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Takeaway: COH ready to sacrifice margin? WMT price compare app beats AMZN at face value. TGT pricing facts.



COH - Coach to Discount Products at Stores in Break With Tradition


  • "Coach Inc...will begin discounting purses at its North American full-price stores, breaking from tradition to combat sluggish sales and mounting competition."
  • "Coach will offer goods on sale twice a year -- in June and January -- said Andrea Resnick, a company spokeswoman. New York-based Coach had been one of the few fashion and luxury industry companies that refused to discount goods in its domestic stores."
  • “'As part of our brand transformation, we are evolving our North American promotional model to be more in keeping with other fashion, lifestyle and luxury brands,' Resnick said. The move is consistent with what Coach already does overseas."

Takeaway: COH finally showing that it may sacrifice margin for top line growth. The company needs to do something in order to drive traffic to its full-price stores. A discount strategy is probably the best alternative, even if that means margin dilution.  Gross margins in the 70's is unsustainable for COH especially with KORS & RL in low 60's and high 50's.


WMT - @WalmartLabs’ Price Comparison Tech Will Soon Automatically Credit Walmart Shoppers For Competitor Discounts


  • "Price comparison technology from retail giant Walmart’s R&D center, @WalmartLabs, will begin rolling out this summer on web and mobile, to show consumers competitors’ pricing and offer them eGift cards for the difference, if they could have saved more by shopping elsewhere."
  • "In any event, a service called Savings Catcher which was previously available only in seven test markets during a pilot trial, is now expanding nationwide this summer, the retailer says. Savings Catcher will initially be available via the web, but will make its way to Walmart’s mobile application later this summer."
  • "To use Savings Catcher, consumers will enter a number provided at the bottom of their receipt into the website, or soon the mobile app, along with the date of their shopping trip. The system then examines the items purchased and compares prices across major local retailers, including Aldi, Harris-Teeter, Target, Walgreens and HEB. If a lower price is spotted, Walmart customers receive an eGift Card for the difference."

Retail Callouts (6/6): COH, WMT, AMZN, TGT, GPS, BKS - chart3 6 6

Takeaway: The beauty of this price comparison technology is that it encourages shoppers to buy from WMT while assuring them that they are getting the best price. Whether or not it actually works remains to be seen, but it trumps AMZN's price compare app by a country mile because it takes choice out of the equation.

TGT - 16 Secrets For Shopping At Target That Will Blow Your Mind


  • "The price tag will tell you what percentage the markdown is. The lower left shows the original price and the upper right hand corner shows the percentage off for the markdown."

Retail Callouts (6/6): COH, WMT, AMZN, TGT, GPS, BKS - chart2 6 6

  • "If the price tag ends in $0.06 or $0.08, the item will be priced down again. As long as there is inventory in the store. It will probably remain on clearance for around two weeks."
  • "If a price tag ends in $0.04, it is final clearance and won’t be marked down again."

Takeaway: We never thought we'd cite BuzzFeed as a source, but we found the points on pricing very interesting.


GPS - Gap Inc. Reports May Sales Results


  • "Gap Inc. today reported that May net sales increased 4 percent compared with last year. Net sales for the four-week period ended May 31, 2014 were $1.27 billion compared with net sales of $1.22 billion for the four-week period ended June 1, 2013."
  • "Gap Inc.’s comparable sales for May 2014 were up 1 percent versus a 7 percent increase last year. Comparable sales by global brand for May 2014 were as follows:
    • Gap Global: negative 3 percent versus positive 8 percent last year
    • Banana Republic Global: positive 3 percent versus flat last year
    • Old Navy Global: positive 2 percent versus positive 9 percent last year"

VRA - Vera Bradley Products to be Sold at Macy's


  • "Vera Bradley, Inc. today announced that its products will be sold at select Macy's locations. By mid-July, Macy's will offer a selection of Vera Bradley handbags, totes, and accessories in approximately 70 locations across the country."
  • "'We are excited about our new relationship with Macy's,' noted Robert Wallstrom, Chief Executive Officer of Vera Bradley. 'Department stores are the number one destination for handbag purchasing, and Macy's will be a great place to showcase our products, especially as we launch our leather and faux leather collections. This important relationship will allow us to introduce Vera Bradley to new customers and broaden our geographic reach.'" 

BKS - Barnes & Noble to Team With Samsung on Next Nook Tablet


  • "The new devices will combine the Nook software with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 hardware, creating full-service tablets that can access Barnes & Noble’s collection of more than 3 million books, magazines and newspapers, according to a statement today. The 7-inch model will debut in early August, followed by a 10-inch Galaxy Tab 4 model about two months later."

SHLD - Exclusive: Sears' Lampert met Ford's Mulally for restructuring advice


  • "Sears Holdings Corp's controlling shareholder Eddie Lampert met with Ford Motor Co (F.N) CEO Alan Mulally earlier this year to seek advice on how to turn around the ailing retailer, two sources familiar with the matter said."
  • "In the meeting, Lampert asked Mulally about how he had turned around Ford and built an effective management structure at the No. 2 U.S. automaker, the sources said.  Sears spokesman Howard Riefs declined to comment. Ford spokeswoman Susan Krusel said Mulally, 68, has not decided what to do after leaving Ford.".
  • "It would be a surprise if Mulally, who is seen as one of the most successful manufacturing executives in recent American history, considered joining Sears."