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Takeaway: TGT new CIO - PR move. ANF adds more new board members. ARO shuttering P.S. concept. Uniqlo expanding to SoCal.

EVENTS TO WATCH

FRIDAY

  • GIL - Earnings Call: Friday 5/2, 8:30am

COMPANY NEWS

TGT - Company plans to enable REDcard portfolio with MasterCard chip-and-PIN technology

(http://investors.target.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=65828&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1923423&highlight=)

  • "Effective May 5, Bob DeRodes will lead Target’s information technology transformation as executive vice president and chief information officer. In his role, DeRodes will assume oversight of the Target technology team and operations, with responsibility for the ongoing data security enhancement efforts as well as the development of Target’s long-term information technology and digital roadmap."
  • "DeRodes comes to Target with more than 40 years of experience and is a recognized leader in information technology, data security, and business operations. He has been a senior information technology advisor for the Center for CIO Leadership, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Justice."
  • "Today, Target also announced a significant new initiative as part of the company’s accelerated transition to chip-and-PIN-enabled REDcards. Beginning in early 2015, the entire REDcard portfolio...will be enabled with MasterCard’s chip-and-PIN solution. Existing co-branded cards will be reissued as MasterCard co-branded chip-and-PIN cards."
  • "Earlier this year, Target announced an accelerated $100 million plan to move its REDcard portfolio to chip-and-PIN-enabled technology and to install supporting software and next-generation payment devices in stores. The new payment terminals will be in all 1,797 U.S. stores by this September, six months ahead of schedule."

Takeaway: This is as much a PR move as anything else. Sure the company needed a new CIO after the former head 'stepped down' in early March, and we can't argue with this guy’s resume. But it means more to the average consumer than it does to the company that a former advisor from the Department of Homeland Security is helping protect their information.

ANF - A&F to Nominate New Directors to Board

(http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/people/af-to-nominate-new-directors-to-board-7662426)

  • "The retailer said Wednesday that it would nominate four new independent directors at its annual meeting as part of a settlement agreement with activist investor Engaged Capital, which has been pushing the company for change."
  • "The directors include Hudson’s Bay Co. vice chair Bonnie Brooks, Gap and Ralph Lauren veteran Sarah Gallagher, former Bath & Body Works ceo Diane Neal and former Ernst & Young retail leader Stephanie Shern."
  • "They take the places held by Lauren Brisky, Kevin Huvane, Jack Kessler and Liza Lee, who will not stand for reelection."
  • "Once these changes are made, Abercrombie’s board will be made up of 12 directors — 11 of them independent and seven of whom will have been added this year."

Takeaway: That makes 9 additions to the board and management team since January - 7 board members, COO, and CFO. But, the company refuses to make the move that really matters.

OTHER NEWS

9983 - Uniqlo to enter Los Angeles market in September; announces five locations

(http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/uniqlo-enter-los-angeles-market-september-announces-five-locations)

  • "Uniqlo will continue its expansion in the United States by entering the Los Angeles market. The Japanese retail powerhouse announced it will open five stores in the Los Angeles area, starting in September, with locations at South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa; Northridge Fashion Center, Northridge; and Glendale Galleria, Glendale."
  • "In October, the company will open at the Beverly Center, Los Angeles, followed by a store at Los Cerritos Center, Cerritos, in spring 2015."
  • "Currently, Uniqlo operates are 20 stores in the U.S., as well as Uniqlo.com, which offers nationwide online shopping."

AMZN - Amazon.com Puts Wearable Technology at Your Fingertips with Launch of New Store

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1923514&highlight=)

  • "Amazon.com, Inc. today announced the launch of its Wearable Technology store – a one-stop shop where customers can easily discover the latest in wearable technology and research wearable devices including activity trackers, smart watches, wearable cameras and more. In addition to the largest selection of items from top brands including Samsung, Jawbone and GoPro, the store features products from emerging brands like Basis and Misfit as well as devices coming soon from brands like Narrative and Bionym."

 

ARO - Aeropostale Provides Update To Strategic Initiatives

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=131103&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1924438&highlight=)

  • "Following a strategic business review, the Company has identified key initiatives it estimates will generate approximately $30 million to $35 million in annualized pre-tax savings, of which approximately $5 million to $10 million is expected to be achieved in fiscal 2014."
  • "Based on changing consumer patterns, particularly of the 'mom' shopper, the Company has made the determination to close approximately 125 mall-based P.S. from Aeropostale stores by the end of fiscal 2014.  The Company plans to restructure the brand to focus on faster growing sales channels, including off-mall locations (including outlets), e-commerce, and international licensing."
  • "In line with prior guidance, the Company continues to expect first quarter 2014 operating losses in the range of$64 million to $68 million, which translates to a net loss in the range of $0.70 to $0.75 per diluted share. This outlook is provided on a non-GAAP basis because it excludes the impact of today's announced strategic initiatives, as well as any expected consulting fees associated with these announcements."

 

BRBY - Christopher Bailey Begins New Joint Role at Burberry

(http://www.wwd.com/business-news/human-resources/christopher-bailey-begins-new-joint-role-at-burberry-7663034)

  • "Christopher Bailey has now been appointed as chief creative and chief executive officer of Burberry and a director of the company, Burberry said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange Thursday."
  • "Ahrendts has left the company to join Apple as senior vice president of retail and online stores, and she stepped down from her role as Burberry ceo and resigned her directorship there April 30."

 

PVH - Lagerfeld Brand Inks Deal in Middle East

(http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/designer-luxury/karl-lagerfeld-plans-middle-east-expansion-7660466)

  • "Karl Lagerfeld BV has signed a five-year agreement with Dubai-based Chalhoub Inc. that calls for the retail and luxury specialist to open 10 Karl Lagerfeld concept stores and 15 shops-in-shop by 2018."

Alec Richards

Analyst