Retail Focus 6/23/17 – Walmart & Amazon Duke It Out, The State Of Retail Labor in U.S

June 23, 2017

Walmart and Amazon appear to be at odds again, as Walmart reportedly places pressure on vendors to move away from AWS platforms. We discuss that, another sporting goods retail rescue, and possibilities of a REIT spinoff at Hudson’s Bay. Our interview guest is Sarah Jaffe, who published an extensive article on Racked.com this week regarding the current state of the U.S. retail employee.

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Retail Focus 6/16/17 – Pundits Lose Minds Over Amazon-Whole Foods, Another Walmart Acquisition

June 17, 2017

We lead off our show with perhaps the biggest story in retail so far in 2017, as Amazon acquires Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion dollar deal. As we wade through the hyperbole, we assess Kroger’s tough week (at least on the stock market) and Walmart’s new e-commerce acquisition in Bonobos. Our interview guest is Mlive business reporter Shandra Martinez, who sheds light on Meijer’s new small footprint store concept in Grand Rapids.

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Retail Focus 6/9/17 – Why Market May Be Misguided On Duluth, At Home Blitzes Expectations

June 9, 2017

Although the stock market hammered Duluth Trading Co. earlier this week, we take a deep glance into why there are still plenty of reasons for optimism surrounding the up-and-coming retailer. At Home storms past expectations and reveals their future brick and mortar growth plans, Tailored Brands releases financials that aren’t as bad as expected, and Nordstrom explores possibilities of going private.

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Retail Focus 6/3/17 – Walmart’s Bold New Last-Mile Plan, the Dollar Express Saga Continues

June 4, 2017

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet leads our show as they once again surpass expectations in many financial categories. We then explore Sycamore Partner’s claims against Family Dollar and Dollar Tree after Dollar Express failed to achieve independence before looking at an ambitious new last-mile delivery plan Walmart unveils at their annual shareholders’ meeting—and the kinks that they may need to smooth out prior to nationwide adoption.

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Retail Focus 5/27/17 – New Strategy Produces Positive Results at The Container Store & Best Buy

May 28, 2017

We begin the show by addressing notable earnings from The Container Store, as they beat analyst expectations on the back of strategic changes. The same seems to be taking place at Best Buy, and we discuss exactly how they continue to grow most segments of their business. Additionally, we discuss proposed SNAP changes and their possible effects on retailers, and how Lowe’s latest earnings report really wasn’t as bad as the market made it out to be.

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Retail Focus 5/20/17 – Two Mall Retailers See Sales Growth, Home Depot Builds Future Expectations

May 20, 2017

We go beyond the clickbait headlines about the death of mall retail to find two mall retailers who continue to have success in Old Navy and Foot Locker, and find out why the market may have overreacted to earnings from the latter. We also take on Home Depot’s continued success and their future path to growth, new strategic initiatives at Target, and the tale of two off-price retailers going in different directions.

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Retail Focus 5/13/17 – Wayfair’s Sales Numbers Increase, Mother’s Day & Retail

May 14, 2017

Despite remaining unprofitable, Wayfair’s top line sales increased during the last quarter, and we take a glance at initiatives that might drive future profitability. We cover department store earnings with Macy’s and JCP, another bankruptcy in the grocery space, Whole Foods’ attempt to get back on track, and how Mother’s Day as a holiday impacts retail.

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Retail Focus 5/6/17 – Lumber Liquidators Bounces Back Slightly, Floor & Décor’s IPO

May 7, 2017

After a rough last two years, Lumber Liquidators shows signs of a bounce back but is still experiencing bottom-line struggles. A major LL competitor in Floor & Décor cashes in on a rare retail-related IPO, while Coach gives the premium retail segment good news. We close with news of Central Grocers’ bankruptcy and a potential market overreaction to Tuesday Morning’s earnings.

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Retail Focus 4/29/17 – Rumors Surround Whole Foods, How 99¢ Only Stores Can Reduce Costs

April 30, 2017

We begin by connecting the dots surrounding the speculation regarding a possible Albertsons-Whole Foods deal, and assessing whether Kroger have their eyes on Whole Foods instead. With earnings season kicking off, we cover three reports—O’Reilly’s Auto, 99¢ Only Stores, and Supervalu—and discuss successes and challenges for each.

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Retail Focus 4/21/17 – GNC’s Turnaround Slower than Expected, Target’s New Partnership

April 22, 2017

Investors and analysts balk somewhat at GNC’s slower-than-anticipated turnaround and lackluster e-commerce sales—we take a closer look at the struggles “One New GNC” will need to overcome. Later, we discuss Target’s new partnership with Accompany, Bass Pro/Cabela’s acquisition news, Kate Spade’s continued look for a buyer, and a U.S.-based footwear company that is exploding internationally.

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Retail Focus 4/14/17 – Toys “R” Us Becomes More Efficient, Looking Ahead in Gaming Retail

April 14, 2017

Although the headlines dwell on reduced sales for Toys “R” Us, we find ways in which the retailer appears positioned for continued organizational improvement. We also discuss merger and acquisition news from the beauty and grocery sectors, and a disappointing first quarter for Tractor Supply. Our interview guest (ThatOneAndrew from Around the Gaming Block) joins us to discuss gaming retail dynamics, and why the Nintendo Switch may not be enough to save GameStop’s sales numbers.

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Retail Focus 4/11/17 – 7-Eleven Grows Store Count Through Acquisition, More Walmart Layoffs

April 12, 2017

We begin with big news out of the convenience store space, as 7-Eleven’s parent company reaches an agreement to purchase over 1,100 retail locations from Sunoco. Meanwhile, Walmart follows through on more layoffs—this time in information systems—and Costco’s retail sales continue an upward trend.  We also discuss Rue21’s possible bankruptcy and Fanatics’ latest acquisition.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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