Tipsheet: Lowe’s SVP to L.Liquidators | Buys Hayneedle | 36% Trust Target with Data


Lumber Liquidators sales fall more than expected via CNBC. “Sales at Lumber Liquidators’ stores open more than 12 months fell 17.2 percent in the quarter, much steeper than the 12 percent drop expected by analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix.” Read more


Ex-Lowe’s Exec Named COO at Lumber Liquidators via Yahoo. “(Dennis) Knowles was responsible for overseeing the omni channel operations of more than 1,700 Lowe’s stores across the country.” Read the release


Amazon Partners With British Supermarket Chain Morrisons For Fresh Grocery Deliveries by Catherine Shu at Techcrunch. “Amazon has signed a wholesale supply deal with Morrisons, one of Britain’s largest supermarket chains, to deliver fresh and frozen groceries to Amazon Prime Now and Amazon Pantry customers.” Read more acquires online retailer Hayneedle by Tracy Maple at Internet Retailer. “Hayneedle, No. 95 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, had Internet Retailer-estimated 2014 web sales of $404 million.” Read more


…’s purchase of Omaha-based Hayneedle an ‘ideal fit,’ say execs; 400 local jobs staying put by Cole Epley at World-Herald. “Jet required hardly a couple months’ worth of consideration to decide to buy the 14-year-old Omaha-based company, executives from both organizations told The World-Herald on Friday.” Read more


**Show Spotlight – ASD Market Week is Open for Business! This week we open the doors of the Las Vegas Convention Center to 45,000+ attendees looking to shop the world’s widest variety of wholesale lifestyle accessories and general merchandise at the lowest price points available. Discover hot new products and stylish finds from over 2,600 vendors in categories including: fashion & accessories, beauty & fragrance, gift & home, toys & novelties and many more. See product categories | See the show floor video | Register now


Survey: Consumers Trust Amazon More than Walmart/Home Depot/Target to Keep Personal Information Secure by Rich McCormick at The Verge. “More than 50 percent of voters said they were confident in Google, Apple, and Amazon’s abilities to keep data secure…That figure is cast into stark relief when compared to the 36 percent that said they trusted Target with their data, and the 37 percent that trusted Home Depot.” Read more


Donald Trump to Amazon: If He’s President ‘They’re Gonna Have Such Problems’ by Dawn Chmielewski at Recode. “Trump says Bezos bought the Washington Post to gain political influence, which the e-commerce billionaire plans to use to the benefit of Amazon.” Read more


The 5 best digital marketing success stories of 2015 by Stefany Zaroban at Internet Retailer. “Best Email Marketer in E-Commerce: Beyond the Rack: Discount flash-sale retailer Beyond the Rack gets 16.2% of its website traffic from customers clicking on its email campaigns, according to web traffic measurement firm SimilarWeb.” Read more


American Express Enters into Agreement to Sell Costco U.S. Cobrand Portfolio  Read the release


Home Depot to disclose more details about its rooftop solar strategy in the next 12 to 18 months by Heather Clancy at Green Biz. “As of 2012, we had 2,000 roofs, but very few of our buildings had roofs that would be there for the next 15 years,” noted Craig D’Arcy, director of energy management for the Home Depot. It made sense to delay significant distributed solar projects until the buildings were updated, D’Arcy said.” Read more


Target to Webcast Presentation to Investors on March 2 “Target will webcast its meeting with the financial community on March 2 from approximately 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.” Read the release


Men are twisting the knife that’s already killing shopping malls by Mallory Schlossberg at Business Insider. “When it comes to e-commerce, men drive nearly as much overall spending online in the US as women. The conventional wisdom is that women drive shopping trends, since they control up to 80% to 85% of household spending,” BI Intelligence reports.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Retail CEO Endorses Rubio

Chris Rock Sold $65,000 Worth of Girl Scout Cookies at the Oscars

Why I disrupted the Whole Foods CEO at Stanford

‘Super lice’ outbreak hits half of America as strain is found to be resistant to most over-the-counter treatments

P&G sues discount retailer

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


Wmart: Cuts 100+ at HQ / Leaked Supplier Memo | Target Canada Play in Works | TN Big Box Liquor | Lands End Apologizes


Walmart Slashes 100+ Jobs at Headquarters by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “A spokesman for Walmart said the cuts affected 1-3% of headquarters’ tech staff. Walmart recently merged the teams that work on in-store tech in Bentonville and its e-commerce team in Silicon Valley, creating overlap.” Read more


…Job cuts could be as many as 300 based on an estimate by Talk Business & Politics by Kim Souza at The City Wire. Read more


New Toronto play to explore the rise and fall of Target Canada by Luke Simcoe at Metro News. “Outside the March theatre company will stage Community Target, a site-specific theatre project exploring the discount retailer’s failed foray into Canada. Director Robert Motum is hoping the set will be a former Target store in Toronto.” Read more


J.C. Penney results bright spot amid retail gloom by Sruthi Ramakrishnan at Reuters. “J.C. Penney said home Sephora beauty outlets, footwear and handbags were its top performing divisions in the fourth quarter…The company’s quarterly same-store sales rose 4.1 percent, in line with analysts’ expectations.” Read more


Walmart tells suppliers to expect ‘healthy tensions’ in 2016 by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores recently met with suppliers in Indianapolis for its Year Beginning Meeting telling them to expect 2016 to be a year of changes. The retail giant said it would be a mistake for suppliers to expect “business as usual”… (Talk Business received a transcript from that meeting, which is the basis for this report.)” Read more


Whole Foods introduces food truck test kitchen at Austin flagship at Supermarket News. “Developed by the retailer’s recently hired VP of culinary and hospitality, Tien Ho, the initial concept will launch March 10 as Tartinette…” Read more


