Tipsheet: Target “Crushed” Walmart | Lowe’s +5.2% | Drug Chain Eyes Med-Marijuana | Costco #1 in Satisfaction


Target Q4 Comp Sales +1.9% “…driven by traffic growth of 1.3 percent. Digital channel sales increased 34 percent, contributing 1.3 percentage points to comparable sales growth. Fourth quarter comparable sales in signature categories (Style, Baby, Kids and Wellness) grew more than three times faster than the company average.” Read the release


…Fortune Headline: Target Crushed Walmart During the Holiday Shopping Season Read more


…Reuters Headline: Target’s comparable sales beat on demand for high-margin goods Read more


Lowe’s Q4 Comp Sales +5.2% “Sales for the fourth quarter increased 5.6 percent to $13.2 billion from $12.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014…For the fiscal year, sales were $59.1 billion, a 5.1 percent increase over the same period a year ago.” Read the release


…Fox Business Headline: Lowe’s Full-Year Sales Forecast Tops Estimates Read more


ACSI Retail Customer Satisfaction: Target Plummets in Grocery – Costco Tops Specialty – Lowe’s/Home Depot Dead Heat – Walmart in Basement  Read the release  See top 14 ranking of dept./discount stores


…Only One Retailer Comes Out Smelling Worse Than Walmart In Latest Customer Satisfaction Surveys by Chris Morran at Consumerist. “While Walmart might be the caboose in the supermarket satisfaction train, Target may be quickly on its way to the rear. The retailer dropped an astounding 10 points from 2014…Whole Foods…fell from an 81 to the industry average of 73 in a single year.” Read more


TARGET & OTHER RETAILERS WILL PROVIDE E-COM DATA TO NIELSEN – Nielsen Looks to Fill E-Commerce Void With Direct Retailer Data by Jack Neff at Ad Age. “More than a dozen “retail cooperators” have agreed to provide data, including Target, Peapod and supermarket chain Giant Eagle. Those are the only three retailers Nielsen is authorized to name…Amazon is not providing data, and she declined to comment on whether Walmart is. At least one club-store chain is participating.” Read more


Amazon launches in-house clothing line with seven new fashion brands by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “The Seattle tech giant quietly rolled out more than 1,800 fashion products…The seven Amazon fashion labels are: Franklin & Freeman, Franklin Tailored, James & Erin, North Eleven, Society New York, Lark & Ro, and Scout + Ro.” Read more


CANADA’S BIGGEST DRUGSTORE CHAIN EXPLORING MEDICAL-MARIJUANA SALES – Shoppers Drug Mart eyes sales of medical marijuana by Grant Robertson & Greg McArthur at Globe & Mail. “A small team of executives from Shoppers is said to have been touring the sites of medical-marijuana growers over the past several months, holding talks with several of the 29 federally licensed producers. Reached Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Shoppers Drug Mart said the company sees pharmacies as a logical option for selling the drug.” Read more


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Whole Foods to Invest in Instacart, Signs New Multi-Year Delivery Deal by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “The size of the deal could not be learned, but sources say the deal is essentially done, barring an unforeseen last-minute change of heart. The two companies have also signed a five-year delivery partnership, these people said, making Instacart the exclusive delivery partner for Whole Foods’ perishables business.” Read more


Sports Authority to file for bankruptcy as early as March via CNBC. “The company has also been struggling to make payments to suppliers of golf clubs, sneakers and other sporting apparel that stock the stores. Some of the suppliers have been asking for cash upfront out of fear that they will not be paid back.” Read more


UPS invests in same-day delivery startup Deliv by Carla Cardwell at Atlanta Business Chronicle. “Deliv is expected to announce a $28 million funding round, led by UPS, on Wednesday.” Read more


SPIRAL CONTINUES- Sears closing eight Sears Home stores in Canada by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail. Read more


Wakefern names new CIO via NJBIZ. “Wakefern…has named executive Cheryl Williams the new chief information officer at the company. Williams also will serve as vice president of Wakefern’s computer information services division.” Read more


Target will allow customers who have purchased hoverboards to return them by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Wal-Mart confirmed late Tuesday that it has also pulled hoverboards from its website, saying that it will not sell them until those suppliers can prove they comply with the new guidelines.” Read more


Hudson’s Bay Co reveals solid sales bump as online sales surge 23% by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “On a constant currency basis, same-store sales for the important holiday quarter rose 1.8 per cent.” Read more


SoCal: Aldi’s Set to Open First Eight Stores by Shan Li at LA Times. “The eight stores are clustered near the company’s regional distribution center in Moreno Valley. They are located in Palm Springs, San Bernardino, Yucaipa, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Fontana, Beaumont and Moreno Valley.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Jack Link’s plans dining, retail area in downtown Minneapolis

Sears executive pays $3.3 million for Chicago-area mansion

Johnson & Johnson to pay $72M for cancer death linked to talcum powder

The lab where they blow up hoverboards on purpose

Dad-Daughter Duo Raise $2.5M For Condom Company Aimed At Young Women

Customers allege Costco misleadingly labels coconut oil product

Walmart to transition lighting products away from compact fluorescent to LED

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


Home Depot Q4 2015 Earnings Call Highlights

Craig Menear – Chairman, President & CEO

  • Fiscal 2015 was a record year for our company. We achieved sales of $88.5 billion, the highest in company history.
  • Southern division…posted low double-digit comps. While our northern and western divisions recorded high single-digit comps.
  • Mexico reported positive double-digit comps…Canadian business also posted high single-digit comps.
  • I would like to congratulate Jeff Kinnaird who was recently promoted to President of Home Depot Canada.
  • All of our merchandising departments posted positive comps.
  • We will soon begin offering our exclusive paint brands to Interline’s multi-family operators.
  • For the year, our online business grew by approximately $1 billion, a growth rate of over 25% versus the prior year.
  • Over 40% of our online orders are picked up in stores.
  • We expect 2016 comp growth of approximately 4.5%.
  • I’d also like to congratulate Ann-Marie Campbell, who was recently promoted to Executive Vice President of U.S. Stores.
  • Q&A:
    • We do believe we’re taking share in the market, but the finite number, it’s pretty tough to get at.
    • Special order kitchens, countertops, and all manner of millwork still remain below the 2006 peak.

Ted Decker, EVP Merchandising

  • Appliances, tools, building materials had double-digit comps in the quarter.
  • Pro-heavy categories saw significant growth during the quarter, as we saw double-digit comps in siding, pneumatics, circuit protection, fencing, fasteners, and exterior doors.
  • We believe that more favorable weather trends in the quarter aided sales growth by approximately $100 million.
  • In the fourth quarter, total comp transactions grew by 5%.
  • In the quarter, comp ticket increased 2%.
  • Transactions for tickets under $50, representing approximately 20% of our U.S. sales, were up 3.8% for the fourth quarter.
  • Transactions for tickets over $900, also representing approximately 20% of our U.S. sales, were up 11.9% in the fourth quarter.
  • We will be resetting our door lock assortment in the first quarter.
  • For our Pro customer, we are introducing new and exclusive products from Milwaukee, DEWALT, Ryobi, and RIDGID.

Carol Tome, CFO

  • Comps up 6.3% in November, 8.6% in December, and 6.7% in January.
  • (US) comps up 8.1% in November, 10.6% in December, and 8.2% in January.
  • Total store count at the end of the year (is) 2,274 stores.
  • Q&A:
    • Our online sales grew $230 million or 23% in the quarter. For the year, total online sales were $4.7 billion.
    • That’s 5.3% of our total sales up from 4.5% from last years.

Read the full transcript via Seeking Alpha