Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 11/15/12: Walmart Q3 earnings highlights

Breaking News — Highlights from Walmart’s Q3 earnings release this morning…

Q3 Earnings:  $1.08/share (vs. $1.07/share expected by analysts) an 11.3% increase from $.97/share in the same quarter a year ago.

Q3 Net Sales:  $113.2 billion, an increase of 3.4% from Q3 last year.

Q3 Comp Sales US:  +1.5% in 13-week period ending Oct. 26, 2012.

Q3 Op Income:  $6.1 billion.  +4% from last year.

Heard on the Call…

“During the quarter we added approximately 13 million retail square feet through 173 net new, expanded and relocated units”

“1.4% lift in ticket”

“Market share increase of 50 basis points in food, consumables and over the counter combined according to Nielsen”

“Grocery business..delivered a low single digit positive comp”

“Value-pack sizing…helped increase market share in pets by 100 basis points vs. last year”

“Top layaway items included 50″ televisions, gaming consoles and tablets”

“Polaris – our search engine developed in-house is improving conversions by 10-15%”

“During Q3 we opened 59 Supercenters”

“We also continue to accelerate growth in our small formats, which now represents approximately 250 units, in the third quarter we opened another 33 Neighborhood  Markets across the country, this is in addition to the 23 we opened in the first half of this year, this format allows us to grow coast to coast with an eye towards localizing it for a local community.”

“Neighborhood Market formats comping in the mid single digits”

“On track to add 125 Supercenters and 80 small stores this fiscal year”

“Open 40-50 total units in Q4 including 20-25 small stores”

“We’ll generate over 2 billion impressions across social media this holiday, more than three times last years total.”

“Projecting Q4 comps…from 1%-3% for Walmart US”

Sam’s Club breakout Q3

Q3 Sam’s Club comp sales, without fuel:  +2.7% from Q3 last year

“7 new clubs opened (Q3)”

“Traffic up 1.5% and ticket up 1.2%”

“Disappointed that comp sales were beneath our guidance”

“Rotisserie chicken — when there is one in the basket ticket is larger”

“Reduced prices on apples..beauty and baby.”

“Baby category up double digit comps with improvement in distribution”

“Lowered prices on condiments, cooking oil and paper products”

“….learn from our memebership pilot in Texas”

“Projecting Q4 comps…from 1.5%-3.5% for Sam’s Club”


Walmart’s New Subscription Service Offers a Box of Goodies on the Cheap  “Today it (Walmart) launches Goodies Co., a monthly service that will send you a package of sweets and snacks for $7, including shipping. The twist on this particular offering is something that the megaretailer does best — pricing things unbelievably low.  Goodies, which is coming out of beta today, is being run entirely by @WalmartLabs, Walmart’s tech team in San Bruno, Calif. While it continues in the experiment phase (as evidenced by not using the Walmart brand yet), the employees at @WalmartLabs will curate and source the brands — even though Walmart stores represent the largest grocer in the country.”  https://www.walmartlabs.com/walmarts-new-subscription-service-offers-a-box-of-goodies-on-the-cheap/ 

“Hate big box stores? Home Depot wants you to feel the love” by Steve Payne in Canadian Contractor:  “The challenge for the Home Depot (and all retailers), Hamad said, was to “make an emotional connection with contractors.” And this is often difficult, he admitted, because “25 per cent of contractors, only, go to [our] pro desk. The other 75 per cent don’t. They shop in the aisles.” https://www.canadiancontractor.ca/industry/hate-big-box-stores-home-depot-wants-you-to-feel-the-love#ixzz2C9QV12Or

“Big Businesses Find a Cause They Can Support: Small Businesses” by Robb Mandelbaum in The New York Times.  “Big businesses reaching out to help smaller businesses has come into vogue since the recession.  And several corporations have run contests — Wal-Mart, Chase Bank and Staples have furnished winning small companies with opportunities for retail distribution, capital and office equipment.”  https://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/15/business/smallbusiness/samuel-adams-brewer-counsels-small-businesses.html?pagewanted=all

NBC News — “Target employees protest over Thanksgiving shifts” by Ben Popken. “Target employees are seeing red after the retailer announced its stores will open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, cutting into holiday time for workers. An online petition asking Target to not open on Thanksgiving has over 179,000 signatures, and the number continues to rise.” https://lifeinc.today.com/_news/2012/11/13/15136983-target-employees-protest-over-thanksgiving-shifts?lite 

“How The Little Boston Shop Polka Dog Bakery Wound Up In Target” by David Cooperstein at Forbes. “How they were found remains a mystery. Ironically in today’s world, Target reached out to the owners of Polka Dog with a letter. Except for a comment about having scouts around the country, Deb and Rob do not know for sure how they were chosen to get that letter.”  https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidcooperstein/2012/11/13/how-target-put-main-street-into-its-big-box-brand/

“Analysis: Amazon faces new obstacles in fight for holiday dollars” by Alistair Barr in Reuters. “”The big retailers are in a much better space than they were last year,” Nemer said.  Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has probably made the most progress online, the analyst added.  It launched a new search engine for Walmart.com this year that has led to shoppers being 10 to 15 percent more likely to purchase after searching for products on the site, according to Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart also recently started same-day delivery tests in San Francisco, San Jose, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia and Minneapolis, using some of its 4,000 stores as distribution centers for quicker shipping of online orders.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/14/us-amazon-holiday-idUSBRE8AD09U20121114

“Walmart Kicks Sustainability Up Another Big Notch” at sustainablebusiness.com.  “Right now, the Walmart Sustainability Index covers about 100 different categories such as apparel, electronics and toys, and  that number should double by the end of the year. Roughly 500 suppliers have gone through the evaluation process.”  https://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/24279 

“Home Depot Adopts Feline Holiday Mascot” by Natalie Zmuda at Ad Age.  “…And so was born Richard the Cat. Described as quick-witted and sarcastic, on his Tumblr page Richard says his family is “‘how-to helpless’ — especially around the holidays.” With that in mind, Richard will document his family’s disasters for consumers’ enjoyment during the holiday season. He’ll also be tweeting @RichardTheCat and photo bombing customers posing with their Christmas trees at Home Depot’s in-store Social Booth. There are also plans for Richard to pop up on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Foursquare. Home Depot is working with Carrot Creative on the project.”  https://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/home-depot-adopts-feline-holiday-mascot-richard-cat/238323/ 

“Meijer Upgrades Meat Department” by Roseanne Harper in Supermarket News.  ““They took out their meat cutters at the time to try to stay competitive, but you can’t out-Wal-Mart Wal-Mart. So, now they’ve decided to do something to differentiate themselves.”   https://supermarketnews.com/meat/meijer-upgrades-meat-department#ixzz2CFxQF59I

“Rona woes: Stock soars after major shareholder calls for overhaul” by Ross Marowits in The Canadian Press.  “Rona’s shares surged Wednesday after the company’s second-largest institutional shareholder said it was seeking to sweep out the existing board and install new directors.”  https://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/Rona+woes+Stock+soars+after+major+shareholder+calls+overhaul/7547094/story.html