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Takeaway: ICSC - positive trends continue. Walmart sets tone for Back to School.

EVENTS TO WATCH

Wednesday (7/23)

  • HBI - Earnings Call: 4:30pm
  • SKX - Earnings Call: 4:30pm

Thursday (7/24)

  • CRI - Earnings Call: 8:30am
  • UA - Earnings Call: 8:30pm
  • DECK - Earnings Call: 4:30pm
  • AMZN - Earnings Call: 5:00pm

ECONOMIC DATA

 

ICSC - Chain Store Sales Index

 

Takeaway: Another week of sales growth as measured by the ICSC. The 2.8% YY growth rate was the lowest number reported since late May. We usually don't get caught up on the commentary associated with the release, but the 'unusually cool weather' excuse is borderline ridiculous.

Retail Callouts (7/22): ICSC, WMT, TGT, DKS, TIF, GPS, NKE - chart1 7 22 2014

Retail Callouts (7/22): ICSC, WMT, TGT, DKS, TIF, GPS, NKE - chart2 7 22 2014

COMPANY NEWS

 

WMT, TGT - Wal-Mart Cuts Prices More Aggressively for Back-to-School

(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-21/wal-mart-to-cut-prices-more-aggressively-in-back-to-school-push.html)

  • "Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year’s back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending."
  • "Wal-Mart will reduce prices on 10 percent more items this year, said Steve Bratspies, the company’s executive vice president for U.S. general merchandise. The number of back-to-school items Wal-Mart sells online will grow 30 percent to 75,000, he said."

Takeaway: The NRF is forecasting that spending on students in Kindergarten - High School will be flat to last year at $26.5bil. We don't put much credence in NRF forecasts, but it does help provide context to the environment WMT is operating in.  WMT sets the tone for the BTS season, and this move is all about market share. TGT, AMZN, K-Mart, etc. have almost no choice but to follow the precedent.

 

OTHER NEWS

 

TGT - Target Launches In a Snap App

(http://www.wwd.com/media-news/digital/target-launches-in-a-snap-app-7807164?module=hp-topstories)

  • "Target Corp. is using mobile technology to try to get more out of its print ads."
  • "The retailer said Monday it had launched In a Snap, an image recognition app for Apple devices that lets users easily buy Target items they see in ads. 'In a Snap recognizes select ads, makes a ‘snap’ sound to let you know when it’s ready, and then shows you additional info about each product in the ad, making them easy to immediately purchase or consider later,' the retailer said."

DKS - Ad of the Day: Dick's Sporting Goods Scores With Another Dramatic Salute to Everyday Athletes

(http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-dicks-sporting-goods-scores-another-dramatic-salute-everyday-athletes-159015)

  • "Like the everyday athletes it profiles, Dick's Sporting Goods remains a bit of an unsung hero in the sports marketing world. But that continues to change, thanks to its consistently strong advertising from Anomaly."
  • "The company prefers unknown athletes to superstars, and the purity of real sports moments to the phony glitz and glamour of hero worship."

 

TIF - TIFFANY'S MICHAEL KOWALSKI TO RETIRE AS CEO IN 2015; FREDERIC CUMENAL, PRESIDENT, NAMED AS SUCCESSOR

(http://investor.tiffany.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=860911)

  • "Tiffany & Co. announced that its long-standing chief executive officer, Michael J. Kowalski, will retire from the company effective March 31, 2015. Mr. Kowalski, who has been a member of the company's Board of Directors since 1995, will continue to serve on the Board, in the role of non-Executive chairman. The Board has named Frederic Cumenal, currently the company's president, to succeed Mr. Kowalski as chief executive officer effective April 1, 2015."

EXPR - EXPRESS, INC. ANNOUNCES JANUARY 2015 RETIREMENT OF MICHAEL WEISS AS CEO AND APPOINTMENT OF DAVID KORNBERG AS SUCCESSOR

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=235276&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1949411&highlight=)

  • "Express, Inc.  … announced that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Weiss, will retire as Chief Executive Officer on January 30, 2015.  David Kornberg will assume that role in addition to his current responsibility as the Company's President.  Mr. Weiss will remain on the Board, serving as non-executive Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors, and Mr. Kornberg will join the Company's Board of Directors upon assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer."

GPS - Gap Inc. Announces Global Expansion Plans

(http://www.gapinc.com/content/gapinc/html/media/pressrelease/2014/med_pr_gap_slovenia_austria.html)

  • "Continuing to deliver on its global growth plans, Gap Inc. today announced that it will introduce the Gap brand to Slovenia and Austria through agreements with new and existing franchise partners. Magistrat International, a new partner, has been selected for the launch of Slovenia and Gottex, which currently manages the Gap franchise business in Israel and Hungary, will launch Austria."

NKE - Cristiano Ronaldo Debuts Footwear

(http://www.wwd.com/footwear-news/markets/cristiano-ronaldo-debuts-footwear-7807155?module=Footwear%20News-hero)

  • "Cristiano Ronaldo has launched a footwear line, CR7. Announcing the new project on his Facebook page, the Portuguese soccer player is hoping to score points with a luxury offering."
  • "Featuring the athlete's name stamped on the leather upper and the brand name on its sole, CR7 is made entirely in Portugal."