Wal-Mart’s (WMT) glory days in the US are gone, but many figure that the big-box retailer will experience a second adolescence in China, selling goods to a burgeoning middle class.
After last week’s disastrous UK GDP report, here’s another signal that the fragile recovery has the potential to backslide — or at least people fear it will, which could be self-fulfilling.
Get ready for Wal-Mart (WMT) to take the nuclear option when it comes to pricing and winning customers this CHristmas.
We’re not seeing good noise on the Christmas front lately.
(This guest post originally appeared at the author’s blog)
September retail sales are beating expectations virtually across the board, with 80% of reporting companies exceeding analyst estimates.
Hipster clothier American Apparel is sinking even deeping into financial distress.
Costco (COST) reported both falling earning and sales for its latest fiscal fourth quarter earnings. Still, fourth quarter earnings of $0.85 per share beat expectations of $0.77.
British retailer Tesco, which has a strong international foot print and is the world’s third-largest retailer, reported both revenue growth and underlying margin expansion for the first half of 2009.
Talk about low expectations. Retailers this year are expecting flat sales growth this Christmas season.
Even though gun-buying mania has cooled, bullet sales are strong.
General Mills (GIS) reported better than expected performance from its US Retail segment this morning. Not only did this segment expand margins, it also grew sales by 5.8%. Overall GIS earnings per share came in at $1.28 on an adjusted basis, up substantially from $0.96 last year. While overall sales, […]
Gizmodo gets the first look at what it believes is Microsoft’s secret new tablet computer, which is a major departure from previous tablet concepts.
In your weekly warning: commercial real estate is still the next shoe to drop.
Two makes a trend, right?
MTV Games’ The Beatles: Rock Band is surpassing expectations, Industry Gamers reports:
The Federal Reserve is conducting a broad review of the exposures of the nation’s largest regional banks to the commercial real estate market. The move is spurred by concern over the rapidly deteriorating state of commercial real estate as well as a desire to expand the Fed’s supervision of banks.
Best Buy’s earnings this morning were a mixed bag, and the shares were a bit confused in the pre-market. First they were down substantially, but have since recovered most of the decline.
Retail sales jumped 2.7% in August vs. expectations of 2.00. It’s just the latest sign that the consumer is slowly creeping back to life, and the futures are up modestly after having been down earlier.
“Less bad” doesn’t equal good, but, contra Barry Ritholtz, it does equal better.
JP Morgan’s latest Global Markets Outlook provides some quick perspective on where the global economy stands.
Bad customer service at big-box megastores is kind-of to be expected. But this is crazy:
Coinciding with recent evidence from Citi’s Tobias Levkovich, here are more reasons to trash your stereotype of Americans as shopping nuts (via The Economist).
With Costco up over 7% today after its comparable same-store sales beat estimates, it’s a good time to take stock of how August retail has held up so far.
With the consumer all tapped out, this is certainly a tough time for malls, both of the “strip” and indoor variety. Some have even written of the shopping mall entirely, declaring its era to be over — gone the way of the Dodo and the latenight network news.
C’mon guys. Yes, it’s the recession and yes, we all have to cut back a little. But indulging in more than one pair of underwear every eight months isn’t asking too much. And it might take you a long way. Why don’t you follow the example of the KPMG lady? […]
Here’s some more good news on the US consumer. Citi’s Tobias Levkovich shows us that Americans weren’t as spend-crazy as some believe in recent years. In fact, they actually spent less than their disposable income from 2002 – 2007.
Dollar Tree (DLTR) beat analyst estimates this morning and raised guidance for the full year. Same store sales were up 6.8% and margins expanded.
The mind boggles at the news that banks are financing Warner Chilcott’s acquisition of Procter & Gamble’s drug business with more capital than the acquisition price.
Well, this is a depressing reminder that we’re not out of the woods yet, but we suppose it’s the natural mirror-image to the extreme credit-based society we were recently living in:
People just won’t stop buying iPhones!
So much for the protest and the big backlash against John Mackey over his stance on healthcare. Like most boycotts, the one against Whole Foods (WFMI) seems to be a flop, and investors have pushed the stock towards its 52-week high. (Not bad for a company supposedly in the business […]
Either Microsoft (MSFT) plans to sell rocks at its retail stores or it expects customers to buy a few desktops, Xboxes, and store fixtures all at once.
