Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday Retail & Consumer Reads

  • Consumers Will Spend $18.6 Billion on Valentine's Day This Year (NRF)
  • The Secrets Of The Apple Store's Success (Business Insider)
  • Fasten Your Seatbelts: The Future Of Shopping Looks A Lot Like Airline Travel (FastCo)
  • Video: eBay CEO on Retail & Mobile Payments (WSJ)
  • Planned store closings grew, but fewer square feet marked for closure in 2012 (ICSC)
  • Wal-Mart: The $200 billion "locally sourced" grocer (CNN Money)
  • Mobile Coupon Redemption to Increase 50% to 10 Billion in 2013 (Juniper Research)
  • Target Shows Off Everyday Products With High Fashion Crowdsourced Runway Show (PSFK) and Target’s Pending Arrival Fuels Canadian Retail Battle (Fox Business)
  • Hong Kong Still Attracting Retailers Despite Forbidding Costs (NY Times)
  • Big-Box Backlash: The Rebirth of Mom-and-Pop Shops (Entrepreneur)
  • Kohl’s looks like attractive buyout candidate on low valuation (Bloomberg)
  • How luxury retailers can take on showrooming threat (Luxury Daily)
  • Ron Johnson Acknowledges J. C. Penney Isn’t Apple (Businessweek)
  • Infographic: How Big is E-Commerce? (POPAI)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mid-Week Reading List

  • Barnes and Noble's hardest lesson: It pays to be small (Fortune)
  • Attention shoppers: Retailers can now track you across the mall (ITworld)
  • How Pose Became the 'Instagram of Fashion' (Mashable)
  • U.S. Consumers Turn to Tablets for Shopping (ABI Research)
  • Google’s Plan to Snatch Shopping From Amazon Is Working (Wired)
  • 2013 may be one of the busiest years for retail development in a generation (SCT)
  • Chanel Sold-Out Dresses Show That Scarcity Counts (Bloomberg)
  • Affluent consumers start 2013 with dismal view of the economy & their personal financial situation (Unity Marketing)
  • Apple granted U.S. trademark for its retail store design (LA Times)
  • New Cross-Border Shopping Rules Could Be a Big Win for U.S. Retailers (Nielsen)
  • JC Penney Adds Sales Promotion Back Into the Marketing Mix (AdAge)
  • Overcoming the Challenges of Retail Wi-Fi (WSJ)
  • Analysts See the Good in Amazon’s Poor Results (NY Times)
  • Here's Where Americans Spend Their Money (Business Insider)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday News & Notes

It seems higher taxes are already starting to take a bite out of consumer spending early in the new year.

The Conference Board said this morning that its Consumer Confidence Index plunged 12% in January to the lowest level since November 2011. Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said:
"Consumer Confidence posted another sharp decline in January, erasing all of the gains made through 2012. Consumers are more pessimistic about the economic outlook and, in particular, their financial situation. The increase in the payroll tax has undoubtedly dampened consumers’ spirits and it may take a while for confidence to rebound and consumers to recover from their initial paycheck shock."
Redbook Research reported that chain store sales rose just 1.9% year-over-year in January (relative to a target of a 2.3% gain), and fell 0.5% compared to December (relative to a target of a flat reading). The report noted that some stores are transitioning from winter to spring merchandise more gradually than usual "given the increasing unwillingness of shoppers to buy ahead of need; this may mean a slow start to the spring season."

Meanwhile, the International Council of Shopping Centers said chain store sales increased just 2.0% in the latest week, the slowest pace in 11 weeks, while sales fell 1.0% from the prior week.
"Temperatures were sharply colder this past week than last year, which may have helped the clearance of seasonal apparel, but it also seemingly held back the consumers spending in most segments,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC's vice president of research and chief economist. "In addition, higher fuel prices for the week, the backdrop of higher payroll taxes and little incentive to shop during this seasonally slow period, gave consumers the excuse to spend less both sequentially and on a year-over-year basis."
Retailers should get a sales bump in the upcoming week - Redbook said "With the Super Bowl on February 3rd, big discounters are gearing up for promotions on food, beverages and big screen TV's." The National Retail Federation expects consumers to spend $12.3 billion on televisions, snacks, décor and athletic apparel for the big game this year, up from $11.0 billion last year.

