EVENTS TO WATCH
- BEBE - Earnings Call: Thursday 5/8, 4:30pm
- TUMI - Earnings Call: Thursday 5/8, 4:30pm
- RL - Earnings Call: Friday 5/9, 9:00am
TGT - Vote: Will you miss Target if it leaves Canada?
Takeaway: This is snap of a poll we found on Canada's Globe and Mail site. Whether or not you believe in the validity of these straw polls, its hard to ignore the opinion of 10,000+ people. A quick note on the sample, we stress-tested the system to see if we could vote multiple times (which would therefore inflate the negative sentiment) - but, no dice. These results seem like they're for real.
It's particularly interesting that those who say they will miss Target in Canada totals 11%. Given that 11% of Canadian citizens had shopped at a Target in the US in the 12mnths prior to Canada's opening it leads us to believe that a good chunk of the 11% who say they will miss TGT Canada were already established US shoppers. To us this means that 1) Target Canada has yet to establish meaningful brand equity outside of its carry over customers from the US, and 2) customers missing Target in Canada is mostly a function of convenience.
NKE - Gen 1 FuelBand on The Clymb
Takeaway: Now this one is strange. This is the first time that FuelBands are showing up on The Clymb, a well-respected site for outdoor enthusiasts. But they're not the latest generation FuelBands -- these are the White Ice and Black Ice models -- which were sold a year ago. Looks to us like Apple is mandating that Nike clears all its old inventory of FuelBands before those two launch their new partnership (Nike on software, Apple on hardware). What we find most perplexing is that FuelBands, or any other Wearable Technology device that tracks fitness levels, are not like shoes or Hoodies where you can own a dozen items. This is a category where you own just one -- and you need to use it consistently in order to get the full benefits. You can't switch off to other devices like you switch sneakers. What will these people think in another few months when there's a new piece of Apple hardware co-branded by Nike? Will Nike have cannibalized its own sales by clearing old FuelBands?
PVH - PVH Corp. Announces License Agreement with Leisure Brands (Pty) Ltd. for IZOD Brand
- "PVH Corp. announced that it had entered into a license agreement with Leisure Brands Ltd. under which Leisure Brands will distribute, sell and promote men’s sportswear, golf apparel and related accessories under the IZOD and IZOD Golfbrands throughout South Africa. The partnership will leverage Leisure Brands’ established positioning within the South African golf apparel market, as well as its operational expertise in the region. The initial term of the license agreement runs through December 2016."
- "Under the agreement, Leisure Brands has the rights to sell, distribute and promote IZOD products including men’s denim pants and shorts in 5-pocket construction, men’s headwear, men’s belts, men’s socks and umbrellas, as well as the rights to manufacture, sell, distribute and promote men’s sportswear, golf apparel and specified golf accessories. The license permits Leisure Brands to sell such products in specialty stores, department stores and company-operated IZOD freestanding stores."
Takeaway: This is yet another seemingly insignificant licensing move by PVH. In isolation, perhaps it is. But the reality is that we're all going to wake up one day in the not-too-distant future and PVH will be generating growth of a few percent just from the latent growth associated with these licensing deals. Is it a reason for us to get excited about the stock? No…not unless people are underestimating growth for the company in aggregate. We don't think that's yet the case.
Jcrew - Mickey Drexler Discusses J. Crew Mercantile
- "...Drexler on Tuesday discussed for the first time where the company is at with the J. Crew Mercantile name, telling WWD, 'Mercantile is a name we own. There’s not much beyond that. It’s a name that was available and we liked. The way we run the company, we are always thinking creatively, innovating, and managing our assets. We have secured names and trademarks with either loose ideas or intentions, or with our imaginations. Sometimes things come of it, or they don’t.'"
- "Drexler, however, stressed that nothing has been decided and that there is the possibility that J. Crew Group never uses the Mercantile name."
Takeaway: We were asked twice yesterday if Drexler would go to Target's C-Suite. We'd be floored to see him make the move. The reality is that his sweet spot is innovating and brand building for small-mid sized companies. He did it at Gap. Doing it at J Crew.
BLKIA - Belk teams up with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
- "Belk has entered into a three-year partnership agreement with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (DCC). The agreement includes endorsements, appearances and numerous co-branded marketing initiatives."
