Markets

Want Revenue Growth? Check Out Tesco

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.
Want Revenue Growth? Check Out Tesco
Markets

General Mills: US Retail Is Leading The Charge

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, […]
General Mills: US Retail Is Leading The Charge
Markets

Fed Worried About Commercial Real Estate Exposure At Regional Banks

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.
Fed Worried About Commercial Real Estate Exposure At Regional Banks
Markets

Best Buy Sees Improving Consumer Trends

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.
Best Buy Sees Improving Consumer Trends
Markets

Surprise Retail Sales Spike In August

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.
Surprise Retail Sales Spike In August
News

Why Ethnic-Specific Shopping Malls Are Doing Fine

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.
Why Ethnic-Specific Shopping Malls Are Doing Fine
Markets

Good Sign: Men’s Underwear Sales Up

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? […]
Good Sign: Men’s Underwear Sales Up
Markets

Whole Foods Stock At Its High Of The Year

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 […]
Whole Foods Stock At Its High Of The Year
Markets

Americans Love The Mall — Just Not Shopping There

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, […]
Americans Love The Mall — Just Not Shopping There
Tech

GameStop Slashes Guidance After Blowing Quarter

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.
GameStop Slashes Guidance After Blowing Quarter
Markets

Germany Prepares For Credit Crunch Part II

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, […]
Germany Prepares For Credit Crunch Part II
Markets

“Back To School” Sales Blow

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.
“Back To School” Sales Blow
Markets

Arizona’s Commercial Real Estate Bloodbath

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 […]
Arizona’s Commercial Real Estate Bloodbath
Tech

Microsoft Retail Store Construction Photos Revealed

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.
Microsoft Retail Store Construction Photos Revealed
Markets

NY Retail Vacancies Spike

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.
NY Retail Vacancies Spike
Markets

Commercial Real Estate: A Ticking Time Bomb?

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 […]
Commercial Real Estate: A Ticking Time Bomb?
Tech

Overstock Follows Amazon, Drops Affiliates in Four States

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.
Overstock Follows Amazon, Drops Affiliates in Four States
Markets

Mall Real Estate Down 60% From Its Peak?

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 […]
Mall Real Estate Down 60% From Its Peak?
Markets

Gas Drives May Retail Sales Up

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?
Gas Drives May Retail Sales Up
Markets

Consumers Stay Home In May

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.
Consumers Stay Home In May
Tech

Now’s The Time For An Internet Sales Tax

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 […]
Now’s The Time For An Internet Sales Tax
Markets

Rich Manhattan Girl Says The Recession Hasn’t Affected Her Spending

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 […]
Rich Manhattan Girl Says The Recession Hasn’t Affected Her Spending
Markets

Wal-Mart Goes From Sushi Bars To $1 Aisles

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.
Wal-Mart Goes From Sushi Bars To $1 Aisles
Markets

Credit Card Losses Mounting, Profits Shrinking, Fitch Says

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 […]
Credit Card Losses Mounting, Profits Shrinking, Fitch Says
Markets

Krugman: Wage Cuts Blow

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.
Krugman: Wage Cuts Blow
Markets

Hooray! The Consumer Is Shopping Again

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 […]
Hooray! The Consumer Is Shopping Again
Markets

Is Arlen Specter’s Switch Bad News For Wal-Mart?

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, […]
Is Arlen Specter’s Switch Bad News For Wal-Mart?
Tech

Apple Cuts Back On Retail Staffing As Sales Slow*

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.
Apple Cuts Back On Retail Staffing As Sales Slow*