What's New Today in Retail (11/1)

Takeaway: RonJon breaks his silence. WMT's US mftgring initiative is smoke and mirrors. NFL jersey stats are in. TGT kicks off holiday price war.

COMPANY NEWS

JCP - Ron Johnson Speaks, Calls Reports On His J.C. Penney Tenure 'Largely Inaccurate And Surprisingly Uninformed'

(http://www.forbes.com/sites/barbarathau/2013/10/29/an-open-letter-to-ex-j-c-penney-ceo-ron-johnson-who-calls-reports-on-his-tenure-surprisingly-uninformed-when-youre-ready-can-we-talk/)

  • "Johnson told me via email that although it’s premature to discuss his tenure at J.C. Penney, he did say that much of the analysis of his stint at the chain has been 'lacking in depth, largely inaccurate, and surprisingly uninformed.'"

Takeaway: Maybe he's looking for a job.

WMT - Wal-Mart Boosts Made in U.S.A. Initiative

(http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/retail-features/wal-mart-boosts-made-in-usa-initiative-7259348?module=hp-retail)

  • "Bill Simon, Wal-Mart’s U.S. president and chief executive officer, revealed at an investment summit here Thursday that three of its suppliers have committed to moving production back to the U.S., or expanding existing capacity, as part of the retail giant’s longer-term commitment to buy $50 billion worth of American-made products over the next 10 years."

Takeaway: While we're all about boosting US production, let's put this into context. $50bn over 10-years is likely $1bn in year 1, and $10bn in year 10. But even if we want to be generous and call it $5bn per year, it's only 1% of the half a trillion worth of product WMT will sell next year. This is hardly WMT going all-out. It's a PR campaign more than anything.

MW, JOSB - Jos. A. Bank Prepared to Boost Men's Wearhouse Bid

(http://www.wwd.com/menswear-news/retail-business/jos-a-bank-would-boost-mens-wearhouse-bid-7259345?module=hp-topstories)

  • "The retailer said it would consider raising the original offer of $48 a share if 'given the opportunity to conduct limited due diligence in order to determine that such an increase would be justified.'”
  • "In a letter to Men’s Wearhouse chief executive officer Douglas Ewert made public Thursday, Wildrick said that the $48 offer 'was necessarily based solely on publicly available information. We believe that if we were provided with access to a limited amount of non-public information, we could promptly determine whether we could increase our proposed acquisition price. We are, of course, prepared to execute a mutually acceptable non-disclosure agreement to provide Men’s Wearhouse with the assurance that any information provided will be kept confidential.'"

Takeaway: JOSB simply doesn't get it. MW wants to go solo as it builds a house of brands, instead of being a standard, run-of-the-mill mid-tier men's apparel retailer like JOSB. If the deal does happen, it's going to be at a price well above here. The simple fact that JOSB is so aggressive in wanting this transaction casts serious doubt in its ability to grow profitably through its existing model. 

HBC - Hudson's Bay Begins a Beauty Metamorphosis

(http://www.wwd.com/beauty-industry-news/retailing/hudsons-bay-renovates-beauty-floors-7259968?module=hp-topstories)

  • "Hudson’s Bay is putting the finishing touches on an expansion and upgrade of the beauty selling departments of six of its 90 stores, four of them flagships."
  • "It is the first major renovation of those floors in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver in 15 years, according to Shelley Rozenwald, chief beauty adventurer and senior vice of cosmetics for Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor."
  • "The size of total departments also have significantly expanded. In the Yorkdale store, the beauty department has been doubled from 16,000 square feet to a total of 32,000 square feet. The entire store measures 200,000 square feet. The other stores, particularly Vancouver, picked up an additional 30 to 40 percent of space in their beauty departments."

What's New Today in Retail (11/1) - chart2 11 1

Takeaway: Big investment in an area that is among the most profitable for Macy's, Bloomingdales, and Nordstrom. But renovating 6 of 90 stores isn't going to move the needle.

DKS - Broncos and Seahawks Top NFL Jersey Sales 

(http://www.sportsonesource.com/news/article_home.asp?Prod=1&section=9&id=48573)

  • "Through the midway point of the NFL season, Dick's Sporting Goods Jersey Report is showing that Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks are by far the two most popular teams. In seven markets across the country (New York, Boston, Indy, Washington, Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta), the Broncos and Seahawks are second (or third) in sales behind the local team(s)."
  • Team Sales Top 10 through Week 8 (The number in parenthesis indicates the team’s ranking in Week 1)
  1. Denver Broncos (2)
  2. Baltimore Ravens (3)
  3. Indianapolis Colts (5)
  4. Chicago Bears (4)
  5. Washington Redskins (1)
  6. New York Giants (6)
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers (7)
  8. New England Patriots (9)
  9. Seattle Seahawks (15)
  10. Philadelphia Eagles (16)
  • Player Sales Top 10 through Week 8 (The number in parenthesis indicates the player’s ranking in Week 1)
  1. Peyton Manning (2)
  2. Andrew Luck (3)
  3. Robert Griffin III (1)
  4. Russell Wilson (16)
  5. Tom Brady (9)
  6. Ray Rice (5)
  7. Eli Manning (6)
  8. Joe Flacco (7)
  9. LeSean McCoy (21)
  10. Colin Kaepernick (11)

Takeaway: Not a surprise to see either of those teams at the top. The player jerseys are more interesting. The fact that Peyton and Andrew Luck are 1 and 2 is borderline hysterical. As for the other Manning, it's good to see that he still ranks number 7 despite the year he's having. He's got some loyal fans.

