What's New Today in Retail (11/19)

Takeaway: FW picking up esp VFCs TBL/Vans. ICSC growth above ly 3-wks running. AMZN toys cheaper than WMT – for now. WMT scares factories into action.

EVENTS TO WATCH OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS

DKS - Earnings Call: Tuesday 11/19 10:00 am

TJX - Earnings Call: Tuesday 11/19 11:00 am

JCP - Earnings Call: Wednesday 11/20 8:30 am

LOW - Earnings Call: Wednesday 11/20 9:00 am

COH - Morgan Stanley Retail Conference: Wednesday 11/20 9:45 am

M - Morgan Stanley Retail Conference: Wednesday 11/20 10:55 am

ECONOMIC DATA

 

ICSC - Chain Store Sales Index

 

Takeaway: Chain stores posting sales growth above last year for the third week in a row. This supports the statements by many retailers about how October was the strongest month of the quarter, but has carried into November so far.

What's New Today in Retail (11/19) - chart5 11 19

What's New Today in Retail (11/19) - chart6 11 19

Monthly Athletic Footwear Data

 

Takeaway: Good month for the industry -- in line with commentary from retailers overall about October being the strongest month. Sales were up 5.7% -- balanced evenly between units and average price. Nike, Jordan and UnderArmour are the clear winners  -- but stating that sounds broken record-ish. One of the real callouts for the week are VFC's footwear brands -- Vans and Timberland, which were up 20% and 16%, respectively.

What's New Today in Retail (11/19) - chart1 11 19

What's New Today in Retail (11/19) - chart2 11 19

What's New Today in Retail (11/19) - chart3 11 19

What's New Today in Retail (11/19) - chart4 11 19

COMPANY NEWS

AMZN, WMT, TGT, SHLD - Amazon’s Toys Cheaper Than Wal-Mart Online

(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-18/amazon-s-toys-cheaper-than-wal-mart-online.html)

  • "Amazon.com Inc.’s toy prices were lower than those available online from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. last week as retailers seek to attract shoppers heading into the crucial holiday selling season."
  • "Amazon’s prices, excluding those from its third-party sellers, were 3 percent lower on average than Wal-Mart’s on a basket of 87 toys, according to a study conducted by Bloomberg Industries on Nov. 14."
  • "Wal-Mart’s prices were 2.4 percent lower than at Target, 5 percent less than Sears Holdings Corp.’s Kmart and 7.2 percent lower than Toys “R” Us Inc., according to the study."

Takeaway: Not for long.

WMT - Wal-Mart to match competitors’ Black Friday deals a week early

(http://blogs.marketwatch.com/behindthestorefront/2013/11/19/wal-mart-to-match-competitors-black-friday-deals-a-week-early/)

  • "...Wal-Mart said Tuesday it will match competitors’ best Black Friday deals a week early.
  • At 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, Wal-Mart will cut prices on some of the most popular toys and electronics to match the best Black Friday offers from Target, Toys R’ Us and Best Buy."
  • "Starting Tuesday, Wal-Mart will also extend its Christmas Ad Match to online customers. Shoppers who buy an item online and find a lower in-store competitor price can recoup the difference via a Wal-Mart gift card by emailing That policy has been in place for in-store shoppers, and it runs up to Dec. 24, excluding Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday."

WMT - Bangladesh Factory Audits Stir Calls for More Action

(http://www.wwd.com/business-news/government-trade/wal-mart-releases-audit-of-bangladesh-factories-7281846?module=hp-topstories)

  • "Wal-Mart Stores Inc. became the first major retailer to release a large-scale audit of factories from which it sources in Bangladesh, outlining the failure and improvement rates in fire and building safety at 75 facilities. The company manufactures in more than 200 factories in Bangladesh and said it plans to publicly release results from the audits of all of the factories it uses in the country."
  • "Of the 75 companies in the first round of safety assessment reports made public by Wal-Mart late Sunday night, nearly 10 factories failed the initial audit, according to Wal-Mart executives. However, in a second, follow-up safety audit, 34 factories improved their initial grades from a D (a high safety risk) or C rating to an A (the lowest safety risk) or B rating."

Takeaway: Gotta hand it to WMT, they can scare the pants off of any vendor, manufacturer, or factory with the blink of an eye.

