Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Best Buy misses on Q2 sales, beats on earnings, tariffs loom

Chain Store Age
Best Buy had mixed results in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 and is preparing for the impact of upcoming Chinese tariffs.

Quarterly enterprise revenue equaled $9.54 billion, up 2% from $9.37 billion but short of analyst estimates of $9.6 billion. Same-store sales rose 1.6%, missing predictions of 2.1% growth. . . . more

Nearly 100 More Sears & Kmart Stores To Close, Including 2 Mass. Locations

CBS Boston
Nearly 100 additional Kmart and Sears stores could close in December or sooner. The latest round of closures includes two locations in Massachusetts.

The Brockton Enterprise reports that Kmart stores in Brockton and Webster are going out of business. . . . more

Trump said he wanted to save Christmas, but shoppers fear tariffs could ruin the holiday season

Six in 10 people are worried about tariffs impacting their holiday shopping, according to a new study.

President Donald Trump had said he chose to delay part of the taxes on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports from Sept. 1 until Dec. 15 “for the Christmas season ... just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers. ” But consumers are still anxious.. . . more

Lego to open 160 new stores as other toy retailers suffer

Boston Business Journal
Lego is rapidly increasing the number of its own-brand stores and investing heavily into ecommerce as it seeks to navigate the turmoil in the toy industry.

Niels Christiansen, Lego’s chief executive, said on Tuesday it would open more than 160 new stores this year — an increase of almost 40 per cent, as the Danish toymaker draws the lessons from the collapse of Toys R Us and the Nordic region’s biggest toy retailer Top Toy. . . . more

Friday, August 30, 2019

Burlington Stores store remodels gaining traction

Home Textiles Today
By the end of this year, Burlington Stores will have remodeled over 60% of its store fleet.

During the company’s second quarter conference call this morning, executives for the 691-unit off-price chain reiterated the long-term strategy of getting to 1,000 stores in the US.. . . more

Ulta lowers guidance on weak cosmetics market

Retail Dive
Ulta, usually a top performer, unexpectedly lowered its guidance for fiscal 2019 on Thursday, citing "headwinds" in the U.S. cosmetics market, according to a company press release. CEO Mary Dillon said on a conference call with analysts that the cosmetics category, which makes up about 50% of the retailer's business, failed to live up to the company's expectations for the period, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

Nevertheless, net sales at the retailer rose 12% in the second quarter to $1.67 billion, compared to $1.49 billion in the year-ago period. Comparable sales also increased 6.2%, thanks to growth in the number and size of transactions, but down slightly from a 6.5% increase a year ago.. . . more

Store Closings Could Hit 12,000 By the End of the Year

The so-called “retail apocalypse” continues as massive U.S. retail chains, including Payless ShoeSource, Gymboree, Gap and Dressbarn have already announced 7,888 stores closures this year, according to global marketing research firm Coresight Research.

That number easily beats the 5,844 total store closures in all of 2018, which included all Toys ‘R’ Us stores, as well as hundreds of Sears and Kmart locations.

The record year for closures was 2017, with 8,139 shuttered locations. If the current frenzied pace continues, however, store closings could hit 12,000 by year-end, Coresight reports.. . . more

Consumer spending surges in July and low inflation paves way for Fed to cut rates

Americans boosted spending in July on recreational goods and vehicles as well as energy to run their air conditioners, but inflation remained low enough to give the Federal Reserve room to cut interest rates next month.

Consumer spending jumped 0.6% last month, the government said Friday, matching the MarketWatch forecast.

Incomes rose just 0.1%, however, marking the smallest gain in nearly a year. Americans had to dip into their savings to cover their expenses.. . . more

Check out Wayfair’s first permanent store

Chain Store Age
Wayfair continues its foray into brick-and-mortar with the opening of its first permanent, full-price store.

The online home furnishings giant opened a 3,400-sq.-ft. location at Natick Mall, in Natick., Mass. Wayfair previously operated a pop-up shop at the Natick Mall during the 2018 holiday season along with one at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. . . . more

Walmart to pilot new health services in Georgia

Chain Store Age
The new Walmart Health clinic will reportedly offer low-cost mental and dental health services.

According to CNBC, Walmart is testing a new health clinic concept in a building located next to a store in Dallas, Georgia, starting Sept. 13, 2019. The clinic, called Walmart Health, will provide comprehensive services including primary care, dental, counseling, labs, X-rays, and audiology. The clinic will be located in a separate building from the neighboring store to ensure patient privacy, with online scheduling of appointments.. . . more

Big Lots beats Street with Q2 earnings, misses on same-store sales

Chain Store Age
For the second quarter in a row, after-tax charges bit into profits at Big Lots Inc.

