Tipsheet: Target +1.3% | Blake: “Amazon a Dark Star” | Stack: Price War


Target Q2 Comp Sales +1.3% “Driven by traffic growth of 2.1 percent. Comparable digital channel sales increased 32 percent, on top of 16 percent growth in second quarter 2016.” Press release


…Fox Business: Target’s profit, comp sales beat on higher customer visits “Target’s shares rose as much as 5% to $57.01 before the bell on Wednesday after the retailer also said it would double the number of its small-format stores.” Read more


…Star Tribune: Target pulls out of yearlong sales slump with higher store traffic, online purchases by Kavita Kumar. “Target also said Wednesday that it is going to pick up the pace of its store remodels. It’s on track to refresh 110 stores this year and plans to now give 300 stores makeovers in 2018, instead of 250. In total, the retailer is planning to overhaul more than a third of its 1,800 stores in the next few years.” Read more


Trump rips Amazon, says it causes ‘great damage to tax paying retailers’; shares drop by Tae Kim at CNBC. “Trump: Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt – many jobs being lost!” Read more


Walmart CEO Slams Trump Over Charlottesville Response, But Remains In Advisory Role by Alexander C. Kaufman at HuffPo. “As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists,” McMillon wrote.” Read more | McMillon’s statement


…Trump, in a somewhat dismissive tone, said McMillon was playing politics at Talk Business. “The head of Wal-Mart, who I know, he is a very nice guy, was making a political statement,” Trump said during a press conference from Trump Tower in New York City.” Read more


Retail is in ‘panic mode,’ says Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO by Lauren Thomas at CNBC. “There’s a lot of people right now … in retail and in this industry in panic mode,” Stack added. “They seem to be in panic mode with how they’re pricing, and we think it’s going to continue to be promotional, and at times irrational, going forward.” Read more


…Dick’s Sporting Goods expects 43 new store openings in 2017 by Paul J. Gough at Pittsburgh Business Times. Read more


“AMAZON IS A DARK STAR” – Retired Home Depot CEO Frank Blake: ‘I really don’t like Amazon’ by Maria Saporta at Atlanta Business Chronicle. “Blake was especially critical of “Alexa” – Amazon’s gadget that responds to customers’ questions and commands, and also is available to fulfill orders for products delivered through the Amazon system. Half-jokingly, Blake described Alexa as Amazon’s way of spying on customers.” Read more


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Walmart’s Vudu video streaming service is coming to Apple TV on August 22nd by Dani Deahl at The Verge. “Currently, Vudu users have to use AirPlay from an iPhone or iPad to watch movies and shows on Apple’s set-top box.” Read more


Amazon faces a tax fight in South Carolina that could change how online sellers do business by Eugene Kim at CNBC. “Going after the online marketplace facilitator is certainly a recent door that’s been opened,” said Jeff Glickman, a tax expert and lawyer at business advisory firm Aprio. “I certainly do expect more states to follow suit.” Read more


Urban Outfitters beats on top and bottom lines, but same-store sales sink at CNBC. “Revenue: $873 million, vs. $861 million estimated, Thomson Reuters said. Same-store sales: a decrease of 4.9 percent, vs. 6.9 percent drop expected.” Read more


Apple Readies $1 Billion War Chest for Hollywood Programming by Tripp Mickle at Wall Street Journal. “The figure is about half whatTime Warner Inc.’s HBO spent on content last year and on par with estimates of what Amazon spent in 2013, the year after it announced its move into original programming.” Read more (subs.)


Sears Canada to make fund for former employees denied severance at Toronto Star. “The $500,000 for the fund will come from money set aside to pay bonuses under a key employee retention plan at the retailer, which is restructuring under court protection from creditors.” Read more


Metro battles rising competition and minimum wage increases with e-commerce push by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “In the quarter ended June 17, same-store sales at Loblaw rose 1.2 per cent, but the country’s largest grocer said its own food prices fell lower than average national food price deflation of 1.4 per cent in the quarter.” Read more


SHIPPING CONTAINER RATES UP – The World’s Shipping Companies Are Going Super-Sized by Kyunghee Park at Bloomberg.”These super-sized shipping companies wield much more pricing power over manufacturers and retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. The five biggest container lines control about 60 percent of the global market, according to data provider Alphaliner. Shipping rates are climbing, and an index tracking cargo rates on major routes from Asia is about 22 percent higher than it was a year earlier.” Read more


Americans Love Ordering Pizza on Facebook and Amazon by Taylor Cromwell at Bloomberg. “Last month, TGI Fridays began letting customers foot the bill using their Amazon accounts. And pizza chains are locked in an escalating battle to adopt new ordering methods — a contest that involves chat bots, voice-activated devices and social networks. Papa John’s International Inc. went so far as to declare itself an “e-commerce company” this month after delivering surprisingly strong results.” Read more