MW - Men's Wearhouse Teams Up With Esquire

(http://www.wwd.com/media-news/fashion-memopad/mens-wearhouse-teams-up-with-esquire-7281805?module=latest-articles)

  • "In the latest incarnation of editorial merging with e-commerce, Men’s Wearhouse has teamed up with Esquire to launch the Esquire Ultimate Shirt and Tie Collection. The line of men’s dress shirts and ties, which sport the Esquire label, is currently rolling out to Men’s Wearhouse stores and will also be available online. The assortment, which was chosen by the editors of the magazine, retails for $79.50 for shirts and $59.50 for ties."

Takeaway: Another example of where the MW brand is headed -- on its own, without Jos. A. Bank. It's shifting to a higher-end, more aspirational mix of product to attract a better demographic. Admittedly, these changes take a looooong time to impact consumers' shopping patterns, but this strategy is definitely the right move for MW.

COLM - Columbia Unveils New High-Performance Construction Technique

(http://apparel.edgl.com/news/Columbia--Unveils-New-High-Performance-Construction-Technique89464)

  • "...Columbia Sportswear introduces PED, Performance Enhanced Down, a patent-pending construction technique."
  • "TurboDown is a new technology that leverages the strengths of both science and nature, layering natural down, synthetic Omni-Heat thermal insulation, and Omni-Heat Reflective technology into every baffle. The result is an industry first, a product that has the warmth, look and feel of natural down, and performs in all conditions, wet or dry."
  • "Columbia's...collection will be tiered in three categories, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.  And the jackets and vests will range in price from $130 to $325. TurboDown styles will be available to men and women in September of 2014 and will include 14 pieces in myriad colors and styles."

Takeaway: Let's see how long it takes COLM to sell this technology into Kohl's.

INDUSTRY NEWS

Bangladesh Garment Workers Stage Fresh Protests After Two Deaths

(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-19/two-bangladesh-garment-workers-die-in-protests-for-higher-wages.html)

  • "Bangladesh garment workers took to the streets today in the Ashulia industrial zone outside of the capital Dhaka, protesting the second-lowest wages in Asia, after another demonstration yesterday left at least two dead."
  • "Hundreds of workers demanded a higher monthly salary of 8,000 taka ($103) today and the protests forced 50 clothing factories to suspend production, Abdus Sattar Miah, a spokesman of Industrial Police, said over the phone. A group of plant owners held a meeting with the home ministry seeking help to control the labor unrest, said Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exporters Association of Bangladesh."
  • “'We are very frustrated,' Murshedy said. 'It seems that we have to fold our business, hand over the factory keys to the government and go home.'”

What's Selling: Men's

(http://www.wwd.com/footwear-news/retail/whats-selling-mens-7281812?module=Footwear%20News-Retail-main)

NEXT, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Dr. Martens Gideon Fold-Down Lace Boot 
  • Timberland’s 40th anniversary limited collection of heritage-inspired looks
  • Filling Pieces Mountain boot

Top fall trend: “Boots are stronger this year than last,” said co-founder Steve Silver. “The action is in hybrid sneaker-boots. Overall, guys have become very specific about items.” 

SHOE PARLOUR, New York

  • Florsheim’s Indie military-inspired boot
  • Timberland Earthkeepers zip military boot in tan
  • Cole Haan’s Lunargrand wingtip on colored outsole

Top fall trend: Military-inspired boots take the top spot, said owner Abe Rogowsky, and they include pointy- and round-toe ankle versions. 

CITY SOLES, Chicago

  • Gram’s 470G cap-toe sneaker boot in black  
  • WESC Saddle Runar style on running outsole
  • Troop Vibram lace-up boot 

Top fall trend: “We’re seeing a lot of military and black boots,” said owner Scott Starbuck. On the dress side, he noted young consumers gravitate toward cleaner looks. “Classic English brogues and bluchers are really trendy. There’s a [move] to quality and cleaner styling.”      

LOUIE’S SHOES, Portland, Ore.

  • Frye Phillip harness boot
  • Bed Stu oxfords
  • Wolverine 1,000 Mile boots

Top fall trend: “Heritage brands are connecting with our customers,” said owner Pam Coven, noting authentic brands such as Frye and Wolverine. “They’re hipsters in their 30s. Younger guys like the look, too, but can’t afford the prices.”

DNA FOOTWEAR, Brooklyn, N.Y

  • Bed Stu Bryden boot
  • Wolverine 1,000 Mile boot
  • Red Wing Iron Ranger

Top fall trend: “Many of our best-selling brands are made in America,” said Josiane Pilon,social media and marketing manager. “The DNA man is a trendsetter and likes to wear something [he] can dress up and down at the same time, from weekday to weekend casual.”