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Takeaway: Nike taking Nike+ to SFO. Easter doesn't explain GPS comp #'s. Uniqlo set to open in Germany.

COMPANY NEWS

 

NKE - FIRST LOOK AT THE NIKE+ FUEL LAB IN SAN FRANCISCO

(http://www.fastcompany.com/3028932/most-innovative-companies-2014/first-look-at-the-nike-fuel-lab-in-san-francisco)

  • "Today, Nike opens its Nike+ Fuel Lab in San Francisco, a collaborative work and testing space in the city's SOMA neighborhood designed for selected partner companies to develop products that integrate the NikeFuel system for tracking and measuring activity."
  • "The Fuel Lab grew out of last year's Nike+ Accelerator, in which 10 startups were given $20,000 and the opportunity to work in Portland for three months to develop apps and products connected to the Nike+ platform...The inaugural partners include running app RunKeeper, cycling and running tracking platform Strava, and weight loss app MyFitnessPal."

Retail Callouts (4/11): NKE, GPS, Uniqlo, VFC - chart24 11

Takeaway: NKE has only about 10% market share in the fitness tracker segment. Part of the problem is that fuel points, the key metric for the FuelBand, are meaningless outside of the Nike+ platform. In order to make the device more applicable to the general public, Nike is partnering with established fitness platforms in other core competencies to develop a more broad based product. This should help Nike+ reach a wider audience and allow Nike to gain better consumer insight from the + data mine.

 

GPS - Gap Inc. Reports March Sales Results

(http://www.gapinc.com/content/gapinc/html/media/pressrelease/2014/med_pr_GPS_Reports_March_Sales_041014.html)

  • "Gap Inc. today reported net sales of $1.51 billion for the five-week period ended April 5, 2014. Gap Inc.’s comparable sales for March 2014 were down 6 percent versus a 1 percent decrease last year."
  • "As the company noted last month, the Easter holiday is in April this year versus March last year. Given this shift in peak spring selling weeks, the company expected March to be negatively impacted."
  • "The company expects gross margins for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 to be below the prior year by more than the year-over-year decline in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013. In addition, given ongoing expense management, the company expects first quarter fiscal year 2014 operating expenses to be flat to last year."
  • "The company reaffirmed its previous full-year earnings per share guidance range of $2.90 to $2.95 for fiscal 2014."
  • March Comparable Sales Results 
    • Gap Global: negative 7 percent versus flat last year
    • Banana Republic Global: negative 4 percent versus positive 1 percent last year
    • Old Navy Global: negative 7 percent versus negative 2 percent last year

Takeaway: We'd give a little more credence to the Easter shift explanation if the company was facing a +7% compare. When in reality the company was up against a +1% comp and just posted a -6% number. Easter played a part, but numbers aren't quite as good as the company's spin would otherwise suggest.

9983 - Uniqlo Bows in Berlin

(http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/specialty-stores/uniqlo-bows-in-berlin-7637566)

  • "With its first door in Germany and the largest European store to date, Uniqlo is playing it big in Berlin."
  • "Fast Retailing Co. Ltd.’s Uniqlo chain took over the corner of Tauentzien and Nurembergerstrasse on the city’s well-trafficked west side for its three-floor, 29,000-square-foot Berlin flagship. Set to open at noon on Friday, the store houses the entire Uniqlo assortment for men, women and children. Indeed, the kids’ department in Berlin is the chain’s most extensive in Europe."

Retail Callouts (4/11): NKE, GPS, Uniqlo, VFC - chart1 4 11

Takeaway: Global is the growth driver for Uniqlo. These investments in new markets are proving to be a bigger drag on the bottom line than the company expected. But, the company has been able to grow its top line and upped revenue guidance proving the viability of the concepts in its new markets.

OTHER NEWS

VFC - VF Announces the Dedication of Its New Central Distribution Center in Kunshan, China

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=61559&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1917576&highlight=)

  • "VF Corporation today announced the dedication of its new Central Distribution Center at an event held at the facility in Kunshan, China."
  • “'With the expectation that our business in China will nearly double during the next four years, this represents a significant milestone in our ability to manage long-term costs and inventories, while providing measurable increases in speed-to-market for both our customers and consumers.'”
  • "Representing an investment of more than $60 million...the Kunshan distribution center is VF’s largest infrastructure investment in China. When operating at capacity, the 85,000-square-meter facility is expected to handle 30 million units of product each year…"

0494 - Li & Fung Said to Work With Citigroup on Brands Unit Spinoff

(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-11/li-fung-said-to-work-with-citigroup-on-brands-unit-spinoff-1-.html)

  • "Li & Fung Ltd. is working with Citigroup Inc. to spin off its brands business, valued at about $2 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said."
  • "The world’s biggest supplier of clothes and toys to retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. plans to list the division on Hong Kong’s stock exchange and would also consider selling the unit, named Global Brands Group, if it gets an attractive offer, said the people. They asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private."

OSTK - Overstock.com Makes Management Changes

(http://investors.overstock.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=131091&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1917592&highlight=)

  • "Overstock.com, Inc. announced changes in its board and management teams.  Stormy Simon will move from being co-president to president of Overstock.com, and will continue in her role as a board member. Jonathan Johnson will move from being executive vice chairman to chairman of the board of directors, replacing Patrick M. Byrne in that role. Byrne will continue in his role as CEO."