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Inside Retail (Apr 23rd, 2018)

Consumer stocks have been struggling this year. Companies like General Mills, Kraft Foods and Clorox are in part struggling under pricing pressure from the likes of Amazon and Walmart. "These oligopolists have major pricing power, pressuring the group to lower their prices in what is already a low-margin business," said JonesTrading chief marketing strategist Mike O’Rourke. More than three-quarters of consumer stocks have lost ground so far this year. Consumer stocks had an especially bad week last week when Philip Morris reported a worse-than-expected decline in shipments. Also, Proctor & Gamble shares hit a 52-week low after a disappointing third-quarter report. – BARRON’S

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Media measuring company ComScore has named a new CEO. Bryan Wiener, a current board member, will fill the position left vacant after former CEO and ComScore co-founder Gian Fulgoni retired in November. Wiener is the executive chairman for 360i, which is owned by Japan’s Dentsu. Now, Wiener, the third CEO for ComScore in three years, must help ComScore shake its recent crises connected to its accounting practices. He said he will focus on building new products and streamlining its inefficient operations. In the past year, ComScore’s stock has fallen about 16 percent. – WSJ

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ESL Investments, a hedge fund run by Sears CEO Eddie Lampert, suggested that Sears divest its Kenmore appliance brand and home improvement business. In a letter to the department store chain, ESL, which holds a majority stake in Sears, said it would consider buying the assets. ESL said it would buy PartsDirect and Home Services for about $500 million and would consider bidding on Kenmore without providing an amount. ESL also offered to buy some of Sears’ real estate and lease it back to the struggling company. Sears has not had a profitable quarter since 2010. – RETAIL DIVE

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Hasbro shares plunged Monday after the toy retailer reported lackluster sales for the first quarter, due in part to the liquidation of Toys R Us. Sales in all of Hasbro’s categories fell. Adjusted earnings were 10 cents per share, compared to the 33 cents per share the Street expected. Revenue was $716 million, down from the $814 million estimate. "Our first quarter was expected to be difficult," CEO Brian Goldner said. "We are working to put the near-term disruption from Toys R Us behind us." Hasbro’s net loss was $112.5 million, compared to a profit of $68.6 million in the first quarter of 2017.– CNBC

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Luxury fashion brands like Chanel, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana are remaining quiet about their supply chain, according to a report from Fashion Revolution. Its Fashion Transparency Index tracks which companies offering information on where garments are made and how their supply chains operate. The index score 150 brands by rating on factors like traceability, reporting, policy and issue like fair and equal pay. Some luxury brands are starting to improve their transparency on supply issues. Gucci, Hugo Boss and Burberry scored from 31 percent to 40 percent. But Chanel, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana scored 3 percent, 0 percent, and 1.2 percent, respectively.  – CNBC

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