What's new Today in Retail (11/6)

Takeaway: Athl. FW recovers from stormy 2012 led by Brand Jordan,flat out ugly ANF update, SKS exec takes over at VRA, VNO discloses losses on JCP

EVENTS TO WATCH OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS

ADS - Earnings Call: Thursday 11/7 4:00 am

FNP - Earnings Call: Thursday 11/7 10:00 am

COH - Annual General Meeting: Thursday 11/7

ECONOMIC DATA

Athletic Footwear Data

 

Takeaway: This 11.5% jump is partially impacted (helped) by tough weather last year -- when sales were down 12%. That said, take a look at Brand Jordan… Up 80% this week??? Units up 48% and ASP smoking every other athletic brand. Amazing momentum.

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COMPANY NEWS

ANF - ABERCROMBIE & FITCH PROVIDES BUSINESS UPDATE ANNOUNCES RESTRUCTURING PLAN FOR GILLY HICKS BRAND AMENDS CREDIT AGREEMENTS

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=61701&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1872716&highlight=)

  • "Net sales for the thirteen weeks ended November 2, 2013 decreased 12% to $1.033 billion from $1.170 billion for the thirteen weeks ended October 27, 2012."
  • "Total comparable sales for the quarter, including direct-to-consumer sales, decreased 14% with comparable U.S. sales decreasing 14% and comparable international sales decreasing 15%. Total direct-to-consumer comparable sales increased 11% for the quarter."
  • "Excluding these charges, the Company expects to report adjusted non-GAAP earnings per diluted share at the higher end of prior non-GAAP guidance of $0.40 to $0.45. This expectation now reflects lower sales and gross margin rate than anticipated offset by expense and other favorabilities."
  • "Based on a projected low double digit decrease in comparable sales for the fourth quarter, the Company expects full year adjusted non-GAAP earnings per diluted share to be in the range of $1.40 to $1.50. This projection also assumes significant gross margin rate erosion in the fourth quarter as the Company clears through excess inventory."
  • "The Company also announced that it plans to close all of its stand-alone Gilly Hicks stores. The Company expects to substantially complete the closures by the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2014."

Takeaway. Comps down 14%? We're so often temped to get involved here, but something makes us pause. Usually that something is our concern about the relevance of the concept. This print validates our concern.

JCP, VNO - Vornado Loses $256.2 Million on Investment in J.C. Penney

(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-04/vornado-loses-256-2-million-on-investment-in-j-c-penney.html)

  • "Vornado Realty Trust  lost a total of $256.2 million over the course of its three-year investment in the J.C. Penney Co. department store chain, the company said today in a regulatory filing."

Takeaway: They sold too early. In a year, we think the stock will be a teenager.

M - Macy’s appeals to tech-savvy consumers with new app

(http://www.retailingtoday.com/article/macy%E2%80%99s-appeals-tech-savvy-consumers-new-app)

  • "Macy's has integrated NantMobile’s iD visual recognition technology into its Star Gifts app to allow customers to shop on the go from catalogs, billboards and magazine ads."
  • "As retailers gear up for the holiday shopping season, Macy’s — which is pushing its omnichannel initiative — is reaching out to tech-savvy mobile customers. The iD-powered app’s visual recognition technology allows mobile shoppers to scan items from a catalog, magazine ad or even from an outdoor billboard and purchase them."

Takeaway: Really progressive move by Macy's. To be clear, the Star Gifts app is not new, but the enhanced functionality is. Let's see if it helps boost e-commerce revenue.

VRA - Vera Bradley Names Robert Wallstrom Chief Executive Officer

(http://investors.verabradley.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=804359)

  • "Vera Bradley, Inc. today announced that Robert T. Wallstrom has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective November 11, 2013. Mr. Wallstrom succeeds Michael C. Ray, who previously announced his intention to retire as CEO."
  • "Mr. Wallstrom brings 30 years of retail experience to Vera Bradley, most recently serving as President of Saks Fifth Avenue's OFF Fifth division…"

Takeaway: We don't like VRA one bit, but this is a pretty good score for the company. We like Wallstrom's pedigree. Also, VRA is trying to broaden wholesale distribution with national accounts. This guy knows how to do it.

KER - Volcom Rolls Out New Store Format

(http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/specialty-stores/volcom-rolls-out-new-store-format-7263956?module=hp-mens)

  • The Kering-owned surf, skate and snowboard apparel brand returned to the Los Angeles area after a two-year retail absence with a 2,200-square-foot store on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif. The store introduces Volcom’s updated retail concept...to the West Coast after it was unveiled in March when the brand finished remodeling its New York flagship. 

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Takeaway: I still can't believe that Kering actually owns Volcom. It made as much sense as when it bought Puma. Last I checked, Puma was not exactly a home run.