Black Friday: Bullseye Rings Bell | Wmart: Cuts 30 in China, Expands Lockers


Today: Brian Cornell (and Bullseye!) to Ring Opening Bell at NYSETo commemorate the start of the holiday shopping season, Cornell will join other executives and store leaders to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. The group will have two special guests: the young star of Target’s holiday TV commercials and Bullseye, Target’s bull terrier mascot.” Read the release


“Santa Ana girl, star of Target holiday ad, will open stock exchange on Black Friday” by Marla Jo Fisher at Orange County Register. “Tatum is really one of the stars of the spot, so we knew we wanted her there,” (Kristy) Welker said. Tatum’s dad, Bryce Bailey, said all four of his children have acted at various times. Target paid to fly the entire family to New York on Tuesday night and put them up in a hotel until Friday’s big event…“And we’re going to see the Rockettes,” Tatum said. “ Read more


“Walmart Statement on 2014 Early Black Friday Results” “More than 25 million people downloaded our Black Friday ad, and 20 million customers used their local store maps on….yesterday was our second-highest online sales day ever…throughout the day, we welcomed more than 22 million customers to our stores – that’s more than the number of people who visit Disneyland in an entire year.” Read the release


“Ferguson Protests Move to Target & Walmart” by Jim Dalrymple at Buzz Feed.  See the Pics/Vines


“Walmart Canada expands ‘grab and go’ online service – beats Amazon to the punch” by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “Walmart is now expanding the project to 33 other Toronto-area stores between now and Dec. 5, before targeting a gradual rollout to other Canadian markets over the next 18 months.” Read more


“How Pros Track Holiday Shoppers” by Kyle Stock at Bloomberg. “Digital Globe owns six satellites that circle the globe daily and capture photos of parking lots at big-box stores to see how full they are. ”While it’s interesting to look at the same store over and over and over again, what’s really interesting is looking at thousands and tens of thousands of locations,” said Shay Har-Noy, the company’s senior director of geospatial big data.” Read more


“Wal-Mart Dismisses 30 China Executives in Restructuring” at Bloomberg. “Among the executives dismissed are vice presidents from Wal-Mart China and Sam’s Club China, according to two Wal-Mart China employees, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution. Others were from divisions including merchandising and innovation, they said.” Read more


…Sticking by plan to have around 480 Wal-Mart stores in China by the end of 2016 by Laurie Burkitt at WSJ. “Executives have said the Chinese government’s clampdown on excessive consumption at its state-owned enterprises has damped consumer confidence overall. In particular, it has cut into gifting purchases—such as gift-cards and boxes of moon cakes associated with an annual autumn moon festival—that previously lifted retail sales.” Read more (Subscription)


“Small Business Saturday Is the Loneliest Shopping Holiday” by Patrick Clark at Bloomberg. “Among the 16 store owners and managers I spoke to, Nick Bari was the most enthusiastic about the promotion…“I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal one way or another,” he says. “It’s more of a gesture than anything else.” The rest of the responses ranged from skepticism to ignorance.” Read more


“T.J. Maxx and Dollar Tree Rebel Against Black Friday Frenzy” at Bloomberg. “Dollar Tree, meanwhile, doesn’t expect to join the Black Friday crowd any time soon…“We sell our items for $1 or less all year round, so we feel were already providing a great value to our consumers,” he said.” Read more


“A McDonald’s in a church?” by Jenn Harris at Chicago Tribune. “It’s time for churches to engage with entrepreneurship,” writes the group. “By combining a church and a McDonald’s we can create a self-sustaining, community-engaged, popular church, and an unparalleled McDonald’s restaurant.”At the time of this writing, the group had raised $79.” Read more


“‘Donuts’ in Walmart parking lot prove deadly for Texas man” via Canoe. “A Texas man doing high-speed spins in his sports utility vehicle at a Dallas-area Walmart parking lot died after his car crashed into a loading dock, trapping him inside, and caught fire.” Read more

Wednesday: Retail ‘Bill of Rights’ | A-lister at Target | High-tech Spoon


“San Francisco passes first-ever retail worker ‘bill of rights'” by Claire Zillman at Fortune. “The ordinances will require businesses to post workers’ schedules at least two weeks in advance. Workers will receive compensation for last-minute schedule changes, “on-call” hours, and instances in which they’re sent home before completing their assigned shifts.” Read more


….Applies to Retailers with 20+ Locations that Employ 20+ in San Fran at Politico.  Read more


“How an innovative NYC boutique wooed Target’s CEO” by Leigh Gallagher at Fortune. “For Target’s partnership, events will include an evening discussion with Nate Berkus and make-up lessons from Sonia Kashuk and weekend events, such as a free lunch from a locally-sourced food truck that supports Drive Change, a nonprofit focused on incarcerated youth. (All recipes will involve maple syrup from Archer Farms, available…only at Target.)” Read more