Sears laying off 250 in administrative offices by Corilyn Shropshire at Chicago Tribune. “The layoffs at Sears Holdings represent a “mix of positions in various units and roles across the organization,” spokesman Chris Brathwaite told the Tribune. Brathwaite also said 151 open corporate office positions will not be filled.” Read more


Wal-Mart picks D-FW for its first training academy designed to improve customer service by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “The first academy opens Friday in the Wal-Mart Supercenter on E. Trinity Mills in Carrollton. Wal-Mart expects to have an academy open for every couple dozen stores. The next two open by mid-March in Fort Smith and Fayetteville, Ark.” Read more


**A Message from ASD Market Week – Hot New Products to Launch Next Week in Las Vegas! Check out the disposable mobile phone charger that will have everyone talking. Join 45,000+ retail buyers and shop the world’s widest variety of wholesale lifestyle accessories and general merchandise at the lowest price points available. Shop 800+ general merchandise vendors, 600+ fashion & accessories vendors, 300+ beauty & fragrance vendors, 300+ gift & home vendors, 150+ toys & novelty vendors, and many more! Watch video | See product categories | Educational Sessions | Register for free today!


Restoration Hardware’s new membership program gives analysts pause by Tonya Garcia at MarketWatch. “Weak preliminary fourth-quarter earnings and a new fee-based membership plan to launch this spring at Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. have prompted downgrades from analysts.” Read more


Walmart to open 30 new stores in China via Xinhua. “Besides the 30 new stores, Walmart will upgrade 60 existing stores and expand its logistics and distribution centers. It will also introduce a cross-border e-commerce service in 2016, according to (Sean) Clark.” Read more


Kohl’s to close 18 stores by David Schuyler at Milwaukee Business Journal. “The company also said sales for fiscal 2016 are expected to be flat with 2015, with the potential for a decline in sales of about 0.5 percent.” Read more


Weak Holidays Force Retailers to Shrink, Rethink Web by Suzanne Kapner at Wall Street Journal. Read more (subscription)


Amazon Operations Vet Joins Instacart to Make Its Delivery Network Run Smoother by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Mike Swartz spent nearly a decade at Amazon teaching and instituting processes to help its warehouses operate more efficiently. Now he’s facing the challenge of doing the same for a new kind of retail operation that doesn’t have any warehouses of its own.” Read more


Sprouts’ earnings continue steady climb by Steven Totten. “Net sales saw a 21 percent increase to $3.59 billion…Sprouts opened 27 new stores in 2015…for a total of 217 stores in 13 states as of Jan. 3.” Read more


TN: Legislation restricting alcohol retailers to just two locations in Tennessee has stalled – may pave way toward the expansion of big-box liquor stores across the state by Lizzy Alfs at The Tennessean. Read more


Gap Q4 Sales -7.0% “Gap Global: negative 6 percent…Banana Republic Global: negative 10 percent…Old Navy Global: flat versus positive 5 percent last year.” Read the release


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Lands End apologizes for Gloria Steinem feature in catalog

Stripped shelves and abandoned carts: The last day of business at a Walmart before it closes

NYC Best Buy faces suit over sexual, racial harassment

Sears CEO Calls Criticism of Faltering Retailer “Unfair”

The United States of Amazon: Interactive map shows tech giant’s growing national footprint

Loblaw cookies help sweeten sales at Shoppers Drug Mart unit

Macy’s Embraces The Good Life and Music Festival Cool for Spring 2016

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories

Tipsheet: Ellison on Fortune Cover | McMillon’s Wife Christens Mega Ship | Target in Valley for Baby | Brewer Interview | Target/Lowe’s Call Highlights


Target takes a Silicon Valley approach to finding new products by Thomas Lee at San Francisco Chronicle. “The buyers seemed particularly impressed with Moxxly, a startup that makes a breast pump equipped with a sensor that transmits data about the amount of milk and the flow rate to a mobile app…The group seemed considerably less enthusiastic about a British entrepreneur who made his pitch about a smart pacifier via Skype. Problems with the online connection certainly didn’t help. “That was a disaster,” one person in the room said.” Read more


Wayfair Q4 revenue increased $338.9 million to $685.6 million, up 97.8% year over year Read the release


J.C. Penney to sell items for a penny as part of its new marketing by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “Penney wants people to try its products, said Mary Beth West, Penney’s chief customer and marketing officer. “We’re going to do it with items we’re proud of.”…“We’re doing the equivalent of an Oreo display,” West said. “We know that clothes that are featured on mannequins sell.” So a rack of dresses will be right behind the mannequins where shoppers can find them.” Read more


CEO MARVIN ELLISON ON COVER OF FORTUNE MAGAZINE – The CEO Who’s Reinventing J.C.Penney by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “Ellison proudly points out similar changes. Fashion jewelry now sits closer to its Liz Claiborne apparel brand, so women can try on accessories to go with a dress they might buy…After Penney failed to cash in on the recent handbag boom, managers did a deep-dive market analysis. Ellison’s conclusion: “Our handbags were ugly. We had to change them.” (It sounds less harsh in Ellison’s gentle Tennessee baritone.)” Read more


Best Buy admits Q4 sales were terrible… just like everyone else by Akin Oyedele at Business Insider. “But Best Buy wants shareholders to know that it’s been ugly across the consumer-electronics industry board…” Read more | Read the press release


ROSALIND BREWER EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH FORTUNE – Sam’s Club Bets on Fancier Food to Steal Customers from Costco by Phil Wahba. “This is absolutely a reset for our business,” Sam’s Club Chief Executive Officer Rosalind Brewer told Fortune in an exclusive interview. “We realized that we have the ability to take Sam’s to a higher household income.” Read more


**A message from Black Flag® Brand: When the flag flies, pests die. The Black Flag® indoor/outdoor pest arsenal arms homeowners in the battle against invading bugs. Offering quick, decisive formulas that act fast and never back down, Black Flag insect and rodent controls get the job done, and take no prisoners. It’s time to Let It Fly. Check out our videos | Visit us on Facebook


