Wednesday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: Lowe’s Comps Up 9.6% | Whole Foods New Name | Orchard CEO Out


“Lowe’s Comp Sales Climb 9.6%” at Seeking Alpha.  ” Lowes today reported net earnings of $941 million for the quarter ended August 2, 2013, a 26.0 percent increase over the same period a year ago…Sales for the quarter increased 10.3 percent to $15.7 billion from $14.2 billion in the second quarter of 2012, and comparable sales for the quarter increased 9.6 percent. For the six month period, sales were $28.8 billion, a 5.1 percent increase over the same period a year ago, and comparable sales increased 4.6 percent.” Read more


“Like Home Depot, Lowe’s results benefit from housing rebound” at Reuters.  “No. 2 home improvement chain Lowe’s Cos Inc reported a rise in quarterly profit and sales on Wednesday as U.S. homeowners encouraged by the housing market recovery spent more on their homes.  Net earnings rose to $941 million, or 88 cents a share, in the second quarter ended August 2 from $747 million, or 64 cents a share, a year earlier.”  Read more


“Target Releases Q2 Earnings this Morning at 9:30 am CST”  Listen to the Webcast


“Highlights from Yesterday’s Home Depot’s Q2 Earnings Call”

Frank Blake:

We grew sales by almost $2 billion in the quarter, posted the first double-digit positive comp in our business since 1999, and had the highest quarterly transaction count in the company’s history.

All of our top-40 markets posted positive comps and 98% of all of our markets were positive.

Every one of our merchandising departments exceeded plan for the quarter.

In the first quarter, our pro customer growth outpaced our consumer growth.  For the second quarter, the growth rates were comparable. This reflects less of slowdown in pro than a pickup in our consumer sales.

On interconnected retail, we are at the point where almost one out of every three online orders are completed in the store either through Buy Online Pickup in Store, or buy online ship to store.

Of course customers have the opportunity to buy additional items when they come into our store and return or pickup a product as today one out of five customers do.

Craig Menear:

The departments that had double-digit positive comps were kitchens, indoor garden, lumber, outdoor garden, lighting, tools, electrical and flooring.

Transactions for tickets under $50, representing approximately 20% of U.S. sales, were up 3.8% for the second quarter, principally due to our garden business. Transactions for tickets over $900 also representing approximately 20% of our U.S. sales were up 15.5%.

We were able to recover all the lost sales we projected from exterior project categories in the first quarter and then some. In indoor and outdoor garden, our second quarter success resulted in positive comps in both departments for the first half of the year.

Brand call outs:  Behr Premium DeckOver coatings, Cree LED floodlight, DAP Smartbond adhesive foam gel, Husky steel cabinets.

Q & A:  We have had some really nice innovation and things like LED, which carry a higher ticket, certainly within the light bulb category we are seeing customer step-up, the [bear premium deck over] is a great product, so we are seeing customers willing to spend really in every segment of the category within a category whether that’d be opening price point, mid or high.

Q & A:  At the end of the last year, we had rolled out about 120 stores with an extended appliance program. We added brands in the fall season. We added Samsung around the December time frame which got us to the full offering of brands that we have right now. We are in the process right now of expanding another 120 stores.

Carol Tome:

During the second quarter, we opened one new store in Puerto Rico for an ending store count of 2,258. At the end of the second quarter, selling square footage was 235 million and total sales per square foot were $383.

Read the Full Transcript from Seeking Alpha


“Cautious consumers, wet weather cloud Dick’s Sporting outlook” by Chris Peters at Reuters.  “Adjusted for an extra week in 2012, the company’s same-store sales fell 0.4 percent, missing its forecast of a 2 to 3 percent rise.  Same-store sales at Dick’s Sporting Goods stores rose 0.1 percent while those at Golf Galaxy shops fell 6.1 percent. As of August 3, the Company operated 527 Dick’S Sporting Goods stores and 81 Golf Galaxy stores.”  Read more


“Lowe’s Names New President of Orchard Supply:  Current CEO Departs” at Yahoo Finance.  “Lowe’s said Orchard will operate as a separate, standalone business, retaining its brand and its San Jose headquarters.  Lowe’s also announced that upon closing, Richard D. Maltsbarger, Lowe’s executive who led the team to acquire Orchard, will become President of Orchard. Orchard’s current President and CEO Mark Baker has informed Lowe’s of his decision to accept a position as President and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association following the closing.”  Read more


“Whole Foods Market to call its Wichita store ‘Bread and Circus’ “ by John Stearns at Wichita Business Journal.  “The name is a tribute to what was once the largest natural foods retailer in the northeast prior to its acquisition by Whole Foods Market in 1992, the release says.  Whole Foods opted for a different name for its Wichita store to avoid conflicting with the local Whole Foods Association, which operates three health food stores in Wichita under the name Whole Foods.”  Read more


“Coming to a store near you: Cutting-edge technology” by Courney Reagan at CNBC.  “Not all retail technology works well. QR, or Quick Response, codes, haven’t taken off the way many had hoped they would. The two-dimensional bar codes, available on many products and ads, are meant for consumers to scan with smartphones to gather more information. “The more hoops you make a customer or user go through, the less likely they are going to use it.”  QR codes probably will be replaced by technologies with fewer steps, he said.” Read more


“Mark Zuckerberg Announces Ambitious ‘Rough Plan’ To Get 5 Billion More People Onto The Internet” by Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider.  “CEO Mark Zuckerberg has put forth what he calls a “rough plan” to bring the internet to the next 5 billion people (there are currently 2.7 billion people online, or roughly a third of the world’s population).  The announcement has a slightly hyperloopy feel to it, as it’s a little bit unclear on how the plan would be executed.”  See the Plan


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