What's New Today in Retail (12/2)

Takeaway: Black Friday focused on share not profits. AMZN sidestepping USPS w drones. World Cup/Olympic headache for Brazil. LVMH FDO H&M Labor unrest



Hedgeye Holiday Consumer Survey: Focus on JCP.  We'll be conducting a follow-up to our prior consumer survey (which helped us call a JCP beat and KSS miss) following Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday. We'll have results next week, and will have an updated presentation accordingly. If you are interested in our results, please email sales@hedgeye.com, or .




Shoppers' Black Friday Weekend Spending Falls 3%



  • "Total spending from Thursday through Sunday fell 3% from a year earlier to $57.4 billion, with shoppers spending an average $407.02, down 4% from $423.55 a year earlier, according to the National Retail Federation."
  • "The retail trade group said the number of people who went shopping over the four-day weekend that kicked off with Thanksgiving rose slightly to 141 million, up from 139 million last year."
  • "As retailers offered some of their biggest promotions a day earlier, store traffic on Thanksgiving Day jumped 27% to 45 million shoppers. As a result, traffic on Black Friday rose just 3.4% to 92 million shoppers."
  • "Online shopping continued its steady rise over the Black Friday weekend, accounting for 42% of sales racked up over the four-day period, up from 40% last year and 26% in 2006, the trade group said."


Takeaway:  The problem here is that the retailers are in this massive fight for Black Friday market share -- instead of 4Q profitability. The fact that sales were up over 2% on Friday when every sell-side analyst was out there declaring victory based on their one mall visit (out of 1,100) is laughable. The reality is that the retailers drove traffic by offering ridiculous deals that in effect borrowed from full price sales that would have happened later in the month. These guys will never learn.


Online Thanksgiving sales top $1 billion for the first time



  • "Retailers’ extra push for online Thanksgiving sales this year...have managed to send online sales on Turkey Day to a record…"
  • "For the first time ever, Thanksgiving itself generated $1.06 billion in online sales, an 18% increase from last year, and the first time the day topped $1 billion online. That’s according to Adobe, which says nine out of the top 10 U.S. retailers are its clients and that more than 70% of online spending at the top 500 U.S. retailers goes through its Adobe Marketing Cloud system."
  • "Adobe’s data showed a record 20.9% of online spending was made through mobile devices, with $152 million spent via tablets and $70 million via smartphones. Apple Inc.’s iPad alone accounted for $130 million of online sales, it said."


Takeaway: Not a surprise whatsoever. Though 18% growth is big, it's not huge when talking about online. We're going to see a step up in online sales with six fewer days people can spend in the physical stores. Bullish for AMZN.




World Cup Stadium Collapses In Brazil, Killing At Least 2 People



  • "A horrific accident occurred Wednesday afternoon at the Corinthians stadium in São Paulo, Brazil, as a support crane fell and took out a section of bleachers. Two people are confirmed dead, stadium president Andres Sanchez said Wednesday at a news conference. Rescue crews believe more are trapped in the wreckage."
  • "Local media reports that a third person was pulled from the rubble and is hospitalized in serious condition. A fire department official has said earlier that three people had died."
  • Corinthians stadium was slated to be turned over to FIFA next month, fully completed. The stadium was also set to host the opening game for the 2014 World Cup next summer."


What's New Today in Retail (12/2) - chart1 12 2


Takeaway: Brazil was already behind schedule with this stadium (as well as others). And with just eight months to go until the World Cup, this tragedy -- at the most important football stadium -- is the last thing that Brazil needs, especially with the IOC breathing down its neck as it relates to being ready for the 2016 Summer Games.


AMZN - Amazon Testing Drones for Same-Day Package Delivery, Bezos Says



  • "Amazon.com Inc. is testing drones to deliver goods as the world’s largest e-commerce company works to improve efficiency and speed in getting products to consumers."
  • "Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos unveiled the plan on CBS’s '60 Minutes' news program in the U.S., showing interviewer Charlie Rose the flying machines that can serve as delivery vehicles. The CEO said the gadgets, called octocopters, can carry as much as five pounds within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon fulfillment center. Amazon may start using the drones, which can make a delivery within 30 minutes, within five years pending Federal Aviation Administration approval, Bezos said."


Takeaway: This is as big an idea as we've ever heard in retail. We'll assume that AMZN's logistics team fully vetted this one before they let Bezos get on TV and talk about it. But the risks inherent to the initiative -- thousands of unmanned propeller-driven machines whizzing around the country? We're sure the FAA is thrilled with this one --- and probably the Department of Defense as well. Something tells us that AMZN's capex budget is heading higher. This thing smells like one big liability.


AMZN - Amazon U.K. Ramps Up Fashion Offer



  • "Amazon.com in the U.K. is staking its claim on the country’s apparel market. The Internet retailer said Sunday that in the week of Nov. 24 to 30, customers ordered more than 1 million items of apparel from amazon.co.uk, making it the site’s biggest week to date for fashion sales."
  • "The disclosure comes one year after the launch of the retailer’s premium fashion store, at amazon.co.uk/premium."


Takeaway: Sorry Bezos, Amazon is simply not relevant in apparel yet. Once the company figures out the magic formula it will be the nail in the coffin for countless apparel retailers and big box retailers alike.


HMB - H&M to open first store in Philippines



  • "Hennes & Mauritz AB has signed contract for the first store opening in Manila, Philippines. The flagship store is planned to open during 2014 in the shopping centre SM Megamall, Manila."


FDO - Supply chain Head at Family Dollar steps down



  • "Family Dollar Stores, Inc. announced that Jeffrey W. Macak, Executive Vice President–Supply Chain, has resigned from the Company for personal reasons, effective November 27, 2013. The Company intends to conduct a search for Mr. Macak’s replacement."


LVMH - L Capital Buys 40% of Australia's 2XU



  • "LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-backed L Capital Asia has bought 40 percent of Melbourne-based technical sportswear manufacturer 2XU…"
  • "The Australian company and its existing equity partner Lazard Australia Private Equity announced the news Monday. They did not dispose a price for the deal but sources said the stake is worth approximately 75 million Australian dollars, or $68.3 million at current exchange."
  • "Founded in 2005 by former Australian advertising executive turned mens underwear manufacturer Clyde Davenport and two New Zealanders, Aiden Clarke and former professional triathlete Jamie Hunt, 2XU (pronounced 'Two Times You') operates 12 standalone stores within Australia, two in the US and wholesales to 50 markets. The company claims to have achieved revenue growth in excess of 40 percent per annum over the past five years."




Bangladesh on Fire: Angry Workers Torch One of Nation’s Largest Factories



  • "Violence continues to consume Bangladesh as another fire engulfed a garments factory on November 29, reportedly started by workers enraged over rumors that a fellow colleague was killed by police."
  • "The inferno consumed the Standards Group factory in Gazipur, approximately twenty-five miles from Dhaka, the nation’s capital. The fire quickly spread to four adjacent buildings…"
  • "...there has been no official confirmation of which retailers contract with the factory, there is allegedly some photographic evidence that Li and Fung Ltd., Marks and Spencer Group PLC, Sears Canada Inc., Uniqlo, Zara, Wal-Mart, Gap Inc. and American Eagle Outfitters all sourced their apparel at the factory."

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