Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday Retail Reading List

  • Walmart vs. Amazon in Online Groceries: Who Has the Edge? (Knowledge@Wharton)
  • Consumers Shop Convenience Stores As Regularly As Supermarkets (Imprint Plus)
  • 12 Digital Technologies Retailers Are Investing In (Mashable)
  • Dropping Its Founder and Spokesman, Men’s Wearhouse Goes After Millennials (Time)
  • Tweens Have a Big Say in Household Spending (Adweek)
  • Who are the Millennial shoppers? And what do they really want? (Accenture)
  • Fab’s Ascent to $1 Billion Valuation Brings Missteps (Bloomberg)
  • Mohegan Sun gambles on $50M retail project (Boston Herald)
  • Spring Holiday Shopping Data and Insights For Brick-and-Mortar Retail (RetailNext)
  • Neiman Marcus: Good Things Come in Smaller Spaces (CoStar Group)
  • How Mobile Is Shaping Global Digital Behavior (eMarketer)
  • Walmart Gets a Boost From Local Price-Comparison Ads (AdAge)
  • Square Takes On PayPal Online (WSJ) and Square’s New Online Stores Could Make Twitter Where You Shop (Wired)
  • Can Samsung’s Retail Stores Rival Apple’s? (PSFK)
  • How Risky Is Discounting for New E-Commerce Brands? (AllThingsD)
  • Storefront raises $1.6M to fill unused retail space with pop-up shops (Reuters)
  • Up Close With Kate Spade Saturday's Digital Window Shops (Mashable)
  • Nordstrom: Old-School Department Store or Tech Incubator? Or Both? (Businessweek)
  • How US economy is impacting back-to-school spending (Retail's BIG Blog)
  • As Nook sales tumble 34%, Barnes & Noble rethinks tablet strategy (CNN Money)

Quick View: Office Supplies Stores by the Numbers

Monday, June 24, 2013

Retail Reads to Start Your Week

  • Twitter is Developing Geo-Targeted Ads for Retailers (AdAge)
  • Staples' Omnichannel Stores Showcase The Future Of Retail (Boston Globe)
  • CPG companies and retailers shift focus to new rules of consumer engagement (PwC)
  • This ex-Amazon engineer wants to outsmart Jeff Bezos (Fortune)
  • Big Storefronts Now Housing Big Data: Trend of Filling Empty Big-Boxes with Non-Traditional Tenants (CoStar)
  • Wal-Mart Plays Catch-Up With Amazon (WSJ)
  • Affluent Shopping Index Shows Activity Across Wealthiest Segments Retmains Strong (Martini Media)
  • To boost digital sales, Best Buy turns to its stores (Star Tribune)
  • Mobile Shopping's Data Goldmine (HBR)
  • 88% of Americans Who Shop on Their Smartphones Experience Negative Issues, With 30% Never Coming Back (Skava)
  • The fast rise of Japanese retailer Uniqlo (CBS News)
  • Millennial Guys' Growing Love Affair With Grooming Products (Adweek)
  • Online Retailer Fab Earns $1 Billion Valuation in Latest Funding Round (Reuters)
  • E-commerce and the global battle for Internet economics (Fortune)
  • Retailers: Embrace the Smartphone-Browsing Consumer (Businessweek)
  • Outlet Malls Draw Chinese Shoppers (WSJ)
  • Role reversal: Online retailers seek physical stores (Star Tribune) and Online retailers hone in on mobile data via bricks-and-mortar stores (Mobile Commerce Daily)
  • Fashion & Retail Workers Increasingly Dissatisfied With Their Jobs (WWD)
  • Mobile Coupons Increase Likelihood of In-Store Purchases (RetailMeNot)

Monday's Retail Quick Fact: Direct-to-consumer (catalog & online) sales at Urban Outfitters comprise 23.7% of total revenues, up from 13.6% five years ago. Since 2007, DTC sales have grown at a compound annual rate of 26.4% compared to a CAGR of 8.0% for retail store sales.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday Morning Retail Reads

