Friday Tipsheet: Wmart Call Highlights | Sam’s Struggles | Rona Likes Quebec


“Walmart tamps down Dollar Store acquisition talk, says its smaller stores bring in 4-7 times the sales of a Dollar Store” by Shelly Banjo at WSJ via Yahoo.  “Many of the dollar stores aren’t equipped with gas stations, pharmacies or the ability to sell fresh and frozen food. “We would have to pay a premium for locations that aren’t perfect and plow cash into retrofitting,” Bill Simon said.  Wal-Mart’s smaller stores bring in anywhere from four to seven times the sales that dollar stores do, he said, so “we’re able to build the sales with fewer physical footprints.”  Read more


“Man who switched price stickers at Home Depot gets 2½ years in prison” at USA Today.  “The fraud was simple but lucrative: They took bar code stickers off inexpensive items and placed them on goods that cost more before paying at a self-checkout register. The items later were returned to Home Depot with the original higher price code.”  Read more


“U.K. Retail Sales Decline Most Since April 2012” by Fergal O’Brien at Bloomberg via SF Gate.  “Sales including fuel plunged 1.5 percent from December, when they surged 2.5 percent, the Office for National Statistics said today in London.”  Read more


“Nordstrom Q4 Comp Sales:  Full-Line Stores Down 3.3%, Rack Stores Up 3.6%”  Read the release


“Quebec gets tough on hostile takeovers, Former Rona CEO sat on Panel” by Sophie Cousineau at Globe & Mail.  “The measures, should Quebec businesses choose to use them, would make it nearly impossible for a corporate predator to acquire a public company against the will of its board of directors.”  Read more


Heard on Walmart’s Q4 Earnings Call yesterday (We listen to it so you don’t need to):


Bill Simon, President & EVP Walmart U.S.

Q4 net sales up 2.4%. For the 14 weeks ending January 31, comp store sales were down 0.4%, with ticket up 1.3% and traffic down 1.7%.

Comp sales declined 0.6% for the 53-week period ending January 31

Positive sales comp during the 6-week holiday season ending December 27, 2013.

E-commerce contributed approximately 30 basis points to the total Walmart U.S. comp in Q4.

New Pennsylvania dotcom fulfillment center opens within the next few weeks.

Opening between 270 and 300 small stores this fiscal year.

Total incremental square footage is anticipated to be between 21 and 23 million square feet, versus our previous guidance of 19 to 21 million square feet.

Denver grocery test: Almost 90% of the customers rate the service above average or outstanding.


Q4 Comps / Share:

Grocery comp was in the low single-digit negative range.

Strong mid-single-digit positive comps in produce and adult beverages; positive comps in other fresh departments, including meat, deli and bakery.

Health & wellness delivered a low single-digit positive comp. Our prescription business was particularly strong, with a mid-single-digit positive comp due in part to inflation.

Entertainment, including toys, posted a mid-single-digit negative comp.

Home business reported a low single-digit positive comp. Bath & bedding, cooking & dining, delivered strong mid-single-digit positive comps.

Apparel business delivered a low single-digit positive comp. Cold weather apparel and active wear posted particularly strong comps.

Gained share across all of our tracked general merchandise categories, including entertainment, toys, automotive, stationery, home and apparel, for the 13 weeks ending January 4, 2014, according to The NPD Group.

Grocery, which includes food and consumables, gained 24 basis points of market share for the 13 weeks ending February 1, 2014 according to The Nielsen Company.


Brand Call Outs:

Calphalon, Farberware, Keurig, SodaStream, Avia, Russell


David Cheesewright, President & CEO International

U.K: Q4 net sales increased 1.3%, while comparable sales declined 0.2%. Traffic increased 0.2%, offset by a ticket decline of 0.4%.

Canada: Q4 net sales grew 0.4%, while comp sales decreased 1.7%. Comp traffic decreased 2.7% with ticket increasing 1.0%.

Mexico: Q4 net sales increased 3.1% over last year, but comparable stores sales decreased 1.6%.

Brazil: Q4 net sales grew 5.3%, with total comp sales up 4.6%.  Average ticket grew 8.0%, and traffic declined 3.4%.

China: Q4 sales grew 3.7% with comp sales up 0.4%. Comp was driven by an 8.6% increase in ticket, while traffic declined 8.2%

Japan:  Q4 Comp sales grew 0.7%, with an overall sales growth of 1.6%. Comp ticket grew at 3.0%, store traffic declined 2.3%.


Sam’s Club: Rosalind Brewer, President & CEO

Comp for the 14-week period ending Jan. 31, 2014, excluding fuel, declined 0.1%, comprised of a traffic increase of 1.2% and a ticket decline of 1.3%.

Business member traffic and ticket were both negative this quarter.

E-commerce sales contributed approximately 40 basis points for the 14- week comp period ending January 31, 2014.

Plan to open between 17 and 22 new, relocated, and expanded units this year.

We expect comp sales, without fuel, for the 13- week period from February 1 to May 2, to be relatively flat.


Q4 Comps / Share:

Low single-digit positive comp within fresh, freezer and cooler.

Fresh sides and fresh meat both delivering low single-digit positive comps for the quarter.

Grocery and beverage reported an essentially flat comp. Unit growth in our snacks category. Declines in weather-sensitive categories, such as juice and water.

Tobacco low single-digit negative comp.

Market share gains in categories like table top, trash bags, and food storage, as measured by The Nielsen Group for the 13-week period ending January 18, 2014.

Declines in our pet business, resulting in a flat comp for consumables.

Health and wellness delivered a low single-digit positive comp. Over-the-counter sales decelerated from the prior quarter.

Home, apparel and hardlines delivered a mid-single-digit comp.

Technology and entertainment, mid-single-digit negative comp. Technology and entertainment has been challenged over the past year, experiencing deflationary pressures and ever-changing member preferences.

Read the Full Q4 Earnings Call Transcript


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Have a great weekend!