Athletic Apparel Data -
Takeaway: Weekly athletic apparel numbers continue to be strong, though they decelerated slightly. Nike continues to power those numbers. 33% growth for a company with 20% share of the market is nothing to shake a stick at. UnderArmour put up one of the weakest numbers we've seen all year.
Online sales surge and demand for new furniture boost UK retailers
- "Britain's retailers returned to health last month on the back of strong demand for new furniture and a 20% year-on-year surge in online sales, according to official figures."
- "After a 2.1% fall in August, the Office for National Statistics said retail sales rose by 0.7% month on month in September, excluding petrol sales, following a 3% surge in the purchase of household goods."
- "The ONS said a look back over the previous three months revealed a period of growth, with retail sales up 1.5% quarter on quarter. 'This is the largest quarter-on-quarter rise since March 2008 when the economy as a whole was at its peak, before the economic downturn,' it said."
Takeaway: Similar trends to what were seeing in the US. We'd say something cute like 'long live housing' but the survey we launched yesterday shows that housing activity is one of the least important drivers of new furniture purchased. That came as a surprise to us.
CA - Carrefour Sees Growth in All Major Markets
- "French retail giant Carrefour...registered growth in all its major markets in the third quarter, saying its low-price strategy had allowed it to buck slow economic growth and partly offset adverse currency fluctuations."
- "Sales in the three months through September fell 1.3% to €21.1 billion ($28.55 billion) because of a drop in Latin American currencies.
- In the same period last year, sales came in at €21.4 billion, excluding businesses that Carrefour has exited since, such as Greece and Malaysia."
- "Excluding currency effects, disposals and fuel sales, underlying growth rose 3.1%."
- "The performance of hypermarkets in France was particularly in the spotlight, with sales rising 3% in the third quarter after a long slump."
- "Other key markets also showed progress, with Brazil, China and Spain all growing in the third quarter."
Takeaway: Emerging markets fueled what little growth CA saw in its business. Sad statement about the state of its mature markets.
WMT - India Clears Wal-Mart in Probe of 2010 Purchase
- "An Indian finance ministry investigation has cleared Wal-Mart Stores...of allegations that the American retailer illegally put money into a local supermarket chain despite a ban on foreign direct investment in the sector, two senior officials familiar with the matter said."
- "The ministry was investigating a purchase by Wal-Mart of $100 million in convertible debentures from a retailing arm of Indian conglomerate Bharti Enterprises in 2010."
Takeaway: With this ruling, WMT has officially ended its ties with Bharti in India. The question that needs to be answered now is how will it pursue its growth objectives in Asia?
JOSB, MW - Jos. A. Bank Won’t Rule Out Hostile Bid for Men’s Wearhouse
- "... [JOSB] Chairman Robert Wildrick said he wouldn’t rule out making a hostile bid for Men’s Wearhouse Inc., which turned down his company’s offer last week. 'We want this to happen on a friendly basis,' Wildrick said today in an interview. 'But at this point we have not ruled anything out.'”
- "Wildrick said he won’t make a new, higher bid without looking at the company’s books. He said he prefers to acquire...[MW] with a friendly offer that’s best for the shareholders of both companies."
Takeaway: We don't know what the outcome here will be, but hostile bids almost never end well.
LTD - L Brands' Leslie Wexner Lets Loose at Investor Conference
- "At the firm’s investor conference Wednesday, Wexner was as provocative as ever, stating he can double L Brands’ business in North America and generate 'sustained and significant international growth.' He also said that department stores are irrelevant and that there’s virtually no room for outlets in his retail empire."
- "Globally, the goal is to bring L Brands (formerly Limited Brands Inc.) to $20 billion in revenues within the next five to six years, though no specific time frame was cited. Another big goal: elevating the operating margin a few points to the high teens."
- "With L Brands’ domestic growth, Wexner sees La Senza coming to the U.S. from Canada, and additional square footage for Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works and Pink in the pipeline. La Senza plans to open five or six stores in the U.S. next spring, at about 2,500 square feet each, in Midwest malls…"
Takeaway: Wexner gives department stores a kick in the jaw. It wasn’t the first time, and it won't be the last.