“Lowe’s Brings Holoroom to Canada” by Raju Mudhar at The Star. “I think it’s really important to lay out that this is not the final version of where we are going with this. I wouldn’t even call this version 1.0 it’s .5 of where we want to take this. Even the Holodeck had a first step and everything has to start somewhere,” says Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs.” Read more


Consumer Reports Reveals 2014 Naughty & Nice List “Nice = Sam’s, CVS & Whole Foods” See the full list


***A message from Lock-it Block-it – 79% don’t feel safe in their own home. Lock-it Block-it is an adjustable window security bar that keeps open & closed windows & doors secured. The patented security bar replaces clumsy wooden sticks and helps homeowners better-secure their homes. Easy to install & easy to use. See the sell sheet / See the video / /


“Costco targets mid-2015 opening of Wichita store” by Josh Heck at Wichita Bus. Journal. “(Todd) Thull says Costco is targeting a mid-2015 opening for a 150,000-square-foot store that will be located near the northeast corner of Kellogg and Webb Road. A fuel station also will be included.” Read more


Greenville: Man Has Been Waiting in Line Since Monday for $199 TV (and is still the only one in line) by Anna Lee at Greenville Online. “Coming from Long Island, where people sometimes line up weeks in advance for Black Friday shopping, McCauley said he wasn’t sure what to expect in Greenville but figured it would be better safe than sorry.” Read more / See the video


“Home Depot faces at least 44 lawsuits in the United States and Canada” via ABC News. “The security project has been completed in U.S. stores, and Home Depot expects to do the same for its Canadian locations early next year.” Read more


Melissa McCarthy loads up at discount store Target on shopping trip with daughters” at Daily Mail. “She is an A-list comedienne with a reported net worth of $20 million. But it seems like Melissa McCarthy can’t resist a good bargain. The 44-year-old actress was spotted leaving the Target department store in Burbank, California, with her two daughters on Saturday.” Read more / See the pics


“Google offers high-tech spoon that stays steady in shaky hands” by Tracey Lien at LA Times. “It then uses “active cancellation” (used in noise-canceling headphones), in which tiny motors in the handle move the spoon opposite to the tremor to help keep the spoon steady. In clinical trials, the spoons reduced shaking by an average of 76%.” Read more / See the video


“Calgary area mom finds bullet in Brussels sprouts from Costco” by Phil Heidenreich at Global News. “Despite the shocking discovery, Moore is able to find humor in the situation. Asked if she would buy frozen Brussels sprouts again, she laughed and said “I think I will go with fresh ones.” Read more



Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. Eye-on-Retail is unique because it’s timely, smart and fun. It’s created early AM every weekday and delivered between 7-8 am CST. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. Contact us @





Tuesday Tipsheet: Wmart: Duncan Out | Looters In | H.Depot = Digital ‘Genius’


Ferguson Fallout: 

…Walgreens Completely Engulfed in Flames at KMOV  Read more   Smolders from Fire

…in Oakland via SF Gate “A couple of hundred protesters lit a bonfire in the middle of Broadway as the Starbucks store on Ninth Street was trashed and looted of equipment and bags of coffee beans. Thieves then smashed into the nearby Smart & Final and ran away with booze bottles, snacks, 12-packs of beer and bags of dog food.” See the pics / Read more

…Store Robbed by Brown Looted on National TV via Breitbart.  See the video


“Wal-Mart’s Chief Merchandising Officer Out” at Reuters via WSJ. “Wal-Mart Stores chief merchandising officer, Duncan Mac Naughton, is expected to announce his departure from the world’s largest retailer just days before Black Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.” Read more


“Home Depot Ranked #1 in ‘Digital IQ’ (Walmart #2)” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “Only two—Home Depot and Wal-Mart—earned the “genius” title. “There’s this myth that digital levels the playing field … I don’t think that could be more incorrect,” said Scott Galloway, founder of L2. “A lot of these guys who are struggling to meet earnings just don’t have the dry powder to throw at technology.” See the Top 10 list


“FDA to Require Calorie Counts at Grocery Stores with 20+ Locations” by Tennille Tracy at WSJ. “The final labeling rules, issued by the Food and Drug Administration, apply to movie theaters, amusement parks, convenience stores and the prepared foods sold inside many grocery stores with at least 20 locations.” Read more (Subscription)


“Amazon Promotes Handyman and Installation Services” by Jason Del Ray at Recode. “The giant online marketplace has begun advertising services such as TV wall mountings and fan installations from local service providers alongside its product listings, according to search results on this evening.” Read more


“Wal-Mart adds Tom Horton, former CEO of American Airlines, to its board” at The City Wire. Read more


” ‘Frozen’ bests Barbie as top toy for girls” by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz at Chicago Tribune. “One in five parents plan to buy “Frozen” merchandise for girls, while Barbie is on the shopping list of 16.8 percent of parents, according to the (NRF).” Read more


42% of online shopping trips start out at Google by Clare O’Connor at Forbes. Read more