  • Google points to in-store phone use to urge retailers to get mobile (
  • Why the Mall Will Never Die (The Atlantic)
  • Clothing Companies Size Up Online Push (WSJ)
  • How Kate Spade Is Plotting To Win The Retail Revolution (Business Insider)
  • Many Teens Shop Online, But Most Prefer The Store (Pew Research Center)
  • The Marketer's Guide to Reaching Millennials (Adweek)
  • How online-only retailers can sell in the physical world (Bazaarvoice)
  • Turning Old Kmarts Into Data Centers And Disaster Recovery Spaces (FastCo)
  • Lululemon Plans Men’s Stores by 2016 in Bid to Maintain Growth (Bloomberg)
  • South America Tops For Global Retail Development (AT Kearney)
  • Best Buy Likes the Allure of Smaller-Box Retail (Businessweek)
  • Affluent Shoppers Make Mobile an Essential Stop in the Purchase Funnel (eMarketer)
  • Escalating Consumer Confidence Bodes Well for Retail Real Estate (Marcus & Millichap)
  • 2013 Retail Industry Outlook Survey (KPMG)
  • Led by 70% Growth in Department Store Membership, Retail Flexes Its Loyalty Marketing Muscles (PYMNTS)
  • The Amazon Bundle: Why the Retail Giant Is Like the Cable Company of the Future (The Atlantic)
  • Retailers Target Underserved Plus-Size Market (WSJ)

Tuesday's Retail Quick Fact: Revenues at newly public Restoration Hardware grew by 24.0% compounded annually over the past 3 years to $1.19 billion in 2012. Retail sales per square foot jumped 38.3% from the prior year to $741 in 2012, and more than doubled from just $331 in 2009. TTM sales per sq ft through the first quarter of fiscal 2013 reached $777, up 34.9% from the prior-year period.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Quick View: JC Penney & Kohl's

Our thinking concerning these two names is that as JC Penney gets back on track, we believe that Kohl's might be the top candidate to soften as a result. Through last weekend, we feel JCP has seen a significant improvement in their comps following 5 consecutive quarters of high double-digit declines. We would like to begin to provide charts for your reference that gives a sense of the fundamental and technical direction of the two names side by side.

We would welcome your thoughts on this type of analysis in hopes of making these charts an addition to our StoreIntel insights..

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday's BIG Retail Reading List

  • The Secret to Costco's Success: The Cheapest, Happiest Company in the World (Businessweek)
  • SoHo Gives a Glimpse of the Retail Store of the Future (Mashable)
  • Wal-Mart's everyday hiring strategy: Add more temps (Reuters)
  • Welcome home: 'Made in USA' on the rise (NBC News)
  • Despite Retailers Best Efforts, The Showrooming Trend Is Not Slowing Down (Harris Interactive)
  • The Mobile Shopping Life Cycle (HBR)
  • Lululemon Facing Downward as Troubles Mount on CEO Exit (Bloomberg)
  • The Rise of Swanky Store Brands (Time)
  • Five tips for converting the last-minute Father’s Day shopper (
  • Why Stores Should Behave More like Online Retailers (Kurt Salmon)
  • Wealthy expected to spend less on stuff they don't need (CNN Money) and 75% of affluent consumers will purchase apparel in coming year, but becoming more value-conscious (Luxury Daily)
  • One Third of Grocery Shoppers Use Mobile in Stores (Supermarket News)
  • The Container Store Finds Success by Keeping it Simple (Businessweek)
  • How Geography Affects Social and Online Shopping Habits Worldwide (Adweek)
  • Customer Clout: The Growing Power Of Consumer Reviews (CNBC)
  • New Gilt Groupe CEO on New Business Ideas, the Flash-Sales Bubble and a Future IPO (AllThingsD)
  • Are Brands Required to Market to Everyone? (FastCo)
  • Retailers Remain Cautious On Merchandise Imports (NRF)
  • Groceries Could Be Amazon's Next Killer App...If It Can Solve the Math (Wired) and Chanel For Cheap? Why Department Stores Should Fear Amazon's Beauty Push (Forbes)
  • Young consumers voracious users of mobile retail apps (Chain Store Age)

Quick View: Retail Sales Strong in May

Retail sales in the U.S. posted better than expected gains in May as auto purchases soared, and an improving housing market continues to bolster home improvement spending.