We will get a much better read on January sales when 20+ chains report monthly results on February 7th, and quarterly earning start rolling in mid to late February.

Tuesday Retail & Consumer Reads:
  • Why couch commerce will thrive in 2013 (Mobile Commerce Daily)
  • Is There a Future for Same-Day Delivery? How About Online Grocery Shopping? (Time)
  • Consumer Confidence in U.S. Falls to Lowest Level Since 2011 (Conference Board)
  • Top 10 Retailers to Work For (RISNews)
  • Jos. A Bank's "buy one, get seven free" business model shows signs of cracking (Business Insider)
  • How retailers will invest now for Holiday ‘13 (
  • Why Latinos Are Leading Retail Trends (ClickZ) and Hispanics' Shopping Activity Reflects Digital Affinity (eMarketer)
  • Retail Wisdom: Lessons Learned From Holiday 2012 (Forbes)
  • Will Robots be the New Retail Store Associates? (Robin Report)
  • Can Celebrities Reverse the Fortunes of Struggling Brands? (MarketWatch)
  • Advertisers Clicking Buy Button on Google Shopping Ads (Adweek)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Retail Reads to Start Your Week

  • Three 2012 Holiday Online Shopping Trends to Follow in 2013 (AllThingsD)
  • Barnes & Noble To Shutter One-Third Of Retail Stores Over Next Decade (Reuters)
  • Retailers to start charging "checkout fee" when shoppers use credit cards (CNN Money)
  • A Look At Panera's Pay-What-You-Want Café (Businessweek)
  • Five Major Trends in Digital Consumption: Challenges & opportunities for retailers (McKinsey & Co)
  • Retail Sales Expected to Increase 3.4% in 2013 (NRF)
  • Saving Time and Money Are Key Drivers of Shopping via Mobile (MarketingProfs)
  • How Newegg crushed the "shopping cart" patent and saved online retail (Ars Technica)
  • The disappearing downtown department store (SCT)
  • Time Spent In Retailers’ Mobile Apps Grew More Than Five-Fold In A Year (TechCrunch)
  • JC Penney rolling out sales it ditched last year to lure back shoppers (AP)
  • New Online Price Trackers Alert Shoppers to Good Deals (NY Times)
  • How the Usually Dry Annual Report Has Become Brands' Secret Marketing Weapon (AdAge)
  • Technology And BIG Data Are Changing The Retail World (Forbes)

Saving Time and Money Are Key Drivers of Shopping via Mobile (MarketingProfs)

Friday, January 25, 2013

10 Friday Retail Reads

  • Is there a bubble in the luxury goods market? (Fortune)
  • 4 Paths to Minimize Showrooming, Maximize Sales (ClickZ)
  • Consumers are expected to spend $12.3 Billion for the Super Bowl this year (NRF)
  • JC Penney pushing vendors to concoct phony markups to highlight phantom low prices (NY Post)
  • The Top Ranked U.S. Brands of 2012 (BrandIndex)
  • Why the department store experience needs a serious upgrade (VentureBeat)
  • Retailers Are Using 5 Brilliant Tactics To Outsmart Amazon (Business Insider)
  • How J. Crew Rebooted its menswear business (Businessweek)
  • Retailers Know Everything Must Go Online (Barron's)
  • Social Commerce Site Wanelo Is Big With Young Shoppers (NY Times)

Apple Retail Stores By The Numbers

It seems the halo around Apple has dimmed significantly of late, as reflected by the nearly 38% dive the stock price has taken since hitting an all-time high above $700/share back in September.

Unfortunately, the company is up against the law of large numbers, as Microsoft found out over a decade ago - consider this: Apple's latest quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion is larger than the $46.0 billion Google earned for the entire year in 2012.

