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Takeaway: First look at KATE's new Japan Flagship, HBC preparing for a REIT, NKE causes riot, Sam's partners to study small business

***6 interesting callouts, but no takeaways...Hedgeye Retail team on the road. Have a great weekend.

COMPANY NEWS

HBC - HBC sees REIT on horizon, but outlook turns cloudy

(http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/hudsons-bay-profit-falls-67-as-costs-rise/article17786710/#dashboard/follows/)

  • "Hudson’s Bay Co. gave the strongest signal yet that it will spin out its valuable properties into a real estate investment trust…'I find it highly likely that we will do a REIT at some point,' HBC’s chief executive officer Richard Baker said in an interview, but the company has yet to finalize a plan."
  • "Its flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store in New York, which takes up an entire block, could alone be worth $1-billion. The entire portfolio has been estimated to be worth more than $4-billion."

KATE - Kate Spade Builds on Success in Japan

(http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/designer-luxury/kate-spade-builds-on-success-in-japan-7630368)

  • "Kate Spade New York is opening the doors of a new international flagship in Ginza…The new flagship, which features 4,541-square-feet of selling space over three levels, is located on one of Ginza’s smaller side streets. It also happens to be right next door to Tory Burch’s flagship and just around the corner from Coach’s sizable space on the main road…"
  • "The store’s first two levels offer a mix of apparel, shoes and accessories, including items from the brand’s more exclusive Madison Avenue collection. The Ginza store is the only point of sale for this higher-end product range outside the U.S. Home goods and furnishings occupy the third floor…"

Retail Callouts (4/4): KATE, HBC, NKE, WMT - morning 4 4 2

NKE - Nike Sneaker Release Shut Down

(http://www.wwd.com/footwear-news/retail/nike-sneaker-release-shut-down-7629418)

  • "A campout at the Supreme boutique on Lafayette Street in Manhattan was shut down by the New York Police Department after fans awaiting the new Nike Foamposite release formed dense lines that extended several blocks. Some 800 people reportedly showed up for the launch."
  • "Supreme issued a statement via its Instagram page, citing public safety and the NYPD’s action as the reasons why the Foamposite shoes and apparel would not be sold in-store, but on its website. Once the stock went up on Supreme’s site this morning, the shoes sold out in under a minute."

WMT - Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club partners with Gallup to study small-business customers

(http://blogs.marketwatch.com/behindthestorefront/2014/04/03/wal-marts-sams-club-partners-with-gallup-to-study-small-business-customers/)

  • "To better understand the needs of its small business customers, Sam’s Club...said on Thursday it’s partnered with polling firm Gallup to study micro-businesses, or those with five or fewer employees."
  • "The new quarterly consumer tracking survey 'is relevant to Sam’s Club,'  the unit’s President and Chief Executive Rosalind Brewer said in response to a MarketWatch question on a media call, adding 70% of its small business customers are micro-businesses. 'We plan to use the surveys to see how we merchandise and price products. We want to connect with them.'”

ICON - Ecko Unltd. in Bankruptcy Proceedings

(http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/ecko-unltd-in-bankruptcy-proceedings-7630489)

  • "Streetwear brand Ecko Unltd. and affiliated firms filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition for bankruptcy court protection on Wednesday in a bankruptcy court in Trenton. Court documents said it had $30 million in assets and $62 million in liabilities. The filing was done under the name MEE Apparel LLC, the operating company that is a licensee of IP Holdings Unltd. IP Holdings is a subsidiary of Iconix Brand Group, which owns the intellectual property of the Ecko brand."
  • "In an affidavit by Jeffrey L. Gregg, the company’s chief restructuring officer, he said declining sales and reduced profitability since 2009 hurt the company. He also said the plan is to pursue an 'expedited sale process' of the company’s assets."

BKS - Liberty Media & Barnes & Noble Announce Change in Liberty Media’s Ownership of Preferred Shares

(http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/press_releases/4_3_14_liberty_media.html)

  • "Liberty Media Corporation & Barnes & Noble, Inc. today announced that Liberty Media Corporation has entered into agreements to reduce its stake in Barnes & Noble.  Liberty Media informed Barnes & Noble that while Liberty has sold the majority of its shares to qualified institutional buyers...it will retain approximately 10 percent of its initial investment.  Liberty further informed Barnes & Noble that the sale is expected to settle on Tuesday, April 8."
  • "As a result of Liberty’s reduced ownership, they will no longer have the right to elect two preferred stock directors to Barnes & Noble’s Board. Additionally, Liberty’s consent rights and pre-emptive rights will cease to apply.  Due to the loss of the right to elect two preferred stock directors, Greg Maffei will cease to serve on the board as of the closing on April 8.  Mark Carleton has been re-elected to the Barnes & Noble Board effective upon the closing on April 8."