Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: It’s a bad idea to raise the turkey you sell


turkey.jpgCheck out why Heinz didn’t suffer like Hormel did in the past quarter.

H.J. Heinz came in with a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street expectations, helped by price increases and new product sales, while Jennie-O turkey seller Hormel Foods saw its earnings dip.

Food companies have found it tough going as commodity costs shoot up, but Hormel was particularly hard hit. The reason? It raises the turkeys that it eventually sells — meaning spiking corn feed costs hurt its results. 

Also in food news –  Burger King reported quarterly numbers that easily beat analysts’ expectations, as consumers headed to its restaurants for a burger or two. It also issued a fiscal 2009 outlook within Wall Street’s expectations.

On the apparel end, Children’s Place posted a small quarterly profit, helped by summer clothing sales and cost cuts. Still, the kids’ apparel retailer said it expects further pressure on consumer spending due to the weak U.S. economy.

Check Out Line: Consumers seek basics; retailers seek mergers


eggs.jpgCheck out a busy day for retailers as earnings — or losses – poured in from BJ’s Wholesale, Talbots, Charming Shoppes and Brown Shoe. 

The “flight to necessities” by the U.S. consumer was on display as BJ’s  — which sells food and fuel — posted a 26 percent jump in quarterly profit.