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Takeaway: UA GILTy as charged. JCP c-suite chg good - off by a letter. 1st glimpse of Polo women launch. WWW repo/Merrell apparel. Big print by..SKX?

EVENTS TO WATCH OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS

  • CAB - Earnings Call: Thursday 2/13, 11:00am
  • VFC - Earnings Call: Friday 2/14, 8:30am

COMPANY NEWS

JCP - J. C. PENNEY COMPANY, INC. NAMES EDWARD RECORD CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

(http://ir.jcpenney.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=70528&p=irol-newsCompanyArticle&ID=1899772&highlight=)

  • "J. C. Penney Company, Inc. today announced that Ed Record has been named executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective March 24, 2014.  He will succeed Ken Hannah, who will remain chief financial officer through that date to ensure a smooth transition."
  • "Record, 45, has nearly 25 years of experience managing the financial and operational performance of multiple retailers.  He spent over six years at Stage Stores...Before Stage, Record served as senior vice president of finance at Kohl's and as controller and senior vice president of finance at Belk."

Takeaway: Shaking up the C-Suite - definitely a good thing, but the position they chose was off by a letter.

UA - Under Armour gives Gilt Groupe a try

Retail Callouts (2/13): JCP, RL, UA, WWW, SKX - chart2 1 13

Takeaway: UA's premium product has virtually zero retail presence right now. It's not currently in Factory or Wholesale and rightly so. Through its two full-price retail doors (3 when NYC opens) and initiatives like this one with GILT, UA seems to be testing the market before going all in. This is particularly important for their push into Women's - under its current distribution there really isn't a place for the premium yoga line. As UA refines its channel strategy to more fully incorporate newer higher priced products it means more trouble for LULU.

 

SKX - SKX reports 4Q13 Earnings

Retail Callouts (2/13): JCP, RL, UA, WWW, SKX - chart1 2 13

Takeaway: The company crushed expectations -- at least at face value -- with EPS of $0.28 vs the Street at $0.17. Revenue was in-line, gross margins were up 200bp, and the tax rate was pretty much nonexistent (3% vs 40% last year). But inventories look good (note SIGMA in the right quadrant), and the company's outlook was better than most retail companies we see these days. The market's reaction says it all.

RL - Ralph Lauren Unveils Polo for Women

(http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/designer-luxury/ralph-lauren-the-polo-ette-7448818)

  • "Today, the designer will kick off his fall runway show by unveiling about 25 looks from the new women’s Polo Ralph Lauren brand, which is making its debut for fall."
  • "The move is part of Ralph Lauren Corp.’s larger global push to capitalize on the recognition and strength of the Polo name amid the group’s brand portfolio."

Retail Callouts (2/13): JCP, RL, UA, WWW, SKX - chart3 2 13

Retail Callouts (2/13): JCP, RL, UA, WWW, SKX - chart4 2 12

Takeaway: Polo is RL's most underutilized asset. This massive push to make the brand a stand-alone profit driver instead of just an add-on line of collared men's shirts makes all the sense in the world. And it has global appeal. Combined with the recently consolidated Chaps (from PVH license), these two horses will be the main drivers of RL's growth over the next three years.

WWW - Wolverine Worldwide Declares Quarterly Dividend; Announces Authorization Of $200 Million Share Repurchase Program

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=88408&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1899489&highlight=)

  • "The Company's Board of Directors also approved a new share repurchase program authorizing up to $200 million in share repurchases, which replaces the Company's 2010 Share Repurchase Authorization that just expired.  The share repurchases are authorized to be made over a four-year period at times and amounts deemed appropriate by the Company, based on factors including price, market conditions, and restrictions contained within the Company's credit agreements."

Takeaway:  Share repo announcement is a positive, but keep in mind that last one was a 4-yr deal on Fed 12. It's time for another. WWW only repurchased ~$114mm on the last one because of PLG deal. Now they refresh to have facility in place to support stock on the bad days.

OTHER NEWS

PERY - Perry Ellis Names Michael Maccari Creative Director

(http://www.wwd.com/menswear-news/designer-luxury/maccari-joins-perry-ellis-as-new-creative-director-7448586)

  • "Michael Maccari has joined the label as creative director and will oversee design direction for all Perry Ellis product categories, including collection sportswear and licensed product." 
  • "Maccari, who was fashion director and senior vice president of design for Armani Exchange, has also worked with Polo Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan New York."

9983 - Uniqlo Confirms Southern California Store Openings

(http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/uniqlo-confirms-southern-california-store-openings-7448859)

  • "Uniqlo has put an end to the speculation about its store openings in Southern California. The retailer confirmed late Wednesday that it is entering the region in the fall with units at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Beverly Center in Los Angeles."

WWW - Merrell Appoints VP of Apparel & Accessories 

(http://www.sportsonesource.com/news/article_home.asp?Prod=1&section=1&id=49867)

  • "Merrell appointed Sylvie D’Azemar as vice president of Merrell apparel and accessories."
  • "Prior to her new position at Merrell, D’Azemar was the vice president for Head sportswear, and the head of global apparel & gear for Salomon. Her career has also included leadership roles with Nike, where she was General Manager France for Hurley, and Business Director for Nike Apparel France."

INDUSTRY NEWS

NPD: Fashion Footwear Sales on the Rise

(http://www.wwd.com/footwear-news/markets/npd-fashion-footwear-sales-on-the-rise-7447167)

  • "U.S. retail sales of fashion footwear, which includes all footwear except athletics, generated revenue of $41.52 billion in 2013, a 4 percent increase over the flat growth experienced in 2012, according to new data released from The NPD Group."
  • "...outdoor and casual footwear experienced the largest dollar sales growth at 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively. With sales topping $23.8 billion in 2013, a 2 percent increase over 2012, the women’s category maintained its position as the largest driver in the fashion footwear industry, representing 57 percent of the total market. The men’s and children’s segments experienced sales of $12.5 billion, an increase of 7 percent over 2012, and $5.22 billion, an increase of 2 percent, respectively."
  • "Total unit sales for these segments were up 4 percent, with men’s fashion footwear experiencing the largest gain in total units at 9 percent, followed by children’s fashion footwear at 3 percent and women’s fashion footwear at 2 percent."