Journalist, New York
Phil's Feed
Sep 9, 2013

REUTERS SUMMIT: Traditional U.S. stores fight Amazon for online sales

By Phil Wahba and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – U.S. bricks and mortar retailers are racing to catch up with e-commerce giant in fast-growing online sales.

Retailers ranging from department store Macy’s Inc (M.N: Quote, Profile, Research) to discounters like Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) are linking online and in-store inventory systems, speeding shipping and promoting exclusive products to counter Amazon, which dominates U.S. online sales.

Aug 28, 2013

Zale posts first full-year profit since 2008, shares soar

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Zale Corp (ZLC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted higher-than-expected fourth-quarter comparable sales on Wednesday, led by big gains at its flagship chain, and reported its first profitable fiscal year since the financial crisis in 2008.

Shares soared as much as 23.7 percent to $11.08, reaching their highest since November 2008, when the financial crisis decimated sales of mid-priced jewelry. The stock has nearly tripled since April.

Aug 28, 2013

Tiffany sees China sparkle as diamond demand grows

Aug 27 (Reuters) – Diamonds may be Tiffany & Co’s
best friend as strong demand for the sparkling gems in China
helped lift the U.S. jeweler’s global sales in the latest
quarter, leading it to raise its profit forecast for the year.

Diamonds have grown in popularity in China’s 465 billion
yuan ($76 billion) jewelry sector as affluent Chinese
increasingly opt for diamond jewelry over gold as gifts for
special occasions. Diamonds accounted for 30 percent of the
sector this year, up from 25 percent in 2008, according to
research firm Euromonitor.

Aug 27, 2013

Tiffany’s strong China sales offset tepid Americas business

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Tiffany & Co’s (TIF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) strong sales in China and higher prices helped mitigate disappointing business in its home market in the second quarter, leading the U.S. jeweler on Tuesday to raise its profit forecast for the year.

Shares of Tiffany rose 2.2 percent to $83.50 in trading before the market opened.

Aug 26, 2013

Analysis: Spending on cars, homes threatens apparel sales as holidays approach

By Jessica Wohl and Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Even with consumer confidence at a six-year high, retailers ranging from Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to Macy’s Inc (M.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are competing not only with each other but are also having to adapt to shifting spending patterns.

Many consumers are taking advantage of still-low interest rates, purchasing cars and houses, but at the same time they are holding back on shirts, dresses and shoes, which doesn’t bode well for many retailers in the run-up to the year-end holiday season.

Aug 22, 2013

Abercrombie & Fitch same-store sales plummet, outlook weak

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Abercrombie & Fitch Co (ANF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported comparable sales and profit far below Wall Street expectations on Thursday, blaming a drop in store visits by shoppers, and the teen retailer said business will decline even more during the current back-to-school quarter.

The company said comparable sales, which include online sales and sales at stores open at least a year, fell 10 percent in the second quarter, ended August 3. Analysts had expected a drop of just 2.5 percent.

Aug 22, 2013

Analysis: New tastes, nimble fashion rivals squeeze top U.S. teen chains

By Phil Wahba and Dhanya Skariachan

(Reuters) – Abercrombie & Fitch Co (ANF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Aeropostale Inc (ARO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and American Eagle Outfitters Inc (AEO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have fallen out of fashion with fickle U.S. teen shoppers and aren’t likely to win back their business anytime soon.

The retailers, known as the “3As,” have long been popular for their cool basics like jeans, hoodies and t-shirts. But young shoppers are now less interested in their logo-centric clothes and more eager to shop for electronics or go to low-cost, fast-fashion chains like Zara, Forever 21 and H&M that offer greater variety more quickly.

Aug 21, 2013

American Eagle issues weak forecast on price pressure

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – American Eagle Outfitters Inc (AEO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the teen apparel retailer, forecast weak sales and profits for the back-to-school quarter on Wednesday, and said the promotional environment that forced it to slash prices this summer was persisting.

Shares fell as low as $14.40, their lowest since March 2012. They were down 9 percent at $14.87 in late-morning trading.

Aug 20, 2013

Barnes & Noble chairman halts plan to buy stores as sales slide

By Jessica Wohl and Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Barnes & Noble Inc’s founder and largest shareholder on Tuesday suspended his plan to buy the bookseller’s stores, dashing investor hopes for a deal as the company again reported poor quarterly results.

B&N shares fell 15 percent to $14.17, their lowest level since February, when Leonard Riggio, who is also chairman, said he planned to make an offer for B&N’s retail business.

Aug 20, 2013

Penney sales tumble but back-to-school ‘encouraging’ so far

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Tuesday quarterly sales tumbled again last quarter, even as reinstated CEO Myron Ullman worked to roll back his predecessor’s failed merchandising strategies, but there were signs that customers were returning for the back-to-school season.

The company, which reported another steeper-than-expected loss, said sales trends improved every month in the quarter and that business so far this back-to-school period, the second-most important for Penney after the holidays, was “encouraging.”

    • About Phil

      "Phil Wahba joined Reuters in 2008 and has covered the exchanges, equity capital markets (IPOs), corporate bankruptcies and now covers retailers such as department stores and booksellers."
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