Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: This week in retail wasn’t pretty


Check out a stream of extremely sobering news from – and for – retailers.

This week, quarterly reports came in from Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, JC PenneyCharlotte Russe, and Abercrombie & Fitch.

What did they all have in common? All reported profit drops and in the case of Macy’s and Charlotte Russe, quarterly losses.

Those dreary results followed a bankruptcy filing by Circuit City at the start of the week and then a large profit warning from competitor Best Buy.

Check Out Line: Kramer leaves Abercrombie for Kellwood


abercrobie.jpgCheck out Abercrombie losing its CFO to Kellwood.
Michael Kramer is leaving Abercrombie & Fitch as of Aug. 18 to take the top job at clothing manufacturer Kellwood Co and Wall Street doesn’t like it.
“With Mike Kramer’s departure, we are less certain that margins stay at historical levels and growth initiatives are pursued carefully, Thomas Weisel partners analyst Liz Dunn said.
Abercrombie already has problems with tepid sales as customers cut spending to cope with rising gasoline and and food costs.
Sluggish sales require “prudent management of expenses and capital spending, Credit Suisse analyst Paul Lejuez said. “Without a CFO, there is no one to lead the charge.”
Also in the basket:
Fortune Brands profit tops lowered Wall St expectations.
Consumer confidence rebounds from 28-year low
Foreclosures double from last year 
(Photo: Reuters)