Thursday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: Wmart Comp Sls Slip .3% | Lowe’s Execs Jet to Aust. | See Wmart Campus Store #3


“Wal-Mart U.S. same-store sales slip 0.3 percent” at Reuters.  “Wal-Mart Stores Inc posted disappointing quarterly U.S. sales on Thursday as shoppers pinched by higher payroll taxes and gas prices made fewer trips to its stores.  Same-store sales at Walmart U.S, the company’s biggest unit, fell 0.3 percent. Wall Street analysts were expecting a 1 percent gain, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.”  Read more


“Mini-Walmart opens on Georgia Tech campus” by Rebekka Schramm at CBS Atlanta.  “The store is located just across the interstate from Tech’s main campus. It occupies a 2,500 square feet space. That’s a fraction of the square footage of the average Walmart store.The Georgia Tech store is the third of its kind. The others are located at the University of Arkansas and Arizona State University.”  See the in-store video


“Lowe’s execs jet to Australia to stem joint venture bleeding” by Eli Greenblat at Sydney Morning Herald.  “Top executives from US hardware giant Lowe’s, believed to include its chairman and CEO Robert Niblock, have flown to Australia for meetings with its Masters hardware joint venture partner Woolworths as the start-up chain continues to lose millions of dollars and miss its earnings targets.  BusinessDay has learned that a board meeting of the Masters joint venture will be held in Melbourne tomorrow, with directors from Lowe’s and Woolworths touring a number of Masters stores in the south east suburbs including its store in Hawthorn East where the key meeting will take place.”  Read more


“Ace Hardware profits jump” at Chicago Business Journal.  “Oak Brook-based Ace Hardware Corp. said it earned $42.3 million in the second quarter, up from $14.9 million, a year earlier when it took a $19.9 million charge from the early extinguishment of debt. Revenue for the quarter rose 9.7 percent to $1.2 billion.  “Sales increased in virtually every department with significant growth at both wholesale and retail from our Discovery Edge, Level 3 merchandising re-sets and branding initiatives,” Ace President and Chief Executive John Venhuizen said in a statement.”  Read more


“Macy’s misses Wall Street estimates; shares tumble” at CNBC.  “Revenue at stores open a year, a key metric because it strips out the impact of newly opened and closed locations, slid 0.8 percent.  Macy’s, based in Cincinnati, now expects sales at stores open at least a year to climb between 2 percent and 2.9 percent, down from its previous guidance of a 3.5 percent increase.”  Read more


“Walmart Puts Pressure on DC Pols via Web & Tweet”  ““There is nothing to be gained by hurrying up here…” said D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson about moving the Large Retailer Accountability Act to the Mayor’s desk. We disagree. Residents who live in underserved neighborhoods or areas with high unemployment deserve clarity regarding the future of economic development projects in their city.”  Read more


“Rona posts loss, hurt by charges, tough markets” at Reuters.  “Canada’s largest home-improvement retailer and distributor, reported a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss on Wednesday, weighed down by restructuring costs and tough market conditions…Revenue fell 4.6 percent to C$1.25 billion, while comparable store sales dropped 1 percent. Store closures reduced revenue by C$35.1 million.”  Read more


“Learn the Secret Price Codes for Staples” by Melanie Pinola at Lifehacker.  “On all price tags there is a one-letter codes (A, I, C, F, R, P) that designates what pricing group the item is in.  Regular priced items:  A stands for active items, they are items that are at regular price or special weekly prices (red tags).  I stands for Inactive items, this is the first step down from Active, it almost never has a discount but signals that the item is either being replaced soon from the vendor with an updated product, is not going to be carried anymore.”  See all the price codes


“Shopping is a ‘loop of loneliness,’ study finds” by Ben Popken at CNBC.  “It turns out there are three types of materialists in this world—and for one of them, shopping is a “virtuous” cycle that actually decreases loneliness over time.  For the study, a sample of more than 2,500 consumers over six years were asked how much they agreed with statements, such as: “It sometimes bothers me quite a bit that I can’t afford to buy all the things I like,” and “I enjoy buying things that are not practical.” Study author Rik Pieters, a marketing professor at the Tilburg University in the Netherlands, then placed the shoppers in different materialist buckets and tested them for loneliness.”  Read more


“Why Teens are MIA in the Retail World” at by Kathryn Buschman Vasel at Fox Business.  “When it comes to either getting the latest gadget or the hottest fashion trend, tech wins with this generation, says Crawford. “Technology is priority No.1 with teens, they will spend the bulk of their money on one big item.”  Bentz agrees, saying that when it comes to being “cool” in this environment, it’s all about what’s in your hand. “Tech is the new fashion statement, it used to be having the A&F hoodie and wearing multiple tank tops, now it’s how much tech you have: do you have the latest iPhone, tablet, or Beats headphones.”  Read more


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