Retail Callouts (10/20): AMZN Adds 20k Employees For Holiday, ICSC - Decelerating 2yr

Takeaway: AMZN bucks trend, takes Holiday employment up 25%. ICSC worst 2yr reading in 20 weeks.

AMZN - Increasing Employee Count by 25% for Holiday

 

AMZN has doubled its seasonal employee count in just 4 years  to 100k workers as the rest of retail -- particularly the department store space -- has pulled back the reins in earnest. Footprints at most of the group don't look much different when compared to 3 years ago, but the big difference is the holiday surge in online sales. According to IBM, E-comm sales were up 10.3% and 14% in 2013 and 2014, respectively, during the Holiday season. Which is ~3.5x what the industry has done in aggregate. And because it's become a disproportionate percent of growth during the season it only makes sense that employee counts would march higher in order to meet the Holiday surge at fulfillment centers. But that hasn't happened most likely because store hiring plans are down and with e-comm specific hiring up. Holiday sales forecast across the industry (NRF, Deloitte, AlixPartners, RetailNext, etc.) have been less than optimistic with each of the prognosticators projecting growth rates below last year’s 4.1%, and Holiday hiring plans reflect that. All except AMZN, of course, who is bucking the trend at +25%. 

 

Retail Callouts (10/20): AMZN Adds 20k Employees For Holiday, ICSC - Decelerating 2yr - Morning 10 20 chart1

  

ICSC/Redbook - No acceleration after 17 weeks of tough compares. 2nd weakest ICSC reading of the year at 1%, 2yr trend line decelerates 100bps. Worst 2-year reading we've seen in 20 weeks.

 

Retail Callouts (10/20): AMZN Adds 20k Employees For Holiday, ICSC - Decelerating 2yr - Morning 10 20 chart2

Retail Callouts (10/20): AMZN Adds 20k Employees For Holiday, ICSC - Decelerating 2yr - Morning 10 20 chart3

   

ETH - Guides 1Q EPS inline with street. Flat revenue, says written sales accelerating.

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81552&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2098368)

 

AutoNation Names Kaveh Khosrowshahi to Board of Directors

(http://investors.autonation.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=85803&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2098362)

 

 


Did the US Economy Just “Collapse”? "Worst Personal Spending Since 2009"?

This is a brief note written by Hedgeye U.S. Macro analyst Christian Drake on 4/28 dispelling media reporting that “US GDP collapses to 0.7%, the lowest number in three years with the worst personal spending since 2009.”

read more

7 Tweets Summing Up What You Need to Know About Today's GDP Report

"There's a tremendous opportunity to educate people in our profession on how GDP is stated and projected," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote today. Here's everything you need to know about today's GDP report.

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Crash Test Bear

In the past six months, U.S. stock indices are up between +12% and +18%.

read more

GOLD: A Deep Dive on What’s Next with a Top Commodities Strategist

“If you saved in gold over the past 20 to 25 years rather than any currency anywhere in the world, gold has outperformed all these currencies,” says Stefan Wieler, Vice President of Goldmoney in this edition of Real Conversations.

read more

Exact Sciences Up +24% This Week... What's Next? | $EXAS

We remain long Exact Sciences in the Hedgeye Healthcare Position Monitor.

read more

Inside the Atlanta Fed's Flawed GDP Tracker

"The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNowcast model, while useful at amalgamating investor consensus on one singular GDP estimate for any given quarter, is certainly not the end-all-be-all of forecasting U.S. GDP," writes Hedgeye Senior Macro analyst Darius Dale.

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Acrophobia

"Most people who are making a ton of money right now are focused on growth companies seeing accelerations," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote in today's Early Look. "That’s what happens in Quad 1."

read more

People's Bank of China Spins China’s Bad-Loan Data

PBoC Deputy Governor Yi says China's non-performing loan problem has “pretty much stabilized." "Yi is spinning. China’s bad-debt problem remains serious," write Benn Steil and Emma Smith, Council on Foreign Relations.

read more

UnderArmour: 'I Am Much More Bearish Than I Was 3 Hours Ago'

“The consumer has a short memory.” Yes, Plank actually said this," writes Hedgeye Retail analyst Brian McGough. "Last time I heard such arrogance was Ron Johnson."

read more

Buffalo Wild Wings: Complacency & Lack of Leadership (by Howard Penney)

"Buffalo Wild Wings has been plagued by complacency and a continued lack of adequate leadership," writes Hedgeye Restaurants analyst Howard Penney.

read more

Todd Jordan on Las Vegas Sands Earnings

"The quarter actually beat lowered expectations. Overall, the mass segment performed well although base mass lagging is a concern," writes Hedgeye Gaming, Lodging & Leisure analyst Todd Jordan on Las Vegas Sands.

read more

An Update on Defense Spending by Lt. Gen Emo Gardner

"Congress' FY17 omnibus appropriation will fully fund the Pentagon's original budget request plus $15B of its $30B supplemental request," writes Hedgeye Potomac Defense Policy analyst Lt. Gen Emerson "Emo" Gardner USMC Ret.

read more