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.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)