Tipsheet: Ellison Straight Talk | Costco Store Flooded | Kohl’s Cuts 60 Tech | Cornell @ CNBC


Target CEO Cornell Appears on CNBC: “”We’re seeing a great consumer response … unprecedented traffic. As we go back and look, we’ve never seen traffic growth like this,” Cornell said Wednesday morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” Video/Read more


Costco in Middleton, WI trashes food after flooding hits area by Barry Adams at Wisconsin State Journal. “There are boxes of pork shoulder, push carts stacked with containers of macaroni and cheese, seasoned pork ribs and key lime pie. At least one cart was overflowing with packages of ground hamburger, while another held whole slabs of beef ribeye that can sell for over $150 a piece. And all of it was outside, baking in the August sun next to the loading dock of the Middleton Costco.” Pics/Read more


Lowe’s CEO Ellison Comes Out Firing at CNBC. “Our in-store technology is dated, overall execution is impaired by complexity, we have a large number of out-of-stocks in our stores that must be addressed, and we need to increase the rigor with which we evaluate capital investments.” Read more


…See earnings call summaries for Lowe’s and Target below


Ace Hardware Q2 US comp sales +3.3% Press release


Williams-Sonoma Inc. Q2 comp brand revenue +4.6%:  Pottery Barn +2.0% / West Elm +9.5% / Williams Sonoma +1.6% / Pottery Barn Kids and Teen +5.7% Press release


GRAB THE SPAM – Hawaii’s Big Island feels the effects of approaching Category 4 Hurricane Lane at CNBC. “Melanie Davis, who lives in a suburb outside Honolulu, said she was gathering canned food and baby formula. “We’re getting some bags of rice and of course, some Spam,” she said of the canned lunch meat that’s popular in Hawaii.” Read more


Kroger expands new home-delivery service Ship to Atlanta by Steve Watkins at Cincinnati Business Courier. “The move covers its entire Atlanta division, including Georgia, Eastern Alabama and South Carolina.” Read more


COSTCO #100 in CANADA – Costco-mania descends on Edmonton International Airport by Ameya Charnalia at Star Edmonton. “Some shoppers drove hours to check out the new store, lining up early morning outside the warehouse-style retailer in anticipation of the 8 a.m. opening.” Pics/Read more


**A message from Kidibul – The festive, bubbly beverage made for kids’ parties! 100% natural & sparkling juice in a champagne type bottle with natural cork & wire to pop. Website | PowerPoint | Samples:


Kohl’s eliminates about 60 technology positions by Sari Lesk at Milwaukee Business Journal. “…migrating most of its technology platforms to the cloud to create automation efficiencies.” Read more


Food & Wine: The 10 Best Supermarkets in the U.S. (#8 WinCo, Wegmans #1) Ranked list


Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone donates $100 million toward an initiative that gives free tuition to medical students at New York University at Atlanta Business Chronicle. Read more


7-Eleven to launch automated, self-service convenience stores at Hankyoreh. “A total of four vending machine-style convenience stores (in trial): two at the headquarters of 7-Eleven in downtown Seoul, one at Lotte E&M in Incheon, and one at the headquarters of Lotte Rent-a-Car in Anyang, Gyeonggi Province. The company is taking steps to commercialize the vending machine-style convenience stores and will be accepting franchise applications as early as next month.” Pic/Read more


Stein Mart Q2 comp sales +0.7% Press release


Kroger to kill plastic bags by 2025, will transition to reusable bags by Alexander Coolidge at Cincinnati Enquirer via USA Today. “Kroger said it is also looking to cut back or phase out plastic bags for produce and meat, but it’s focusing on eliminating checkout bags for now…”The plastic shopping bag’s days are numbered,” Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen wrote in an editorial.” Read more


Stage Stores Q2 comp sales -0.2% for the total company / -2.2% for department stores / +11.4% for Gordmans off-price stores Press release


Amazon expands Alexa Fund Fellowship to 18 universities to support voice technology research by Nat Levy at GeekWire. List of schools/Read more


Nordstrom Board Authorizes $1.5 Billion Share Repurchase Program Press release


Sears says it will close 46 more stores in November – here’s where they are at CNBC. List


Amazon starts selling fashion, sportswear in Brazil at Reuters. “As with consumer electronics and most other goods sold on Amazon’s Brazilian marketplace except for books, the fashion brands and other articles will be delivered by the third parties vendors offering them, rather than Amazon itself.” Read more


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Heard on the Call

Lowe’s Q2 Earnings Call

Marvin Ellison

Comparable sales growth of 5.2% overall. U.S. home improvement comp was 5.3%.

18% comp growth in

We have work to do.

  • We are significantly behind in our supply chain strategy
  • Our in-store technology is dated
  • Overall execution is impaired by complexity
  • We have a large number of out-of-stocks in our stores that must be addressed
  • We need to increase the rigor with which we evaluate capital investments

Simply stated, at Lowe’s we desire to be a great omni channel retailer.