Bloomberg notes that Apple's profit of $40+ billion in calendar year 2012 is the highest in American history except for Exxon, and "Since 2003, the first year in which Amazon earned a profit, through the end of 2011, Amazon has reported a total of $5 billion in earnings" Yet both Amazon and Google's stock prices are at or near all-time highs.

Let's just focus on Apple's retail stores, though. For the calendar year 2012, Apple Store sales were $19.15 billion - that's bigger than JC Penney and Kohl's, both of which have over 1,1100 stores to just 400 for Apple, and represents a 40.7% 3-year compound annual growth rate.

Sales per square foot for the year declined 12% to $5,176, but the figure is still more than 60% higher than its closest rival (Tiffany & Co.) and by far the highest of any American retailer. Though partly due to slower sales growth - only 16.8% in 2012 following growth of 40.4% and 69.7% in the prior 2 years - it also reflects the fact that average store size has increased to over 10,500 square feet from from 7,500 square feet 3 years ago.

And consider this: Apple's Fifth Ave store in New York City generates $500 million in annual sales, for an incredible $25,000 in sales per square foot.
  • By comparison, Tiffany's flagship store (which is more than double the size of the Apple Store) generates $300 million in annual sales, for sales per square foot of $6,600.
  • Bergdorf Goodman (which is more than 15 times the size of the Apple Store) generates $545 million in annual sales, for sales per square foot of $1,700.
  • Saks 5th Ave flagship store (which is more than 32 times the size of the Apple Store) generates $660 million in annual sales, for sales per square foot of $1,000.
Overall, for calendar year 2013, the average Apple store generated $51.1 million in sales, or nearly $1 million in sales per week; and stores drew 383 million visitors, for an average of over 1 million visitors per store, or more than 19,600 visitors per store every week.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday Retail Reads

  • Retailers Must Evolve with Changing Shopping Habits (Chain Store Age)
  • U.S. Consumers Want Brands They Know And Trust (Nielsen)
  • Retailers Conjure Virtual Models (WSJ)
  • Coach Lacking Brand Personality Seen as Hindering Growth (Bloomberg)
  • Three Ways Retailers Are Fighting Back Against Showrooming (Minyanville) and 5 Retail Technology Approaches to Combat Showrooming (HuffPost)
  • Retail Leasing Fundamentals Improving at a Glacial Pace (Retail Traffic)
  • Retailers to Spend $55 Billion Annually on Mobile Marketing by 2015 (Juniper Research)
  • Retailers Embrace Data Tools for Rapid-Fire Price Changes (AdAge)
  • Do consumers really want same-day shipping? (Internet Retailer)
  • Pivoting From Auctioneers To Online Sellers--eBay Takes On Amazon (FastCo)
  • Do consumers really want same-day shipping? (Internet Retailer)
  • Trouble Looms for World's Biggest Retail Middleman (CNBC)
  • 10 Apps That Changed How We Think About Shopping (Business Insider)
  • The Tough Business Of Online Commerce (WSJ)

StoreIntel Research: Jan 22nd Mall Walk

  • Gap (GPS) - We focused our efforts towards Old Navy. After visiting 3 locations, we are very comfortable with their inventory levels and their strength in sales. We sense that cold weather product is at a minimum, and that denim is a strength. We want to take note of the regular price business they are currently running in this category, as we feel this bodes well for gross margins. New floor sets are being rolled out Thursday, and we look forward to evaluating spring assortments.
  • American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) - If only they were not up against a plus 17% comp, we would be all over this name. Their assortments for spring are outstanding. They have made a very clear message that the traditional t-shirt, hoodie, jean look from years past in no longer the standard uniform for this customer, and are also very aware of the push-back in logo wear. Their outstanding assortments of both printed bottoms and tops in multiple fabrications make this a very exciting time and transition for American Eagle. If the company can meet their plus 17 comp for this month, watch out…the eagle will fly for spring!!!
  • Aeropostale (ARO) - Ohhhh boy,watch out below!!! Our impression is they have lost their way - the product feels wrong, too much of the same old looks, too may logo t's and not enough newness. More to follow after our in depth analysis next week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mid-Week Reading List

