Retail Focus 2/3/17 – Under Armour’s Growth Slows, How Shoplifters Attempt to Act Normal

February 3, 2017

We detail slight earnings disappointments from Under Armour and, as well as Vintage Stock’s announcement of new openings this week and their future brick-and-mortar growth plans. Our interview guest is Nicole Lasky, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Northeastern State University, who discusses at length how shoplifters use “body gloss” to appear like a normal customer inside a retail store.


Retail Focus 1/27/17 – Genesco Updates SSS Figures, Inside “The Closing of Alco Store 208”

January 27, 2017

Genesco, the company behind mall staples Journeys and Lids, releases sales updates for the holiday shopping season—some positive, some negative. Additionally, we discuss earnings for eBay and a potential brick-and-mortar expansion by Warby Parker.  Our interview guests are Kylee Leonetti and Christian Jensen, the producers of a documentary detailing the final ten days of an Alco store in South Dakota.


Retail Focus 1/21/17 – JCP Partners with Nike, Target & Tuesday Morning Announce Changes

January 22, 2017

After hand-wringing about potential store closures, JC Penney surprises many by announcing a new in-store partnership with Nike.  Additionally, Target and Tuesday Morning announce executive shuffling, Limited enters Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, and a new study finds that e-commerce retailers experienced lower margins in 2016 compared with the prior year.


Retail Focus 1/13/17 – Boot Barn’s Plan for Further Growth; Aeropostale’s Re-Emergence

January 14, 2017

After growing through acquisition over the last five years, western wear retailer Boot Barn spies future areas for growth in their latest presentation.  We discuss changes Aeropostale is making as they re-open over 500 stores and prep for a new ad campaign.  Also, we talk disappointing earnings from grocer Supervalu, expansion at Sportsman’s Warehouse, and changes at Walmart.


Retail Focus 1/5/17 – Sears Holdings Shrinks Again; Retail Bankruptcies of 2016

January 5, 2017

Sears Holdings hits the news twice this week with more store closures and more money coming from ESL Investments.  Also, we discuss a study that potentially foreshadows a better-than-expected sales season for mall retailers, and look back at the retailers declaring bankruptcy in 2016 and what we can glean from their cautionary tales.


Retail Focus 12/28/16 – Our Top 5 and Bottom 5 Retailers of 2016; Bed Bath & Beyond Earnings

December 28, 2016

In the final Retail Focus Podcast of 2016, we take a quick glance at the latest from Bed Bath & Beyond and the dynamics of post-holiday returns in retail. We cap off the year by revealing our top five and bottom five retailers from an execution standpoint in 2016, and passing along our list of five retailers for whom 2017 may be an extremely pivotal year.


Retail Focus 12/21/16 – fred’s Reaches Deal with Rite Aid, Lidl Begins U.S. Hiring

December 22, 2016

The Walgreens acquisition of Rite Aid inched closer to becoming a reality this week, as fred’s stepped in to purchase over 800 Rite Aid locations.  We discuss the challenges ahead for fred’s and the idiosyncrasies of the deal. Meanwhile, Finish Line sprints backwards, German grocer Lidl begins the hiring process for their U.S. locations, and GNC plans a makeover.


Retail Focus 12/15/16 – Ollie’s Continues Growth Path, Casey’s Seeks Larger Food Margins

December 16, 2016

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet once again shows growth on all fronts—revenue, earnings, and same store stores—and we discuss their business model and expansion plans. Also, Pier 1 Imports releases earnings as well, CVS hosts their annual investor day, and Casey’s General Stores raises food prices in an effort to boost their overall margins.


Retail Focus 12/7/16 – Five Below & Ulta Earnings, Using Restraint in Evaluating Amazon Go

December 8, 2016

Ulta once again astounds the retail community with their same store sales metrics, Five Below displays another quarter of growth, and Big Lots reveals a mixed Q3.  Meanwhile, we caution against the media exaggeration surrounding Amazon Go, and talk about why it is important to evaluate their pilot with some restraint.


Retail Focus 12/1/16 – Black Friday/Cyber Monday Recap, 84 Lumber Eyes Westward Expansion

December 2, 2016

After a thorough recap of the numbers we have so far from the holiday shopping weekend, we discuss the increasing strength of Cyber Monday and how brick-and-mortar retailers fared on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Additionally, we take on Shoe Carnival’s earnings report and news that 84 Lumber has secured financing in part to expand their reach.


