Retailers, consumers and prices
Check out the weaker-than-expected earnings at Lowe’s.
Giving fuel to pessimists about the U.S. economy, Lowe’s, the No. 2 home improvement chain behind Home Depot, posted a quarterly profit and sales that missed analysts’ expectations, and also forecast lackluster earnings in the current quarter, underscoring “limited visibility into near-term demand.”
Sales at companies like Lowe’s had benefited immensely from the homeowner tax credit and cash for appliances programs, but now more and more uncertainty seems to be the watchword.
Last week, retailer J.C. Penney forecast a full-year profit below Wall Street’s expectations, stoking fears it would need further discounts to clear out inventory. That was a day after department stores Kohl’s and Nordstrom gave conservative profit outlooks.
“We are taking a relatively conservative approach to the economic climate and especially the moderate consumer,” Chief Executive Myron Ullman said.
Check out department stores’ forecasts coming in below expectations as they try to gain market share.
On Friday, JC Penney became the latest chain to issue outlook that falls a little bit short of what Wall Street had already expected.
J.C. Penney discounts are going mobile as the department store takes aim at younger, tech-savvy shoppers.
Just in time for the crucial holiday shopping season, the company is testing a discount program from Cellfire that will allow Penney’s Houston-area shoppers to use their cell phones to download coupons that can be presented at checkout for savings.
In a research note this week, Credit Suisse analyst Michael Exstein examined what changes in the media world mean for retailers who are used to reaching consumers through traditional channels — like the newspaper.
Check Out J.C. Penney’s new store in Manhattan.
On July 31, J.C. Penney will open its first Manhattan store in the midtown area, promising to deliver trendy yet affordable items for New York’s notoriously savvy shoppers.
Penney is taking direct aim at rival Macy’s, whose flagship Herald Square store is a block away.
Check out the generally dismal sales in June, sprinkled with drops of hope.
Sales dropped at several U.S. chains as consumers stayed out of the rain and out of the stores. Still, some of those focused on discounts once again reaped the rewards as those who did go out searched for deals.
American luxury retail has been, well, in shambles.
Since department store revenues began to plummet in September, luxury’s glossy image transformed to one that brings to mind strewn-about merchandise on a Saks Fifth Avenue floor.
Pricing structures have come under pressure as shoppers seek deep discounts, or worse, question price guidelines after aggressive reductions at the end of last year. In the spring, markdowns crept dangerously close to the start of the season. Clearly, discounts really are not what designers want their labels to be known for.
Check out some strong sales.
Sure, sales are still down at most chains. Still, anything that’s down less than expected is a good sign in this economy, right?
Sales at Wal-Mart‘s U.S. stores open at least a year jumped 5 percent, topping analysts’ average expectation for a 2.9 percent rise. And in a sign that improving sales are leading to better profitability, retailers including J.C. Penney, TJX and Kohl’s raised their profit expectations for their just-completed first quarter.
Early bird buyers with shopping carts stuffed with toys, electronics and clothes stood 10 deep in checkout lines and the parking lot was packed with cars at 7:30 in the morning. In Valley Stream, Long Island, the crush turned tragic when a temp worker was killed by the crowd surging through a Wal-Mart’s doors.