  • Consumer Products Industry Expects Sales in Warehouse Club Stores to Outpace Other Retail Channels (Deloitte)
  • Coach Shares Plunge on Tough Holiday Quarter (AP)
  • Developers are converting unproductive malls into outlet centers (SCT)
  • Target Introduces Six New Brands...That You Can’t Buy in Stores (Time)
  • The Funnel We Need: Follow Customers as They Actually Behave (AdAge)
  • Amazon Sets Up (Really Big) Shop to Get You Your Stuff Faster (Wired)
  • Retailers to Ring Up Sales Via Mobile (WSJ)
  • Why big-box retail needs a serious upgrade (VentureBeat)
  • Chain store sales point to a hit from tax hike (Reuters)
  • Are Shopping Apps Taking on the Role of Catalogs? (eMarketer)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Retail Reads to Start Your Holiday-Shortened Week

  • As shoppers take to the Internet, retail salespeople pay the price (CNN Money)
  • HSN transforms from a struggling TV Cinderella into a glittering multi-platform princess (Think With Google)
  • Made in USA makes comeback as a marketing tool (USA Today)
  • Five tips for small retailers to grow their brands (Retail's BIG Blog)
  • More Shoppers Reach for Mobile to Browse and Buy (eMarketer)
  • Brands and Retailers Top Celebrities for Most Followers on Social Media (WSL/Strategic Retail)
  • China's metrosexual men revive luxury shopping (Reuters)
  • Marketers, Retailers to Feel Sting of Consumer Paycheck Pinch (AdAge)
  • The Target invasion: How pricing will be key to Canadian success (Globe and Mail) and Wal-Mart expanding in Canada, girds for battle with Target (Globe and Mail)
  • Winter Blues Means Peak Season for Retail Therapy (Time)
  • 3 Major Tech Trends Transforming The Retail Landscape (Forbes)
  • Crate & Barrel Shares Shoppable Stories In Its New Catalogue (PSFK)
  • Retailers Build on Success of Designer Collaborations (LA Times)

More Shoppers Reach for Mobile to Browse and Buy (eMarketer)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Reading List

  • E-commerce will make the shopping mall a retail wasteland (ZDNet)
  • Lululemon plans ‘substantial investment’ in menswear (Financial Post)
  • Made in America gains fashion with luxury brands (MarketWatch)
  • REITs Ditching Failing Shopping Malls (SF Chronicle)
  • Luxury stores pop up in hotels for inauguration (USA Today)
  • Abe's Market Aims To Be Amazon of Natural Products, With a Human Touch (FastCo)
  • Showrooming Becoming a Mainstream Retail Practice (Nasdaq)
  • Consumer Sentiment Index Unexpectedly Falls to One-Year Low (Bloomberg)
  • 3 Innovative Menswear Retailers For The Digital Age (Robin Report)
  • Retailers want a bigger piece of America's growing health care market (HuffPost)
  • Will 2013 be a year of deals in retail sector? (MarketWatch)
  • Behind The Scenes, MyWebGrocer Helps Turn Supermarkets Virtual (Businessweek)
  • Eight Retail CEOs Reveal Top Goals For 2013 (Forbes)
  • Wal-Mart gets schooled: Retailer expands tiny on-campus format (NBC News)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thursday Retail Reads