“Amazon to open huge photography studio in London” by Katrina Bishop at CNBC. “The 46,000 square foot space in Shoreditch will be the largest photography studio in Europe, according to the online retailer, and bigger than its equivalent premise in the U.S. It is due to open in the summer of 2015 and will be the focus of images of clothing – either worn by models or just plain product shots.” Read more


“Orchard Supply snags first-ever San Francisco store in urban push” by Nathan Donato-Weinstein at Silicon Valley Bus. Journal. “Lowe’s is betting that the Orchard brand — with its neighborhood-friendly street cred and smaller format — is the ticket to cracking the burgeoning market.” Read more


“Amazon will have enough space for 71,500 employees in Seattle by 2019” by Marc Stiles at Puget Sound Bus. Journal. “Those 71,500 workers would generate the need for more housing, and explains why thousands of apartments are under construction or planned downtown.” Read more


“Nordstrom taps eBay’s tech to build fitting room of the future” by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “Nordstrom is testing out full-length dressing room mirrors that double as websites as tech invades yet another sphere of shopping.” Read more


Check out the strange, “sexy” ad campaign from Coke’s new milk product at Business Insider. Read more


Walmart: Woman arrested after passing out in shopping cart for 5 hours by Josh Bergeron at Salisbury Post. “Customers said that she was headfirst in the buggy, passed out,” Colvin said.” Read more



Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. Eye-on-Retail is unique because it’s timely, smart and fun. It’s created early AM every weekday and delivered between 7-8 am CST. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. Contact us @

Monday Tipsheet: Costco & $1 Bil in Aust. | Target’s Tesija Iview | Aldi in China?


“National Retail Federation CEO to banks: Breaches are your responsibility, too” by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “Those are their cards,” Matt Shay tells banks.” Read the interview


“Target healing from breach, though shoppers remain at risk” by Kavita Kumar at Star-Tribune. “The roulette ball came up on Target,” said Charlie O’Shea, an analyst with Moody’s Investors Service. “It’s not as much of a shock as it was before.” Read more



“Video Interview with Target EVP Kathee Tesija” by Jennifer Reingold at Fortune. “She seemed genuinely excited to have Cornell, the company’s first outsider CEO, on board. (She had been rumored to be a vocal critic of Gregg Steinhafel, his predecessor: “Don’t believe everything you read,” she told me when I asked about the rumors.) “We are so excited to have Brian on board,” Tesija said. “His enthusiasm for our guest and our businesses is contagious. And he’s really been fun to work with.” See the interview


Australia: “Expanding low-cost retailer Costco aims for $1bn sales” by Glenda Korporaal at The Australian. “We have hundreds of thousands of members in Australia. We don’t give out exact numbers. It’s the only trade secret we have.”…“The perception that we are like an Aldi store is incorrect,” (Patrick Noone) says. “We are more like a combination of a high-end department store and a Bunnings warehouse.” Read more


“Wal-Mart Bulls Betting on Oil to Light Up Christmas Sales” by Joseph Ciolli at Bloomberg. “Demand for options that protect against future losses in Wal-Mart shares fell to the lowest level in more than five years relative to bullish ones, data compiled by Bloomberg show.” Read more


“Germany’s Aldi eyes China for expansion” at CNBC. “German monthly Manager Magazin said the families that own Aldi – comprising separate groups Aldi Sued and Aldi Nord – decided in February 2013 that they would look into expansion to China, citing the minutes of a recent management meeting.” Read more


Atlanta: “Take a Sneak Peek Inside Restorations Hardware’s Newest/Largest Store” by Amy Wenk at Atlanta Bus. Chronicle. “On Nov. 21, Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. revealed its largest store to date — the 70,000-square-foot RH Atlanta, The Gallery at the Estate in Buckhead…Built to look like a Southern estate, the 6-story design gallery showcases more products than RH has in previous stores.” Read more.” See the 41 Pics


“Nordstrom nixes big semi-annual sales” by Rachel Lerman at Puget Sound Bus. Journal. “Nordstrom has nixed its four big half-yearly sales in favor of six clearance sales each year, to be set around the holidays.” Read more


“Whole Foods Wants 30 More in Canada” by Paul Vieira at WSJ. “WSJ: What does the Ottawa opening signal? Mr. Robb: That we will continue to invest in Canada. I have said publicly we want to open 35 to 40 stores in Canada. But you can do them only one at a time. We have been in Toronto and Vancouver for over 10 years. And we will be in Calgary.” Read the interview with Co-CEO Walter Robb


“This holiday season, high-end retailers go high-tech” by Abha Bhattarai at Washington Post. “Ugg Australia, the maker of the ubiquitous winter boot, is hoping its first high-tech concept store, which opened two weeks ago at the Tysons Galleria, will catch on. The 2,100-square-foot location doubles as an innovation lab where Ugg can test ideas and approaches before rolling them out company-wide.” Read more


“J.C. Penney holiday starts without the upheaval” by Maria Halkias at Dallas News. “This is the first Christmas in four years that J.C. Penney isn’t confusing customers by discontinuing merchandise, killing coupons, introducing brands or having big chunks of its stores under construction.” Read more



Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. Eye-on-Retail is unique because it’s timely, smart and fun. It’s created early AM every weekday and delivered between 7-8 am CST. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. Contact us @

Friday Tipsheet: B.Buy & D.Tree Spike | Costco TX = 5K | Amazon & Hunger Strikes


“Amazon leases office space near Empire State Building” by Jay Greene at Seattle Times. “We have leased this building primarily as corporate office space and we intend to sublease to other tenants the ground-floor retail space,” Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman said. Amazon has no current plans to open its own store in the space.” Read more


“Best Buy’s Big Q3 Surprise” by Kavita Kumar at Star-Tribune. “(Best Buy) reported its first sales lift in nearly two years and a near doubling of profit, shattering analysts’ expectations. And in another surprise, it did so with little help from the most-watched new product of the year: the iPhone 6.” Read more


Ferguson: Best Buy Store to Close on Black Friday if Grand Jury Decision Comes by Julie Bosman & Alan Blinder at NY Times. “When we find out that the grand jury is going to give its decision one way or the other, we will close at least one of our stores at that time in order for our customers and employees to be able to get home safely in case there are protests,” said Jeffrey Shelman, a spokesman for Best Buy.” Read more


“Latinos’ Love Affair With ‘Clubbing'” by Roberto Siewczynski at MediaPost. “Shopping for the Hispanic shopper is not necessarily a quick individual chore, but rather something done in a more pluralistic way (e.g., 141 index to shopping with spouse, 180 index to shopping with children). The in-store experience, in particular, is quite important, with ambassadorship being a key influencer.” Read more


“Dollar Tree posts best same-store sales growth since 2011” at CNBC. “Dollar Tree’s same-store sales rose 5.9 percent in the third quarter ended Nov. 1, beating the average analyst estimate of 4 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.” Read more


“Dollar Tree expects to shed 500 stores — or fewer — in Family Dollar acquisition” by Jennifer Thomas at Charlotte Bus. Journal. “The current process with the FTC is what we expected many months ago,” (CEO Bob Sasser) said. “This is a large merger involving many stores, and it simply takes time for the FTC to analyze documents and data.” Read more


“Texas: Costco previewed by approximately 5,000” by J.Werner at The Woodlands Online. “We’re amazed at the turnout,” said Azita. “We didn’t think this many people would be here.” “We’ll definitely shop here for our business, but we’ll probably do it on a weekday,” said Dr. Reger.” Read more


“Better move fast! Amazon pushing deals to Snapchat” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “To kick off its Black Friday specials, Amazon on Thursday announced that it will start posting deal codes to disappearing messaging app Snapchat, which can then be redeemed during checkout on its site.” Read more


“Buffalo: Stores Still Closed from Snow Storm” by Samantha Christmann at The Buffalo News. “Three Wegmans stores that have been closed since Tuesday, 370 Orchard Park Road in West Seneca, 4960 Transit Road in Depew and 3740 McKinley Parkway in Blasdell; are still closed.” Read more


….Some Tops Stores are Open but Don’t Look for Milk, Bread or Eggs at The Buffalo News. “About 10 Tops stores located in areas hardest hit by the storm are open and will remain so, but are “operating in a very limited capacity in terms of associates and products,” according to Katie McKenna, a Tops spokeswoman.” Read more


“How Obama’s plan on immigration will enrich Wal-Mart” by Diana Furchtgott-Roth at MarketWatch. “The company’s GoBank is especially helpful to those without bank accounts or with only basic accounts who can benefit from additional banking services.” Read more


“FBI takes cyberattack fight in new direction” by Cory Bennett at The Hill. “Normally, we’d be driven by the victims,” Comey explained. “Which companies have raised their hand and said, ‘We’ve been hacked,’ and then we would assign the matter to that field office.” Instead, the threat will get assigned based on the dangerousness and complexity of the threat. Then, up to four regional field offices will be tasked with assisting local hacking victims after the initial threat has been assigned to.” Read more


“Former Amazon employee plans hunger strike” by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “What choice do I have? Crawl back home and move on? That’s not going to happen,” he replied.” Read more



Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. Eye-on-Retail is unique because it’s timely, smart and fun. It’s created early AM every weekday and delivered between 7-8 am CST. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. Contact us @

Thursday Tipsheet: Wmart Closes Loophole | Target & Lowe’s Call Highlights | Ugly Sweaters


“Wal-Mart closes loophole on PlayStation 4 scam” “We’ve updated our policy to clarify that we will match prices from and 30 major online retailers, but we won’t honor prices from marketplace vendors, third-party sellers, auction sites or sites requiring memberships.” Read the release


“Nearly a year after breach, Target has its turnaround moment” by Kavita Kumar at Star-Tribune. “It feels like they’re getting back to what drove them in the ’90s and what has differentiated them from Wal-Mart and Amazon,” (Brian) Yarbrough said…“They are getting their mojo back,” (Jason Long) said. “It’s a big deal going into the holidays, and great news for Cornell.” Read more


