EVENTS TO WATCH
World Cup: USA(Nike) vs Belgium(Burrda) - Today 4PM
ICSC - Chain Store Sales Index
Takeaway: This was a massive week for sales growth -- the biggest in over four years. Then again, it's comping against a horrible week in 2012 and 2013. The two-year trend is worth looking at this week, which is decent-enough on the margin. Less notable than the 3.25% 2-yr reading for this week is the steady climb since retail sales hit a trough around week 13. That's when the winter finally passed, and we got back to a normalized sales level -- perhaps with a bit of snap-back. Not a major statement about the US consumer, but good-enough numbers for the retailers to be staring at as they enter the last month of the retail quarter.
WMT - Walmart pushes healthy food agenda on Twitter
"The Walmart Foundation has kicked off a summer-long initiative to help children and families gain access to nutritious meals and learn healthy-eating habits. Walmart is also collaborating with Chef Lorena Garcia, chef and author with TV appearances on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and NBC’s “Biggest Loser,” to launch the Eat Healthy Together Challenge on Twitter."
"The family-focused initiative includes $15 million in grants that will provide meals and nutrition education to 1.4 million children and families in more than 1,500 communities."
Takeaway: Kudos to Walmart on this one -- even though $15mm is chump change to WMT. The real commitment will come when WMT takes Cap'n Crunch, Capri-Sun, Mallomars, Pop-Tarts, and other foods packed with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup off its shelves. We understand that this would be devastating to the top line -- if WMT is unable to substitute it with the healthy food that it is hitting consumers with on Twitter. But look at CVS -- earlier this year, the company eliminated cigarettes from its shelves. Sales have been pressured, but the stock is up 19%. The market likes companies that make the tough decisions to help consumers lead healthier lives. If CVS can do it, why can't WMT?
NKE, ADS - Nike and Adidas Duke it Out Digitally
"There is little correlation between World Cup sponsorship and social media success for the 2014 games..."
"So what does this mean for World Cup sponsor Adidas? The Herzogenaurach, Germany-based brand, which doesn’t appear to be sponsoring or promoting posts on Facebook, has a “limited overall reach,”"
"Meanwhile, Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., has gone on the offensive, sponsoring posts that appear in its followers’ news feeds. These posts generate more conversations overall across Facebook and Twitter."
"By focusing on its key roster of players, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Nike took a creative approach with short and flashy — and sometimes humorous — videos on YouTube, upping its number of likes and comments 10 and seven times, respectively."
Takeaway: The number of times Nike used the word 'Digital' in its latest call = 15. Same statistic for Adidas = 2. Any surprise that Nike is winning?
10 biggest S&P 500 winners and losers for 2014 YTD
Takeaway: What does it tell you that 70% of the biggest losers YTD in the S&P 500 are retailers?
APP - Dov Charney builds American Apparel stake towards 50%
"Dov Charney, the controversial founder of US fashion chain American Apparel, has managed to increase his stake in the company towards 50 per cent, according to regulatory filings in New York."
"After the bell on Monday, it was revealed exactly how much common stock Standard General, a privately owned hedge fund, had acquired on Mr Charney’s behalf: 25m-30m shares – or a 17 per cent stake in the company."
"Combined with Mr Charney’s existing 27 per cent stake, he now has control of 44 per cent of American Apparel shares, edging him closer to 50 per cent – the critical benchmark at which he can potentially push for his own reinstatement to the board."
Takeaway: With an equity value of $153mm, this is not exactly a massive feat. Nonetheless, Charney is likely to get the majority stake he needs to get back in there and run the company he founded. Unfortunately for the remaining shareholders, this means that there will be an eccentric, volatile, often inappropriate, usually incompetent person who is not only leading the company, but who also controls the Board. Not exactly a great setup for a long.
Contract Deadline Arrives for West Coast Port Workers
"The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association are expected to continue negotiating a new contract today — and while the outlook is generally positive, importers are taking the better-safe-than-sorry route. A strike, were it to come, could take a toll of as much as $2.5 billion a day."
"The current six-year collective bargaining agreement is set to expire at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time today"
KORS - Michael Kors names Stephane Lafay as President of Asia
"Michael Kors, a global luxury lifestyle brand, announces that Stephane Lafay has been named to the newly created role of President of Asia. He will report to John D. Idol, the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer."
"Mr. Lafay’s appointment, effective July 28th, 2014, reflects the brand’s powerful momentum in the region and its sustained focus on growth. “This is a pivotal moment for the brand as we continue to invest and work to build a strategic roadmap for the Asia region,” says Mr. Idol. “Stephane has a long history of building luxury businesses in Asia. His skills and experience will be a tremendous asset for us going forward.”"
CHS - Miki Berardelli to take over as Chico's FAS’s CMO
"Chico's FAS, Inc. announces that Miki Racine Berardelli will be joining the company as President, Digital Commerce, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President Chico's FAS, Inc."
"A dynamic industry leader, Ms. Berardelli is rich with experience and skills that span a spectrum of customer-based strategies and marketing initiatives. She joins Chicos FAS, Inc. from Tory Burch , where she held the position of Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to that, she was Senior Vice President of Marketing at Ralph Lauren."