  • Retailers taking tech battle for shoppers to next level (Reuters)
  • Google Gets Nice Holiday Surprise From Its Controversial New 'Shopping Ads' (AdAge)
  • More Luxury Shoppers Use Mobile, But Prove Harder to Please Overall (ForeSee)
  • Latin America is the hottest region for retail development in 2013 (SCT)
  • After a blowout fourth quarter, 2013 will be the year that eBay invades retail (Quartz)
  • Consumers prefer tablets to smartphones for shopping and buying (MediaPost)
  • Is Cerberus’ Supervalu Acquisition a Pure Real Estate Play? (Retail Traffic)
  • U.S. Consumers Reward Toy Industry With Strong Finish to 2012 Holiday Season (NPD Group)
  • Barnes & Noble, the Last Big Bookseller Standing: But for How Long? (Knowledge@Wharton)
  • Mobile Commerce to Quadruple to $31 Billion in Next 5 Years (Mashable)
  • J Crew’s Mickey Drexler on the elephant lurking in the luxury industry room (FT)
  • In-store shoppers likely to head online next time they buy (Chicago Tribune)
  • Lululemon had strong traffic, but some product 'misses' this holiday season (Reuters)

Mobile Commerce to Quadruple to $31 Billion in Next 5 Years (Mashable)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mid-Week Reading List

  • Retailers to consumers: We’ll be watching you (MarketWatch)
  • How Dr. Dre Made $300 Headphones a Must-Have Accessory (Time)
  • Study Shows Shoppers Poised to Dramatically Expand Purchasing Power Beyond the Store (IBM)
  • Investors Strip Malls Off Shopping Lists (WSJ)
  • Personalized merchandise key to helping retailers differentiate themselves (Bloomberg)
  • People 'like' more brands than ever on Facebook, but engagement is lacking (Adweek)
  • Catch and Keep Digital Shoppers: How To Deliver Retail Their Way (Cisco)
  • How Mobile Technology Is Revolutionizing In-Store Shopping (CNBC)
  • Online leaders of the pack: Lessons from Amazon, Nordstrom and Walmart (
  • The 2013 Global Powers of Retailing (Deloitte)
  • What Facebook’s new search engine means for retailers (Internet Retailer)
  • Luxury retailers leading the way with in-store technology (The Guardian)
  • Shoppers Say Make My Retail Experience ‘Good for Me’ (Oracle)

Shoppers Poised to Dramatically Expand Purchasing Power Beyond the Store (IBM)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday News & Notes

The Dept. of Commerce reported this morning that overall December retail sales came in better than expected, up a seasonally adjusted 0.5% following a 0.4% gain in the prior month. Overall, sales were up 5.2% for the full year after a 7.9% rise in 2011.

However, if we look at total unadjusted holiday season (Nov-Dec) spending (excluding autos, gas stations and restaurants), we see that results come in a bit light compared to analyst estimates, increasing only 2.7% vs projections of a 4-4.5% increase.

Not surprisingly, non-store retailers (which include online and catalog chains) were by far the best performers - comScore reported that total online spending for the 2-month period increased 14% to $42.3 billion.

There's no doubt uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff hit consumer confidence in the latter half of December, and with tax hikes beginning to crimp' paychecks early this year, shoppers will continue to be cautious with their spending as we head into the spring selling season.

Tuesday Retail & Consumer Reads:

  • Wearable tech will become a $6 billion global market by 2016 (FT)
  • Wal-Mart pledges to hire veterans, increase sourcing from US suppliers over next decade (WaPost)
  • Pinning Down The Value Of Pinterest For Retail (MediaPost)
  • The Dawn of Mobile Influence: Discovering the value of mobile in retail (Deloitte)
  • The consumer technology trends that will matter most in 2013 (VentureBeat)
  • The Big Squeeze: How to Counter E-Commerce’s Pinch on Small Retail Shops (CoStar Group)
  • Is Target's Price Matching Policy a Mistake? (HBR)
  • The Biggest Winners in Retail? Consumers, Hands Down (HuffPost)
  • New Platform Wants To Turn The Order Confirmation Page Into A Social Commerce Opportunity (TechCrunch)
  • Top 15 Trends in Customer Service for 2013 (Forrester)
  • Can doing good be good for retailers’ bottom line? (MarketWatch)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Retail Reads to Start Your Week

