Driven by strong top-line growth, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and TJX Cos. reported robust third-quarter earnings Tuesday and the discounters said they were geared up for the holiday shopping season.
For Wal-Mart, however, softer same-store sales in the quarter were a disappointment.
Wal-Mart said net income for the three months ended Oct. 31 rose 11.5 percent to $2.65 billion, or 63 cents a diluted share, from $2.37 billion or 57 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. Earnings per share from continuing operations rose to 62 cents from last year's 58 cents, beating Wall Street's consensus estimate of 59 cents. Sales rose 12 percent to $83.54 billion from $74.6 billion, which included a 7.8 percent jump to $54.18 billion for Wal-Mart. Same-store sales for Wal-Mart rose by 1.5 percent in the quarter.
H. Lee Scott Jr., president and chief executive officer, told analysts during a conference call, "Today I can tell you that although we are pleased to report record sales and earnings for the third quarter, sales in the U.S. were softer than we had hoped."
Scott also was upbeat about the fourth quarter, stating, "This season, no one will doubt Wal-Mart's leadership on price and value. We are implementing our most aggressive pricing strategy ever."
In a change in direction, Scott said this year shoppers will hear "Merry Christmas" spoken in Wal-Mart stores. "Last year, our customers told us they appreciate the word ‘holiday,' but they would like it even more if we said ‘Christmas' also." He said in addition to a "Christmas-specific television ad," the retailer will also play Christmas carols in its stores.
Scott said the retailer will open 21 units in the U.S. in time for holiday shopping, and noted that the company is pleased to see continued strength in the operations of its international segment.
Target said net income for the quarter ended Oct. 28 was $506 million, or 59 cents a share, representing a 16.3 percent rise from $435 million, or 49 cents, last year. The Wall Street consensus estimate was 55 cents a share. Revenues rose 11.2 percent to $13.57 billion from $12.21 billion, which included a 10.3 percent jump in sales to $13.16 billion and a 20.7 percent gain in credit card revenues to $414 million. Same-store sales rose 4.6 percent."We remain optimistic about our fourth-quarter outlook and we believe we're on track to deliver strong full-year results. We expect the holiday season to be [intensely] competitive, and as a result we have planned our business to drive traffic and generate profitable sales," said Robert Ulrich, chairman and ceo, during the company's conference call.
Greg Steinhafel, president, said Target's "Expect More, Pay Less" promise and commitment to delighting shoppers was one reason why the discounter posted strong results. He said for holiday, the discounter will feature "stylish handbags, clutch purses and gloves in both day and night designs."
TJX said net income for the quarter ended Oct. 28 jumped 48.5 percent to $230.6 million, or 48 cents a diluted share, from $155.3 million, or 32 cents, in the same year-ago period. Sales rose 11.4 percent to $4.5 billion from $4.04 billion.
Separately, Target and Boots of Britain have signed a deal to roll out a selection of Boots' branded products in each of the mass retailer's 1,150 doors. A handful of Boots' brands, namely Botanics and No. 7, are already sold in 109 Target doors and 59 CVS units in the U.S.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)