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Takeaway: NKE patent makes customized product design easier. LULU's first store in Dubai. KATE/FOSL watch agreement.

EVENTS TO WATCH

Retail Callouts (2/18): Chain Store Sales, NKE, KATE, LULU, FOSL, URBN - 2 17 chart2

ICSC RETAIL SALES (80 General Merchandise Stores)

Takeaway: Comps decelerated this week on a 1, 2, and 3 year basis. Through the first 7 weeks of the year the trend has been down and to the right against the easiest compares of the year. Compares get tougher as we enter April.

Retail Callouts (2/18): Chain Store Sales, NKE, KATE, LULU, FOSL, URBN - 2 18 chart1B

Retail Callouts (2/18): Chain Store Sales, NKE, KATE, LULU, FOSL, URBN - 2 18 chart3

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

FOSL, KATE - FOSSIL GROUP AND KATE SPADE & COMPANY ANNOUNCE

GLOBAL LICENSING AGREEMENT

Takeaway: To see our full note on the KATE/FOSL agreement CLICK HERE 

NKE - Nike Developing Technology to Make Customization Easier

(http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/nike-eyes-holographic-technology-for-sneaker-design/)

Retail Callouts (2/18): Chain Store Sales, NKE, KATE, LULU, FOSL, URBN - 2 18 chart4

Takeaway: This seems a little bit odd, but after we re-read the article a few times it made perfect sense. Nike is about to revolutionize the way we design, manufacture and buy sneakers. FlyKnit technology is a big part of that. That is, a shopper could go into a store design a shoe, grab a burrito at Chipotle, and come back an hour later and leave with the new custom shoe that was assembled in the back room. This is one of the only industries where we haven't seen any major disruption to the typical wholesale model in at least 40 years. Nike is starting to push the envelope on that front.

We identified how important customization was to the 18-24 year old demographic, with 100% of customers who shop for athletic footwear online saying that the ability customize was the reason why. One of the problems with consumers designing shoes is that they can't see the end product. Now with this patented technology, consumers can put on a pair of goofy glasses and design 3D shoes in store.

Retail Callouts (2/18): Chain Store Sales, NKE, KATE, LULU, FOSL, URBN - 2 18 chart6

LULU - First Lululemon store in Dubai to open this year

(http://gulfbusiness.com/2015/02/dubais-maf-open-canadian-brand-lululemon-stores/#.VOSCePnF83i)

Takeaway: This a new development for LULU and should give the brand additional touch points outside of the 40 new doors it will add in Europe and Asia by 2017 with very little risk. LULU has used licenses in the past to build it's geographic reach with mixed success. The Japanese joint venture shuttered in 2008. But, the Australian joint venture was taken in house in 2012. AUS/NZ now has 30 doors. One of the arguments we hear on LULU all of the time is centered on the company's slow paced expansion. The company has always taken a measured approach when it comes to new markets. First using a showroom to  measure demand and then a store 12-18 months later. That made sense for the company when the finance organization was extremely weak, but we think that new CFO Stuart Haselden has the ability to build the financial/logistical infrastructure in a way that supports a more rapid expansion effort.

OTHER NEWS

FOSL - 4Q14 Earnings

Retail Callouts (2/18): Chain Store Sales, NKE, KATE, LULU, FOSL, URBN - 2 18 chart5

Gilt - A $50M investment may make Gilt relevant again

(http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20150217/TECHNOLOGY/150219878/a-50m-investment-may-make-gilt-relevant-again)

Tory Burch to Open 4th Canadian Location at Sherway Gardens

(http://www.retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2015/2/tory-burch)

AAPL - Report: Apple redesigning its retail stores

(http://www.retailingtoday.com/article/report-apple-redesigning-its-retail-stores)

URBN - Urban Outfitters e-commerce fulfillment center moving to Pennsylvania

(http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/urban-outfitters-e-commerce-fulfillment-center-moving-pennsylvania)

TSCDY - Report: Tesco may lay off 10,000 workers

(http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/report-tesco-may-lay-10000-workers)

Ace Hardware pilots same-day delivery

(http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/ace-hardware-pilots-same-day-delivery)

ASNA - Ascena to Close Brothers Brand

(http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/specialty-stores/ascena-to-close-brothers-brand-8197286?module=Retail-latest)

AMZN - Regulations may ground Amazon.com's drones

(http://www.retailingtoday.com/article/regulations-may-ground-amazoncoms-drones)