online brands bol.com, Peapod.com and ah.nl have played a pioneering role over the past 25 years. Today, we announce the next stage of our ambition, aiming for a growth in online sales to $3.1 billion by the end of 2017.. . . more

Online sales rise 19% pre-Thanksgiving weekend

Online sales were up 18.7% the weekend before Thanksgiving (Nov. 22-23) compared to the same two-day period in 2013. According to IBM Digital Benchmark analysis, mobile traffic accounted for 48.8% of all online traffic, an increase of 24.4% year-over-year.

In addition, mobile sales accounted for 26.6% of all online sales, an increase of 23.9% year-over-year.

Average order value was $112.86, a 5.4% decrease from the same period in 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 3.2 items per order.  IBM says this trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.. . . more

Fitch sees holiday sales up 3% to 4%; gross margins flat; promotions intense

Fitch expects U.S. sales growth to modestly improve in the coming holiday season, with retail sales (excluding auto) expected to grow at 3%-4% in November/December versus 2.8% year to date. Fitch expects online sales will grow in the 12%-14% range during the fourth quarter, in line with year to date levels.

A number of Fitch-rated retailers are expected to show improvement in fourth quarter comparable store sales (comps) relative to weak or negative comps in the fourth quarter of 2013. Sales-weighted average comps for department stores are expected to be positive 1.5% versus negative 0.8% last year, mainly driven by an improvement at Bon-Ton and Sears, which posted negative high single comps last year and are tracking flat to modestly negative currently.. . . more

Wal-Mart's chief merchandising officer to leave


Wal-Mart Stores Inc's chief merchandising officer, Duncan Mac Naughton, is expected to announce his departure from the world's largest retailer just days before Black Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Mac Naughton joined the company in 2009 as chief merchandising officer of Wal-Mart Canada and moved over to the merchandising operations at the U.S. business in 2010, according to the company's website.. . . more

Saks’ NYC flagship valued at $3.7 billion—more than Hudson’s paid for entire company

It appears that Hudson’s Bay Co. got itself quite a deal when it purchased Saks Fifth Avenue in 2013 for the sum of $2.9 billion, including debt. Saks’s signature  Fifth Avenue flagship has recently been appraised at an whopping $3.65 billion—significantly more than Hudson’s Bay paid for the entire chain. As much as anything, however, the appraisal reflects the strength of Manhattan’s retail real estate market.

The appraised value of the Fifth Avenue emporium came out when Hudson's Bay on Monday outlined a $1.25 billion refinancing plan in a move to reduce debt taken on when it acquired the U.S. brand. The Canadian giant said it would take out a 20-year mortgage on the ground portion of the Fifth Avenue flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store in New York City after an appraiser valued the property at C$4.1 billion ($3.65 billion).. . . more

U.S. economy grew at 3.9% pace in Q3

AP CONSUMER BORROWING F USA PAThe U.S. economy grew more rapidly than initially believed in the third quarter, as solid consumer and business spending more than offset a lower estimates for exports.

Gross domestic product expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.9% in the three months ended Sept. 30, higher than the 3.5% first estimated, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists expected a downward revision to 3.3% growth, according to the median forecast in Action Economics' survey.. . . more

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hannaford closing in Ayer

The closing of Ayer's Hannaford supermarket at the end of January, may hit Loaves and Fishes hard, said Patricia Stern, the pantry's executive director.

Since the economic downturn, the food pantry has seen an increase in clients, which they've been able to manage thus far.. . . more