“Family Dollar postpones shareholder vote on $8.5B Dollar Tree merger” by Jennifer Thomas at Charlotte Bus. Journal. “Family Dollar Stores Inc. has delayed a scheduled shareholder vote on its proposed $8.5 billion merger with Dollar Tree Inc. until Dec. 23.
The Matthews-based discount retailer initially planned to hold a special meeting for that vote on Dec. 11.” Read more


“Amazon robots prepare for Christmas” by Greg Bensinger at MarketWatch via WSJ. “The Seattle online retailer has outfitted several U.S. warehouses with squat, orange, wheeled robots that move stocked shelves to workers, instead of having employees seek items amid long aisles of merchandise, according to people familiar with the matter.” Read more


“Shoppers skeptical of Black Friday deals” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “A separate report by America’s Research Group, released Wednesday, came to a similar conclusion. It found that 60.5 percent consumers who are not planning to shop on Black Friday may change their mind if the Thanksgiving Day newspaper inserts grab their attention. That compares with only 17.6 percent who said so last year.” Read more


“Walmart Wants to Be the Next Ad-Tech Star” by Lauren Johnson at AdWeek. “Within the past year, Walmart Labs has hired 1,000 workers, employing a total of 3,500 people, and has acquired 14 startups. While notable mobile, social and e-commerce tools have made Walmart the poster child of the innovation lab craze, the company’s goal of becoming a tech company on par with Facebook and Google is perhaps most interesting.” Read more


“Here’s who’s really winning Canada’s grocery wars” by Jamie Sturgeon at Global News. “Although Walmart has gained considerable share through its accelerating Supercentre rollout, Costco’s share gains have been even more pronounced,” analysts at financial services firm Raymond James said in a recent research note.” Read more


“Australian woman is first (only) in line at new Costco (she even got to sleep inside)” by Matt Gilbertson at Herald Sun. “Kelly was so keen to be first through the door that she camped out overnight, desperate to be the first customer. She was the only one who camped out. All she needed to buy was alfoil. Yes, really. The lovely Costco people even let Kelly sleep inside overnight for safety reasons.” Read more


“Walmart’s Weatherman” by Alison Griswold at Slate. “(Lucas) McDonald, who joined Walmart seven years ago after starting his career as a TV weatherman, said he often gets requests for an advance forecast, and tries to help managers understand “how accurate it may or may not be.” These days, he thinks the sector is getting hot: He’s seeing more and more TV meteorologists making the switch to the commercial sector.” Read more


“It’s official: Costco coming to south San Jose” by Nathan Donato-Weinstein at Silicon Valley Bus. Journal. “Costco is here tonight. They are anxiously awaiting your approvals tonight,” said Gerry De Young, president of Ruth and Going Inc., a consultant for Cupertino-based development firm Hunter/Storm LLC. “They are anxious to move forward.” Read more


“The Big Business of Ugly Christmas Sweaters” by Caroline Winter at Bloomberg. “I’ve never seen a product or category blow up like this,” says Meri Barnes, product and business developer for Michael Gerald, the company behind the kit. “Last year we sold more than 35,000.” This year, she expects that number to rise to 400,000.” Read more


“Cops: 350-Pound Thief In Motorized Scooter Caught Sitting On Stolen Walmart Steaks” at The Smoking Gun. “A 350-pound Walmart shopper was arrested yesterday after he was found sitting atop five stolen rib eye steaks in the seat of a motorized scooter that he was riding around the South Carolina store.” Read more



Highlights from Target’s Q3 Earnings Call


Brian Cornell

US segments saw positive comps in all three months of the quarter.

US traffic still declined slightly in the third quarter – performance was more than a full percentage point stronger than traffic trends through the first half of the year.

Increasing our focus on signature categories we can and should be known for. Categories like baby, kids, wellness and style.

It does not mean we are abandoning our other categories. But we will have different expectation for those categories compared to the ones in which we are investing to outperform.

Let’s drop back and make sure we clarify our point on the food category. We have no intentions today to streamline those categories. (Q&A)

In the past we have taken some initial steps to localize our store environment and assortment. But we have only scratched the surface to this opportunity.

This year we have developed and rolled out a new personalization engine which is currently generating product recommendations for guests on our digital platforms.

35,000 new items in stores for the holiday.


Comp Sales

Average ticket increased 1.6% in the third quarter driven by growth in average retail per item, partially offset by a decline in items per basket.

Q3 comparable sales performance was strongest in healthcare and beauty led by beauty which continues to benefit from this year’s store fixture innovations, and the introduction of new brands.

Third quarter comp sales in grocery were up in the low single digits

Hard lines (were) up slightly led by toys which saw a high single digit increase on strength in licenses like Frozen and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Comp sales in apparel were down slightly as strength in baby and kids was offset by softness in jewelry accessories and intimates.

From a mixed perspective it’s worth noting that our combined home or combined comp in home and apparel was the strongest we have seen in two years.

