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Takeaway: NKE opens 1st women’s store (for 2nd time). Patriots AF1 snubs Brady/UA. Newsflash: Lundgren bullish on Holiday. Zappos goes brick&mortar.

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

NKE - Nike Opens First Women's Store (Again)

(http://www.oregonlive.com/playbooks-profits/index.ssf/2014/11/nike_opens_first-ever_womens-o.html)

Retail Callouts (11/24): NKE, UA, M, GPS, AMZN - nke 11 24

Takeaway: Those who were around a decade ago know that this is not the first time Nike launched a women's concept. The company started a concept called 'Nike Goddess' about 12-years ago under Mindy Grossman. There were both stand-alone stores and shop-in-shops at higher-end department stores. After about two years, the company changed the name to Nike Women -- as the 'Goddess' label landed with a big thud. Ultimately, Nike realized that the product wasn't right -- and that a retail concept with sub-par product makes no sense. So it worked out a deal for Finish Line to assume its leases.  The difference this time, as we see it, is that the Nike Women's product is finally right. It has great momentum in both apparel and footwear across a broad spectrum of categories (training, yoga, dance, athletic-inspired). Does it make sense to open a dozen stores to see if it is a profitable way to grow its reach? Yes, it does. That's especially the case given that women generally opt for a more sophisticated retail experience (i.e. LULU, Athleta) as opposed to the average man -- who might be comfortable buying at Foot Locker or Dick's.

AMZN - A Zappos pop-up shop becomes a test to change the nature of mom-and-pop retail

(http://venturebeat.com/2014/11/19/a-zappos-pop-up-shop-becomes-a-test-to-change-the-nature-of-mom-and-pop-retail/)

Takeaway: We expected a Zappos branded DSW-esque shop when Zappos finally decided to build its brick and mortar presence. But, instead the new concept is going to focus primarily on apparel. That makes sense from a brand building sense. Everyone knows that Zappos sells shoes, but most of the other categories are after thoughts. More interesting than the store itself is the partner AMZN is teaming with called OrderWithMe. It allows mom and pop shops to partner together to increase buying power and expand inventory diversity. Or so they say. To us it seems like Zappos is building a web of integrated distribution centers across the country that it can use as it scales up same/next day delivery.

NKE, UA - Robert Kraft teamed up with Nike to design special Air Force 1s to benefit charity

(http://www.patriots.com/news/lifestyle/article-1/Limited-edition-Patriots-sneaker-to-launch-on-Monday-morning/96fbb298-a566-4a9a-971a-6edee677f7e5)

Retail Callouts (11/24): NKE, UA, M, GPS, AMZN - 11 24 chart2

Takeaway: This is not a real money maker for Nike, but it helps keep the profile of its venerable Air Force 1 product where it belongs (in the stratosphere). The $150 price point is nearly double the AF1 average of $75, which is a plus. Though we think the biggest thing Nike gets from this -- which was very much intended -- is that it was paired up with the Patriots throughout the entire game on Sunday when they trounced the Lions. Remember that Nike cut Tom Brady in 2010 and UnderArmour picked him up as it's first major endorsee. UA has gotten most of the Patriot-related limelight in recent years. That at least temporarily went back to Nike. Beyond the petty one-off athlete deals, this program with the patriots shows how Nike is using its broader deal with the NFL to extend the reach of the brand. 

M - Macy’s Will See Benefit From Lower Gas Prices, CEO Lundgren Says

(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-23/macy-s-will-see-benefit-from-lower-gas-prices-ceo-lundgren-says.html)

  • "'We expect to benefit from the lower gas prices,' Lundgren said in an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. 'We have much higher expectations for the fourth quarter.'"

Takeaway: This is right in line with Macy's 2-3% comp store sales guidance for 4Q, which is an acceleration from the -1.4% level it saw in 3Q. But let's be clear about something...Lundgren is a salesman if there ever was one. He doesn't get out in front of investors at all -- not even on quarterly conference calls. He gets in front of the audience he thinks is more important -- the millions of consumers that consume mass media. Every year before Black Friday he steps up his public outreach and waves the Macy's flag (as he should). Something you'll never hear him say "This will be a lousy holiday. Consumers are not likely to spend much, and we think our merchants did a mediocre job of merchandising relative to last year." We're not saying that those things are true, but simply that it's his job to be as promotional as possible to Main Street.

GPS - Fashion chain Gap in deal with online retailer Zalando

(http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/11/24/gap-zalando-idUKL6N0TA4Y720141124)

Takeaway: This is an interesting deal for the Gap Brand, as it will allow Zalando, Europe's largest dedicated online fashion retailer, to extend the Gap brand to consumers that currently can't access Gap -- either in stores or online. Now...that says nothing about whether consumers will actually want the brand, so there's a lot of wood to chop from a brand and consumer awareness perspective. But this is at least a marginally positive move for the perennially zero-growth Gap.

OTHER NEWS

WMT - Walmart in huge solar project; 400 systems over four years

(http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/walmart-huge-solar-project-400-systems-over-four-years)

NRF urges president to step into West Coast port issue

(http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/nrf-urges-president-step-west-coast-port-issue)

Aldi goes into high growth mode; will open 650 U.S. stores by end of 2018

(http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/aldi-goes-high-growth-mode-will-open-650-us-stores-end-2018)

Richemont Shares Climb Following Net-a-Porter IPO Speculation

(http://www.wwd.com/business-news/financial/richemont-shares-climb-following-net-a-porter-ipo-reports-8042042?module=Business-latest)

FINL, NKE - Finish Line Unveils New Store in The Mall at Millenia

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81647&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1992189)

  • "The Finish Line, Inc. announced the grand opening of its newly revamped store within The Mall at Millenia in Orlando to include an enhanced in-store experience and the addition of the latest Nike Track Club shop-in-shop."

NKE - Nike Doesn’t Sell U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Jerseys to Men

(http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-11-21/why-nike-doesnt-sell-u-dot-s-dot-womens-national-soccer-team-jerseys-to-men)

Google Program Lets Readers Pay a Buck a Month to Block Ads

(http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/google-program-helps-readers-rid-themselves-ads-161604)

WFM  - Whole Foods CEO Confirms Aggressive Canadian Expansion

(http://www.retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2014/11/whole-foods)

Pascal Cagni in Lead for CEO Spot at Net-a-porter

(http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/french-connection-8040833?module=hp-topstories)

  • "Internet veteran Pascal Cagni, former general manager and vice president of Apple Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), has been working at Net-a-porter Group in London in a consultancy capacity, and could be a candidate for the role of chief executive officer"

ANF - ABERCROMBIE & FITCH ANNOUNCES ENTRY INTO MEXICO

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=61701&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1992002)

  • "The company anticipates a continuing rollout that will include stores in cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara, Cancun and Playa Del Carmen."