  • Swatch buying luxury jeweler Harry Winston (Reuters)
  • The Guys Behind Google Wallet Want to Personalize Your Next Shopping Trip (Wired)
  • Products men are too ashamed to buy at the store (MarketWatch)
  • Canada: Target's next bull's-eye (Star Tribune)
  • Retailers are finally starting to get the hang of social (Internet Retailer)
  • The Simple Concept That Could Change The Way Men Buy Dress Shirts (Business Insider)
  • Retailers Fear Payroll Tax Will Cut Consumer Spending (WSJ)
  • Nearly 8 Out of 10 Shoppers Use the Internet to Purchase & Research Products (Cisco)
  • PayPal Expands Retail Store Payments Service (AP)
  • Retail Imports To Increase 2.3% In January As Port Strike Threat Continues (NRF)
  • Why Is Walgreens Selling Sushi? The Changing Business of Drugstores (Time)
  • Role reversal? Online fashion goes offline (The Guardian)
  • Rough Earnings Stretch Makes Tiffany & Co. Attractive Takeover Target (Bloomberg)
  • How technology is closing the gap between mature and emerging retail markets (Retail's BIG Blog)
  • 2013 Could Be the Year eBay Takes on Amazon for Real (Wired)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Reading List

  • Do People Actually Shop on Phones? The Answer is Decidedly Yes (NY Times)
  • Holiday PC sales dip for first time in 5 years, post first annual decline since 2001 (Huffington Post)
  • Convenience Trumps Price For Shoppers Both In-Store And Online (Continuum)
  • Supervalu selling five grocery chains to investor group (CNBC)
  • 'Flash sales' sites outpace e-commerce over holidays (Reuters)
  • Barnes & Noble Store Closings Likely as Chain Faces Uphill Battle with Digital Competitors (Retail Traffic)
  • This Is the Future of Shopping (Mashable)
  • Walgreen Ready To 'Blur Retail Channels' In Stores Across U.S (Forbes)
  • Tablets Could - And Should - Be Driving Even More Of The 'M-Commerce' Charge (MediaPost)
  • British Department Store Makes Life Quieter With 'Debranded' Products (Adweek)
  • I'm Not Your Consumer: How Research Misses The Human Behind The Demographic (FastCo Create)
  • Could 2013 Be the Year That Customer Service Gets Better? (Time)
  • It’s Retailer vs. Retailer in Internet Sales Tax Push (Businessweek)
  • Samsung’s Transparent Screen Is The Retail Window Of The Future (PSFK)

Another Interesting Comparison of Black Friday vs Cyber Monday from SAP (click below for giant infographic):

StoreIntel Recap January 11, 2013

  • Aeropostale, American Eagle - We were not surprised by the holiday reports from both ARO and AEO yesterday. We have been a major advocate for AEO on the positive side since our December 18th mall walk, having reiterated our stance again on December 31st. ARO is going to the well much too often with uninspired styling, and we see no noticeable product improvement on the horizon. We remain negative on the name for the foreseeable future - at least through the end of March, unless some significant improvement occurs in their assortment very soon. The production cycle is at a minimum 90-120 days for off-shore product (ARO produces almost all their product off-shore), and with very little inspiring product in their resort groupings, we have our reservations that their first spring roll-out will be dramatically different. AEO, on the other hand, commented on the strong response to spring 2013 assortment to date, and we feel this will only improve as we move forward into the spring season. While the stock has responded negatively on a top line sales and margin issue, American Eagle is in very good shape to grab additional shares of this teen sector.
  • Ascena Retail Group - This is a name we have been working diligently on with our clients. We have been disappointed with their holiday assortments, particularly at Lane Bryant, Catherines and Dress Barn. These three divisions rely on a strong holiday to give them the right direction for their spring product. Holiday 2011 was a resounding success for them, with a plus 10 comp and set up for a very strong 2012. A complete reorganization of the merchandising teams at Dress Barn, which included elimination of their plus size team, has had a negative effect. The introduction of the “ali and roz” label has created some confusion amongst their customers. Both Lane Bryant and Catherines are working too independently of the market. All product is done in house, and we feel lacks the connection to their core customer. Dress Barn’s success historically has been in part due to their close relationships with the market. Their use of domestic resources has kept their assortment s current and on trend. We would like to sit on the sideline with ASNA for the time being.
  • JC Penney - As we had stated in our mall walk of December 18th we are extremely negative on the name. We would not be surprised from our research to see JCP comp even worse than Q3 which was a negative 26.6%. We don’t see any reason on the near term to become excited about this name.

