Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Amazon and Whole Foods disagree on products like Coca-Cola

Image result for coca cola on supermarket shelfSix months after acquiring Whole Foods, Amazon is working on reorganizing Whole Foods shelves by first adding Amazon private label products and, soon, it may add popular consumer packaged goods like Coca-Cola. Behind the scenes, this is causing internal debate and disagreements, Yahoo Finance has learned.

When asked if Whole Foods will add “consumer packaged goods like Coca-Cola,” Whole Foods spokesperson Brooke Buchanan said, “As you know, we have really high-quality standards, and those products that you just mentioned don’t meet those quality standards. If there were new products that actually do meet our quality standards, then there’s always that consideration.” Amazon declined to comment.. . . more

Report: Toys ‘R’ Us U.K. collapses

Toys “R” Us’ U.K. division is “winding down” operations.

Toys “R” Us U.K. has entered into administration, the British equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company has moved into insolvency following its inability to pay a 15 million-pound ($21 million U.S. dollars) value-added-tax liability that was due this month, according to Bloomberg.

The decision threatens the survival of 300 stores, and nearly 5,500 workers.. . . more

Supermarket giant Ahold Delhaize 4th-quarter profit soars

Image result for stop & shopAhold Delhaize, the Dutch-Belgian operator of supermarket chains including Stop & Shop and Giant in the United States, says fourth-quarter net profit soared by more than 300 percent to 744 million euros ($909 million) from the same period a year ago, when one-off costs of 243 million euros dented profits.

The company said Wednesday the profit was boosted by a strong holiday season and a reduction in its income tax expenses due to tax reforms in the U.S. and Belgium.. . . more

Challenges continue at Lowe’s

Image result for Lowe'sLowe’s reported disappointing earnings Wednesday morning as the retailer continues to work to catch up to its chief rival, Home Depot.

Strengthening in the housing market has provided tailwinds for home-improvement retailers, but Lowe’s still lags behind its larger competitor.

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Sales for the quarter came to $15.49 billion. Same-store sales, a key metric used to gauge a retailer’s health that refers to sales at stores open at least one year, rose 4.1 percent.. . . more

REITs Rethink Strategies to Cope with Falling Stock Prices and Rising Rates

Image result for shopping center reitsRecent volatility in the stock market is adding insult to injury where REITs are concerned. REITs that generally lagged the broader market in 2017 have been pummeled in 2018.

Year-to-date returns dropped to negative 9.5 percent as of Feb. 22nd in what has been a turbulent start to the year for the stock market. Yet many REITs have been posting lackluster returns for the past three years, with the composite total returns for the one-year and three-year periods at 5.3 percent and 3.5 percent respectively, according to Nareit.. . . more

Fashion Retailer Dry Goods to Open 12 New Locations in 2018

Image result for Dry Goods storeFashion destination Dry Goods announced today the opening of 12 additional national locations in 2018. The openings are part of the boutique retailer's nationwide growth plans to showcase the latest fashion trends to young shoppers across the country.

Dry Goods USA, a subsidiary of Von Maur Department Store, opened its first location in 2010 in Aurora, Ill. The Company currently operates twenty-seven stores in eight states in addition to an online business at . . . more

Starbucks wants people to linger over a cocktail at Reserve stores

Employees craft drinks in the new Starbucks Reserve store at the company’s headquarters in Seattle. (Joshua Trujillo / Starbucks)Starbucks wants to introduce America to Italian aperitivo culture.

A bar offering pairings of appetite-inducing cocktails with ingredients such as Aperol and Campari, served alongside aged parmigiano reggiano and Cerignola green olives, anchors one corner of the company’s new Reserve store, opening on the ground floor of its Sodo headquarters building Tuesday.

It’s the first of up to 1,000 such high-end stores Starbucks has said it plans to open as it spends big on an expansion toward a higher-end, fuller-service part of the food and beverage market.. . . more

US economic growth revised down slightly to 2.5 pct. in Q4

Image result for us economyU.S. economic growth was revised down slightly to a still-solid 2.5 percent annual rate in the final three months of last year, as business spent less on investment and restocking shelves than the government had previously estimated.