DOUG MCMILLON’S WIFE NAMED “GODMOTHER” OF NEW MEGA CONTAINER SHIP – A Look Inside the Benjamin Franklin, a Record-Breaking Container Ship by Erica E. Phillips at Wall Street Journal. “The largest vessel ever to call at a U.S. port, the Benjamin Franklin is longer than the Empire State Building, wider than a football field and rises 20 stories high…Mrs. Shelley McMillon…smashed a ceremonial bottle of champagne against the hull to inaugurate it officially.” Read more (subscription)


Southwest Airlines adopts ‘Pay with Amazon’ for in-flight entertainment purchases by James Risley at GeekWire. Read more


Walmart opens three new supercentres in British Columbia via Yahoo. “The supercentres are located in Coquitlam , Delta and Surrey and represent an investment of tens of millions of dollars, more than 378,000 square feet of retail space…” Read more


comScore’s Top 50 US Digital Properties for January (Amazon #5, Walmart #21) See the top 50 list


Neighbor baffled by “deafening” sound coming from Costco store by Samantha Baars at cville. “With the leaves off the trees, it’s even louder,” Healy says about the persisting sound. During the quietness of a recent storm that blanketed the area in approximately 20 inches of snow, he called the noise “deafening.”  Read more


Ace Hardware Reports Record 2015 Revenues “Ace reported total fiscal 2015 revenues of $5.0 billion, an increase of $344.5 million or 7.3 percent from fiscal 2014.” Read the release


H-E-B President Craig Boyan to Keynote United Fresh Confab via Progressive Grocer. “Craig Boyan, president and COO for San Antonio-based H-E-B, will deliver the keynote address at the United Fresh 2016 opening breakfast general session on June 21, at McCormick Place in Chicago.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

The bizarre reason millennials are skipping cereal for breakfast

Stephen Curry’s product pitch in Oakland schools criticized

Walmart’s U.K. Grocery Stores Are Selling Ugly Vegetables. It’s Time The U.S. Followed Suit

Here’s How Many Millions Amazon Spent on Woody Allen’s Next Movie

Target Hosts Demo Day To Discover New Innovative Baby Products

Obama bans US imports of slave-produced goods

Why Is It Okay For Amazon To Do Business With Trump, But Not OK For Macy’s?

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


Target Q4 2015 Earnings Call Highlights

Brian Cornell – Chairman & CEO

  • Comp sales grew 1.9% in the fourth quarter, building on a 3.8% increase in last year’s fourth quarter.
  • Transactions, our measure of traffic, increased for the fifth quarter in a row, up 1.3% in the fourth quarter.
  • Digital sales increased an industry-leading 34% in the fourth quarter, on top of 36% growth in the fourth quarter of last year.
  • We shattered all previous records on Cyber Monday. Our offer was broad and simple, 15% off everything on our site.
  • …comp sales in our signature categories: style, baby, kids and wellness, which grew nearly 7% over that two-month period (Nov/Dec).
  • In style, we saw the fastest growth in women’s apparel, led by double-digit increases in ready-to-wear.
  • And in wellness, wearable electronics and food led the way.
  • Apparel grew in the low-single digit range.
  • In hardlines, toys grew comp sales more than 10% in the quarter, marking the third quarter of double-digit comp growth in toys.
  • Fourth quarter comp sales in food grew faster than our overall sales.
  • Home grew about 4% in the fourth quarter.
  • Comp sales in Bullseye’s Playground grew more than 25%, compared to See Spot Save in the fourth quarter of last year.
  • Over the next six months, we’ll complete the rebranding of all of our pharmacies and clinics in stores across the country.
  • In New York next Wednesday, I’ll open the meeting with an update on our strategic priorities and the initiatives for 2016…
  • At last year’s meeting, I outlined our enterprise priorities and told you that I hoped it would remain consistent for years. So here’s the spoiler alert. Our priorities today remain consistent with a year ago.
  • And for those of you who will be with us in New York, you’ll see vignettes showcasing newly-developed products across multiple categories, including our incredible new Kids brand, Pillowfort.

John Mulligan – COO

  • For the fourth quarter in total, out-of-stock metrics were 20% better than last year.
  • This holiday season, our stores fulfilled 30% of our digital orders through the combination of order pickup and direct-to-guest shipments.
  • During the holiday season, about 40% of our order pickup and store shipped volume consisted of items that were out of stock in our web fulfillment centers.
  • Last fall, we announced we were filling more than 1,400 new visual merchant positions in our store organization…The majority of these positions have been filled by external candidates with experience at other retailers…
  • If a new mom takes her baby out in 10-degree weather for diapers and formula, you better have diapers and formula in your store.

Catherine Smith, CFO

  • REDcard penetration was 23% in the fourth quarter, up about 190 basis points from 21.1% last year.
  • …this year’s results showed us that clear, compelling, broad based offers are appealing to our guests.
  • We are planning for comp growth in the 1.5% to 2.5% range in 2016 consistent with our performance throughout last year.
  • As we plan our first quarter comp in light of competitor inventory positions, we’re anticipating growth in the lower end of the 1.5% to 2.5% range.
  • We haven’t specified a goal for digital sales growth. I’ll discuss our reasoning for this change in more detail next week, but for now I’ll simply stress that our commitment to digital is as strong as ever.

Read Earnings Transcript via Seeking Alpha


Lowe’s Q4 2015 Earnings Call Highlights

Robert Niblock – Chairman, President & CEO

  • Q4: 3.6% increase in comp transactions, along with 1.6% comp increase in average ticket.
  • Our U.S. home improvement business achieved 5.5% comps for the quarter, with all 14 regions generating positive comps.
  • Our strong performance in Canada continues with double-digit comps in local currency for the third year in a row.
  • We think that as we look at the market share data that you can get out there that our performance in 2015 exceeded the growth in the market.