Updated Holiday Scorecard

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

10 Mid-Week Retail Reads

  • Amazon's Jeff Bezos Doesn't Care About Profit Margins (Businessweek) and Why Jeff Bezos is Our Greatest Living CEO (Forbes)
  • Paper Catalogs Influenced Holiday Shopping Behavior More than Social Media (Baynote)
  • The Top Ten Burning Issues in Digital (comScore)
  • Why Gift Cards May Be Dying Trend (CNBC)
  • Tractor Supply Co. CEO shares how to keep a classic brand recession-proof (Retail's BIG Blog)
  • 5 Ways Small Retailers Can Compete (& Win) (Inc.)
  • What's Trending in the Retail Industry in 2013 (AdAge)
  • Infographic: Moms' Mobile Shopping Skyrocketed in 2012 (Mashable)
  • U.S. Retail Shopping Center Demand Slows Amid Sluggish Job Growth (Bloomberg)

Moms' Mobile Shopping Skyrocketed in 2012 (Mashable)

StoreIntel Recap & Other Thoughts

  • Gap---we were a contrarian on this name, as we have been bullish on this name since our initial mall walk on December 18th. At that time GPS was trading at $32.02. We reiterated our strong feeling towards the name as late as 12/28/12 when the stock dropped to $30.43. We again reiterated our call prior to comps, which saw GPS beat expectations with a plus 5 on top of a minus 4 for 2011. We were very bullish on the Old Navy division which posted a very strong plus 12 comp. The stock rose to a high on 1-3-13 of $32.56.
  • TJX and Ross Stores - Another win for StoreIntel. As we worked with our clients, we were very bullish on these two names all through the month of December. Ross Stores posted a plus 6 on comp day with a raise on q4 guidance while TJX also posted an impressive plus 6. We are still very positive on these two names.
  • Abercomribe & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters and Aeropostale - The teen space completed a very competitive holiday season. As we previously reported, our two favorites in this space are ANF and AEO. We feel that ANF is the best in class with controlled promotions through the holiday period. We were very impressed with continual refreshing new product as we moved through the month. Their new receipts of printed denim and dyed to match knit and woven tops were outstanding. American eagle was a half a step behind but also showed controlled promotions and an excellent flow of new items through the holiday period. ARO, on the other hand, we strongly feel had a lackluster holiday period with concern on our part regarding their margins through the holiday period. We will get a better feel when these 3 teen chains report tomorrow morning – stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Reading List

Several chains reported holiday results this morning, and we have updated our scorecard below. Here are the top retail and consumer reads on our radar today:

  • How The E-Commerce Revolution Is Changing Everything We Know About Retail (Business Insider)
  • Target unveils year-round online price match (USA Today)
  • When Doing Good to Drive Sales, Authenticity Matters (eMarketer)
  • Walmart tests same-day delivery via UPS (FT)
  • How e-retailers boosted holiday sales (Internet Retailer)
  • Retail Legend Terry Lundgren, The Maestro of Macy's (Barron's)
  • Retail Chains' Race for Russia (Knowledge@Wharton)
  • Sears Holdings CEO Lou D’Ambrosio stepping down after less than 2 years, Lampert to take over (Bloomberg)
  • Why Shoppers Just Can’t Resist Clearance Sales (Time)
  • Michael Kors Leads The Way For Thriving Luxury Market (IBD)
  • 7 Uses for Failing Shopping Malls (The Atlantic Cities)
  • Will New Disruptive Pricing Strategies Help Retailers Combat Showrooming? (Robin Report)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Retail Reads to Start Your Week