The closeout retailer reported net income of $6.2 million during the second quarter of fiscal 2019, including after-tax charges of $14.5 million related to its ongoing strategic business transformation. This represented a roughly 75% decrease from net income of $24.2 million the prior-year period. However, adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 53 cents per share beat Wall Street analyst expectations of 36 cents per share.

Net sales totaled $1.25 billion, up 2% from $1.22 billion a year earlier and in line with Wall Street predictions. Same-stores sales growth of 1.2% fell behind expectations of 1.9%.. . . more

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Tiffany Q2 earnings top Street but sales miss amid Hong Kong protests

Chain Store Age
Tiffany & Co. reported earnings that easily topped analysts’ expectations but its sales fell short amid protests in Hong Kong and a decline in tourist spending in the U.S.

Sales fell to $1.05 billion from $1.08 billion, missing Street estimates of $1.06 billion. Global same-store sales decreased 4%. Same-store U.S. sales fell 4%. Tiffany said it had “strong growth” in mainland China but “softness” in Hong Kong.. . . more

Five Below on track to open 150 stores in 2019

Chain Store Age
Five Below reported continued aggressive expansion in its second quarter along with earnings that just beat Street expectations as sales fell short.

Net sales rose 20.0% to $417.4 million, below analysts’ projections. Same-store sales increased 1.4%.

Five Below opened 44 stores in the quarter. It is on plan to open 150 stores in fiscal 2019. . . . more

Dollar General blows past Street estimates in Q2, raises guidance; names COO

Chain Store Age
Dollar General on Thursday reported a strong second-quarter performance, beating Wall Street’s earnings and sales expectations, and announced two key promotions.

Sales rose 8.4% to $7.0 billion, beating estimates of $6.9 billion. Same-store sales rose 4%, also more than expected.. . . more

Regis selling rest of company-owned salons

Regis Corp. plans to sell more than 3,100 salons in its transition to a full franchise business model.

In its last fiscal year, the Edina-based company has sold 767 salons to franchisees, making more than half its 7,145 salons franchises. It said Tuesday, as it released fourth quarter results, that it will sell almost all of the rest of the corporate-owned stores.. . . more

Gap to keep name after Old Navy spin-off

FOX Business
Gap Inc announced on Wednesday that it will keep its iconic name following the planned spin-off of its Old Navy brand Opens a New Window. .

The new public company, currently being called NewCo, will have the Gap Inc. name.

The new Gap Inc. will contain a portfolio of brands, including Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, Janie and Jack, and Hill City.. . . more

Greater Hartford, CT Report Preview

KeyPoint Partners
With the releases of the KeyPoint Reports on Eastern Massachusetts/Greater Boston and Southern New Hampshire behind us, it’s time to move on to the report for Greater Hartford, Connecticut, based on our proprietary GRIID™ retail database. As with the other reports, our modus operandi is to share some of the regional highlights while the complete version is still “baking.” In Greater Hartford, the 2019 retail market was a relatively stable one.. . . more

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Forever 21 reportedly preparing potential bankruptcy filing

Apparel retailer Forever 21 is preparing to potentially file for bankruptcy, Bloomberg reported Wednesday afternoon, citing people familiar with its plans.

The retailer has been exploring restructuring options to shore up its liquidity as it struggles with its business, CNBC previously reported. Those efforts though, have stalled, and the company’s focus has instead shifted to raising a so-called debtor-in-possession loan to fund a potential bankruptcy, Bloomberg reported. The newswire cautioned it is still possible it will be able to restructure its debt without filing for bankruptcy.. . . more

Lord & Taylor sold

Chain Store Age
The nation’s oldest department store company is being acquired by an apparel rental service that was founded some seven years ago.

Hudson’s Bay Company said it will sell Lord & Taylor to Le Tote for $100 million. The Canadian department store giant will be paid C$99.5 million (US$75 million) in cash after the deal closes and a secured promissory note of C$33.2 million (US$25 million) payable in cash after two years. In addition, Hudson’s Bay will receive an equity stake in Le Tote, two seats on its board and certain rights as a minority shareholder.. . . more

Simon Property Group Wants to Be More Than Just a Mall Operator

The Motley Fool
The retail apocalypse is in full force. Last year, Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy and is liquidating stores. Earlier this year, Dressbarn (owned by Ascena Retail Group) made the decision to close all its stores. And these are just two examples of the dozens of struggling retailers that have been closing thousands of stores or are on the brink of insolvency.

A major loser in all of this (other than the individual retailers) are the real estate companies owed rent and facing higher vacancy rates in the malls they operate. Among them is Simon Property Group, a real estate investment trust (REIT) that operates 235 shopping centers around the world. While the company's business is holding up well, Simon is redeveloping much of its property to diversify its portfolio. . . . more