In October and early November, we completed the rollout of our new apparel fixtures and layout to an additional 600 stores bringing the total to about 650 locations featuring this enhanced presentation.



Digital sales were up more than 30% in the third quarter.

So far this year store pickup orders have averaged about 15% of digital traffic with more than 80% of orders ready within an hour.

With the (ship-from-store) rollout we are now shipping about 60,000 eligible products from 136 stores in 38 markets covering more than 90% of the US population.

Cartwheel, Target’s industry leading savings app:  from November 2nd to December 24th, it will feature 50% off, a different toy everyday.



Disney’s Frozen has been huge for us all year…600 Frozen products, 60 exclusive to Target across 20 categories.

In March 2015 Target is adding S.W. Basics of Brooklyn and Nuxe to its lineup of premium skincare products.

The (holiday ad) campaign will include broadcast, radio, out of home and catalogues and we are increasing digital media support by 50% over last year.

US REDcard penetration was 21% in the third quarter, up about 110 basis points from last year


Read the transcript via Seeking Alpha



Highlights from Lowe’s Q3 Earnings Call


Comp Sales

Comparable sales were 5.1% driven by an increase in comp average ticket of 3.4% and an increase in comp transactions of 1.7%.

The monthly comps were 3.5% in August, 5.2% in September, and 6.6% in October.

We had positive comps in all 12 product categories with particular strength in fashion fixtures, kitchen and appliances, millwork, and outdoor power equipment.

All 14 regions had positive comps.

Canada delivered double-digit comps in local currency for the sixth consecutive quarter.

Outdoor power equipment category experienced the strongest growth in the quarter with double-digit comps.

Our pro comps outpaced the company average for the 13th consecutive quarter.


Michael Jones Brand Mentions

Husqvarna, John Deere, Troybilt, Cobalt,  Osram Sylvania LED bulbs, Pilot brand InstaBoost jumpstarter, Kohler Pure Fresh, Bosch, Whirlpool, GE, Electrolux, Henry Coating (“Since adding the Henry brand, we have measured double-digit comp sales of roof repair and driveway sealer products in the markets where this relevant brand was added to our store”).



It was primarily appliance & big ticket categories doing better in the quarter. (Hull)

We also think that brands are important, particularly with our pro initiative, so that is a focal point the team has been working on to ensure that we have the right brands waiting in the store to resonate with the pro customer. (Niblock)

(Orchard Supply) added nothing to comps for the quarter. If we think about the size of the business, technically it was only in the comp base for two months, so really with or without Orchard, the comp number would not have changed. (Niblock)

The average pro spend is probably in the $2,000 range.  (Hull)

Yes, it does feel like we’ve got opportunity to continue to gain market share. (Niblock)

Think about 400 line reviews and the average line review had four clusters. There’s no way we got 1,600 clusters right, so there’s an opportunity to go back and refine the approach, dig into the demographics, the customer data, the performance to continue to refine the stats. (Hull)

On Tool Rental for Pro: It’s something we may look at doing in a better way in the future, but as of today we’ve not made any decisions regarding tool rental. (Niblock)


Read the transcript via Seeking Alpha




Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. Eye-on-Retail is unique because it’s timely, smart and fun. It’s created early AM every weekday and delivered between 7-8 am CST. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. Contact us @




Wednesday Tipsheet: Lowe’s +5.1% | Wmart Scammed | D.Gen Ax 4K? | H.Depot Call Highlights


“Lowe’s Q3 Comp Sales +5.1%” “Sales for the third quarter increased 5.6 percent to $13.7 billion from $13.0 billion in the third quarter of 2013…For the nine month period, sales were$43.7 billion, a 4.6 percent increase over the same period a year ago, and comparable sales increased 3.5 percent” Read the release


“Lowe’s earnings, revenue top expectations” by Terri Cullen at CNBC. “The company posted third-quarter earnings of 59 cents per share, up from 47 cents a share in the year-earlier period, on revenue of $13.70 billion. Analysts had expected the company to report earnings of 58 cents a share on $13.55 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.” Read more


“Dick’s Q3 Comp Sales +1.1%” “eCommerce penetration for the third quarter of 2014 was 7.3% of total sales, compared to 6.5% in the third quarter last year. In the third quarter, the Company opened 24 new DICK’S Sporting Goods stores, one new Golf Galaxy store and seven new Field & Stream stores.” Read the release


“Dick’s Sporting Goods says golf, hunting continue to drag down profits” by Teresa F. Lindeman at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Dick’s said growing demand for women’s and youth sports clothing have rewarded the retailer’s decision earlier this year to shift thousands of square feet of sales space at its stores around the country away from declining sports like golf and toward expanded offerings in those areas.” Read more


“Dollar General may have to ax more than 4K stores” by Josh Kosman & James Covert at NY Post. “The Federal Trade Commission may require the country’s No. 1 dollar store chain to divest more than 4,000 stores to win approval of its stalled $9.1 billion merger proposal, two sources close to the situation said Tuesday.” Read more