Retail Focus 11/23/16 – Foot Locker and Hibbett Sports Report Earnings, Looking Ahead to Black Friday

November 24, 2016

In an abbreviated Retail Focus, we look at the different directions Foot Locker and Hibbett Sports are headed, and more bad news for the Abercrombie brand.  We also take a look ahead to Black Friday, and discuss why it is important to wait before passing judgement on Black Friday sales reports.


Retail Focus 11/16/16 – JCP Setting Up for Growth, What Should Nordstrom Do with Trunk Club?

November 17, 2016

We take a trip through department store financials, talking about positive signs at JC Penney, some better news regarding Kohl’s, and split news from Nordstrom—their brick-and-mortar is driving growth, but their e-commerce acquisition Trunk Club is weighing financials down. Additionally, we discuss American Apparel’s re-entry into bankruptcy, and Kenneth Cole’s outlet shutdown.


Retail Focus 11/9/16 – Updates From Sprouts and Whole Foods, Small Business Saturday

November 10, 2016

Mixed earnings reports from Sprouts Farmers Market come out alongside reports of front office movement at competitor Whole Foods. Additionally, Lowe’s rolls out a limited cash back program to drum up pre-Black Friday sales (and compete with Menards), while Toys “R” Us makes only slight adjustments to their Black Friday approach. Sydney Anselmi joins us to discuss the AmEx-fueled “Small Business Saturday,” and what small retailers are doing to take part.


Retail Focus 11/2/16 – Amazon & L Brands Eye International Growth, Tuesday Morning Looks Toward Holidays

November 3, 2016

A bevy of earnings calls gives us an excuse to talk about where analyst expectations of Lumber Liquidators may be unrealistic, Tuesday Morning’s inventory growth after supply chain issues, and an international focus for Amazon and L Brands. Additionally, how much longer will Office Depot be profitable in their current state?


Retail Focus 10/26/16 – Projected Increase for Halloween Sales, Walgreens-Rite Aid Deal Postponed

October 27, 2016

We talk mixed earnings from Sketchers and Sherwin Williams, and more on the proposed Walgreens buyout of Rite Aid that has now been postponed to 2017.  Additionally, the NRF releases positive projections regarding Halloween seasonal sales, and early data backs up the optimism.  Finally, will anyone follow REI’s lead and shun Black Friday this year?


Retail Focus 10/19/16 – Dynamics of Thrift and Consignment Retail, Supervalu Sells Off Save-A-Lot

October 20, 2016

Private equity firm Onex strikes a deal with Supervalu for Save-A-Lot, entering the U.S. off-price grocery market for the first time.  Additionally, eBay and Tractor Supply Company announce mixed quarterly earnings, and The Tile Shop continues to thrive. Our guests are Kay Hilgenkamp and Erin Swanson Russell of Goodwill (Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa), who discuss the unique nature of thrift and consignment retail.


Retail Focus 10/12/16 – Bass Pro Grows Through Acquisition, Walmart Shrinks Growth Prospects

October 12, 2016

Cabela’s enters into a tentative agreement to be taken private by Bass Pro Shops…we’ll discuss the impacts of the deal on outdoors retail.  Also, Walmart shrinks their expectations for brick-and-mortar growth while investing heavily in e-commerce, the NRF releases expectations for the holiday shopping season, and more on grocery e-commerce from Amazon and Meijer.


Retail Focus 10/5/16 – Costco’s Potential, Development of Caroline’s Cart

October 6, 2016

After Costco released their latest quarterly earnings, the retail world gets more perspective on how the switch from AmEx to Visa may have been beneficial for the bulk goods retailer.  We also explore Whole Foods’ deepened partnership with Instacart, and more clarity on the Walgreens-Rite Aid proposal. Our interview guest is Drew Ann Long, creator of Caroline’s Cart, who discusses the process behind re-designing the modern shopping cart for the special needs population.


Retail Focus 9/28/16 – Finish Line Continues Hot Streak, Vineyard Vines Leaf Out

September 29, 2016

Finish Line releases more strong earnings, and we ponder where the company can improve on last year’s dismal third quarter. Additionally, Vineyard Vines continues to open additional retail stores (and outlets) in the U.S., Target ends their “kiddie cart” pilot, and the major brick-and-mortar office supply retailers make moves.


Retail Focus 9/21/16 – Yet More Kmart Closures, Lidl Announces U.S. Expansion Plans

September 22, 2016

Sears Holdings moves to close around 7% of their remaining Kmart stores by next January, and we go beyond the headlines to diagnose what this could mean for the company and their REIT. We explore whether or not there is room in the U.S. grocery market for Lidl, seasonal hiring for Kohl’s, and future prospects for Ascena Retail Group after an earnings miss.