Retail Focus 3/31/17 – Ollie’s “Best Year Ever,” True Value Keeps Pace with the Giants

March 31, 2017

To start the show, we take on Ollie’s continued ability to beat analyst expectations, and whether the concept’s growth can be maintained in their next fiscal year. We discuss potential issues with Amazon’s various grocery programs and underlying numbers that serve as a cause for concern for RH before discussing how True Value’s unique store model enables them to keep up with Home Depot and Lowe’s.


Retail Focus 3/24/17 – Boutique Retailer francesca’s Surges, More Success at Five Below & Duluth

March 24, 2017

A rarity in the fashion and/or mall segment, francesca’s beats expectations in nearly every category during their latest earnings call. We discuss them and two other retailers continuing upward momentum in Five Below and Duluth Trading Company. We end our show with a glance at the rumor mill, as Albertsons may make a play for Sprouts Farmers Market and Payless may close a significant number of locations.


Retail Focus 3/18/17 – Analyzing Dollar General’s Year, Sporting Goods Retail with Dick’s and Hibbett

March 18, 2017

Dollar General exceeded expectations, and we begin this week’s show by discussing reasons why possible “price war” effects on DG may be overblown. We discuss troubled times at Christopher & Banks and Pottery Barn, and surging sales at West Elm. Finally, we discuss new sporting goods retail initiatives by Dick’s and Hibbett Sports.


Retail Focus 3/13/17 – Three Retailers Struggling in Different Ways; Gordman’s Bankruptcy

March 14, 2017

We delve into the stories of three struggling retailers, and in what ways the troubles of Sears Holdings, Staples, and Express differ—and whether better times are ahead for any of the three. Better times are not ahead for off-price chain Gordman’s, who will most likely liquidate…we discuss them along with yet more news from the proposed Walgreen’s-Rite Aid deal.


Retail Focus 3/3/17 – Burlington Continues Off-Price Surge, Documenting “Dead & Dying Retail”

March 4, 2017

Burlington Coat Factory issues their 4th quarter results, and continues the excellent run of late in off-price retail with excellent numbers. We also discuss to what extent grocery deflation might be hurting Costco, Meijer’s reinvestment plans, and whether analysts’ expectations of Kroger are unreasonable. Our interview guests are Nick Eckhart and Mike Kalasnik of Dead & Dying Retail, as we discuss with them the push to preserve retail memories for future generations.


Retail Focus 2/25/17 – Potential Optimism Surrounding JCP, Home Depot Exceeds Expectations

February 26, 2017

Despite widespread negative media attention, we discuss why there are legitimate reasons for optimism surrounding JCPenney. Additionally, we take on an excellent earnings call from Home Depot, how Nordstrom is putting up solid numbers despite decreased traffic, RH’s share buyback, and why Sam’s Club comparable store sales projections for the current quarter may be a bit low.


Retail Focus 2/17/17 – Trouble at Payless ShoeSource, Walmart Purchases Moosejaw

February 17, 2017

A Bloomberg report suggests Payless may close nearly 20% of its store base as they restructure debt—we look at what this means for the footwear retailer. And, while Gander Mountain faces more potential troubles, outerwear retailer Moosejaw gets snatched up by Walmart. We close out with Retail Properties of America financials, and exploring the dynamics of Valentine’s Day spending.


Retail Focus 2/10/17 – Positive Sales Surprises from Gap, Aldi’s Revitalization Investment

February 10, 2017

Gap bucks the recent mall retail trend, revealing preliminary same store sales numbers that are positive for two of their brands. We discuss how Whole Foods’ recent earnings call reveals a change in strategy for the grocer, and how Aldi seeks to grab more U.S. market share. Finally, we talk bankruptcy news from Marbles: The Brain Store and rough sales numbers at The Container Store.


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.