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Takeaway: Adding KATE to Best Ideas list as a long. LULU finally goes mobile. Hong Kong lux market at risk.

QUIZ OF THE DAY

Yesterday's Question: What does this date, 10/2, signify in Nike’s history?

Answer: 10/2 is the day (10/2/96) that Lance Armstrong learned that he had cancer, and marked the day that 'changed his life forever'. Nike subsequently created the Livestrong Brand -- which was initially largely comprised of those yellow wrist bands. But Nike, who can capitalize on a commercial trend better than anyone, subsequently turned this into a $200-$300mm business across apparel, footwear and equipment -- and the company made a marketing splash every year on October 2. Needless to say, that business is now a big goose egg. Perhaps the peak was when Dick's Sporting Goods missed a quarter for having excess inventory of Livestrong treadmills. 

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

KATE - Best Idea Long 

We are adding KATE Long to the Best Ideas List - CLICK HERE for full note

LULU - LULU introduces new iOS App

Retail Callouts (10/3): KATE, NKE, LULU, Luxury - chart3 10 3 14

Takeaway: LULU released it's first iPhone app last night where customers can actually shop. They've dabbled in the mobile space 2 times in the past, but each was unrelated to the actual merchandise sold in its stores. Dot.com sales represent nearly 20% of sales at LULU to date, and it's been able to grow that segment exponentially without this extra piece of technology which is standard across nearly every other brand and retailer in the marketplace. If anything, this is an opportunity for LULU to cater to a segment of the population moving away from stores and desktops.

Not-So-Golden Week Looms for Hong Kong Retailers

(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-02/not-so-golden-week-looms-for-hong-kong-retailers.html)

  • "Imagine a Christmas shopping season with closed stores and customers stranded because cabs are nowhere in sight."
  • "For retailers of Fendi bags and Rolex watches in Hong Kong, that’s the type of nightmare unfolding as pro-democracy protests wreak havoc during one of the busiest times of the year, the China National Day holidays known as Golden Week. Demonstrators are occupying shopping areas from Causeway Bay to Tsim Sha Tsui, and are disrupting transportation and shutting stores."

Takeaway: Despite the seriousness of the situation, we're hard pressed to think that any US companies are going to miss the quarter because of the situation in Hong Kong. But Chinese tourists accounted for 75% of the Hong Kong's 54mm tourist visits last year. That will be materially crimped this year. In all likelihood, a vast majority of the Chinese tourists will spend that money elsewhere. If they want a Kors bag, they're going to get a Kors bag.

OTHER NEWS

RSH - RadioShack Said to Reach $590 Million Refinancing Agreement

(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-02/radioshack-said-to-reach-refinancing-deal-with-standard-general.html

  • "RadioShack Corp., the electronics chain trying to stave off bankruptcy, reached an agreement with a consortium led by Standard General LP to refinance about $590 million of loans to re-stock ahead of the holidays, a person familiar with the matter said."
  • "Standard General, a New York-based hedge fund, will lead a group of lenders to refinance debt outstanding under a $535 million asset-backed revolving credit line from GE Capital, the lending arm of General Electric Co."

WTSL - The Wet Seal, Inc. Announces Departure of Chief Financial Officer

(http://ir.wetsealinc.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=874394)

  • "The Wet Seal, Inc., a leading specialty retailer to young women, announced that the Company's Chief Financial Officer, Steve Benrubi, has resigned and will remain with the Company through December 1, 2014, to assist with the transition. The Company will commence a search for a new Chief Financial Officer."

Warren Buffett admits Tesco investment ‘a huge mistake’

(http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/27963a92-4a36-11e4-8de3-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3F4wExOvy)

  • "Clean-up in Aisle 7. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, staring at an $800m spillage from his stake in Tesco, admitted that his holding in the UK supermarket chain was a 'huge mistake'."
  • "The chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which is Tesco’s fourth-largest investor with a 3.97 per cent stake, made his mea culpa on Thursday, contributing to the gloom surrounding the retailer as it deals with plunging profits and an accounting scandal."

Sur La Table CEO names former Bath & Body Works chief as new CEO

(http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/sur-la-table-ceo-names-former-bath-body-works-chief-new-ceo)

  • "Kitchenware retailer Sur La Table has appointed industry veteran Diane Neal as its new CEO. She succeeds Jack Schwefel, who has left the company to pursue other opportunities after serving as Sur La Table’s CEO since 2007."
  • "Neal served as CEO and president of Bath & Body Works from 2007 to 2011. She currently serves on the boards of several retail companies, including Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Fossil Group Inc. Neal also held leadership positions at Gap and Target."

AMZN - Amazon Warehouse Workers Want to Be Paid for Waiting in Line

(http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-10-02/security-checks-paid-as-work-supreme-court-will-decide)

  • "Amazon.com warehouses are full of stuff people like. To cut down on theft, workers who box and ship it are required to pass through security checkpoints after their shifts, waiting in lines that can take almost 30 minutes to get through."
  • "On Oct. 8 the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether that time counts as work. In 2010 two former employees of Integrity Staffing Solutions, a temp agency that supplies workers at many of Amazon’s U.S. warehouses, sued the company demanding back pay for the time they spent in security lines after clocking out at Amazon warehouses in Nevada. The security checks, the plaintiffs argued, were required by Integrity and therefore part of the job."

HD - Home Depot extends e-commerce capabilities westward

(http://www.retailingtoday.com/article/home-depot-extends-e-commerce-capabilities-westward)

  • "Home Depot is extending its e-commerce capabilities westward with the opening of a dedicated online fulfillment center in California."
  • "Located in Perris, California, the 858,953-sq.-ft. facility will initially employ approximately 150 people, and eventually employ up to 300. It is one of three new DFCs opening across the US in addition to the company’s existing network."

UA - Under Armour to build new DC in Nashville suburb

(http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/under-armour-build-new-dc-nashville-suburb?ad=news)

  • "Under Armour plans to build a new one million-sq.-ft. distribution and warehouse facility in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville. This will be Under Armour's third distribution center in the United States, with the original warehouse in the company's hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, and the other located in Rialto, California."