Nathan's Feed
May 22, 2015

Wal-Mart urges meat suppliers to curb antibiotic use

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is pressing meat, seafood, dairy and egg suppliers to reduce the use of antibiotics, becoming the first large retailer to take such a public stand against the excessive use of drugs in raising farm animals.

The voluntary guidelines announced on Friday would limit suppliers to using antibiotics to treat and prevent disease, and not for promoting growth, a controversial practice by livestock producers. The move comes as concern is growing that over-use of antibiotics in animals can spawn drug-resistant superbugs, endangering human health.

May 20, 2015

Target profit tops estimates on healthy sales growth

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday reported a larger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit, citing robust online sales and strong demand for products at the center of its growth plan.

The fourth-largest U.S. retailer raised the low end of its fiscal-year outlook and said it repurchased $562 million worth of its shares in the quarter. This resumption of buybacks after nearly two years is the latest sign it had rebounded from a crippling data breach in late 2013.

May 20, 2015

Wal-Mart eyes Amazon in potentially costly e-commerce battle

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc said that it would take a different approach to online growth than Amazon.com Inc by using its large network of stores as distribution points.

But if the world’s largest bricks-and-mortar retailer is serious about competing more directly with Amazon – as it has suggested by testing a free shipping club – then it may have to spend well beyond a previously announced investment target on big distribution centers and other costs for its plan.

May 19, 2015

Wal-Mart sales miss expectations as shoppers pocket savings

By Nathan Layne and Sruthi Ramakrishnan

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday became the latest U.S. retailer to report weaker-than-expected quarterly sales, saying consumers were pocketing tax refunds and savings from cheaper gasoline rather than buying unnecessary items.

Shares of the world’s largest retailer, whose earnings just missed analysts’ estimates and whose forecast range for the current quarter was largely below expectations, were down 4.2 percent at $76.56 in morning trading.

May 15, 2015

Wal-Mart presses case for repairs at stores in labor dispute

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Weeks after Wal-Mart Stores Inc was accused of shuttering a California store to stop workers from organizing, the company said it would seek permits to rip up floors and replace plumbing lines as part of significant repairs at five stores the retailer said justified their abrupt closure.

Wal-Mart’s move last month to temporarily close the stores triggered a union-backed complaint to the National Labor Relations Board that is still pending. The company says it plans to re-open the stores within six months.

May 14, 2015

J.C. Penney posts narrower first quarter loss, lifts margin target

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on the back of solid demand for apparel and women’s handbags, and lifted its annual margin target in a sign the department store chain is getting a better grip on costs.

The company also said it would start selling Sephora beauty products online this month in an expansion of that partnership. J.C. Penney currently has more than 500 Sephora outlets within its stores and plans to add more.

May 14, 2015

J.C. Penney posts narrower 1st qtr loss, lifts margin target

May 13 (Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc reported a
smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on the back of solid demand
for apparel and women’s handbags, and lifted its annual margin
target in a sign the department store chain is getting a better
grip on costs.

The company also said it would start selling Sephora beauty
products online this month in an expansion of that partnership.
J.C. Penney currently has more than 500 Sephora outlets within
its stores and plans to add more.

May 13, 2015

Exclusive: Wal-Mart improves lobbying disclosure after shareholder push

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores said it will start disclosing directly to investors what it spends on lobbying on a state-by-state basis, responding to shareholder pressure to improve transparency on how the retailing giant seeks to influence public policy.

The previously unreported move would make Wal-Mart the first constituent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average to break out state expenditures at that level of detail, drawing attention to spending that in some states reaches hundreds of thousands of dollars. Wal-Mart’s move could chart a course for others, just as rival retailers followed suit when it raised worker pay earlier this year.

May 8, 2015

Target-MasterCard settlement moves ahead despite U.S. judge’s doubts

NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) – A federal judge has rejected a bid from a group of banks and credit unions suing Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) over its 2013 data breach to block the company’s proposed $19 million settlement with MasterCard Inc (MA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson in St. Paul, Minnesota,

wrote in a ruling Thursday that the deal does not appear “altogether fair or reasonable” but he could not legally intervene without evidence that Target or MasterCard had made misleading or coercive statements.

May 7, 2015

Sears store spinoffs, loyalty points way to revive profit – CEO

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois May 6 (Reuters) – The $2.5 billion
cash that Sears Holdings Corp’s proposed real estate
trust is expected to generate should muffle the retailer’s
“skeptics and cynics” for a while, Chief Executive Eddie Lampert
said on Wednesday.

And he is counting on a loyalty program to silence them for
good.

Speaking at an annual shareholders meeting, the CEO
described the Shop Your Way loyalty program as a key competitive
advantage that allows it to squeeze more out of each customer
even as it shrinks its store base.