For the denizens of suburbia — particularly youth with few good options for hanging out in public space — there’s still nothing quite like the mall. Malls aren’t quite the cultural force they once were, like in the 80s when they were the central staging for so many teen movies, […]
The latest sign the video game industry is struggling: Lowered consumer spending, the economy, and weak sales have prompted GameStop (GME) to lower its earnings guidance for the rest of 2009, the company announced today after blowing Q2.
Sears (SHLD) is down over 13% after completely missing analyst estimates.
Regardless of your view on the economy, you have to at least consider the possibility that the financial crisis isn’t over, that we may just be in the eye of the storm. There are all the smaller (but still big) banks failing, as well as the lingering concerns over mortgages, […]
This weekend we mentiond that some liberal groups were threatening to boycott Whole Foods (WFMI) since its CEO John Mackey had the temerity to write a WSJ op-ed outlining alternatives to Obamacare.
Halfway through the pay-anything-to-get-your-kids-ready-for-school season it’s turning out to be a dud. Analysts are forecasting same-store sales down 3%-4%, versus a 1% increase last year.
Matt Drudge laid it out pretty blunt. Officially, today’s retail sales sucked.
Jobless claims rose a bit to 558,000 (higher than exected), and retail sales for July fell (much worse than expected).
Walmart beat analyst estimates but for the wrong reason. Same store sales ex-fuel actually came in below expectations, at -1.2% vs. an expected 0.85%.
Long-time corporate responsibility champion Gap and jean-maker Levi Strauss have a Lesotho problem.
More than 2,000 commercial properties in Maricopa County, Arizona have received 90-day foreclosure notices since the beginning of the year. In total, that represents $6.3 billion in real-estate loans. That foreclosure number is horrific. Arizona was one of the canaries in the coal mine of the housing bubble. If it’s […]
Microsoft (MSFT) just posted two photos of its new retail construction sites on its Twitter account. The company says it is hiring for both locations. These photos, of course, don’t tell us much about what the store interiors will look like.
Richard Parkus of Deutsche Bank has updated his Commercial Real Estate outlook with Q2 data. Check out how much the situation has deteriorated since the end of Q1.
Apple’s (AAPL) fourth New York City store at 67th and Broadway on Manhattan’s Upper West Side will open by Thanksgiving, a construction worker told Westside Independent.
American Apparel CEO Dov Charney is instructing all stores to email him staff photos so he can critique their looks and command managers to fire the ones he deems too ugly, according to an email Gawker posted yesterday.
Microsoft is getting help from the guy who was key to Apple’s retail success, TechFlash reports.
This is completely obvious to anyone who lives in New York these days. More and more ground-floor storefronts are closing up shop, leaving buildings with unsightly, gaping vacancies.
Commercial lending is going bad at a pace not seen in two decades, according to analysis done by WSJ.
In a committee hearing in Congress that just ended, Joint Economic Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said that commercial real estate is a “ticking time bomb.” That comment alone has generated a Dow Jones story, an Associated Press story, a blog entry at the Washington Post, a Reuters story, a CNBC […]
Japan wants $119 million in back taxes from Amazon (AMZN). It says Amazon.com Internation Sales did not disclose income between 2003 and 2005.
First Amazon paved the way for ecommerce sites like Overstock.com to exist and do business. Now it’s paving they way for them to stick it revenue-hungry state governments. Overstock today followed Amazon and severed links with affiliates in four states.
High gasoline prices, foreclosures all around you, empty strip malls, oxycontin addicts… those once-idyllic suburbs aren’t really heaven-on-earth.
What do residents of North Carolina, Rhode Island and now Hawaii have in common?
The market’s trading has been boring and listless of late, despite expectations for end-of-the-quarter window dressing and other games.
The bad economy does, in fact, have its share of upsides…
At 4 a.m. this morning, Amazon shut off its Associates Program in North Carolina. In an email to its partners, Amazon said it closed the program due to a “tax collection scheme” passed by the state’s legislature.
