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Takeaway: Retail sales show signs of life. JCP attacks LULU - hard. WMT/TGT jump on ‘open early on Thanksgiving’ train. HBI - caffeine in underpants?


M - Earnings Call: Wednesday 11/13 10:30 am


ICSC - Chain Store Sales Index

Takeaway: A rare show of strength by ICSC’s weekly chain store sales index of 80 retailers. We can’t make a call on holiday by one solitary week, but it’s exactly the kind of strength the retailers want to see headed in to the holidays.

What's New Today in Retail (11/12) - chart1 11 12

What's New Today in Retail (11/12) - chart2 11 12


JCP, LULU - JC Penney Burned Lululemon’s Snobby Fat-Shaming, And It’s Brilliant


  • "Lululemon‘s recent image problems are excellent news for other athletic brands, and JC Penney wants everyone to know that if Lululemon doesn’t want you in its pants, JC Penney is ready to hook you up."

What's New Today in Retail (11/12) - chart5 11 12

Takeaway: This marketing campaign by JCP is simply brilliant. The company continues to show a level of irreverence in its marketing that sets it apart from other national retailers. We’re not saying that the marketing approach fully works. But simply that JCP is on offense trying to find the right formula. We like offense.

JOSB - JoS. A. Bank Provides Earnings Update for Q3 of Fiscal Year 2013


  • "JoS. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. today announced that adjusted earnings are projected to increase to approximately $.49 to $.51 per diluted share, excluding the expense of legal and other professional services related to the Company's acquisition proposal for The Men's Wearhouse, Inc. of approximately $.02 to $.03 per diluted share."
  • "The adjusted earnings per diluted share would represent a gain of approximately 4%-9% over the $.47 per diluted share reported in the year-ago third quarter."

Takeaway: The company obviously wants to show that it is as strong as possible as it goes about its takeover of Men’s Wearhouse. Earnings of $0.49-$0.51 compare to consensus of $0.43. What’s funny is that with all the chest-beating, comps were flat for the quarter.

TGT - Target Corp. to Open Earlier on Thanksgiving This Year 


  • "The Minneapolis-based discounter will open at 8 p.m. on the holiday — an hour earlier than last year. Stores will remain open throughout the night and close at 11 p.m. on the day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday."
  • "Target also will offer hundreds of deals online on Thanksgiving morning that will include almost all deals that will be available in stores. In addition, Target said it will feature 15 online-only daily discounts for two weeks beginning on the Sunday before Thanksgiving."

What's New Today in Retail (11/12) - chart4 11 12

Takeaway: At first, the ‘open early on Thanksgiving’  (started by Macy’s, followed by JCP) approach was novel. Now it’s simply something that all retailers need to do to be competitive.

WMT - Holiday rumble: Wal-Mart sales to start two hours earlier on Thanksgiving


  • "Unveiling what it called its 'biggest Black Friday plans to date,'...Wal-Mart on Tuesday aimed to prove it was up to the challenge of a shortened shopping season, by bringing its big sale events two hours forward this year."
  • "Wal-Mart will hold Black Friday sales events at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 29. Check out the Black Friday ad"

What's New Today in Retail (11/12) - chart3 11 12

Takeaway: Ditto as it relates to what we said regarding Target. But of course Wal-Mart took it a step further and is opening up when most of us are on the couch fighting off a ‘turkey tryptophan-induced’ nap.

HBI - Caffeine in women's underwear doesn't 'promote fat destruction' as advertised: suit 


  • "The class-action suit roasts Maidenform Brands Inc., which manufactures “shapewear” for women seeking to tame their curves with a fabric that has tiny caffeine capsules embedded in it “to promote fat destruction,” according to the complaint filed in Brooklyn Federal Court."
  • "New Yorkers Christine Caramore and Michelle Martin said they bought shapewear and did not get the advertised results. A call to Maidenform was not returned."

Takeaway: Hanesbrands was probably not expecting to inherit this lawsuit when it bought MFB. Seriously – who’s the mensa member that thought of this product? Let’s give consumers a little more credit. (Though we could also pick on the consumers that filed the lawsuit – did they really think that caffeine pills in their pants would shed pounds?). Through all of this noise – and it is noise – we continue to believe that MFB accretion will be far greater than what HBI is suggesting.

MKS - M&S aims to make India its second largest market


  • "Marks & Spencer is aiming to make India its second largest market by more than doubling its number of stores in the country to 80. M&S announced the expansion as it opened its largest store to date in the country, where it operates a joint venture with local player Reliance Retail."
  • "M&S's accelerated plans in India differ markedly from other international stores that have held back on expanding in the fast-growing market. The chain benefits from being an own-label retailer which means it faces fewer restrictions than supermarkets or other stores which sell a variety of brands."


Breaking News: Bangladesh Riots Turn Deadly


  • "... more than 100 factories have closed to avoid the throngs of embittered workers. At least one man died Sunday, bringing the death toll over the last two weeks amidst similar protests to at least nineteen."
  • "The demonstrations on Sunday were the first of four days of planned protest. Some reports indicate that an overwhelmed police force had to enlist the help of the military to control crowds that had become unmanageable. More than 200 vehicles have been destroyed by vandals.  Police officials attempted to downplay the mounting chaos."
  • "Opposition leaders are calling for the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, demanding that a caretaker government be convened [in the] temporary absence of leadership. Authorities took five of the most prominent leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party into custody this weekend."

IBM sees strong online holiday for retailers


  • "According to the latest IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark data, which analyzes online transactions from more than 800 retailers in the U.S., retail sales were up 16% in October and 11% in the first week of November (Nov. 1-Nov. 7) compared to the same period last year."
  • "Department stores have reason for optimism as online sales are up 110% year-over-year for the first week in November. In addition, mobile shopping continues to surge. The mobile percentage of online sales increased more than 43% year-over-year for the first week of November to 14% of all online sales."

Indonesia: Wage Hike Follows Labor Strike


  • After a nationwide wage strike across Indonesia early this month, 12 province governors agreed to increase monthly minimum wages for 2014 by an average of 19 percent, which falls short of the 50 percent hike workers and labor unions were seeking.
  • "Said Iqbal, chairman of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union (KSPI), said, 'Workers will challenge the administration’s decision in the State Administrative Court [PTUN] and they will continue to stage protests in front of the City Hall until their demand is met.'”