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Takeaway: Hedgeye Retail Ideas List. WWW - international opportunity. KATE talks e-comm strategy.



Retail Callouts (7/21): Ideas List, WWW, KATE - Chart1 7 21 2014



WWW - In Person: Jim Zwiers Takes Wolverine To New Heights


  • Entering into your new position, what are your priorities?
    • JZ: "The first is to lever the brands in the portfolio. Right now, our mix is about 50-50 in terms of U.S. pairs versus international pairs, and so that’s heavily weighted to the brands that were in the portfolio prior to the Performance & Lifestyle Group acquisitions [from Collective]."
  • Will expansion into additional overseas markets be a priority?
    • JZ:" Every once in a while, we ask whether there’s any other countries and territories left. [Laughs.] We definitely have scope; what we need to continue to drive now is scale. We have not achieved our optimal market share in any market in any region. We have a long ways to go to get to where we think we can get to in terms of operational excellence, in terms of demand planning and demand creation, but we’re taking steps in that direction, and it’s beginning to show some strong results."
  • Sperry Top-Sider was lauded as one of the biggest overseas opportunities for Wolverine at the time of the acquisition. How much progress has that brand made internationally? 
    • JZ: "When you take some of our most penetrated brands, they’d be well above 50 percent of their pairs being sold globally. We’ve not committed to when that will happen for Sperry, but we know the trajectory and we’ve been able to execute it with many brands. We’re still in the first inning with Sperry international. Sperry is priority No. 1, with both new distributor sign-ups and in our owned operations."

Takeaway: At the time of the PLG acquisition in 2012, WWW was the most global footwear company in the world with over 60% of its unit sales coming outside the US, while International accounted for just 5% of sales for the four brands it acquired (Sperry, Saucony, Keds, and Stride-Rite). Over the next 5 years we see $600mm in International revenue opportunity for the acquired PLG brands as WWW layers these brands on to its global infrastructure spanning 200+ markets and 10,000+ points of distribution.


KATE - Kate Spade's Mary Beech Talks Brand Storytelling


  • "[Mary Beech, Chief Marketing Officer] said when Kate Spade launched e-commerce, which accounts for more than 20 percent of sales, the brand committed to content and commerce. 'But the content wasn’t editorializing our products, it is true content — dance lessons, or recipes, or great tips for when you visit another place. The lifestyle side of Kate Spade was of equal importance to sales,' she said."
  • "Illustrating the value of brand storytelling, Beech said the opening of Kate Spade’s first London store was a 'missed opportunity.' The unit opened in London with brick- and-mortar only...The company quickly added a worldofkatespade.com site that had no e-commerce element, but rather offered customers information about the brand. E-commerce in the U.K. is set to launch before the end of the year, and Beech said as the brand enters new markets, it would lead with digital storytelling, over and above physical locations."

Takeaway: KATE is a brand that built a strategy around selling product across multiple categories (handbags, accessories and apparel, etc…), to multiple affluent consumers (Kate Spade, KS Saturday, and Jack Spade) in several channels of distribution (wholesale, retail, dot.com, and concessions) in several regions of the world. These characteristics might be expected from a multi-billion dollar company. But keep in mind that KATE was less than $800mm in sales in FY13.




LULU - Lululemon seeks a leg up on knockoffs


  • "Lululemon Athletica Inc. has filed a lawsuit in a U.S. federal court in Illinois targeting a sealed list of unidentified defendants that it says are China-based knockoff artists selling fake versions of its ubiquitous yoga pants and other merchandise online."


Herman Miller to acquire Design Within Reach


  • "Herman Miller has entered into an agreement to acquire high-end furniture retailer Design Within Reach Inc. (DWR) for about $154 million in cash."
  • “'This combination expands our reach in the higher margin consumer sector and we have identified multiple points of strategic leverage that will benefit our other segments and operations, as well as DWR’s own growth plans,' Walker said."


TGT - YouTube Stars Sell Target to College Set


  • "TODRICK Hall, Ann Le, Tiffany Garcia and Michael Balalis, a.k.a. Mikey Bolts, are unlikely to be household names in households of consumers in their 30s, 40s or 50s. But Target is hoping those monikers mean money as it seeks to reach members of the millennial generation who are shopping for apparel, electronics and home furnishings as they head to college."
  • "Target is featuring the group, known for video clips they create for YouTube, in four online video shows. Composed of four episodes each, they will be available on Target’s YouTube channel."


Tesco - Appointment of Chief Executive Officer and Trading Update


  • "Tesco plc announces that Dave Lewis will join the Board of Tesco on 1 October, 2014 as Chief Executive Officer in succession to Philip Clarke.  Philip Clarke will continue as Chief Executive until that date when he will step down from the Board but will continue to be available to support the transition until the end of January 2015."

AMZN, BKS - Amazon Starts $9.99-a-Month Service for Unlimited E-Books


  • "Amazon.com Inc. introduced a $9.99-a-month service for unlimited Kindle e-book downloads, letting customers devour books like they binge on TV services like Netflix Inc. and Amazon Prime.
  • Kindle Unlimited includes more than 600,000 Kindle books and thousands of audiobooks from Audible Inc., Amazon said today in a statement. Readers can access titles like “The Hunger Games” and “The Lord of the Rings” without paying for them individually."