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Takeaway: ICSC remains strong, but trendline reading (2-yr) decelerates for the third consecutive week. Head scratcher marketing campaign from UA.

EVENTS TO WATCH

Tuesday (9/23)

BBBY - Earnings Call: 5:00pm

Thursday (9/25)

NKE - Earnings Call: 5:00pm

Friday (9/26)

FINL - Earnings Call: 8:30:am

ECONOMIC DATA:

Takeaway: This week's ICSC reading was a double edged sword. On one hand, we saw 4.1% growth, which is in-line with the stratospheric readings we've grown accustomed to since July. But on the flip side, the 2-year run rate, which we think is a much better gauge of the health of the retail space, decelerated for the third consecutive week. One datapoint rarely means much to us. Two makes us raise an eyebrow. Three has our full attention.

Retail Callouts (9/23): ICSC Sales, UA, TGT, SHLD, WMT - 9 23 chart2

Retail Callouts (9/23): ICSC Sales, UA, TGT, SHLD, WMT - 9 23 chart3

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

UA - Product Spotlight

Maybe 'Performance Chinos' will end up being a great category for UA. Truth be told, the company has earned the benefit of the doubt based on its solid execution across almost all new product launches over the past year.  All that said, this category and product launch is a head-scratcher from where we sit.  You can take a basketball asset like Jennings off-court and put him in Chinos and call them 'performance'. But let's be real, the guy is pictured in a bar playing pool. That's fashion, not performance. We have no clue as to the customer that UA is targeting with this ad. As good of a player as Jennings is, he's not justifying his pay package with basketball shoe sales. UA has to try to make their money back somewhere.

Retail Callouts (9/23): ICSC Sales, UA, TGT, SHLD, WMT - 9 23 chart4

OTHER NEWS

TGT - Target Faces Unique Challenges in Quebec

(http://www.retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2014/9/target-in-quebec)

  • "Findings from a survey of 1,000 Canadian women by Headspace Marketing indicate that Quebeckers were significantly less familiar with Target than Canadians in the rest of Canada when it launched last year. Today, only a quarter (23.7%) of Quebec women have ever shopped at a Target store in the U.S. compared to more than half (54.4%) in the rest of Canada (and as high as 77% in Manitoba and 62% in B.C.)."

SHLD, TGT - Sears Canada auction flop darkens outlook

(http://nypost.com/2014/09/22/sears-canada-auction-flop-darkens-outlook/)

  • "Billionaire Eddie Lampert’s bid to sell Sears Canada looks like a bust — and that’s bad news for Sears at home."
  • "An auction of a majority stake in the Canadian retailer failed to attract any acceptable bids in its latest round, eliminating a potential near-term cash infusion for Sears Holdings that could have exceeded $750 million, The Post has learned."

KER - Kering Taps Carlo Imò

(http://www.wwd.com/business-news/human-resources/kering-taps-carlo-im-7935240?module=Business-latest)

  • "Carlo Imò has been named head of Kering Asia-Pacific, effective Dec. 1. "
  • "Currently Kering’s vice president of human resources in Asia-Pacific, he is to oversee the international expansion of the French group’s brands in the region, which include Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent. He reports to Jean-François Palus, group managing director."

WMT - Wal-Mart's Unusual Rewards for Employees Who Give to Its PAC

(http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-09-22/walmarts-unusual-rewards-for-employees-pac-donations#r=com-ls)

  • "Liberal groups and a union-backed Walmart worker group are asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate Wal-Mart Stores’ policy of rewarding contributions to its political action committee with donations to charity. Under the policy, every $1 an employee donates to Wal-Mart’s PAC, which supports such probusiness candidates as Ohio Republican House Speaker John Boehner, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, and Arkansas Democratic Senator Mark Pryor, triggers a $2 donation to a charity for Wal-Mart employees in need."

TIF - TIFFANY & CO. PRICES PRIVATE OFFERING OF SENIOR NOTES

(http://investor.tiffany.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=872037)

  • "Tiffany & Co. announced the pricing of $250,000,000 aggregate principal amount of its Senior Notes due 2024  and $300,000,000 aggregate principal amount of its Senior Notes due 2044. The initial purchasers of the notes are Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Goldman, Sachs & Co., BNY Mellon Capital Markets, LLC, J.P. Morgan and Mizuho Securities. The coupon on the 2024 notes will be 3.800% per year from the date of issuance, payable semi-annually in arrears. The coupon on the 2044 notes will be 4.900% per year from the date of issuance, payable semi-annually in arrears."

Jimmy Choo Sets IPO Plan

(http://www.wwd.com/accessories-news/financial/jimmy-choo-sets-ipo-plan-7936344?module=Business-latest)

  • "Jimmy Choo is pursuing an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange next month, with the intention to float at least 25 percent of its equity, valuing the company at more than 700 million pounds, or $1.14 billion."

Tesco CFO Stewart Starts Early as Accounting Inquest Begins

(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-23/tesco-says-alan-stewart-to-join-company-as-finance-chief-today.html)

  • "Tesco Plc said Alan Stewart will start today as chief financial officer after gaining his early release from Marks & Spencer Group Plc as the biggest U.K. grocer handles the fallout from overstating its profit guidance."

RSH - RadioShack in Talks With Supplier to Ease Restructuring

(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-22/radioshack-in-talks-with-supplier-to-ease-restructuring.html)

  • "RadioShack Corp., the electronics retailer trying to avoid bankruptcy, said it’s holding talks with a 'major vendor' that could help the company restructure its finances."
  • "The negotiations involve some of RadioShack’s largest creditors, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company said today in a regulatory filing. While no agreement has been reached, the talks are continuing, the retailer said."

UPS - UPS Store expands 3D printing to 100 additional locations

(http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/ups-store-expands-3d-printing-100-additional-locations)

  • "Following the successful launch of 3D print in six markets across the country, The UPS Store announced it is is expanding 3D printing services to meet the growing demands of its small business customers to nearly 100 additional locations nationwide."