Amazon’s new ‘Instant Pickup’ service promises items in two minutes or less by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “Instant Pickup is rolling out starting (yesterday) in Los Angeles (UCLA), Atlanta (Georgia Tech), Berkeley, Calif. (UC Berkeley), Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State) and College Park, Md. (University of Maryland).” Read more


AMC Theatres Wants to Block MoviePass Subscription Service After Price Cut by Paul Bond at The Hollywood Reporter. “MoviePass has been in existence for several years, but its service took off on Tuesday when it announced it would drop its price from $50 per month to $9.95.” Read more


Images purport to show Apple’s 60-inch OLED TV in secret testing laboratory at Fast Company. Read more/Pics


Amazon Enlists Bond Market in Its Quest for Grocery Dominance by Molly Smith at Bloomberg. “And in a sign of market interest, the longest portion of the offering, a 40-year security, was sold at a yield of 1.45 percentage points above Treasuries, down from initial talk of 1.6 percentage points to 1.65 percentage points, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.” Read more


TJX’s new store concept, HomeSense, is set to open in the U.S. for the first time this week at CNBC. Read more


Consumers are 270% more likely to purchase a product with five reviews than one with zero reviews by April Berthene at Internet Retailer. Read more


Creditors file over a thousand claims for payment from Gordmans by Russell Hubbard at Omaha World-Herald. “And there are a lot of creditors to which Gordmans owes money that don’t hold collateral — about $90 million in so-called unsecured claims have been filed, according to last week’s court documents.” Read more


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Heard on the Call:

Home Depot Q2 Earnings Call Highlights

Craig Menear

Achieved a milestone of the highest quarterly sales and net earnings results in the company history.

In the U.S. all three of our divisions posted positive comps in the second quarter as did all of our 19 regions and top 40 markets.

All of our merchandising departments posted positive comps.

Our business represented 6.4% of sales and grew approximately 23% in the quarter.

There is 4.3 [ph] months of supply in the market of house and availability against a historical norm of six.

On share gain in quarter: We’re up 20 basis points.

Value is defined by what the customer is willing to pay for it.


Ted Decker

Lumber, Electrical, Tools and Flooring had double-digit comps in the quarter.

Total comp transactions grew by 2.6% and comp average ticket increased 3.6%.

Transactions over $900, which represent approximately 22% of our U.S. sales, were up 12.4%.

Transactions for tickets under $50 which now make up approximately 16% of our U.S. sales grew by 1.5%.

Pro sales outpaced the company average driven by both our high spend and low spend pros.

This quarter we are introducing PPG Timeless Paint. This new product is one coat coverage.


Carol Tome

Total company comps up 5.8% in May, 5.9% in June and 7.2% in July.

U.S. comps up 6.6% in May, 6.2% in June and 7% in July.

In the first six months of the year, we opened four new stores, including three in the U.S. and one in Mexico.

43% of our online transactions are picked up inside of a store.

Pro’s grew twice as fast than the DIY, actually expanded that gap a bit in the second quarter.

We spend more on digital on the second quarter than we did TV and radio combined.

Q2: The highest number of first-time homebuyers since 2005. About 424,000 first-time homebuyers making up 38% of all homebuyers and up 11% year-on-year.

Earnings Transcript via Seeking Alpha


Dick’s Sporting Goods Q2 Call Highlights

Ed Stack

Vendor distribution strategies have changed, and pricing in the marketplace has become unpredictable and at times irrational.

We will engage to protect and strengthen our leadership position.

We are intentionally joining this battle, and we will aggressively be promoting our business to drive market share to our stores and online.

We’ve conducted extensive consumer research, and the customers have told us they feel our prices are not competitive in today’s environment.

CALIA a brand we build in-house is now our third largest athletic women’s brand.

There’s a lot of people right now, I think in retail and in this industry in panic mode.

We are not going to sit back and just watch this happen. We’ve got the financial strength and muscle to withstand the storm, and we are going to be very aggressive.

But if we are going to get into a price war, we are going to get into a price war.

The golf business is rebounding, and the golf business is terrific.


Lee Belitsky

2.1% increase in ticket and a 2% decrease in transactions.

Our e-commerce business grew 19%.

Four areas that we were under sales pressure were hunting, licensed, athletic apparel, and electronics.

We now expect consolidated same-store sales to be flat to low single-digit negative for the year, compared to our previous guidance of positive 1% to 3%.

Earnings Transcript via Seeking Alpha



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