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Takeaway: Athl. lags retail. Nice showing by Saucony. UA's major ad campaign. Kmart morphing into Rent-a-Center. Shareholder drags MW to JOSB table


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

WMT - Earnings Call: Thursday 11/14 7:00 am

KSS - Earnings Call: Thursday 11/14 8:30 am


Athletic Footwear Data


Takeaway: The fact that sales were down 4.1% isn't as bad as fact that broader retail rebounded last week, as measured by yesterday's ICSC reading. The only brands with respectable readings are Saucony (WWW) and Skechers.


What's New Today in Retail (11/13) - chart1 11 13

What's New Today in Retail (11/13) - chart2 11 13

What's New Today in Retail (11/13) - chart3 11 13

What's New Today in Retail (11/13) - chart4 11 13

What's New Today in Retail (11/13) - chart5 11 13



UA - Under Armour unveils ‘Makes You Better’ campaign


  • "At an event in Denver, CO, Under Armour debuted 'Under Armour Makes You Better,' and highlighted the science behind ColdGear Infrared technology. Kevin Plank, Under Armour Founder and CEO, unveiled the new campaign with the help of world champion downhill skier Lindsey Vonn, freestyle skiing sensation Bobby Brown and reigning X Games champion and snowboard cross athlete Dominique Maltais."
  • "Co-branded with DICK'S Sporting Goods, the spot is narrated by Plank and features an all-star roster of athletes including Vonn, Brown, long track speedskating medalist Shani Davis, NFL star Cam Newton, phenom PGA golfer Jordan Spieth, distinguished outdoorsman and star of the hit A&E show Duck Dynasty Willie Robertson, and members of the U.S. Bobsled team. The fast paced and high-energy montage shows athletes battling extreme conditions and frigid temperatures with the help of Under Armour's new ColdGear Infrared apparel line."
  • "The newest chapter of the I WILL campaign will air during Monday Night Football on November 18th when the Carolina Panthers meet the New England Patriots at Carolina. It will continue to run on air and in digital platforms, including ESPN, NFL, Men's Health, Women's Health, Pandora, Stack and many more."

Takeaway: Plank and Vonn were all over the financial news networks yesterday. Make no mistake, Vonn is Plank's favorite athlete to use publicly (perhaps with the exception of Tom Brady) given that a) she's extremely marketable (to men), and b) her boyfriend is Nike's poster child.


UA - Under Armour unveils Canada's Olympic Snowboard Team getups

What's New Today in Retail (11/13) - chart6 11 13

MW, JOSB - Eminence Says Men's Wearhouse Open to Talks With Jos. A. Bank


  • "With just two days remaining before Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc.’s offer to buy the larger Men’s Wearhouse Inc. is set to expire, Ricky Sandler, chief executive officer of MW’s largest shareholder, Eminence Capital LLC, said that he’d received 'assurances' from MW ceo Douglas Ewert that the firm would review 'all strategic options available to the company, including a significant return of capital to shareholders and a merger with Jos. A Bank Clothiers Inc.'”
  • "In a letter sent to Ewert on Tuesday and immediately made public by Eminence, Sandler wrote, “We also expect you and the board, given the explicit commitment to explore all options, to actively engage with [Bank] before their deadline of Nov. 14, 2013.” Their conversation took place on Monday, according to the letter."

Takeaway: I'm sure the CEO loves the fact that his largest shareholder is telling him how to do his job. But in fairness, Eminence has been a holder for the better part of three years and until recently, the stock has been treading water. That's what MW management has to deal with for being a public company. A little accountability never hurt anyone.

SHLD - New Kmart Rent-to-Own Program Turns $300 TV Into $415 Buy


  • "Kmart is introducing a rent-to-own program charging the equivalent of 100-plus percent annual interest, a move into a business that has drawn criticism for hurting low-income consumers."
  • "The Lease-to-Own program touts instant gratification -- customers without credit take a product home right away, make biweekly payments, then decide whether to buy out or return the product. A typical deal could turn a $300 television into a $415 purchase."
  • "Kmart’s lease-to-own program...begins Nov. 22…"

Takeaway: Great…Kmart is becoming Rent-A-Center, just in time for the holidays.  The sad thing is that the plan will probably work -- even though it shouldn’t.