  • The changing consumer-retailer relationship (The Guardian)
  • Target's New Ad Campaign Puts The Grocery Aisle In The Spotlight (AP)
  • Retailers' holiday hiring was highest in six years (NBC News)
  • How REI Put A Bow On Social Marketing And Wowed Customers (Fast Company)
  • Reviving brands that aren't quite forgotten (LA Times)
  • Consumers Want Mobile-Enhanced Retail (MediaPost)
  • How Omnichannel Strategy Helped Fatten Macy’s Holiday Margins (WSJ)
  • Children's clothing companies now designing for grown-ups (Star Tribune)
  • Apple Can't Afford Buyer's Remorse With Next Retail Hire (AllThingsD)
  • Look, No Hands! E-Commerce's Favorite Little Robot (Businessweek)
  • Fashion and technology have been intertwined for more than two centuries (FT)
  • Amazon: A trend-setter for the long term (Globe and Mail)
  • Guys and Dollars: How Groceries, Barbies, Fashion and More Are Being Marketed to Men (Time)
  • Consumers are becoming ‘digital omnivores’ (VentureBeat)
  • Can Facebook Rival Amazon, EBay in E-Commerce? (Bloomberg)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Reading List

While early indications showed holiday sales tracking the weakest since 2008, it seems last-minute deals lured reluctant shoppers - the consensus seems to be results were not as bad as feared (AP, Bloomberg, Reuters) - "Expectations were so incredibly low," said Pamela Quintiliano, a retail analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. "It’s not that things are robust, it’s just a little bit better than what people had anticipated." See graphic below for overall holiday season (combine Nov-Dec) results for those chains that have reported.
  • 20 Ideas Worth Stealing in 2013 (STORES)
  • U.S. Online Holiday Spending Grew 14% to $42.3 Billion (comScore)
  • Interview: Jeff Bezos on Leading for the Long-Term at Amazon (HBR)
  • Quirky kiosk restaurants drawing in mall shoppers (Boston Globe)
  • Gap to Buy Women's Luxury Fashion Retailer Intermix (WSJ)
  • How to Attract Millennials, the Future of Retail (A Smarter Planet)
  • Online Shopping: More Popular (Yet Less Satisfying) Than Ever (Time)
  • eBay Tries Two New Ways to Sell: Drop-Off Points and Home Pick-Up (AllThingsD)
  • Overall Consumer Electronics Holiday Sales Declined 7% (NPD)
  • ‘Seeing-eye’ mannequins tracking shoppers’ habits (MSNBC)
  • How To Plan For Mobile Commerce Beyond The Holidays (FastCo)
  • Apple Patent Application Gives A Glimpse At The Computer Brain Running Its Retail Stores (TechCrunch)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Retail Reads To Start The Year

  • Epic Retail Fail: Where Did the Target + Neiman Marcus Collection Go Wrong? (Time)
  • Online Sales May Decide If It Was a Naughty or Nice Holiday (CNBC)
  • Polaroid's Comeback Includes Planned Opening of Experiential Retail Stores (TechCrunch)
  • Sneaky Ways That Big Retailers Track Customers (Business Insider)
  • Malls make up the changing face of Russian retail (NY Times)
  • Retailers' loyalty programs popular with consumers (Minnesota Public Radio)
  • How Fab Reached 10 Million Members In Just 18 Months (GigaOM)
  • Dressed to Kill: More Men Are Turning To Bespoke Wardrobes (Bloomberg)
  • Smartphones turn into personal shopping assistants (Internet Retailer)
  • What fiscal cliff? U.S. holiday shoppers shrug off budget debate (Reuters)
  • Top 10 Brands Excelling at Digital Engagement (POPAI)
  • How Target Uses Design To Get You To Buy More (Businessweek)