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Inside Retail (Jul 17th, 2017)

U.S. retail sales slid for the second month in June, falling 0.2 percent from the month prior, according to U.S. Commerce Department data. Analysts were expecting retail sales to increase 0.1 percent. Retail sales increased 2.8 percent from June 2016. Gas station sales were down 1.3 percent from May on the lower price of gasoline. E-commerce sales rose 9.2 percent year over year and were up 0.4 percent from May. Sales at department stores declined 0.7 percent from the previous month, and were down 3.9 percent from June. – MARKETWATCH

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J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) is planning to double the number of toy products it sells online, and it plans to open in-store toy shops at its brick-and-mortar locations, the company said. “We know that shoppers buy toys year-round … we will entice families to shop and spend more at J.C. Penney," John Tighe, J.C. Penney executive vice president and chief merchant said in a statement. The department store chain is adding new product lines like bicycles, trampolines, video games and costumes based on customer feedback. J.C. Penney said it will increase its toy selection further during the holidays. – RETAIL DIVE

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Target Corp. (TGT) said it now expects to report a same-store sales increase in the second quarter after its previous guidance called for sale declines. The big box retailer said it is seeing increased traffic as it invests $7 billion over the next three years in improving stores and adding new brands. Target also said it expects earnings to higher than its previous guidance of between 95 cents per share to $1.15 per share. Target shares are down more than 26 percent year to date and down 27 percent the past year. – WSJ

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Alfred Angelo, one of the largest bridal retailers in the U.S., abruptly filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, leaving many brides without their dress orders. Alfred Angelo, with more than 1,400 stores, said it planned to close at least 60 bridal stores as it restructures. Brides like Felisha Trundle lost their deposits and did not get their dresses. “It is hard to turn back around and spend another $2,000 on a dress. It is coming out of my savings,” Trundle said. Retailers that rely on Alfred Angelo’s wholesale division to deliver dresses also said they were surprised. – WSJ

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Adidas (ADDYY) shares could double in value, especially if the shoe retailer can improve its profit margins to be on par with Nike Inc.'s (NKE) profit margins, says Hermes Investment Management portfolio manager Chi Chan. The stock is up nearly 40 percent the past year, boosted by sales of its Superstar tennis shoe, which was the best-selling sneaker in the U.S. last year. Chan said he believes Adidas, which has a profit margin of 5.5 percent, can match Nike’s profit margin of 12.1 percent within two years. – BARRON’S

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Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) shares have been getting a boost from a recovering housing market and as the company has more than doubled earnings the past five years. The appliance maker, which is getting a new CEO, is on track to produce about $1 billion in free cash flow this year compared to $630 million last year. “Whirlpool gets no credit for fantastic execution since housing began to turn around in 2011,” said Federated Kaufmann Large Cap Fund portfolio manager Stephen DeNichilo. Since 2000, Whirlpool’s sales have doubled to $21 billion. Whirlpool stock is up 5.8 percent year to date. – BARRON’S

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