Michael Jones – Chief Customer Officer

  • Positive comps across all regions and product categories.
  • We drove traffic through our Black Friday event, which drove sales increases of 8% overall and 26% online.
  • Recorded above-average comps in lumber and building materials, appliances, lawn and garden, and paint.
  • In outdoor power equipment, we drove double-digit comps in off-season products such as pressure washers, walk-behind and riding mowers.
  • And in lawn and garden, we saw double-digit comps in soil, mulch and lawn care.
  • …announce the expansion of HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams with the introduction of Infinity, our premium one-coat paint and primer…in our stores in March.
  • We currently have over 160 Pro outside sales representatives in the field and are very pleased with the program’s results.
  • Look at some of the brands that we brought back in fashion lighting, with Kichler, Progress Lighting, and Quoizel…You won’t find these brands at any other home channel.
  • Paint: Again, another three-brand approach. You won’t find this particular approach at any other home channel. And with the addition of Cabot to couple with Olympic as the knockout punch…

Bob Hull – CFO

  • Comps were 2.8% in November, 7.3% in December, and 5.3% in January.
  • For the year, total sales were $59.1 billion, an increase of 5.1% driven by comp sales of 4.8% and new stores.
  • For 2016, we expect total sales increase of approximately 6%, driven by a comp sales increase of 4%.

Rick Damron, COO

  • (Online was) 3% of total sales.
  • The outside sales organization that Mike highlighted earlier of 160 people, adding another 35 into that organization.

Read Earnings Transcript via Seeking Alpha

Tipsheet: Target “Crushed” Walmart | Lowe’s +5.2% | Drug Chain Eyes Med-Marijuana | Costco #1 in Satisfaction


Target Q4 Comp Sales +1.9% “…driven by traffic growth of 1.3 percent. Digital channel sales increased 34 percent, contributing 1.3 percentage points to comparable sales growth. Fourth quarter comparable sales in signature categories (Style, Baby, Kids and Wellness) grew more than three times faster than the company average.” Read the release


…Fortune Headline: Target Crushed Walmart During the Holiday Shopping Season Read more


…Reuters Headline: Target’s comparable sales beat on demand for high-margin goods Read more


Lowe’s Q4 Comp Sales +5.2% “Sales for the fourth quarter increased 5.6 percent to $13.2 billion from $12.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014…For the fiscal year, sales were $59.1 billion, a 5.1 percent increase over the same period a year ago.” Read the release


…Fox Business Headline: Lowe’s Full-Year Sales Forecast Tops Estimates Read more


ACSI Retail Customer Satisfaction: Target Plummets in Grocery – Costco Tops Specialty – Lowe’s/Home Depot Dead Heat – Walmart in Basement  Read the release  See top 14 ranking of dept./discount stores


…Only One Retailer Comes Out Smelling Worse Than Walmart In Latest Customer Satisfaction Surveys by Chris Morran at Consumerist. “While Walmart might be the caboose in the supermarket satisfaction train, Target may be quickly on its way to the rear. The retailer dropped an astounding 10 points from 2014…Whole Foods…fell from an 81 to the industry average of 73 in a single year.” Read more


TARGET & OTHER RETAILERS WILL PROVIDE E-COM DATA TO NIELSEN – Nielsen Looks to Fill E-Commerce Void With Direct Retailer Data by Jack Neff at Ad Age. “More than a dozen “retail cooperators” have agreed to provide data, including Target, Peapod and supermarket chain Giant Eagle. Those are the only three retailers Nielsen is authorized to name…Amazon is not providing data, and she declined to comment on whether Walmart is. At least one club-store chain is participating.” Read more


Amazon launches in-house clothing line with seven new fashion brands by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “The Seattle tech giant quietly rolled out more than 1,800 fashion products…The seven Amazon fashion labels are: Franklin & Freeman, Franklin Tailored, James & Erin, North Eleven, Society New York, Lark & Ro, and Scout + Ro.” Read more


CANADA’S BIGGEST DRUGSTORE CHAIN EXPLORING MEDICAL-MARIJUANA SALES – Shoppers Drug Mart eyes sales of medical marijuana by Grant Robertson & Greg McArthur at Globe & Mail. “A small team of executives from Shoppers is said to have been touring the sites of medical-marijuana growers over the past several months, holding talks with several of the 29 federally licensed producers. Reached Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Shoppers Drug Mart said the company sees pharmacies as a logical option for selling the drug.” Read more


**A message from PaintPincher – Never Waste Paint Again! The PaintPincher is an ingenious 8-in-1 paint can spatula that recovers paint, stain, adhesives and more from gallon and quart cans, leaving them 99.9% clean. The PaintPincher is great for Pro and DIY painters and can save up to a cup of paint per gallon! See the videoSee the sell sheet | Packaging pic | Retailers request a sample at


Whole Foods to Invest in Instacart, Signs New Multi-Year Delivery Deal by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “The size of the deal could not be learned, but sources say the deal is essentially done, barring an unforeseen last-minute change of heart. The two companies have also signed a five-year delivery partnership, these people said, making Instacart the exclusive delivery partner for Whole Foods’ perishables business.” Read more


Sports Authority to file for bankruptcy as early as March via CNBC. “The company has also been struggling to make payments to suppliers of golf clubs, sneakers and other sporting apparel that stock the stores. Some of the suppliers have been asking for cash upfront out of fear that they will not be paid back.” Read more


UPS invests in same-day delivery startup Deliv by Carla Cardwell at Atlanta Business Chronicle. “Deliv is expected to announce a $28 million funding round, led by UPS, on Wednesday.” Read more


SPIRAL CONTINUES- Sears closing eight Sears Home stores in Canada by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail. Read more


