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Inside Retail (Aug 21st, 2019)

Hi Inside Retail readers!

Twitter users still are trying to sort out the best fast food fried chicken sandwich. What is your vote? 

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– Cassidy

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1. Target reported strong second quarter 2019 results that beat expectations and adjusted its estimates for the rest of the year. Revenue was $18.42 billion compared to the $18.34 billion forecast. Sales were up 3.4 percent for the quarter ending August 3 with almost half of the increase coming from same-day shipping and improved fulfillment services. CEO Brian Cornell said "we’re increasing Target’s relevancy and deepening the relationship between our guests and our brand.” Cornell specifically attributed the strong quarter to Target's assortment, prices, convenience, and overall shopping experience. Target raised its earnings expectation for the rest of the year to the range of $5.90 to $6.20, an increase from its original goal range of $5.75 to $6.05. CNBC reports share price of Target is up over 30 percent for the year, and the stock price saw a 13 percent lift after reporting Q2 in premarket trading. - CNBC

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2. Kohl's reported second quarter 2019 earnings that beat estimates but sales were down 2.9 percent from last year. Sales for the quarter ending Aug. 3 were $4.17 billion compared to the $4.31 billion from 2018. CEO Michelle Gass said the company is "confident that our upcoming brand launches, program expansions, and increased traffic from the Amazon returns program will incrementally contribute to our performance during the balance of the year and beyond." Kohl's announced a partnership with Fanatics to sell MLB and NFL licensed apparel that will start this fall. It also will use Facebook data to bring the most popular digitally native brands in-store in a "Curated by Kohl's" program. - CNBC

Will you go in-store to check out a Curated by Kohl's Facebook shop? Hit reply to share your thoughts.

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3. TJMaxx parent company The TJX Companies Inc. reported mixed Q2 FY20 results for the quarter ending Aug. 3 with sales up but a miss on sales forecast. The company saw sales increase 5 percent to $9.8 billion and comp store sales rise 2 percent over last year, but it fell short of its sales forecast of $9.9 billion. CEO and President Ernie Herrman said in the earnings statement that "this speaks to the consistency and fundamental strength of our treasure-hunt shopping experience through many types of retail and economic environments." Comp store sales were driven by customer traffic but were slower than last year's growth of 6 percent. TJX adjusted its earnings forecast for the rest of the year from Wall Street expectations of $2.62/share down to $2.56 to $2.61/share. - THE STREET

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4. Hasbro will reduce the amount of plastic packaging for its video games and toys and announced a goal of removing all plastic packaging for new toys by 2022. Hasbro's CEO said "removing plastic from our packaging is [part of our] journey to create a more sustainable future for our business and our world." The company is not yet phasing out plastic for use in toys, but the Boston Globe reported that COO John Frascotti said there would be a shift to more sustainable materials. - TOYBOOK

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5. Polo Ralph Lauren used recycled plastic bottles to make uniforms for the ball people of the U.S. Open. Each uniform was made from fabric spun from seven plastic bottles. David Lauren, chief innovation officer for Polo, said, "This work is ongoing, and while we don’t have all the answers or solutions yet, we are committed to collaboration, innovation and action in this area.” The retailer is also collecting used plastic tennis ball sleeves at this year's event which will be used to make uniforms for next year's U.S. Open.  - WWD

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6. "Stranger Things" star Millie Bobby Brown is launching a teen-focused vegan skincare line. It will be called Florence by Mills and includes products like gel eye pads and skin tint. Brown said she's been interested in makeup since age 10 or 11 and that she wanted to get into the makeup and skincare space "because there was a gap in the market for young people." Her collection will be sold online and at Ulta and is reportedly priced between $10 and $34. - WWD

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7. Hølte is a London-based company that makes aftermarket accessories to customize Ikea kitchen fixtures. The company just opened its first showroom in London where customers can create "bespoke kitchens" out of Ikea basics with custom handles, finishes, and materials. Co-founder Fi Ginnett said the company "wanted it to feel open, relaxed, welcoming and about as far from a typical high-street kitchen showroom as possible." Danish brand Reform and Swedish company Superfront are competitors that also create after-market Ikea kitchen customizations. - FAST COMPANY

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9. Walmart partnered with BuzzFeed Tasty to create shoppable grocery lists from Tasty's video recipes. Customers can then have the groceries delivered or get curbside pickup. Walmart first partnered with BuzzFeed last year to sell Tasty branded cooking tools and kitchen gadgets. Walmart plans to expand the partership to deli and frozen meats, party supplies, and dry grocery items. Walmart's Chief Customer Officer called the partnership a "fun solution." Walmart also is losing its chief marketing officer after a year because she wants to return to the Bay Area. Walmart is looking for a permanent CMO and also is building out a new retail marketing team that will work within the marketing department and will focus on grocery, consumables, and wellness. Also, Walmart sued Tesla on Tuesday for its solar panels catching on fire on top of stores. More on that as it develops. - MOBILE MARKETER

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10. McDonald's UK marketing recently delivered a more fun campaign than McD's global marketing and I'm left wondering why. The UK division launched a Snapchat filter and social campaign with a parody streetwear line called #schnuggs (Spicy Chicken Nuggets) to promote a limited-time menu item. I checked out McD's UK Insta account and it is so much more fun than the main one (look at this french fry mustache and these nugget feet!) Here's more on McD's global strategy and localized initiatives.

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