Nathan's Feed
Feb 19, 2015

Wal-Mart, under pressure, boosts minimum U.S. wage to $9 an hour

By Sruthi Ramakrishnan and Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it would raise entry-level wages to $9 an hour, a 24 percent increase from the U.S. minimum wage that some employees now earn, succumbing to longstanding pressure to pay its workforce more.

The world’s largest retailer said the increases would cost it $1 billion and impact 500,000 employees, or about 40 percent of its workforce, although the hike falls short of what some labor groups have been agitating for.

Feb 5, 2015

Shift in small business spending may curb Staples-Office Depot growth

Feb 4 (Reuters) – It’s the changing spending patterns of
small business owners like Thomas Kean that helped prompt
Staples Inc to buy Office Depot. It also may
limit their post-merger growth prospects.

Staples announced on Wednesday that it would buy Office
Depot for $6.3 billion, combining the top two U.S. retailers of
office supplies. The companies said the deal would enable them
to better serve customers and make them more competitive on
costs..

Jan 16, 2015

Thin crowds during CEO’s visit helped seal Target Canada’s demise

NEW YORK/TORONTO (Reuters) – Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) was scrambling for ways to fix its failing Canadian expansion and considering closing just the weakest locations, but a pre-holiday visit to several stores by CEO Brian Cornell helped seal the decision for a full retreat.

Cornell spent the weekend before Christmas making solo visits to stores in Ontario and Quebec, Canada’s most populous provinces, according to a Target source familiar with the U.S. discount retailer’s decision to pull out of Canada.

Jan 7, 2015

Cheap gas gives US holiday shopping season late December kick

CHICAGO, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Plummeting gasoline prices likely
sparked a long-awaited jump in spending during the final stretch
of the U.S. holiday shopping season as consumers took advantage
of billions of dollars in savings at the pump.

As gasoline prices slid to their lowest in nearly six years,
a Reuters poll showed a late December spike in the percentage of
consumers willing to spend more due to lower costs of auto and
heating fuel.

Jan 2, 2015

Analysis – Free delivery creates holiday boon for U.S. consumers at high cost

SAN FRANCISCO/CHICAGO (Reuters) – For top U.S. retailers, free delivery is now the norm. That is good news for shoppers, but not so much for investors.

During the just-ended holiday season, outlets from Target to Wal-Mart to Amazon expanded their free-delivery options, adding more items eligible for free shipping. They also did away with minimum spending thresholds to qualify for the perk.

Jan 2, 2015

Free delivery creates holiday boon for U.S. consumers at high cost

SAN FRANCISCO/CHICAGO (Reuters) – For top U.S. retailers, free delivery is now the norm. That is good news for shoppers, but not so much for investors.

During the just-ended holiday season, outlets from Target to Wal-Mart to Amazon expanded their free-delivery options, adding more items eligible for free shipping. They also did away with minimum spending thresholds to qualify for the perk.

Dec 26, 2014

Women’s apparel, dining drive U.S. holiday sales: MasterCard

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – U.S. retail sales rose 5.5 percent from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve as solid demand for women’s apparel, jewelry and casual dining offset surprisingly sluggish sales of electronics, MasterCard said in its holiday spending report.

The report, which tracks spending by combining sales activity in MasterCard’s payments network with estimates of cash and other payment forms, offers an early look into how the holiday season shaped up. Official government data and results from retailers will not be available until next month.

Dec 24, 2014

U.S. minimum wage hikes to impact 1,400-plus Walmart stores

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Minimum wage increases across the United
States will prompt Wal-Mart Stores Inc to adjust base
salaries at 1,434 stores, impacting about a third of its U.S.
locations, according to an internal memo reviewed by Reuters.

The memo, which was sent to store managers earlier this
month, offers insight into the impact of minimum wage hikes in
21 states due to come into effect on or around Jan. 1, 2015.

Dec 24, 2014

Exclusive: U.S. minimum wage hikes to impact 1,400-plus Walmart stores

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Minimum wage increases across the United States will prompt Wal-Mart Stores Inc to adjust base salaries at 1,434 stores, impacting about a third of its U.S. locations, according to an internal memo reviewed by Reuters.

The memo, which was sent to store managers earlier this month, offers insight into the impact of minimum wage hikes in 21 states due to come into effect on or around Jan. 1, 2015.

Dec 18, 2014

U.S. holiday sales may recover with help of deep discounts

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Despite a disappointing Thanksgiving weekend, U.S. holiday sales may squeak by expectations if steeper and longer-running discounts lure enough shoppers.

An uptick in last-minute shopping trips on the all-important weekend before Christmas is likely to benefit consumer electronics chains like Best Buy (BBY.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and home improvement retailers like Home Depot (HD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Lowe’s (LOW.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) the most.