Wakefern names new CIO via NJBIZ. “Wakefern…has named executive Cheryl Williams the new chief information officer at the company. Williams also will serve as vice president of Wakefern’s computer information services division.” Read more


Target will allow customers who have purchased hoverboards to return them by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Wal-Mart confirmed late Tuesday that it has also pulled hoverboards from its website, saying that it will not sell them until those suppliers can prove they comply with the new guidelines.” Read more


Hudson’s Bay Co reveals solid sales bump as online sales surge 23% by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “On a constant currency basis, same-store sales for the important holiday quarter rose 1.8 per cent.” Read more


SoCal: Aldi’s Set to Open First Eight Stores by Shan Li at LA Times. “The eight stores are clustered near the company’s regional distribution center in Moreno Valley. They are located in Palm Springs, San Bernardino, Yucaipa, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Fontana, Beaumont and Moreno Valley.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Jack Link’s plans dining, retail area in downtown Minneapolis

Sears executive pays $3.3 million for Chicago-area mansion

Johnson & Johnson to pay $72M for cancer death linked to talcum powder

The lab where they blow up hoverboards on purpose

Dad-Daughter Duo Raise $2.5M For Condom Company Aimed At Young Women

Customers allege Costco misleadingly labels coconut oil product

Walmart to transition lighting products away from compact fluorescent to LED

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


Home Depot Q4 2015 Earnings Call Highlights

Craig Menear – Chairman, President & CEO

  • Fiscal 2015 was a record year for our company. We achieved sales of $88.5 billion, the highest in company history.
  • Southern division…posted low double-digit comps. While our northern and western divisions recorded high single-digit comps.
  • Mexico reported positive double-digit comps…Canadian business also posted high single-digit comps.
  • I would like to congratulate Jeff Kinnaird who was recently promoted to President of Home Depot Canada.
  • All of our merchandising departments posted positive comps.
  • We will soon begin offering our exclusive paint brands to Interline’s multi-family operators.
  • For the year, our online business grew by approximately $1 billion, a growth rate of over 25% versus the prior year.
  • Over 40% of our online orders are picked up in stores.
  • We expect 2016 comp growth of approximately 4.5%.
  • I’d also like to congratulate Ann-Marie Campbell, who was recently promoted to Executive Vice President of U.S. Stores.
  • Q&A:
    • We do believe we’re taking share in the market, but the finite number, it’s pretty tough to get at.
    • Special order kitchens, countertops, and all manner of millwork still remain below the 2006 peak.

Ted Decker, EVP Merchandising

  • Appliances, tools, building materials had double-digit comps in the quarter.
  • Pro-heavy categories saw significant growth during the quarter, as we saw double-digit comps in siding, pneumatics, circuit protection, fencing, fasteners, and exterior doors.
  • We believe that more favorable weather trends in the quarter aided sales growth by approximately $100 million.
  • In the fourth quarter, total comp transactions grew by 5%.
  • In the quarter, comp ticket increased 2%.
  • Transactions for tickets under $50, representing approximately 20% of our U.S. sales, were up 3.8% for the fourth quarter.
  • Transactions for tickets over $900, also representing approximately 20% of our U.S. sales, were up 11.9% in the fourth quarter.
  • We will be resetting our door lock assortment in the first quarter.
  • For our Pro customer, we are introducing new and exclusive products from Milwaukee, DEWALT, Ryobi, and RIDGID.

Carol Tome, CFO

  • Comps up 6.3% in November, 8.6% in December, and 6.7% in January.
  • (US) comps up 8.1% in November, 10.6% in December, and 8.2% in January.
  • Total store count at the end of the year (is) 2,274 stores.
  • Q&A:
    • Our online sales grew $230 million or 23% in the quarter. For the year, total online sales were $4.7 billion.
    • That’s 5.3% of our total sales up from 4.5% from last years.

Read the full transcript via Seeking Alpha

Tipsheet: B.Buy Cuts HQ Staff | H.Depot +8.9% | Target Spent $12M on Gwen Video


Home Depot Q4 US Comp Sales +8.9% “The Home Depot…today reported sales of $21.0 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, a 9.5 percent increase from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 were positive 7.1 percent.” Read the release


@ CNBC: “The key with Home Depot is that they kept warm weather product in the stores longer, and then as the weather shifted, they got the snow shovels, ice melt, generators, whatever else in their stores quickly, so they were really able to take advantage of what was for a while an odd weather environment,” he said during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday.” Read more


Best Buy lays off a few dozen corporate employees by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “We’ve had some areas where we have done a small amount of restructuring,” Jeff Shelman, a company spokesman, told the Star Tribune. He did not provide an exact number of job cuts. But he noted that Best Buy is also hiring in other strategic areas. Its corporate website lists about 90 job openings in Richfield.” Read more


TARGET’S GWEN GRAMMY EFFORT HAS EARNED 3 BILLION MEDIA IMPRESSIONS TO DATE – Gwen Stefani’s $12 Million Live Music Video for Target New Centerpiece to a Emerging Trend by Andy Gensler at Billboard. “Billboard estimates Target invested roughly $12 million into the campaign, including $8 million for the airtime alone. Mistakes like the ones in rehearsal would have left egg on faces far and wide — from Target, Stefani and Muller, to Deutsch (Target’s creative agency for the campaign), as well as Stefani’s Interscope Records label and Azoff Music Management.” Read more


**A message from ASD Market Week – ASD has the widest variety of goods anywhere! On February 28 – March 2, 2016, we open the doors of the Las Vegas Convention Center to 45,000+ attendees looking to shop the world’s widest variety of wholesale lifestyle accessories and general merchandise at the lowest price points available. Discover hot new products and stylish finds from over 2,600 vendors in categories including: fashion & accessories, beauty & fragrance, gift & home, toys & novelties and many more. Learn more about ASD / See category list | See the show floor video | Register now