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that Advance Estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services sales for May increased 0.6% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $421.1 billion, while sales rose 4.3% compared to the year-ago period. Year-over-year, this was the 43rd straight monthly rise and the strongest gain since January.

Total sales excluding autos were up 3.4% compared to last May and rose 0.3% from the prior month, while total sales less autos and gas stations showed a 4.2% year-on-year increase, as moderating prices at the pump helped boost discretionary spending power.

8 of 13 sectors posted growth over the prior month, led by Motor Vehicle & Parts Dealers (+1.8% MoM / +8.5% YoY), Building Material and Garden Equipment & Supplies Dealers (+0.9% MoM / +10.1% YoY), Miscellaneous Store Retailers (+1.2% MoM / +8.1% YoY) and Non-Store Retailers (+0.7% MoM / +11.3% YoY).

However, weakness was still apparent in discretionary categories, such as Electronics & Appliance Stores (-0.4% MoM / -0.5% YoY), Furniture & Home Furnishings Stores (-0.8% MoM / -0.5% YoY), General Merchandise Stores (-1.2% MoM / -4.9% YoY), Clothing & Accessories Stores (-0.2% MoM / +3.8% YoY) and most especially at Department Stores (-0.2% MoM / -3.9% YoY), which have posted 9 consecutive months of year-over-year declines and haven't posted an annual sales gain since 2004.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Retail & Consumer Reads

  • eBay To Make True Window Shopping A Reality With New NYC Virtual Retail Stores (TechCrunch)
  • A Look at Men's Favorite Places to Shop (Business Insider)
  • 62% of omnichannel shoppers’ spend is on premium luxury (Luxury Daily)
  • Etsy CEO talks offline retail, people power and 3D printers as the new sewing machines (The Guardian)
  • Hong Kong Is Top Target For New Retail Entrants (CBRE)
  • Another E-Commerce Experiment in Brick and Mortar (Businessweek)
  • Father's Day Spending Expected To Grow Slightly This Year to $13.3 Billion (NRF)
  • Wal-Mart says U.S. shoppers resilient, small businesses strapped (Reuters)
  • 2013 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study (J.D. Power & Associates)
  • The Glorious Future of Shopping (Slate)
  • Digital-First Millennials Put a Premium on Value, Engagement (eMarketer)
  • Retailers report modest same-store sales gains for May (AP)
  • Therapist Enlisted To Help J.C. Penney Employees Cope: Compares Retailer’s Past 17 Months To 9/11 (BuzzFeed)
  • Q&A With Zappos Labs on the Future of Shopping (Mashable)
  • Insights on the Behaviors and Attitudes of Digitally Active Grocery Shoppers (MyWebGrocer)
  • AT&T’s flagship store highlights retail tech innovations (STORES)
  • From Clicks to Bricks, How E-Commerce is Influencing Retail (Nielsen)
  • The Power of Personalized Customer Relationships (Knowledge@Wharton)
  • Luxury Sales Wane as Taxes Bite U.S. High Earners (Businessweek)
  • Amazon's Grocery Delivery: A Trojan Horse To Get In Your Door (NPR) and What's Behind the Rush Into the Low-Margin Grocery Business (CNBC)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Big Mid-Week Reading List

