Nathan's Feed
Nov 7, 2014

Sears says may sell stores to REIT in latest move to raise cash

By Nathan Layne and Sruthi Ramakrishnan

(Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said Friday it may sell up to 300 stores to a real estate investment trust in a move that would spin off prized assets to shareholders and could accelerate a breakup of the retailer by billionaire Chief Executive Eddie Lampert.

Shares of the retailer rocketed 34 percent to $43.71 as investors cheered the possible influx of cash at a time when the company, hampered by sluggish sales, is losing about $7 million a day.

Oct 29, 2014

Wal-Mart and allies in face-off with Apple Pay over mobile payments

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Suddenly it’s Apple versus Wal-Mart in the fight for shoppers’ digital wallets.

With the development of a new mobile payment system, a group of retailers led by Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is aiming to upend the $4.5 trillion credit card market and control the precious transaction data generated at the checkout line.

Oct 27, 2014

Some U.S. retailers shun Apple Pay, eye rival payments system

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Some large U.S. retailers are refusing to use Apple Inc’s APPL.O new electronic payments service as they commit to developing a rival payments system that would bolster their profits by eliminating credit card transaction fees.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is among the roughly 50 big retailers that have chosen not to accept Apple Pay, along with Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and CVS HealthCorp (CVS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Oct 20, 2014

Sears turns to CEO again for cash to boost confidence

Oct 20 (Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp said it
would raise as much as $625 million through an unsecured loan
and equity warrants, its third fundraising in a month, as it
seeks to ease suppliers’ concerns about its finances going into
the critical holiday season.

Shares of the retailer jumped 21.4 percent to $34.5 on the
news.

Sears said Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert and his
hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc, would purchase roughly half of
the offering, in which the right to buy unsecured senior notes
and warrants will be issued to existing shareholders.

Oct 15, 2014

Wal-Mart cuts sales-growth outlook, slows store openings

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) cut its annual sales forecast on Wednesday, citing a stronger dollar and the impact of food stamp reductions, and it said it would slow store openings in the next financial year as it shifts spending to its online business.

The announcements, made at an annual gathering of analysts and investors, highlight how the financial struggles of its core customer base – low-income consumers – continue to weigh on its earnings and have prompted a more cautious stance on traditional bricks-and-mortar expansion.

Oct 13, 2014

J.C. Penney taps Home Depot executive as CEO, big challenges ahead

By Nathan Layne and Sruthi Ramakrishnan

(Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) named Home Depot Inc (HD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) executive Marvin Ellison as its new chief on Monday, ending an 18-month search but barely allaying investor concerns over problems facing the money-losing department store chain.

Ellison, 49, an industry veteran credited with reviving Home Depot’s U.S. business, will join J.C. Penney as a board member in November, and succeed Myron Ullman, 67, as chief executive in August 2015.

Oct 11, 2014

Sears says Kmart stores hit by data breach

By Jim Finkle and Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp said it was the victim of a cyberattack that likely resulted in the theft of some customer payment cards at its Kmart stores, the latest in a series of computer security breaches to hit U.S. companies and dealing a fresh blow to the struggling U.S. retailer.

The U.S. Secret Service confirmed it was investigating the breach, which occurred in September and compromised the systems of Kmart, which has about 1,200 stores across the United States. The breach did not affect the Sears department store chain.

Oct 10, 2014

Lower US gas price could pump up Wal-Mart, other discount chains

Oct 10 (Reuters) – Lower gasoline prices are expected to
fuel higher retail sales this winter, especially at Wal-Mart
Stores and other chains that cater to low- to
middle-income shoppers, analysts said.

The average price at the pump dropped to $3.24 a gallon on
Friday, down 11 percent from three months earlier and the lowest
level in October since 2010, according to AAA. The motorist
group predicts the price will fall below $3 in the coming
months.

Oct 7, 2014

Wal-Mart raises healthcare costs, cuts benefits for some part-timers

By Nathan Layne and Siddharth Cavale

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. private sector employer, said on Tuesday that its 1.3 million workers would have to pay more for healthcare and it would end benefits for some part-time staff in a move that could prompt other companies to follow suit.

The world’s largest retailer said it would raise health insurance premiums for its entire U.S. workforce beginning in January. In addition, Wal-Mart will end coverage for employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week, a change that will impact 2 percent of U.S. workers, or about 30,000 people.

Oct 5, 2014

Sears: Why the troubled chain’s vendors are worried

CHICAGO, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp.’s
deepening financial troubles have forced insurers and banks to
raise the cost of guaranteeing payment to vendors, rattling the
retailer’s supply chain as the company heads into the key
holiday season.

The move by these financial intermediaries — in an opaque
but vital quarter of the retail business where makers of goods
ranging from apparel to TVs seek to insure they get paid –
comes in the wake of unusual steps Sears has taken to raise cash
for operations. In the past three weeks, the retailer twice has
turned to its billionaire CEO Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund for a
cash infusion — first as the anchor on a $400 million loan and
then again Thursday as a buyer for most of its stake in the
ailing Sears Canada. Sears aims to raise $380 million
with that deal.