CVS says 2015 drug spending grew 5 percent, far less than in 2014 by Caroline Humer at Reuters. “CVS Chief Medical Officer Troyen Brennan said that the 2015 overall drug price trend would have been nearly the same as in 2014 if it had not made changes to its main coverage plan, called a formulary, or negotiated such steep discounts.” Read more


CVS Just Made Valeant’s Day Even Worse by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “It was already a terrible day for Valeant Pharmaceuticals when news came that CVS Health it will restrict the use of Jublia, the drugmaker’s toenail fungus treatment…Jublia goes for $1,000 for an 8-ml bottle. Caremark members will have to try to treat their condition with other, less expensive toenail fungus drugs, according to Bloomberg.” Read more


Dillard’s Q4 Comp Sales -2.0% “Dillard’s Chief Executive Officer, William T. Dillard, II, stated, “The fourth quarter was difficult…Sales were particularly weak on the Southern border and in the energy producing regions.” Read the release


Office Depot Q4 Sales -9.0%  Read the release


Google Shuttering Comparison-Shopping Site via Wall Street Journal. “The quick reversal is a setback to the Alphabet unit’s efforts to use its enormous reach to provide consumers with niche shopping services and financial-services tools, the Journal said.” via Reuters | via WSJ (subscription)


Kroger Announces Retirement of Smith’s President Jay Cummins “His replacement will be announced at a later date.” Read the release


Online shopping in Canada grew substantially over holiday season, report says by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “Online sales accounted for 9.7 per cent of total retail sales in the two-month period, the highest watermark yet for Web sales in Canada. In December, online sales accounted for to 9.9 per cent of total retail sales, up from 8.6 per cent in 2014.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Hal Lawton and other Senior eBay Executives Become Top Rated Sellers

Target Leaders Share Their Favorite Thought-Provoking Moments From TED 2016

Father, son accused of shooting geese too close to Walmart

Target halts the sale of hoverboards on its website

Thief Dons Walmart Smock, Steals Four Flat Screen TVs

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Tipsheet: Adele Shops Target | Wmart #8 World Brand | Amazon Ups Free Ship | Hatch Likes Costco Dogs


Amazon Raises Its Free Shipping Minimum To $49 For Non-Prime Members by Frederic Lardinois at TechCrunch. “The good news, though: if you’re buying books, the minimum to qualify for free shipping is still $25 (assuming those books are eligible for the free shipping promotion).” Read more


Brand Finance Global 500: The world’s most valuable brands of 2016 (Walmart #8, Home Depot #28, Target #78…) See the top 500 list


Makeup-free Adele spotted on the shopping hunt in Target by Chelsea White at Daily Mail. “The Hello hitmaker was seen taking her time perusing the racks of West Hollywood’s Target checking out some beauty products. The star was also on the hunt for something fun for her three-year-old son Angelo and was seen picking up an Incredible Hulk coloring book.” See the pics / Read more


Lumber Liquidators stock tanks after CDC says wood flooring carries higher cancer risk by Ciara Linnane at MarketWatch. “The CDC said recent testing of the company’s wood had used an incorrect value for ceiling height. “As a result, the health risks were calculated using airborne concentration estimates about 3 times lower than they should have been.” Read more


Amazon shows off its Minneapolis-area fulfillment center set to open later this year by Kavita Kumar at Star-Tribune. “Hundreds of little orange robots that resemble heavier and bigger versions of Roombas will be humming along the floor fetching items for employees to pack and send to customers. Only about 13 of Amazon’s dozens of fulfillment centers in the U.S. use robots.” Read more


**A message from Sweets & Snacks Expo – Five Speakers You Can’t Miss in May! #5 – Sally Lyons Wyatt, IRI Worldwide to present “The State of the Snack Industry 2016”. Sally is a recognized thought leader and frequent speaker at conferences in the CPG industry and an authority on consumer eating and shopping trends. See bios for Sally & other featured speakers | See the Best in Show Winner for 2015 | This Year’s Exhibitor’s | May 24-26, 2016 – Chicago, IL


Here’s Why Walmart Stumbled on The Road to China by Robert Salomon at Fortune. “The lesson in all of this is that, when it comes to globalization, managers are not just optimists; all too often, they are unbridled optimists. They habitually overestimate the benefits of globalization and underestimate its costs.” Read more


Amazon recruiting heavily for Echo and Alexa engineers, hosts big invite-only event to find talent by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “It’s not just about the utility,” he added. “The product is sort of becoming part of the family; it has a place in the home. People are interacting with it in ways that go beyond just turning on lights or listening to music. It has become part of the household, and that’s pretty incredible.” Read more


CEO talks cigarettes with CVS’ top doc by Eleanor Kennedy at Nashville Business Journal. “As for the fact that other players in the pharmacy space have not followed suit, Brennan said, that may be because, among other factors, “It’s a lot of money to walk away from.” Read more


UTAH SENATOR LOVES HIS COSTCO HOT DOGS – Utah family is ‘complete’ thanks to Orrin Hatch’s penchant for Costco hot dogs by Marjorie Cortez at Deseret News. “Well, they’re so cheap. It’s $1.50 and all the condiments you want and you get a drink with it. My gosh, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Hatch said.” Read more


CVS Customer Buys Heating Pad, Finds Box Full Of Family Keepsakes Instead by Ashlee Kieler at Consumerist. ““I didn’t want to take it back to CVS just to have them throw it away,” the woman says of the documents that were all in Russian. Instead, she decided to contact the local police department.” Read more


Why Retailers Are Missing Out on Mobile With Millennials by Adrianne Pasquarelli at Ad Age. “Most aren’t ready to tackle this,” said Julie Ask, VP and principal analyst, e-business and channel strategy, Forrester Research. She noted that many teen retailers haven’t invested enough in mobile and have simply shrunk their desktop sites.” Read more