  • U.S. Retailers Will Shape the Future of Canadian Shopping (Colliers)
  • Study Illuminates the Evolving Role of Digital in the Consumer Journey (GroupM Next)
  • Why Abercrombie & Fitch (Almost) Never Puts Anything On Sale (FastCo)
  • Retailers Fight for Relevance in the Teen Space (CNBC)
  • Can mobile reinvigorate traditional department stores? (Mobile Commerce Daily)
  • Retail Industry Maintains Digital Ad Spend Lead (eMarketer)
  • BaubleBar is becoming the first go-to destination for affordable jewelry (Business Insider)
  • Retailers Use Technology to Get a Leg Up With Customers (Robin Report)
  • Chinese tourists power-shopping in U.S. (Seattle Times)
  • Brick and Mortars (Still) Can't Beat the Web on Price (HBR)
  • J.C. Penney Continuing Ron Johnson’s Vision on the Cheap (Bloomberg) and J.C. Penney Opts for Toned Down Renovation Plan (AdAge)
  • The Myth of the Omnichannel Retailer (WSJ)
  • How Our Lust for Stuff Is Making the Whole World Your Mall (Wired)
  • Beyond Price: Comparison Shopping 2.0 Is About Customer Experience (AllThingsD)
  • Walgreens opens decked-out urban flagships (USA Today)
  • How Brands are Digitizing Retail: The Store of the Future Has Arrived (and No, It's not Apple) (Adweek)
  • The Local Shopper’s Digital Path to Purchase (POPAI)
  • Amazon plans major move into grocery business (Reuters)
  • Study Shows More Consumers Prefer Online Shopping (UPS/comScore)
  • Self-Service Shopping Grows in Popularity (Cisco)
  • Why Google Needs Shopping to Save Search (Wired) and Google Is Learning How Smartphones Impact In-Store Shopping (FastCo)

Wednesday's Retail Quick Fact: From 2007 to 2012, Michael Kors grew total revenue from $313 million to $2.18 billion, for a 5-year CAGR of 47.5%.

During the same period, KORS increased its store footprint from 48 locations to 304 stores globally and retail store sales grew from just $64 million to $1.06 billion, for an incredible 5-yr CAGR of 75.6%; sales per square foot grew from just $685 in 2007 to $1,702 in 2012.

Retail & Consumer Trend Update

Though the universe of companies reporting continues to shrink, we will get a decent picture of consumer spending trends as about 15 retailers will report May same-store sales tomorrow morning.

Consumers entered 2013 with a tight hold on their wallets in the face of headwinds including high gas prices, delayed tax refunds and higher payroll taxes, but the last few months have brought some relief as the job, housing and stock markets have all continued to improve.

Retail Sales

The ICSC said chain store sales rose 1.9% from the prior week and jumped 4.3% year-over-year during the Memorial Day week, the best gain in over a year, "most likely driven by holiday sales, the release of some pent‐up demand and stronger high‐income household confidence."

the ICSC-GS consumer tracking survey found that demand was steady, but good, at department stores, but weaker at apparel and furniture stores. However, business was impressively strong at discounters, dollar stores, wholesale clubs, electronics stores and extremely strong at specialty stores such as book and jewelry stores.
"The weekly sales pace has been volatile for quite some weeks battered by weather and economic uncertainty, so this week’s strengthening may not last," said Michael Niemira, ICSC's vice president of research and chief economist. "Overall it was a good way to end the fiscal month, however, time will tell if the overall strengthening will continue in the coming weeks."
According to Weather Trends International, average national temperatures for the week were a negligible 0.1°F colder than last year, but 1.6°F above its long‐term trend. The was the 5th straight week temps were above the long-term trend.

WTI observed that "the eastern half of the nation went from the ice box with snow in New England early in the week to the frying pan later as the first official heat wave of the year brought high temperatures into the 90s. After very poor summer category sales over the holiday weekend, the hot weather by the end of the week brought a huge turnaround in demand for air conditioners, fans, bottled water, pool supplies and suncare."

Despite adverse weather conditions in April, consumer pent‐up demand and a stronger lift from the wealth effect (from upward trending housing and stock prices adding to home and portfolio value) helped to lift performance. ICSC anticipates that May sales will increase by 2%-3% in total (and approximately 3% to 4% less drug stores).

Redbook Research reported that same-store sales rose 2.9% over the prior year last week and were up 2.7% for the month over last year, or 0.6% higher relative to April, in line with targets.