VNCE - More Details Emerge on Vince IPO


  • "The brand’s corporate parent, Apparel Holding Corp., said it plans to sell 10 million shares at $17 to $19 each in its initial public offering, according to a regulatory filing. That stake represents 28 percent of the company."

ODP - Roland C. Smith Appointed Chairman and CEO of Office Depot, Inc.


  • "Office Depot, Inc...today announced the appointment of Roland C. Smith as Chairman and CEO, effective immediately."
  • "Most recently, Smith was the Chief Executive Officer and President of Delhaize America, LLC...Previously, Smith was President and CEO of The Wendy’s Company; President and CEO ofWendy's/Arby's Group, Inc.; and CEO of Wendy's International, Inc." 

HMB - H&M Grabs More Control of Factories Amid Bangladesh Unrest


  • "H&M this year agreed to become the sole client of two factories in Bangladesh and one in Cambodia, helping convince building owners to offer satisfactory conditions and wages, Anna Gedda, H&M’s social sustainability manager, said."
  • "H&M...has a long-term commitment to the plants, she said, without disclosing their location or the length of the exclusivity agreements."


What’s Selling: Outdoor



  • Chippewa Super Logger
  • Keen Gypsum
  • Haflinger felted clogs

Top trend: “We’re stoked to see the Chippewa Super Logger [workboot] sales picking up, because that means people are working,” said buyer Frank Gibbons.

BACK COUNTRY, Des Moines, Iowa

  • Merrell Spice Glove
  • Wolky Diana 
  • Merrell Rosella Lace 

Top trend: “Customers are looking for styles that are a mix: a good winter shoe that holds up but has some style to it,” said Austin Zepeda, office manager. “They’re looking less for the traditional big, heavy, clunky things and [more] for hybrid styles.”

PEAK SPORTS, Corvallis, Ore.

  • Sorel Joan of Arctic
  • Merrell Moab Ventilator Waterproof
  • Keen Targhee Mid Waterproof

Top trend: “Things are starting to cool off, and we’re seeing sales pick up in fashion winter boots,” said Melissa Cherbas, footwear buyer. “And what stays strong for us is multiport waterproof. It’s been our mainstay.”

US Senate Pushes Affordable Footwear Act


  • "The Affordable Footwear Act (S.1633)…[would] assist low income families struggling to purchase affordable shoes due to what many argue is an inordinately high import duty, which can reach 65% in some instances. Compare this to the average import tax on consumer good in general: 1.4%. Since more than 98% of all shoes purchased in the US are imported, it’s all but impossible to avoid what some consider to be a hidden tax."
  • "In total, if the bill should become a law experts estimate that it would eliminate as much as $800 million in duties on children’s shoes, a considerable chunk of the $2.3 billion in duties collected overall in 2012 for footwear."
  • "Advocates of the Affordable Footwear Act argue that these inflated duties function as a regressive tax on the poorest families who are disproportionately disadvantaged by them. Combined with state taxes and retail markups, it’s not unusual that a pair of children’s boots, priced at $10 when it arrives at the US border, costs more than $30 at the store."

Visa: E-commerce sales up 17% in first 10 months of 2013


  • "In the first 10 months of 2013, e-commerce sales are up 17% from the same period last year, according to the Visa Spending Intentions survey. To-date in 2013, Visa domestic e-commerce transactions exceeded one billion dollars on 211 days, an increase of 19% from 2012."

Bangladesh board to finalize RMG workers’ wage on Nov 21


  • "The Bangladesh Wage Board is set to finalize the minimum salary structure for ready-made garment (RMG) workers on November 21, 2013, announced Labor Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju after a recent meeting with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA)."
  • "The Government and the Wage Board will finally announce the minimum wage for the entry level RMG workers on November 21, where the Government would mention regulations for the workers as well as the owners, the Labor Minister said."
  • "Mr. Ahmed Raju said the decision would be beneficial to both the workers as well as the employers and he urged the RMG workers to return to working in the factories, which were closed due to the labor unrest."