  • We need to better connect and align our systems and processes to create a truly integrated ecosystem.

The company has unfortunately become distracted over the past few years and specifically, we’ve tested initiatives that did not add value and were not core to our retail business.

I’m pleased to welcome:

  • Bill Boltz as our EVP of Merchandising
  • Joe McFarland as our EVP of Stores,
  • Don Frieson as our EVP of Supply Chain (brings over 18 years w/Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club)
  • David Denton to the team as our new CFO (CVS)

We’re also working aggressively to fill our open Chief Information Officer position and expect to have a leader named in short order.

To ensure an orderly wind down process (of Orchard Supply), we plan to conduct store closing sales and have partnered with Hilco Merchant Services to help manage the process.

  • 86% of the Orchard stores that are closing are within a ten-mile radius of a Lowe’s store

We are eliminating approximately $500 million in planned capital projects for 2018…we will reallocate that $500 million to our share repurchase program.

I have charged the new leadership team to develop an aggressive plan to rationalize our store inventory to remove clutter and reduce lower performing inventory.

  • This will enable us to invest in improved job lot quantities for pro and increase our depth of inventory in our top 2,000 high velocity SKUs.

We will evaluate the productivity of our real estate portfolio and our non-retail business investments.

No longer will we throw payroll at each problem.

Today we estimate roughly 30% of our overall sales penetration is from the pro segment.

We need the (Pro) brands.

Our end caps have been more leaning toward innovation than driving sales productivity.

  • We’re going to shift away from innovation to innovation in driving revenue

We have very few, if any engineered standards in our stores…like how you unload a truck and how you float product from receiving to the sales floor to drive in-stock.

  • …our stores are kind of fending for themselves, trying to make it happen. That is how you destroy productivity.

Dotcom: We tried to create better inventory visibility, and by doing that we drove a significant number of order cancellations that had a dramatic impact on the overall sales number of our dot-com business.

Roughly 60% of our ecommerce transactions were picked up in a store.

I would say Canada and Rona first has been a very positive benefit for the company.


Mike McDermott

We grew transactions 6/10ths of a percent while increasing average ticket 4.5%.

Double digit comps in lawn and garden…high single digit comps in seasonal and outdoor living…double digit comps in cooling.

Double digit comps in outdoor power equipment…double digit comps in pressure washers…high single digit comps in appliances.

We drove market share gains across all major categories where we introduced Craftsman to our line-up.

Today we’re proud to announce the introduction of Mapei to all stores, the leading brand in tile setting materials, and we’re also excited to announce the addition of Zoeller, the number one brand in pumps and a retail exclusive.

We’ll also streamline and simplify our reset process to improve our execution and reduce disruption for our stores.

  • Reset challenges adversely impacted our performance in fashion fixtures, specifically light bulbs, and in paint throughout the quarter.

We’re also rolling out a new paint desk experience.


Marshall Croom

Comps were 8.2% in May, 4.2% in June, and 3% in July.

Full transcript via Seeking Alpha



Target Q2 Earnings Call

Brian Cornell

Comparable sales grew 6.5% in the quarter…traffic growth of more than 6%…store comparable sales increased nearly 5%, and digital sales grew more than 40%

Home category was amazingly strong, up nearly 10%

Hardlines also saw high-single digit comp growth driven by strength in both toys and electronics.

Perhaps the strongest (consumer environment) I’ve seen in my career. 

By the end of 2020, we’ll have a newly refreshed base of stores, reflecting our plan to complete more than 1,100 remodels in a 4-year period through 2020.

The loyalty program is off to a very solid start in the Dallas market…John Mulligan (is) actually going to be heading down there this week to assess the program.


John Mulligan

We continue to see traffic driven incremental sales lift of 2% to 4% in our remodel stores.

At the end of the quarter, we were operating 26 mature small format stores, and on average this group saw high single-digit comp growth during the quarter.

Over the last year, Shipt’s membership base (has) more than tripled while orders, revenue and GMB are two to three times higher.

Our most recent Net Promoter Score for Drive-Up is 88, a crazy high number, the highest of any service we provide.

  • We expect to have this service rolled out to nearly 1,000 stores by the holiday season.

The July sale presented a really robust test as orders in sales far exceeded our expectations. 


Mark Tritton

Comp growth in all five of our core categories accelerated in the second quarter, and all of them grew faster than our first quarter comp of 3%. 

Food and Beverage categories…saw share gains in every week of the quarter. 

  • Growth continues to be led by adult beverage

We saw unusually strong second quarter growth across each of our style categories, Apparel, Beauty and Home. 

In Apparel, we saw high-teens growth in Baby.

In Essentials…growth was strongest in Baby and in Pets, both of which saw double-digit comp growth.

More than half of our digital sales on (July one-day sale) were in a highly differentiated and high-margin Home category. 

Full transcript via Seeking Alpha



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