Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail

Articles by author

  • Sep 19 2017
    While today's decision does not necessarily mean it is game over for Toys "R" Us, it brings to a close a turbulent chapter in the iconic company's history.
     
    A combination of high debt and severe structural changes in the industry created a toxic mix against which Toys "R" Us had little choice but to restructure and try to put itself on a firmer footing.
     
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  • Sep 7 2017
    Customer traffic continues to weaken, and sales are down. Within this dynamic, books are holding up slightly better, but non-book sales are in sharp decline. Some of this is down to the fact that many Barnes & Noble stores, especially older ones, are a hodgepodge of product with seemingly little coordination and thought given to ranging. As much as it is sensible to stock things like toys and games, there are lots of other places that sell these items -- often at lower prices. In essence, B&N needs to refine its non-book offer and work harder to create differentiation.
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  • Aug 31 2017
    The spinner craze continues to benefit Five Below which has produced a stunning set of second quarter numbers, beating even its own high expectations. Total sales rose by almost 29% over the prior year, supported by a 9.3% uplift in comparables. Meanwhile, a substantial expansion of margins fueled bottom line growth where net income was up by 71.4%.
     
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  • Aug 29 2017
    Although up against a soft comparative from the prior year, it is fair to say that Best Buy has produced a very robust set of second quarter numbers. The 4.9% increase in domestic sales underlines that the company is more than holding its own in the electricals market and should put pay to the oft repeated fiction that retailers of its ilk will struggle to survive in the era of Amazon.
     
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  • Aug 25 2017
    (Amazon's $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods Market will be finalized on Aug. 28. And that same day, Whole Foods will offer lower prices on some of its top-selling items. Amazon also plans to place lockers in Whole Food stores, and make Amazon Prime the grocer's customer rewards program.)
     
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  • Aug 24 2017
    As much as Sears deserves credit for the various actions it has been taking to shore up the company, there is no denying that this (Sears second quarter financials) is a miserable set of numbers. Indeed, the precipitous drop in comparable sales and the continued lack of progress on profit suggests the company isn't moving far or fast enough to ensure its long-term survival.
     
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  • Aug 22 2017
    Overall, this is a solid set of results from DSW which shows the company is moving in the right direction. The 0.6% rise in comparable sales may not be spectacular, but given it is the first time in over two years that the measure has been positive, we see it as an encouraging sign.
     
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  • Aug 17 2017
    The second quarter numbers show that Walmart remains firmly on the front foot and is more than holding its own in a challenging and competitive retail market. It is particularly pleasing to see sales growth accelerate since Q1 -- a clear sign that the various initiatives and investments are paying dividends.
     
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  • Aug 15 2017
    Coach ends its fiscal with a set of strong results that signify the turnaround program is making excellent progress. Although sales shrunk in both North America and Europe, this is because this quarter was a week shorter than the same period last year. When this is stripped out, total Coach brand sales rose by 5%, or by 7% on a constant currency basis.
     
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  • Aug 11 2017
    Although J.C. Penney's numbers are not a disaster and represent a significant sequential improvement over the prior quarter, they are nevertheless underwhelming. While we maintain the company is moving in the right direction, the lack of progress on profit and same-store sales both highlight that the turnaround program is a long-term endeavor that will take some time to deliver.
     
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