I attended an event this morning held by Cityscape Connect called “Looking Beyond the Crisis.” I posted some quotes from the event live to the Retail Traffic twitter. I thought I’d take a minute to put some of these quotes into context.
Do you own and manage a mall? Here’s some news you can use.
Last week we pointed you to some analysis done by David Bodamer at Retail Traffic Magazine, which showed that a recent mall transaction valued the property as low as 50% below its 2007 peak. The Buffalo mall sale is just a single datapoint, but it gives a clue as to […]
We mentioned this morning that credit card issuer Capital One (COF) reported horrible default numbers for the month of May.
U.S. retail sales rose during May, posting the third increase in five months. Unfortunately, much of the gain is attributable to higher prices in gas stations. Still, if the higher prices at the pumps didn’t keep people from driving, that’s got to be something of a good sign, right?
We know that commercial real estate values are taking a sickening plunge from the 2007 peak levels, just as residential properties are. The question is: how much?
It looked like stocks were headed for a solidly higher open — reversing yesterday’s losses — but they’ve been dropping through the morning, and now it’s unclear which way they’ll go.
For years the internet has enjoyed its status as a relative haven from taxation, much to the chagrin of sales-tax reliant states. But with the fiscal situation growing more and more dire across all levels of government, and internet commerce continuing to eat into traditional forms of business, the lack […]
Cable network Bravo has been at the forefront of a smart trend: making reality TV shows loosely based on narrative dramas. For example, it’s already done multiple seasons of its “The Real Housewives” series (current season: Jersey!), its way of cashing in on Desperate Housewives mania and now Gawker points […]
So activist investor Bill Ackman got roundly slapped down in his effort to get board representation on the Target (TGT), wasting more than $10 million in the process.
Bill Ackman wrote a long letter to Barron’s this weekend complaining about Andrew Bary’s piece on the hedge fund manager’s crusade against Target’s management.
Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s battle with Target took a twist into the media this weekend as he penned a long letter to the editor of Barron’s about a recent Andrew Bary piece.
On Squawk Box this morning, DealBook maven Andrew Ross Sorkin made some comments about the role investor activism played in getting companies to lever up their balance sheets during the boom times.
After yesterday’s powerful 3% up move, the market is headed higher again.
It looks like Friday’s rally is set to resume, as pre-market futures are pointing up.
A Wal-Mart (WMT) executive said yesterday that the company would introduce $1 aisles in some stores, a move to compete with all the dollar stores out there, and attract those consumers that are too low-end even for Wal-Mart. Yes, it’s a sign o’ the times and all that.
Activist investor Bill Ackman is spending millions to get representation on the Target (TGT) board, as he hopes to revive the flagging retailer and make it newly competitive against Wal-Mart (WMT).
Put this in your green shoot pipe:
Looks like we’re off to the races once again today.
Let’s start with the good news: Less than half the banks surveyed tightened their business lending standards in the first quarter of this year, according to the Fed’s quarterly survey of senior loan officers at banks. This would be the first time since January 2008 that the majority of loan […]
Rising unemployment will push up the losses on credit card portfolios while shrinking consumer spending hurts profits, Fitch says. As banks seek to reduce their exposure to credit card losses, participation in Federal Reserve programs designed to increase consumer lending will likely decline, the ratings agency said in a report […]
The cost to employ people in the private sector rose only two-tenths of a percentage point in Q1, the lowest increase on record. If recent trends continue, wages will soon be falling.
Who cares that the economy is shrinking at a 6.1% annualized rate? Consumer spending was up 2.2% in the quarter. And since the entire economy is structured in such a way that we need consumers to live hand to mouth, saving very little, this is good news, and probably why […]
Update: In his announcements, Specter claims he won’t be a Democrat rubber stamp and that he won’t change his position on the Employee Free Choice Act. But it’s still potentially bad news as other RINOs, like Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins may now be inclined to switch parties, […]
Updated. Apple (AAPL) is cutting costs as its retail division underperforms the rest of its business: In a SEC filing (via CNET), the company reported that it now employs 14,000 “full-time-equivalent” worth of retail workers, down 1,600 from the end of 2008.