- "Belk will provide the official wardrobe for the director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders…"
- "'The synergy DCC and Belk share was apparent from the beginning. The company's commitment to the communities in which it operates, fashion, style, and Southern values mirrors what the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders represent,' said Finglass."
Takeaway: With football players, Brands compete for the right to sell replica product to the masses. But somehow we don't think that quite applies to Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders gear.
VFC - Thinking Young, Wrangler Sees Red
- "VF Corp...on Thursday will introduce Wrangler Jeans Co. Red, a new assortment of jeans and sport shirts targeted at the younger man...Wrangler Red will retail for $21.97."
- "Wrangler Red will be tested in mass-market retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. beginning this fall with a plan to roll out nationally in 2015."
WMT - Wal-Mart Boosts Tech
- "Wal-Mart said that the technology and innovation arm of its global e-commerce team, @WalmartLabs, is bolstering its team of technologists. This week, the Silicon Valley-based lab welcomed 60 technologists from Adchemy to its existing team of 2,100 to specialize in areas like marketing, data analytics and semantic search."
- "Ten-year-old Adchemy, which specializes in product search and e-commerce technology, will help Wal-Mart develop e-commerce functionalities in-house…"
- "The retailer founded the technology portion of its team, @WalmartLabs, three years ago. This marks the 12th acquisition since the lab’s inception. Web search categorization company Kosmix; mobile receipts technology Grabble; Facebook social reminders app Social Calendar; predictive data analytics company Inkiru, and recipe discovery and meal planning service Yumprint are among the companies that now sit under the @WalmartLabs umbrella."
- "The lab is in growth mode. Hires from acquisitions aside, 1,000 people have joined the @WalmartLabs team in the past year."
- Takeaway: We were asked twice yesterday if Drexler would go to Target's C-Suite. We'd be floored to see him make the move. The reality is that his sweet spot is innovating and brand building for small-mid sized companies. He did it at Gap. Doing it at J Crew. The decisions that need to be made at Target don't need to be made by a merchant. They reality is that Target needs someone from a mega-cap company that can radically shake up and re-architect an org chart.
SKX - Skechers, Marcolin Extend Deal
- "...Marcolin Group has extended its licensing agreement for the design, manufacture and international distribution of Skechers USA Inc. eyewear for five years, until June 30 2019, with an option for further extension through 2024. Skechers...had originally inked a license in 2010 with Viva International, which Marcolin Group acquired last December."
- "Skechers Eyewear includes men’s, women’s, boys’ and girls’ frames, which are available through e-commerce retailers such as framesdirect.com and glasses.com, as well as at opticians’ offices, department stores, select independent retailers and Skechers stores worldwide."
BBG - Billabong Appoints Global General Manager, RVCA
- "Billabong announced the appointment of Bill Bettencourt to the role of global general manager, RVCA. Reporting to Neil CEO Neil Fiske, Bill Bettencourt is returning to the Action Sports industry after a four year stint with Sperry Top Sider…"
- "Previous to Sperry Top-Sider, Bill spent five years at Vans last holding the position of Vice President, Product and Marketing. In this capacity he had global responsibility for design, development, product merchandising and marketing for Vans footwear/apparel, Vans Snowboard Boots and ProTec equipment. Bill’s experience also includes eight years at Reebok International, where he led global marketing."
- "With the appointment of Bill Bettencourt, the Executive Leadership Team reporting to CEO, Neil Fiske is now complete."
SHLD - Edward Lampert Says Sears Must Trim Apparel
- "Speaking at a press conference following the retailer’s annual meeting at its headquarters here Tuesday, the chairman, chief executive officer and largest shareholder of the company said, 'There is too much space at Sears dedicated to apparel. We need to be more effective with all our constituents or more effective with one or two. We are evaluating who our core customers are going to be. We can’t be all things to all people, but we want to serve the entire family.'”
- Instead of bulk orders to cover an entire year’s worth of selling, the retailer is looking toward more frequent, smaller fashion buys. 'It’s cheaper to make a decision 50 weeks out,' he said. 'But that’s offset by the inability to learn — you make a mistake and it costs you a year.…We’ve been deliberate, and aggressive, in bringing talent comfortable in that faster environment,' said Lampert."
- “'We probably have more space than we need. In some cases we lease part of the space; in some cases we sell. We have great real estate.…Will we be operating more or less stores five years from now? It’s hard to say. If it’s more stores, it will be different types of stores with hybrids of our brands and others,' Lampert said."