Wayfair to Create 450 Jobs in Texas Read the release


A startup that wants to help big retailers battle coupon sites like RetailMeNot raises $875,000 by Alyson Shontell at Business Insider. “When people shop online, they’re always looking for a discount. Often before checking out, a shopper will do a Google search for promotional codes to plug in. But the store’s own promotions are hardly ever at the top of the search results, even for big stores like Best Buy.” Read more


Syrup business can’t stop gas pipeline from cutting trees down via NY Post. “The 120-foot wide pipeline right-of-way would force the felling of up to 200 maples, or about 80 percent of the family’s sugaring trees.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

I went to Walmart and saw how the company is losing to Best Buy in one key area

Grumpy’s too happy! Disney characters mask the misery of working class life, say academics

P&G faces Energizer lawsuit

Visa wants your car to become your new credit card

Locals fear ‘Amazon’ project could bring a giant warehouse to Kent village

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Tipsheet: Admired: H.Depot #31/Target #39 | Reputation: Costco #13 | WinCo Snags Target Site | Kroger Targets Israel? | PetSmart LBO Pays Off


Walmart is using bananas to lure customers through its remodeled supercenter by Chase Purdy at Quartz. “We are learning some interesting things along the way,” McMillon said, noting that most customers do online grocery shopping between 8 PM and 9 PM. There is also an uptick in orders in the middle of the night, often for diapers and formula. “While it’s been a while since my kids were that age, I remember those days well,” McMillon said.” Read more


Walmart Q4 Earnings Call Transcript via Seeking Alpha. Read more


Harris Poll Releases Reputation Rankings For The 100 Most Visible Companies In The U.S. (Amazon #1, Costco #13, Lowe’s #26…) See the top 100 list


U.K. Retail Sales Surged Most in More Than Two Years in January by Jill Ward & Fergal O’Brien at Bloomberg. “The 2.3 percent jump in the volume of sales was almost three times the pace of growth forecast by economists in a Bloomberg survey. The Office for National Statistics said growth was helped by post-Christmas price cutting as retailers looked to clear excess stock.” Read more


Amazon to open parcel locker network across Europe at Reuters.”The new jobs include business development manager roles for Amazon Locker in Munich and Paris, European Union technical operations manager for Locker based in Luxembourg, and network development manager roles in Luxembourg, Munich and Paris. “Amazon pickup locations, including Amazon Locker, are exciting, new delivery solutions that we are introducing into the German marketplace,” read the Munich business role ad.” Read more


Lowe’s Unveils New Innovation Lab in Heart of Tech-hub Bangalore “LIL-Bangalore will also complement Lowe’s existing Bangalore Global In-house Center, which has been operating since 2014 and has grown to include more than 400 employees working on technology and analytics solutions.” Read the release


**A message from PaintPincher – Never Waste Paint Again! The PaintPincher is an ingenious 8-in-1 paint can spatula that recovers paint, stain, adhesives and more from gallon and quart cans, leaving them 99.9% clean. The PaintPincher is great for Pro and DIY painters and can save up to a cup of paint per gallon! See the video | See the sell sheet | Retailers request a sample at


Fortune reveals its 34th annual list of the World’s Most Admired Companies (Amazon #3, CVS #27, Home Depot #31, Target #39…) See the top 50 list


PetSmart’s $8.7 Billion LBO Is Already Paying Off For Consortium Led By BC Partners by Antoine Gara at Forbes. “Roughly ten months after PetSmart’s takeover was sealed by a consortium of PE buyers led by BC Partners, the company is returning a whopping $800 million dividend to its new owners. That cash return, equivalent to about 38% of the cost of PetSmart’s take private deal, comes as the retailer has exceeded expectations in increasing profits and sales under its new management” Read more


Kroger Announces Retirement of Senior Vice President Marnette Perry via Yahoo. “Kroger announced that Senior Vice President for Retail Operations and Strategic Initiatives Marnette Perry plans to retire on April 29, after 44 years with the company.” Read the release


Cabela’s tight-lipped on its future as it reports fourth-quarter earnings by Paige Yowell at World-Herald. “The silence doesn’t mean that the process is dead. Quite the opposite, some hedge fund watchers say.” Read more


Cabela’s Exec Transitions to Strategic Advisory Role “Mr. Copeland joined Cabela’s in November 2007 as Vice President of Retail Operations. Since January 2010 he has served as Cabela’s Chief Operations Officer.” Read the release


Masters boss Matt Tyson walks away from Woolworths’ home improvement disaster at “Woolworths and Lowes have poured $3.5 billion in Masters, which was not expected to break even until 2020. Both companies are reportedly firing up for a legal dispute over Masters’ final valuation and exit price.” Read more


Canadian Tire CFO cites kettles as an example for how goods can be sold more profitably by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “If we have five kettles on a shelf and we used to buy them from four different suppliers, and we do the analytics to figure out which of those five kettles make us the most money, (then executives might decide) we don’t need to sell five kettles from four different suppliers — maybe we need to sell four different kettles from two different suppliers,” he said.” Read more


Kroger could be targeting Israel in first overseas expansion by Steve Watkins at Cincinnati Business Courier. “Kroger is reportedly teaming with two Israeli investors – Yossi Sagol and Eran Meital – to make a bid for Mega, according to the Haaretz report.” Read more


North Texas: WinCo Foods to build new supermarket on old Target site by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. Read more


Heavy Metal vest returned to bass player after it turns up at Macy’s by Mahita Gajanan at The Guardian. “Word spread, and soon a Facebook page entitled “Macy’s, Give Back Meshach’s Vest” was created, bringing nearly 5,000 likes in a little more than a week.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Kroger CEO joins CPG company board