WMT - Green Dot and Walmart Expand Walmart MoneyCard Portfolio with a Suite of Prepaid Debit Cards

(http://ir.greendot.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=235286&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1871046&highlight=)

  • "Green Dot Corporation and Walmart today announced they have expanded the line of Walmart MoneyCard® reloadable prepaid debit cards to include six new card types designed to meet the needs of their growing customer base. Issued by Green Dot, the Walmart prepaid debit card portfolio now includes nine cards, and is available in more than 4,100 Walmart stores nationwide."

Takeaway: Timed perfectly with the expiration of food stamp stimulus.

TIF - Tiffany Scores $2.2M Judgment Against Cyber Counterfeiters

(http://www.wwd.com/business-news/legal/tiffany-scores-22m-judgment-against-cyber-counterfeiters-7259794?module=hp-accessories)

  • "Filed in the southern district of Florida, the lawsuit named 78 defendants operating Web sites such as salestiffany.net, shoptiffanyco.com, tiffanyandcomall.com, tiffanycooutlet.co.uk, which sold counterfeit Tiffany jewelry."
  • "As part of the judgment, the court required that the Web site operators’ infringing domain names be transferred to Tiffany. It also requested that $2.2 million be paid to Tiffany, but tracking down Internet counterfeiters to collect damages is extremely difficult, making the likelihood of collecting very slim."

Takeaway: Gotta hand it to TIF. This is yet another win for its counterfeiting police. These guys are not only resilient, but they're hugely successful.

Triumph - Triumph Launches Line With Helena Christensen

(http://www.wwd.com/markets-news/intimates-activewear/triumph-launches-line-with-helena-christensen-7260315?module=hp-markets)

  • "Triumph International, the world’s largest lingerie company, will launch its first e-commerce site for the U.S. market today."
  • "The Web launch is part of an aggressive initiative of the $2.1 billion intimate apparel and underwear firm to enter the U.S. innerwear market, which generates annual retail sales of $14.5 billion."
  • "The company, whose brands include Triumph, Sloggi, Valisère and Hom, opened its first Triumph stores in the U.S. at the Walt Whitman Shops and Roosevelt Field mall in Huntington Station and Garden City, N.Y., respectively, in August. A third store is slated to open in New Jersey in early 2014."

Takeaway: WWD is getting a little loose with its facts and figures here. Triumph is not the world's largest lingerie company. Victoria's Secret is almost 20x larger.

TGT - Target Guests Should Expect to 'Pay Less' This Christmas

(http://www.retailwire.com/discussion/17123/target-guests-should-expect-to-pay-less-this-christmas)

  • "Aside from everyday low prices and special promotional deals, Target offers: Five percent off all purchases to REDcard Rewards members; Additional discounts to guests using its Cartwheel app; Price matching. Target will match the price of qualifying items between Nov. 1 and Dec. 21 if a guest finds the same item for less in a local competitor's ad or at select online retailers."

Takeaway: Amazon and Wal-Mart might have something to say about this.

TCS - The Container Store Group, Inc. Announces Pricing of Its Initial Public Offering of Common Stock

(http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20131031006627/en/Container-Store-Group-Announces-Pricing-Initial-Public)

  • "The Container Store Group, Inc. announced today the pricing of its initial public offering of 12,500,000 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $18.00 per share. The shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and will trade under the ticker symbol “TCS” beginning on November 1, 2013. The Container Store Group, Inc. is offering all 12,500,000 shares of common stock. The underwriters also have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,875,000 shares from the Company."

Takeaway: First they raised the range, then priced at the high-end. Not a surprise. This is a strong concept with ample unit growth (not to mention that the offering is only 12.5mm shares). Economics 101.

PERY, ELY - Perry Ellis International Expands Callaway Apparel Licensing Rights to Include Europe, Middle East and Africa

(http://investor.pery.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=803104)

  • " Perry Ellis International, Callaway Golf's apparel licensee, today confirmed an agreement to expand its current partnership...to design, manufacture and sell golf apparel across Europe, the Middle East and Africa."
  • "Currently, the principal apparel distribution in the region is operated directly by Callaway Golf. Perry Ellis International will assume responsibility for distribution channels for golf apparel product across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, transitioning on January 1st, 2014. The men's and women's European Callaway Fall 2013 line is currently available at retail at leading golf specialty stores and resorts in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Czech Republic, Turkey and the Middle East. The addition of South Africa as well as a full European roll-out of the brand is expected by Spring 2014."

INDUSTRY NEWS

Bangladesh: Garment Workers Refuse Third Wage Hike Offer

(https://www.sourcingjournalonline.com/bangladesh-garment-workers-refuse-third-wage-hike-offer-td/)

  • "The government-formed Minimum Wage Board met today to settle the wage structure with an offer of Tk 4,250 ($55) per month, but the ready made garment (RMG) workers and their labor representatives were not having it."
  • "The RMG industry has been embattled for weeks seeking a wage increase from the current Tk 3,000 ($39) per month—the lowest worldwide wage rate in the industry—to Tk 8,114 ($105), a number considered to be a more reasonable living wage for the sector’s four million workers."
  • "Fearful factory owners came up from the previous offer in September to raise wages by 20 percent to Tk 3,600 ($47) after workers staged violent demonstrations and skipped work forcing factory closures in some cases. Just yesterday, more than 20 factories in Gazipur closed when workers demonstrated damaging production units so demands might be met."