JNY - Stuart Weitzman Launching Digital Pop-Up With Gilt
- "Stuart Weitzman has partnered with Gilt on a pop-up digital shop that goes live at noon Thursday, dedicated solely to its signature over-the-knee 5050 boot. For the first time, Gilt has created a separate URL at 5050bootcamp.com that will offer 20 different styles of the boot…"
Takeaway: This could be an interesting opportunity for brands in the future to leverage Gilt Groupe's retail strategy and user base.
9983 - Uniqlo opens store in NYC subway station
- "Uniqlo has opened a pop-up store in the 14th Street-Union Square subway station in Manhattan. The store, which will be open through the holidays, will offer shoppers will get a $5 Metro Card in a limited-edition sleeve with any purchase."
Takeaway: Unique strategy for Uniqlo as they try to establish their footprint in North America. This is a rather common strategy in Japan.
TUMI - Tumi Opens New York Flagship
- "The accessories brand will unveil a new concept for all of the company’s stores and shops-in-shop when it opens a flagship here today."
- "Located at 610 Madison Avenue, the 18,000-square-foot store will be considered Tumi’s main New York location, as its current flagship on 520 Madison Avenue will shutter early next year."
Takeaway: 18,000 sq ft to sell luggage and handbags? The store looks surprisingly good. But can it possibly be profitable.
Toys"R"Us - TOYS“R”US, INC. APPOINTS CEO; NAMES PRESIDENT OF U.S. BUSINESS
- "Antonio Urcelay has been named Chief Executive Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc., effective immediately, after serving as the company’s interim CEO since May of this year."
- "Hank Mullany, an experienced retail executive with a strong background in operations, finance, customer service and strategic planning, has been named President, Toys“R”Us, U.S., effective November 5."
Takeaway: This is in the top three jobs that you could not pay me enough money to take.
JCrew, M, COH, JWN, LULU, etc. - Stella Monthly Benchmarks: JCrew.com Tops All Retailers for Third Consecutive Month
- "Each month, StellaService sheds light on the service performance of online retailers within their respective retail categories. The companies are measured across four service areas: Phone, Email, Shipping and Returns. Phone and Email are measured daily, while shipping and returns are measured across multiple orders. StellaService Monthly Benchmarks are designed to provide consumers with guidance for smarter shopping and retailers with an independent, reliable benchmark for measuring and improving their customer service."
- "Looking at combined scores for all four service areas in Benchmarks, the following companies were strongest overall (in alphabetical order):"
Retail Rents Continue to Rise in New York
- "Retail rents along the Fifth Avenue corridor between 49th and 59th Streets have surpassed $3,000 a square foot, according to the CBRE Fall 2013 report, 'Manhattan Retail Market.'”
- "The average asking rent for the Fifth Avenue stretch between 42nd and 49th Streets is $1,082 a square foot, which CBRE noted is up 146 percent from 2009…"
- "Over at what is known as Herald Square, the space along 34th Street from Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue, average asking rents are $738 a square feet, compared with $500 two years ago. The report said a few opportunities have asking rents of $1,000 a square foot, suggesting that average rent for the area is likely to continue to rise."
NPD Group releases holiday spending survey results
- "This year’s results found that 12% of U.S. consumers who were surveyed plan to spend more, while 67% said they plan to spend about the same and 21% said they plan to spend less."
- "Overall, the holiday shopping season will get off to an earlier start compared to last year. According to the NPD Annual Holiday Spending Survey, this year more consumers have already started, or will start shopping before Thanksgiving...The survey found that 17% of U.S. shoppers have already started their holiday shopping and 22% plan to start before Thanksgiving."
- "More than half (52%) of consumers surveyed said they plan on hitting discount stores, while 43% plan on shopping online. Twenty-nine percent of consumers plan to shop at national chains, 22% at department stores, 19% at toy stores, 18% at warehouse clubs, 17% at outlet stores, 17% at electronics stores, 15% at clothing specialty stores and 15% at off-price retailers."
Takeaway: With these sureveys, you want to look at one tail of the distribution vs the other -- does not bode well for shopping intent.