Thursday Tipsheet: Breaking: Target Q3 Comps +.9% | Lowe’s Call Hlights | Wmart & New Suppliers


“Breaking:  Target Q3 Comp Sales Up Sluggish .9%”  “In third quarter 2013, sales increased 2.0 percent to $16.9 billion from $16.6 billion last year, reflecting a 0.9 percent increase in comparable sales.”  Read the Full Release


“Target earnings beat; shares slip on light sales” at CNBC.  “Target on Thursday reported comparable sales rose a smaller than expected 0.9 percent in the third quarter, blaming what it called “constrained” consumer spending, and it lowered its full-year profit forecast.” Read more


Top Ten Things Heard on the Lowe’s Q3 Earnings Call:

Robert Niblock, Chairman & CEO

* Comparable sales for the quarter were 6.2%, once again, driven by balance of ticket and transaction growth.

* We also saw strength in all regions of the country, with double-digit comp performance in Florida, as well as particular strength in California and Arizona.  Canada delivered double-digit comps.

* Ticket growth: Less than $50, up 3%; $50 to $500, up 5.6; and greater than $500, up 8.6%

Gregory Bridgeford, Chief Customer Officer

* We performed particularly well in large project categories such as flooring and kitchens and appliances.  We also performed well in fashion fixtures and paint.

* At the end of the third quarter, we had completed resets, representing approximately 80% of our business, and we expect to substantially complete the initial round of resets in 2013.

* Housing is on quite an upturn in the fashion fixtures category in kitchens and appliances. And it’s really interesting because it’s more of a refresh than a remodel activity.

* The financial benefit of value improvement is greatest once we have reached stabilization, that is, when we are past clearance and selling only new assortments. We estimate that roughly 2/3 of our business was at this stage at the end of the third quarter.

Robert Hull, CFO

* Looking at monthly trends, comps were 7.3% in August, 5.6% in September and 5.8% in October.

* For the quarter, comp transactions increased 3.6%, and comp average ticket increased 2.5%.

Rick Damron, COO

* Sales of Pro continue to outpace our DIY consumer, and did so again in this quarter. Our average ticket increased by $2.38 year-over-year.

Read the Full Transcript via Seeking Alpha


“Lowe’s is no Home Depot; Outlook Disappoints” by Dhanya Skariachan at Reuters.  “On a conference call, Lowe’s executives said discretionary spending on larger home projects was still far below pre-recession peaks. They also said competition in the appliance market had eaten into the company’s gross margin.”  Read more


“Lessons Learned by new Wal-Mart suppliers” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “Jason Long, CEO of Shift Marketing Group, said suppliers should be bold with their questions, but not needy.
“Wal-Mart merchants have plenty of headaches already, so as a new supplier it’s important that you choose your moments. It’s all in the approach. Think through what you’re going to say before you say it. Ask yourself, ‘What is the goal of this discussion?’ Be concise, smart and focused and you’ll earn the respect of your merchant over time,” Long said.”  Read more


“Dick’s to shift floor space plan in 2014” by Tim Schooley at Pittsburgh Business Times.  “Less space for fitness equipment and coats. More for youth and women’s apparel.  As Dick’s Sporting Goods prepares for the major year-end holiday sales season, the company is also making plans to shift how it will allocate the merchandise on the floor space of its more than 500 stores next year.” Read more


“Why JC Penney’s $1.97 pants could spoil Christmas” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC.  “Although Penney’s reported on Wednesday that same-store sales fell 4.8 percent in the third quarter, the company reiterated that its performance improved in October and expressed optimism related to a stronger November.  J.C. Penney shares fell initially on earnings news but quickly rebounded based on these comments.”  Read more


“Walmart:  Shoplifters Flocking to This Denver Store” by Sadie Gurman at Denver Post.  “Police officers, frustrated by 841 calls for service at the Stapleton Walmart in the past year, even tried parking empty squad cars in front of the doors as decoys until those, too, became crime victims.  “At the end of the day we pick up the car, and it’s been spit on and kicked, and you can only cry wolf so often,” said Cmdr. Les Perry of the District 5 police station.”  Read more


“Costco Apologizes For Bibles Labeled As ‘Fiction’ “ by Ashley Lutz at Business Insider.  “Costco was quick to apologize, saying that the Bibles were mislabeled by a distributor.  “However, we take responsibility and should have caught the mistake.”  Read more 


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