Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 3/14/13: Lowe’s CEO talks Line Reviews; Amazon Prime Price Drop?


“Lowe’s Presents at UBS Global Consumer Conference (3/13/13)” at Seeking Alpha.  

Robert Niblock’s (Lowe’s Chairman and CEO) comments on the new line review process:

*  I think it is obviously a more rigorous process than what our vendors have gone through before.

*  If you think about in the past, if a vendor had a line review with one merchant versus a different one, there might’ve been some differences in the process. Much greater consistency in the processes now.

*  So it has been — well, actually, it is a rigorous process that they go through. We are expecting them to bring their best price forward the first time that they quote us.

*  But now that we’re well through the process and actually, we’ll be starting to plan the next round of line reviews in the future.

* And I think one of the things that will likely help there when you think about our merchants now as they go through the line review process, they’re really going to more dead net pricing.

Question to Niblock:  “And is there an opportunity to go back to some of those earlier discussions and maybe go down that path of what you initially expected if you didn’t achieve what you were looking for the first time around?”

*  Yes, certainly. As you go through the line review process, I think there’s been learnings on both sides.

*  So as we get through the initial round of line reviews at the end of 2013, then we’ll basically operationalize that into our ongoing process.

*  And as we’re doing line reviews in the future, they won’t be done at the pace at which were being done today, but certainly the opportunity to go back and even some of the line reviews we’ve done, do a better job the second time around.

*  I think there was a lot of learnings that took place from the line reviews that we did last year, and that’s part of the reason that we slowed down the pace at which we were doing those line reviews.

*  I think that the biggest challenge would be continue to get good realization on the inventory that we’ve displaced and selling through from a margin standpoint. And that’s part of the reason we slowed that cadence down was to ensure that we can do that and provide a great customer experience.

Read the full transcript (registration required):  https://seekingalpha.com/article/1272021-lowe-s-companies-inc-presents-at-ubs-global-consumer-conference-mar-13-2013-02-20-pm

Listen to the webcast:  https://cc.talkpoint.com/ubsx001/031313a_ep/?entity=5_R48TFQ6


“Walmart, Safeway, Amazon Share Same Domain Strategy: Mine, Mine, Mine” by Frank Hays at Storefront Backtalk.  “Walmart  and Safeway are each trying to privatize .grocery, so no competing chains can use it. Barring an unexpected change, one of the two will lock it down. Meanwhile, the spotlight has been on Amazon for attempting to get exclusive use of .books. Other retail-friendly top-level domains (TLDs), including .toys, .kids, .tools, .shoes, .fashion and .food, are also in play.”  Read more: https://storefrontbacktalk.com/e-commerce/walmart-safeway-amazon-share-same-domain-strategy-mine-mine-mine/#ixzz2NVrj2d5f


“Retail Sales Up 0.7% in February as Consumers Adjusted Spending”  “Retail continues to show its importance to the economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “That said, our consumer research consistently shows a cautious shopper that is making tough spending decisions based upon economic uncertainties, lower paychecks and higher prices for things such as gas. This is particularly true among those making $50,000 or less a year.”  Read more:  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20130313005944&div=-1245645151


“Post-Holiday Spending Surprisingly Robust”  “With a gain of 1.1 percent in February, consumer spending remains relatively robust. Job growth has been strong, income growth has picked up a little, as has consumer sentiment. Additionally, households’ net worth continues to recover, powered by the strong equity market gains and rise in home prices.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6469151&access=EH


“Why Amazon Prime Could Soon Cost You Next to Nothing” by Marcus Wohlsen at Wired.  “Over the past few years, the arithmetic behind Amazon Prime has become one of online shopping’s most familiar math problems: Do I buy enough from Amazon to justify paying $79 per year for unlimited two-day shipping?  But this calculus could soon change. Amazon makes so much money off Prime customers, according to a new report, that the company could drop the fee by dozens of dollars and still come out ahead.”  Read more: https://www.wired.com/business/2013/03/amazon-prime-could-soon-cost-next-to-nothing/ 


“Home Depot’s Joe McFarland to Present at The International Strategy & Investment Third Annual Retail Summit”  “The Home Depot announced that Joe McFarland, president, Western Division, will present at the International Strategy & Investment (ISI) Third Annual Retail Summit in Scottsdale, AZ. The presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET on March 20, 2013.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6469234&access=EH


“Costco CFO on Item-Level RFID: “That Ain’t Happening” by Evan Schuman at Storefront Backtalk.  “Asked about ways to cut labor costs, Galanti went out of his way to dismiss it, arguing that he’s not buying item-level RFID’s promises. “Everybody thought that RFID would free up the front end and reduce our biggest labor cost area. That ain’t happening.”  Read more:  https://storefrontbacktalk.com/it-strategy-industry/costco-cfo-on-item-level-rfid-that-aint-happening/#ixzz2NVpm3wdV


“Remarks by Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke Introducing First Lady Michelle Obama at the Business Roundtable”  “Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke will introduce First Lady Michelle Obama at the Business Roundtable and deliver the following remarks, as prepared for delivery, today, March 13th at approximately 11:40 am EST.”  Read full introduction:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6470596&access=EH


“Target to open 3 more clinics in Chicago area stores” by Corilyn Shropshire at Chicago Tribune.  “The new health clinics are among 14 new clinics Target is opening in the next few months across the country, bringing the total number of Target Clinics to 68…Target is joining other retailers who are opening in-store clinics. They include Walmart, CVS Caremark Corp. and Deerfield-based Walgreen Co., which has 370 Take Care clinics across the country.”  Read more:  https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-target-to-open-3-more-clinics-in-chicago-area-stores-20130313,0,6952702.story


“Michaels Stores, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2012 Results”  “Quarterly same-store sales increased 1.7% driven by a 2.3% increase in average ticket and a 0.6% decrease in transactions.  Net sales, including an estimated $66 million from the 53rd week of fiscal 2012, increased 8.5% to $1.524 billion from $1.404 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6468035&access=EH


Thanks for reading…


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