The fourth quarter advance in the gross domestic product, the economy's total output of goods and services, followed even faster increases of 3.1 percent at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter and 3.2 percent in the third quarter, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.. . . more

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

America's most successful malls are worth billions and defying the retail meltdown

10. Roosevelt Field Mall: Located in Garden City, New York, this mall has over 250 stores, including an entire luxury wing, a food court that includes vegetarian and kosher options, and a mini golf course in the basement. It's valued at $2.41 billion.Despite the retail apocalypse claiming stores across the country, some of the most successful malls in the US are bringing in more than $1,000 per square foot in sales.

According to research by the boutique firm Boenning & Scattergood, which was reported by CNBC, the 20 most valuable malls in America bring in around $21 billion in retail sales each year. These malls, owned by the likes of Simon Property Group and Westfield, have few vacancies. In addition to traditional stores, many of the most valuable malls include food halls with local eateries, pop-up shops, and grocers, plus experiences like movie screenings or concerts.. . . more

Batteries Plus Bulbs ramps up expansion

Image result for batteries plus bulbsBatteries Plus Bulbs is expanding its footprint.

The company opened 26 stores in 2017, with three corporate locations and 23 franchise-owned. It plans to open 47 stores in 2018, including 14 corporate locations and 33 franchise locations.

Batteries Plus Bulbs niche postitioning, investment in category expansion and emphasis on franchising has proved increasingly successful, with sales growth of 22.5% during the last three years. Same-store sales rose 3.7% in 2017.. . . more

Fast-casual sandwich chain growing fast

On the heels of opening more than 170 stores in 2017, Jersey Mike’s plans to open 200 new locations, including franchise and corporate, in 2018. The company aims to have more than 2,000 stores open nationwide by 2020.

In addition to continued expansion through franchising, Jersey Mike’s is also placing a focus on its nontraditional development. It is aggressively seeking to expand its presence in in major airports, universities and sporting venues throughout the country.. . . more

State of retail ‘very healthy’

Despite news about the dire state of retail, retailers are bullish on their industry overall and their own business in particular.

Six in 10 merchants view the state of retail as very healthy (ranking seven points or higher on a 10-point scale), according to a survey by Vyze, which provides cloud-based financing technology solutions for retailers. And three in four merchants view the state of their business the same. Merchants with loyalty programs rate their business health even higher than average (81%).. . . more

Mattress start-up Casper is opening its first store — with complimentary naps

Online mattress start-up Casper is opening its first permanent store, a 3,000-square-foot location in New York, where shoppers are invited to not only look at  the company’s mattresses, pillows and bedding — but also to use them. Dozing off is encouraged, executives say.

The start-up, founded four years ago out of a one-bedroom apartment in New York, has grown into a $300-million-a-year business. Philip Krim, one of five co-founders, says it began with a simple premise: Mattress shopping was a terrible experience.. . . more

Macy's shares surge on comparable sales growth, 2018 outlook

Image result for macy'sMacy’s Inc on Tuesday reported greater-than-expected growth in same-store sales for the fourth quarter and forecast a return to annual comparable sales growth in 2018.

The biggest U.S. department store chain, which has become emblematic of the decline of brick-and-mortar retail in the face of Inc, has not seen comparable sales grow on an annual basis for three years.

Benefiting from a broadly strong U.S. holiday shopping season, Macy’s also reported better-than-expected quarterly profit on revenue that was in-line with estimates.. . . more

Starbucks' Schultz: We're opening more stores because 'rents are coming down!'

Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz has observed an “abundance of empty storefronts across” in prime locations in a number of U.S. cities.

“We are at a major inflection point as landlords across the country will be forced (sooner than later) to permanently lower rent rates to adjust to the ‘new norm’ as a result of the acute shift (consumer behavior) away from brick and mortar retailing to e-commerce,” Schultz wrote in a memo to his leadership team that’s been reviewed by Yahoo Finance.. . . more

Monday, February 26, 2018

Walmart’s Amazon Killer Goes From Superstar to Man on Hot Seat

Image result for walmart internet salesHe was hailed as Walmart Inc.’s online guru, the guy who would drag the lumbering giant into the digital-commerce era and put Amazon in its place.

But 18 months after selling his startup to the world’s largest retailer, Marc Lore is finding those expectations awfully hard to meet. It’s not that investors and analysts are giving up on him as much as it’s a realization that the task at hand is daunting and growing harder by the day -- and that Lore has little margin for error.. . . more