Monday, November 30, 2015

Food retailers find value in smaller formats, urban customers

Food retailers find value in smaller formats, urban customersFrom sprawling suburban supercenters and warehouse clubs to shops and stalls on city streets, retail space has always been varied. But as urban lifestyles move further beyond the limits of traditional cities and prime real estate gets harder to find and more expensive to rent, many food retailers are turning to concepts meant for smaller spaces and more specific consumer groups.
Last year, six of the top 10 fastest-growing retail banners were small-box store formats such as CityTarget and Wal-Mart’s Neighborhood Market, according to a report from Planet Retail, and smaller-format stores remain one of the key trends in retail this year.. . . more

Albertsons gears up for IPO, again

Image result for Shaw'sAlbertsons Cos. filed an amended stock prospectus for an initial public offering last week, saying it hoped to raise between $1.5 billion to nearly $2 billion.

The company consists of legacy Albertsons stores acquired by the Cerberus group during Albertsons 2006 break-up; as well as additional Albertsons stores and the “NAI Stores” (Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Markets) acquired from Supervalu in 2013; United Supermarket stores acquired in 2013;and Safeway stores acquired in January.. . . more

Cyber Monday sales expected to surge

Image result for cyber mondayIf you haven't gotten your holiday shopping fix with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday returns for its tenth year.

Stores like Macy's, Reebok, Starbucks, Anna Taylor Loft, and more are offering online discounts all day long.

In 2014 Cyber Monday was the biggest shopping day with $2 billion spent online. This year experts with Adobe Digital say that number could jump to $3 billion.. . . more

8 mission-critical issues foodservice operators will face in 2016

Image result for restaurantsThe restaurant industry is like an escalator; you can move up or you can move down. But if you’re standing still, you’re walking backwards. And while we have yet to witness the calendar end of 2015, I think it’s prudent now to scan the horizon to get both a grip and a jump on the key issues we’re likely to face in 2016. A reasonable approach is to zoom out to assess and identify the critical issues, then zoom in and focus on the granular tactics necessary to help us successfully perform in the storm. First, some good news and bad news.. . . more

Black Friday weekend goes digital

Consumer spending across digital channels showed significant year-over-year growth over this year's Thanksgiving weekend.

According to data from ComScore, desktop spending surpassed $1 billion on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Consumers sitting at desktop PCs spent a total of $1.1 billion, up 9% from $1.01 billion in 2014. On Black Friday, desktop spending grew 10% to $1.66 billion from $1.5 billion.

And insight from Adobe shows that mobile consumers hardly slacked off during the weekend, either. According to Adobe, total online spending reached $2.74 billion on Black Friday and $1.73 billion on Thanksgiving, for a total of $4.47 billion, up 18% from 2014.. . . more

Regulators ready to block Staples-Office Depot merger

112015depot4CSFederal regulators scrutinizing Staples’ $6 billion-plus bid to buy rival Office Depot are leaning against the deal and are preparing to block it, The Post has learned.

Regulators are wary of a tie-up that will result in a single nationwide office supply giant to serve big corporate and government clients, two sources said.

The Federal Trade Commission has until Dec. 8 to decide whether to sue to halt the deal after extending its review.. . . more

Change in Thanksgiving weekend spending stumps retailers

Image result for black friday shopping U.S. shoppers no longer blow the bulk of their holiday budgets on the day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday.

It's a major shift that has made it difficult for stores to track and learn from shoppers' spending habits during the traditional start to the busy holiday shopping season.. . . more

Black Friday sales sink 10 percent

Sales at retail stores on Black Friday fell 10 percent to $10.4 billion this year, down from $11.6 billion in 2014, according to research firm ShopperTrak. And sales on Thanksgiving dropped by the same percentage, to $1.8 billion.

A big reason for the decline is increased online shopping, as Americans hunt down deals on their smartphones, tablets and computers. And many retailers are offering bargains long before Thanksgiving, limiting the impact of Black Friday specials.. . . more

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