Journalist, New York
Phil's Feed
Jan 13, 2014

With data vulnerable, retailers look for tougher security

BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A top retail trade group executive on Sunday called for tougher security standards that could mean more spending for the industry, its banks and business partners after a series of data breaches at major merchants.

Stores and card processing companies have reported a steady stream of security breaches for years without a major backlash from consumers, such as those disclosed by TJX Cos in 2007 and by Heartland Payment Systems Inc in 2009.

Jan 10, 2014

Holiday sales plunge at Sears U.S., Kmart stores

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp’s (SHLD.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sales are slipping faster and faster.

The retailer on Thursday reported declines in comparable-store sales at its Kmart and U.S. namesake chain for the crucial holiday season that were even sharper than for the third quarter.

Jan 9, 2014

Barnes & Noble core retail business stabilized during holidays

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Barnes & Noble Inc’s mainstay retail business showed signs of stabilizing during the holiday period, renewing the belief on Wall Street that the bookseller’s stores remain a viable business.

The largest U.S. bookstore chain on Thursday reported a 5.5 percent decrease in comparable sales at its bookstores and on its website over the holiday period. But that was caused primarily by a drop in the number of Nook e-reader devices sold.

Jan 9, 2014

Discounts slam U.S. retailers’ holiday season profits

NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Steep discounts that U.S.
retailers used during the holiday season to lure shoppers helped
sales but forced many chains to slash profit forecasts.

A group of eight retailers in the Thomson Reuters Same-Store
Sales Index reported on Thursday that December sales at stores
open at least a year rose a stronger-than-expected 2.7 percent.

Jan 9, 2014

Retailers’ sales rise in December

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Many U.S. retailers had to ramp up promotions last month as shoppers continued to watch their spending during the holiday season, hitting profits at several chains.

L Brands cut its earnings forecast for the holiday quarter on Thursday after reporting disappointing December sales at its Victoria Secret and La Senza chains. The company said it had to offer more deals than expected, the second month in a row it has had to do so.

Jan 9, 2014

U.S. retailers’ sales rise in December, but discounts slam margins

NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Many U.S. retailers had to ramp
up promotions last month as shoppers continued to watch their
spending during the holiday season, hitting profits at several
chains.

L Brands cut its earnings forecast for the holiday
quarter on Thursday after reporting disappointing December sales
at its Victoria Secret and La Senza chains. The company said it
had to offer more deals than expected, the second month in a row
it has had to do so.

Jan 8, 2014

Macy’s posts strong holiday season sales, gives upbeat 2014 outlook

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Department store operator Macy’s Inc (M.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday reported strong holiday season sales and gave a preliminary forecast for 2014 that suggests it would continue to outpace its rivals.

The retailer also announced plans to cut about 2,500 jobs, or 1.4 percent of its U.S. workforce, but said it expects to add positions for its growing online business, leaving overall staffing levels unchanged at around 175,000. Its shares rose 5 percent after the bell.

Jan 8, 2014

Few details from JC Penney on holiday sales spook market

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Sometimes, no news is bad news.

J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) shares slid 8 percent after the department store chain said on Wednesday it was “pleased” with its holiday sales performance, but skimped on specifics.

Other retail stocks were down slightly, but the lack of detail in the Penney release fueled speculation that its turnaround is stalling.

Jan 8, 2014

Barnes & Noble names head of digital division as CEO

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday that Michael Huseby, the head of its digital division, was named chief executive, a move Wall Street interpreted to mean the bookseller still sees e-books and e-readers as a priority.

The largest U.S. bookstore chain had been without a CEO since July, when William Lynch resigned in the wake of several quarters of poor sales of Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-readers and e-books business, which he developed. Last quarter, Nook division sales fell 32 percent, continuing the decline.

Jan 8, 2014

Deep discounts fail to woo U.S. holiday shoppers

Jan 8 (Reuters) – U.S. retailers posted their lowest holiday
sales growth in four years after shoppers stayed at home despite
some of the biggest discounts and promotions since the
recession, retail industry tracker ShopperTrak said.

Retail sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas rose 2.7
percent, compared with 3.0 percent a year earlier, while the
number of people walking into stores across the United States
declined 14.6 percent, ShopperTrak said.

    • 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."
      Joined Reuters:
      2008
      Languages:
      English, French, Spanish, German and Danish.
    • Follow Phil