Wayfair hires retail veteran to head its supply chain operations

The hottest toys from the New York Toy Fair

Nordstrom Is Pulling Back on Tech Spending and Its Stock Is Tanking

New CEO: P&G will adapt, doubles down on cuts

Sanders Supporters Like Chipotle, While Trump Fans Prefer Sonic

Vizio’s smart TVs are snitches, lawsuit alleges

How millennials are driving movement for clean labels on our food

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Tipsheet: Wmart +0.6% | Gwen’s “Massive Bruise” | Cabela’s -3.5% | Can. Tire +2.0%


Walmart Q4 US Comp Sales +0.6% “Neighborhood Market comps increased approximately 7%…Read the release

…CNBC: Wal-Mart posts earnings beat Read more

…Fox Business: Wal-Mart Lowers Sales Outlook Read more

…Tweet: @Retail_Guru – Walmart web sales +8%. Less than 1/3rd of Amazon’s +26%. Despite being far smaller $WMT losing even more online share to $AMZN


Cabela’s Q4 Comp Sales Down 3.5% “(Cabela’s) plans to reduce working capital and sell unproductive assets. Lower inventory levels will be a major source of the reduction in working capital.” Read the release


Canadian Tire Q4 Comp Sales +2.0% Read the release


Wal-Mart to create hundreds of fresh food manager roles by Nathan Layne at Reuters. “Wal-Mart…has already hired 30 field managers and plans to hire hundreds more over the next three years, people familiar with matter said in recent days. Their job is to train workers and take other steps to improve the fresh food offering in stores, the people said.” Read more


Gwen Stefani reveals behind-the-scenes details from her Target video shoot by Madison Vain at Entertainment Weekly. “She didn’t come out of the shoot completely unscathed, though. “I have a massive bruise on the back of my leg,” she says…“We practiced so many times,” she says. “The two takes before the live one, I fell on my my head. It was crazy.” In fact, Stefani says it wasn’t until just the take or two before the live filming that she even felt like they had gotten the routine down. “It’s really weird how things came together at the very last minute.” Read more


…Target and Stefani came together on the project via a third party, marketing wiz Gary Tobey, says Vice Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M, Steve Berman. “He is the heart and soul around all these Target campaigns built around great creative.”


Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillon Named 24th Most Powerful Person in Chicago via Chicago Magazine. See the top 50 list


**A message from ASD Market Week – ASD has the widest variety of goods anywhere! On February 28 – March 2, 2016, we open the doors of the Las Vegas Convention Center to 45,000+ attendees looking to shop the world’s widest variety of wholesale lifestyle accessories and general merchandise at the lowest price points available. Discover hot new products and stylish finds from over 2,600 vendors in categories including: fashion & accessories, beauty & fragrance, gift & home, toys & novelties and many more. Learn more about ASD / See category list | See the show floor video | Register now


Amazon is expanding deliveries by its ‘on-demand’ drivers via CNBC. “ is quietly inviting drivers for its new “on-demand” delivery service to handle its standard packages…The move, which has not been announced publicly, is the latest sign that the world’s biggest e-commerce company wants to control more of its own deliveries.” Read more


Next wave of store closings may hit luxury: Real estate pro by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “Research by The NPD Group/Checkout Tracking Total Channel found that 71 percent of luxury consumers also shop at off-price stores. The research firm also found that 30 percent of luxury buyers shop at fast-fashion retailers, while 23 percent visit luxury retailers’ outlet stores.” Read more


Amazon in talks to hire former Marks & Spencer womenswear boss by Sarah Butler at The Guardian. “Amazon is in talks with former Marks & Spencer womenswear boss Frances Russell as it works on plans to gatecrash the fashion business with an own-label clothing brand.” Read more


Adidas Hires Former Lululemon CEO as Strategic Adviser via Dow Jones. “I look at myself as a free agent,” (Christine Day) said. “I have a choice at this stage in my career to play for the love of the game.” Read more


U.S. e-commerce grows 14.6% in 2015 by Stefany Zaroban at Internet Retailer. “Online sales accounted for 7.3% of total retail sales in 2015 versus 6.4% in 2014, and e-commerce accounted for 66.4% of total retail sales growth.” Read more


Casey Carl, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Talks Innovation and Disruption via A Bullseye View. “What advice would you give someone trying to infuse a spirit of innovation into their own organization? Be bold: At Target, we reinforce that “new to us” is not innovation.  Solve an existing problem with a real consumer market and opportunity for growth.” Read the Q&A


Amazon Prime Members Are Even More Valuable Than You Thought by Rebecca Borison at The Street. “Customers who joined Prime in January 2014 spent on average $2,147 in 2015. And customers who joined Prime in January 2012 spent on average $3,091 in 2015.” Read more


Walmart’s help needed to fight senior tax scam, Senator says by Darran Simon at Newsday. “He wants the Bentonville, Arkansas-based chain, which his office said had apparently been the go-to store for the scam, to display large warning signs in its stores. He said store employees handling money orders should also caution people.” Read more


Target adding 600 jobs at Virginia distribution center by Kevin Green at WAVY 10. Read more


Kmart to stock shelves with bankrupt companies’ products by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “Kmart is going to be the land of the living dead. The desperate discount chain, owned by Edward Lampert’s Sears, has a new merchandise strategy that involves stocking its shelves with products from bankrupt companies or mass liquidations, the company said on Wednesday.” Read more


Sports Authority employees told all Texas stores closing by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. Read more


Google Express Adds Grocery Delivery by Mark Bergen at Recode. “On Wednesday, the three-year-old service announced it will start shipping perishable items to select neighborhoods in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Google Express will be working with its existing retail partners Costco, Smart & Final and Whole Foods.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Target, Do Solar Like You Do the Grammys

The Walmart Case That Could Expand Gay Rights at Work

A Women’s Retailer On America’s Mall Glut And Why Online Sellers Are Opening Stores

Paint chain under aggressive new ownership plans to expand to 50 stores

Dallas gets next branch of TreeHouse, the eco-friendly home improvement store

“DC Super Hero Girls” Merchandise Soars Into Target This Spring

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