“Wal-Mart scammed into selling PlayStation 4 for $90” by Sarah Whitten at CNBC. “Customers have misused Wal-Mart’s price-match promotion to obtain $400 PlayStation 4 consoles for less than a quarter of the retail price using third-party sellers on Amazon.” Read more


It’s official: “Walmart Canada lays off 210 head office, field management employees” at Financial Post. “The retail giant handed out the pink slips earlier Tuesday, with both management and non-management positions affected. It says the positions being eliminated are at the head office and in field management.” Read more


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“Staples Plans to Close 170 Stores in North America This Year (Up from 140 Planned in August)” by Chelsey Dulaney at WSJ. “Staples Inc. on Wednesday said its fiscal third-quarter sales fell, as the office-supplies chain accelerates plans to close underperforming stores and spark sales growth online.” Read more (Subscription)


“How Disney Turned ‘Frozen’ Into a Cash Cow” by Binyamin Appelbaum at NY Times. “Disney really began to focus on princesses in 2000, after a new executive went to see a “Disney on Ice” show and was struck by how many of the girls in the audience were wearing homemade princess costumes. “They weren’t even Disney products”…The Disney Princess line now makes about $4 billion a year.” Read more


“Bentonville dubbed as North Pole for toys” by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “Wal-Mart vendors set up under awnings to display the latest, most sought-after toys for area kids to see and test again this year. “We estimate between 8,000 and 10,000 people visited this year’s event. It was the biggest yet in the five years we have hosted this popular outing,” said Brandi Wardlaw, event coordinator for Downtown Bentonville Inc.” Read more


Fortune: 20 great workplaces in retail by Christopher Tkaczyk.  See the list


“Here’s what Amazon’s fourth downtown Seattle block might look like” by Marc Stiles at Puget Sound Bus. Journal. See the pics / Read more


Chicago Business Journal not a fan of Kmart’s “Jingle Bellies” TV Spot by Lewis Lazare. “The main problem is the new commercial’s near total lack of sex appeal. Watching a line-up of guys in less-than-great shape tap out a jingle on their bellies simply isn’t very exciting or amusing. Or sexy.” See the spot / Read more


CNBC: “OK, Home Depot you tricked us … but why?” by Juan Aruego. “The headline was profits of $1.15 per share, which is 2 cents above what analysts expected. The major news outlets (including CNBC) all trumpeted some form of “Home Depot beats estimates.” Unfortunately, that’s not how most analysts saw it. By 8 a.m. EST, at least six analysts had said Home Depot’s profits were just $1.12, a 1-cent miss.” Read more / See the video


Heard on Home Depot’s Q3 Earnings Call



* Broad-based growth across our geographies with all three of our U.S. divisions posting mid-single digit comps.

* Every region positively comped in the quarter as did 39 of our top 40 markets.

* Our service businesses had comps above the company average with strength in windows, countertops and water heaters.

* The growth in our pro business continues to be anchored by our large spending Pro which grew at approximately 2x the company average.

* Canadian business posted comps above the company average…making it 12 quarters in a row of positive comps.

* Comps in local currency for our Mexican business were in line with our company average yielding their 44th consecutive quarter of positive comps.

* Total comp transactions grew by 3.1% while comp ticket increased 2.1% for the quarter.

* Transactions for tickets under $50 representing approximately 20% of our U.S. sales were up 1.9% for the third quarter.

* Transactions for tickets over $900 also representing approximately 20% of our U.S. sales were up 5.9% in the third quarter.



* Sales from our online channel grew almost 40% in the quarter and this was particularly impressive as we anniversary growth of over 50% in the same quarter last year.

* Almost 40% of our online orders are picked up in the store using our Buy Online Pick Up In Store and Buy Online Ship to Store capabilities.

* This year we are installing dedicated storage bays in 550 stores to improve the customer experience.

* Almost 40% of our orders through Home in the quarter actually culminated in one of our Orange box stores.

* Online deliver from store: we’re in pilot at this point in two stores and the pilot is going well. It’s a very small pilot at this point.


Ted Decker’s Q4 Brand Callouts

Everbilt (PL), Kohler, Diablo, Milwaukee, DeWalt & Makita



* I wouldn’t look for a dramatic departure from any of the strategies that we’ve had in place. (Menear)

* We’re two weeks into November and I must say that I’m impressed with the sales that we’ve reported to date. So if there’s a bias in or forecast I would say it’s a biased to the upside. (Tome)

* As you know we review about a third of the business each year, so while we’ve had these tools in place for a couple of years now, we still haven’t reviewed the entire store utilizing leveraging the new tools. (Decker)

* A newer set of tools that we haven’t talked that much about and I do see promise in the future is in space. (Decker)

* So once you have your demand and your assortment, how do you best get the appropriate micro space facing rate of sale and we have tools for that that we’re starting to use. (Decker)

* The disruptions at the ports in general transportation delays have been pretty difficult the last few weeks but thanks to a lot of hard work our team has been able to land our Black Friday freight. (Holifield)

