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Inside Retail (Jul 3rd, 2017)

Nike Inc. (NKE) reported better-than-expect quarterly results, sending shares up about 9 percent in Friday’s session. Nike reported fourth-quarter revenue grew 5 percent year-over-year to $8.68 billion, although its cost of goods sold increased 9 percent. Net income increased 19 percent to 60 cents per share. “We are certainly beginning to see the fruits of Nike's efforts to re-ignite its innovation engine,” said Susquehanna analyst Sam Poser in a note. Nike also said it has finally teamed up with Amazon.com (AMZN) after holding out on the partnership for years. The sportswear giant plans to start selling products through Instagram. – BARRON’S

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Americans will likely spend $7.1 billion on food items over the Fourth of July holiday, a National Retail Federation survey concludes. That’s up from $6.8 billion in 2016 and $6.7 billion in 2015. Two-thirds of respondents said they planned to participate in a cookout or picnic and planned to spend an average of $73.42. About 27.6 percent of Americans said they would purchase patriotic merchandise this year, while 34 percent said they were unsure. Many grocery stores name Fourth of July weekend as their busiest days of the year. – RETAIL DIVE

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U.S. automakers reported deep sales declines last month as consumers try to save more and vehicles become increasingly expensive. Analysts estimate that overall car sales slid more than 2 percent in June compared to the same month a year prior, according to JD Power estimates. General Motors Co. (GM) said its auto sales declined 5 percent to 243,155 vehicles, while Ford Motor Co. (F) said sales fell 5.1 percent to 227,979 vehicles. Japan automakers fared better with Toyota Corp. (TM) noting a sales increase of 2.1 percent and Honda Motor Co. (HMC) reporting a 1 percent gain. – MARKETWATCH 

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French dairy company Danone SA will reportedly sell Stoneyfield, its U.S.-based business, to Lactalis for $875 million. The move is intended to address U.S. competition concerns as Danone acquires WhiteWave. Danone and WhiteWave have significant market share in the yogurt industry with brands like Dannon, Silk, Oikos, Actimel and Horizon Organics. Lactalis, also a French dairy company, agreed to buy Stoneyfield, which produces only organic products, as consumers increasingly demand healthy food. Texas-based Dean Foods, Mexico-based Grupo Lala and China-based Inner Mongolia Yili also bid for Stoneyfield, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing “a person familiar with the matter.” – WSJ

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Sycamore Partners is planning to separate its soon-to-be-acquired Staples Inc. into three separate businesses, according to the Wall Street Journal’s unnamed sources. The business units will be U.S. retail, Canadian retail and corporate-supply, which will all remain under the corporate umbrella. Sycamore is planning to buy Staples for $6.9 billion, and dividing the company into three units will help Sycamore secure more investors for the leveraged buyout. UBS, Bank of America Corp. and other banks plan to back only the corporate supply unit, which distributes office supplies to businesses and government. – WSJ

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Swedish fashion retailer H&M said it will likely miss its annual sales target with challenging retail environments in China and the U.S. H&M reported second quarter sales increased 10 percent as gross profit increased 9 percent from the year prior. H&M has been investing in integrating its brick-and-mortar locations with online shopping, but some analysts say the company must do more. “Stronger investment may be required, for example through a free delivery and returns offer, in line with some of the pure online competitors," said Societe Generale analyst Anne Critchlow, who has a Sell rating on H&M stock. – REUTERS

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