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January 28, 2010






  • Long, long overdue but never too late.  H&M announced (via Twitter) that the brand will be launching e-commerce! Unfortunately, fast fashionistas will have to wait an entire year before the launch which is slated for 2011/2012.
  • Given the early success of Omni Heat technology for Columbia, the brand looks to expand the penetration from 10% of the assortment to 40% for Fall 2011.  The distribution will remain narrow and focused on specialty and sporting goods retailers. 
  • Just weeks after a report suggested that celebrity endorsements have low ROI’s, a new study emerges that takes a look at which athletes make the best endorsers.  The Nielsen study found that Olympians dominate the top 5 male endorsers, while tennis players dominate the top female endorsers.  Formal NFL players top the list of most effective commentator endorsers.


Borders gets conditional lifeline; shares soar - Shares jumped 36 percent in after-hours trading after Borders said GE Capital, a unit of General Electric Co (GE.N), agreed to provide a $550 million credit facility under several conditions, including that it close stores and arrange financings with other lenders, vendors and landlords.Borders, the No. 2 U.S. bookstore chain by sales, also said it is prudent to explore alternative avenues, including a possible restructuring under court supervision. James McTevia, a bankruptcy restructuring consultant with McTevia & Associates, said Borders' discussion of an possible "in-court restructuring" was referring to a bankruptcy filing. "Borders has a commitment for financing that allows it to walk down two paths at the same time," McTevia said.<Reuters>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Less than 24 hours after BGP receives some indication that GE Capital may save the day (for now), the media is reporting that some publishers are not interested in funding the company’s restructuring.  The publishers want their cash, not paper based on a hopes for a turnaround.


Prada to Set IPO in Hong Kong - The Italian luxury goods house said Thursday that it will go ahead with an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, although it did not specify a time frame or the size of the stake to be sold. Analysts believe an IPO could happen as early as this spring and value the company up to $9.5 billion.It will be at least the fourth time the firm has aimed for an IPO, having called off the last several attempts due to weak global markets.<WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Signs of an IPO have been building as the company has become more vocal in recent months in presenting its growth prospects.  However, as the article notes, this “roadshow” has served many rubber chickens in the past.  It’s not official until it’s official.


Tory Burch Opens in London - Tory Burch is transporting her American lifestyle concept to Europe with her first stand-alone store here, joining one she already has opened in Rome. Earlier this week in London, guests including Joely Richardson, Rena Sindi, John Frieda, Avery Agnelli, Laura Bailey, Ashley Hicks, Allegra Hicks, Cosima Pavoncelli, and Santa and Simon Sebag Montefiore gathered at the store on 149 New Bond Street for cocktails, and later for dinner at Hakkasan in Mayfair. <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  With a brand that is close to producing $400 million in the US alone, expansion into Europe is not surprising as the company looks to hit the $1 billion mark in 5 to 10 years.


P&G Zeros In on Beauty Ritual - Procter & Gamble Co. is bent on changing consumers’ beauty rituals to expand existing categories and gain more traction in emerging markets. “We need to innovate in everything we do,” Bob McDonald, chairman, president and chief executive officer, told analysts during an earnings call Thursday.  In some cases, he said, that means introducing new product categories, in others it means expanding categories by changing consumers’ habits. For instance, McDonald said, “In China, it’s getting consumers to wash their hair more than once a week.” <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  If growth is predicated on the Chinese washing their hair more often, we wonder how analysts will put this in their model?  Seriously, the world’s largest CPG company is banking on selling more shampoo by teaching the Chinese to bathe more frequently?


A Shift to Upscale Offerings at Mass- Buoyed by the success of premium skin care, mass merchants plan to further increase upscale assortments while adding enhanced services. That’s not to say, however, there won’t still be a focus on value pricing with more space allocated to inexpensive brands, too.  According to data presented during The NPD Group’s Hot Off the Press conference, beauty in the food, drug and mass arenas experienced 3 percent sales growth in 2010, versus a flat 2009. Makeup sales posted the biggest increase, followed by skin care, while fragrance sales declined slightly. <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  As the consumer gradually learns that masstige products are essentially the same as those found in the center core at the mall, it’s hard to defend the dominant share department stores have held for decades in the premium category.  This is still a category with major opportunities for company’s like Target, Walmart, and Costco.


Snow Sports Market Sets Billion Dollar Record in December - The snow sports market sold more than $1 billion worth of equipment apparel and accessories in December alone and reached $2.1 billion season-to-date, according to a report by SnowSports Industry America.   This is the first time in history snow sports sales have topped a billion dollars for sales in a single month. Sales through December this season are 16% higher in dollars sold and 10% more units sold compared to the same time last season.  With excellent snow conditions across the U.S. and improved consumer confidence 2010-2011 is predicted to be the best season ever for the market. Equipment sales continue to lead market increases with a 22% increase in dollars sold overall and 11% more units sold.    <SportsOneSource>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: With the snowiest January on record in NYC and 1.5 inch from the snowiest month ever (Feb ’10), record outwear/snow sport sales couldn’t have come at a better time – in fact it may be even higher in January. 

What Makes Facebook Fan Pages Successful? - Well-known brands like Coca-Cola and Starbucks have had success turning their Facebook fan pages into popular sites with millions of fans. Local businesses are also leveraging the site and can learn from their global neighbors. Local businesses make up 17.6% of Facebook fan pages, according to financial services firm Wedbush, while companies come in at 6.3% and products at 3%. Interests, musicians and public figures are also high on the list. <eMarketer>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Free marketing, what’s better than that as a small business owner? With 77% of users looking to receive incentives online, social networking sites provide the perfect opportunity for small businesses as well as national players to gain loyalty and drive traffic at the consumer level.

R3: COLM, BGP, H&M, P&G - R3 1 28 11