* You never would’ve thought appliances would be as strong as it is as an online category. (Decker)

* We feel so good about Canada though that we are opening a store in Canada this year. We haven’t opened a store in Canada for a number of years. (Tome)

* If we have a 5% increase in the average ticket for Pros or three more transaction is a $1.2 billion opportunity. (Tome)


Read the Home Depot Q3 Earnings Call Transcript via Seeking Alpha



Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. Eye-on-Retail is unique because it’s timely, smart and fun. It’s created early AM every weekday and delivered between 7-8 am CST. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. Contact us @



Tuesday Tipsheet: H.Depot US Comp +5.8% | CVS Tech Hub | Lowe’s=Appliance King in ’16?


“Home Depot Q3 Comp +5.2% (+5.8% in US)” “During the quarter we saw strong performance across all geographies led by growth in transactions and continued strength in the core of the store,” said Craig Menear, CEO and president.” Read more


“Home Depot 3Q earnings top expectations” by Terri Cullen at CNBC. “Earnings for America’s largest home improvement company increased to $1.15 a share from 95 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Home Depot’s quarterly revenue rose to $20.5 billion from $19.5 billion a year ago.” Read more


Q3 2014 The Home Depot, Inc. Earnings Conference Call  Tuesday, November 18, 2014 9:00 a.m. ET  Webcast


“CVS to open tech hub in Boston” by Scott Kirsner at Boston Globe. “Chief digital officer Brian Tilzer said the CVS Health Digital Innovation Lab will accommodate about 100 people…Tilzer said CVS has another interesting project in the works: “lab stores” in Boston, New York City, and Menlo Park, Calif., that are scheduled to open next year…the lab stores will provide a “live environment” to help the company “explore whether they can be meaningful,” Tilzer said.” Read more


“Lowe’s Could be King of Appliance Sales by 2016” at Bloomberg News via Chicago Tribune. “Sears had 28 percent of the major appliance market in the United States last year, and that share may plummet to 10 percent by the end of 2016, Gary Balter, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group in New York, said in a report. If Lowe’s Cos. picks up a quarter of the share Sears loses, it would be the top appliance seller by the end of 2016, Balter said.” Read more


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“Target adds in-store spin to iPhone app by adding interactive maps for all 1,800 U.S. stores” by Tricia Duryee at GeekWire. “Next up for in-store innovations could be something Marti calls the “Blue Dot,” which allows customers to track their exact location on the map to easily find items on the map. Maybe next year Point Inside’s customers will be ready for that, he says.” Read more


“Home Depot #1 in Radio Spots Again (Walgreen #2)” at Radio Ink. “For the second consecutive week, home-improvement powerhouse the Home Depot leads the Media Monitors chart, with a mighty 49,119 spots aired the week of November 10-16. Walgreens, which topped the list a few weeks back, comes in second with 44,228 spots during the week.” Read more


Canada: “Watchdog probes alleged ‘restrictive trade practices’ at Loblaw” by Marina Strauss & Jeff Gray at Globe & Mail. “The Competition Bureau is investigating Loblaw Cos. Ltd. pricing strategies in a probe that is demanding that some of the chain’s key suppliers hand over secret records about their dealings with the grocery giant.” Read more


LA Times: “Why doesn’t CVS clearly define its ExtraCare rewards for customers?” by David Lazarus. “CVS Health is playing fast and loose with its ExtraCare rewards program. The company says discounts don’t apply to products that are on sale. But it sneakily excludes some full-priced items as well.” Read more


“One in five UK supermarkets must close to restore profit growth, say analysts” at The Guardian. “With 56% of Tesco’s stores bigger than 40,000 sq ft, the report concludes the market leader has the biggest problem on its hands.” Read more


“Coming to a mall near you: a green alternative to Home Depot” by Bruce Watson at The Guardian. “Ballard’s goals are ambitious: he plans to have TreeHouse in every major market within five to 10 years. “Within 20 years, we want to be in every market,” he said. It’s an aggressive goal, particularly for a company that – at present – only has one store.” Read more


“Calif. ‘Made In USA’ Law Leaves Retailers In Bind” by Jonathan Randles at Law 360. “Macy’s Inc., Nordstrom Inc. and Land’s End Inc. are among the growing number of retailers facing lawsuits in California for allegedly selling apparel marketed as being American-made but including foreign-made fabrics, zippers, buttons, rivets and other components.” Read more (Subscription)


Variety: “Martha Stewart Launches Line of 3D-Printable Home Products” by Todd Spangler. “The first Martha Stewart products for MakerBot’s line of 3D printers are the Trellis Collection: a three-piece set that includes a coaster, napkin ring/place-card holder, and LED votive holder. Individual designs start at 99 cents and the full collection is available for $2.99.” Read more



Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. Eye-on-Retail is unique because it’s timely, smart and fun. It’s created early AM every weekday and delivered between 7-8 am CST. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. Contact us @