Report: Walmart gaining big share in grocery
Walmart is on fire in grocery and capturing a bigger share from traditional supermarkets.
That's according to Loop Capital analyst Andrew Wolf, who estimates Walmart currently has a 21.5% market share in the U.S. traditional grocery market, reported CNBC.
"Wal-Mart is taking back share from the traditional supermarket at an accelerating rate," Wolf said.
The chain's strong performance is being helped partly by lower deflation, and also by food price cuts by Walmart as it looks to gain a pricing advantage over such competitors as Kroger, Aldi and other supermarkets, the report said.
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Jewelry giant to outsource credit portfolio
Amid slumping first quarter sales, Signet Jewelers on Thursday announced the first phase of the strategic outsourcing of its in-house credit program, in partnerships with Alliance Data and Progressive Leasing, a subsidiary of Aaron's.
The jeweler, whose banners include Zales, Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, will outsource its in-house credit portfolio in two phases. In the first phase, Signet will sell $1.0 billion of its prime-only credit quality accounts receivable to Alliance Data Systems Corp. Additionally, under a seven-year agreement, Alliance Data will become the primary provider of private-label credit card services and associated card marketing and servicing functions to Signet USA’s brands. Signet will retain the existing non-prime accounts receivable on its balance sheet and continue to originate new accounts, while outsourcing the credit servicing functions of those accounts to Genesis Financial Solutions for an initial term of five years.
In addition, Signet will form a seven-year partnership with Progressive Leasing, a subsidiary of Aaron’s, to provide a lease-purchase payment program to Signet customers who do not qualify for Signet’s credit programs, or do not wish to pursue a credit option to access Signet’s merchandise. The plan will be available at U.S. stores beginning in July.
Once the first phase is concluded, expected by October 2017, Signet will have completed the sale of approximately 55% of its credit portfolio to Alliance Data, and established long-term third party relationships to service its full credit programs.
As part of the second phase, Signet intends to fully outsource its secondary credit programs, including the sale of the remaining receivables on its balance sheet, as well as funding for new non-prime account originations. The company said it will enter into discussions with capital providers to finalize the fully-outsourced structure.
"Our board is extremely pleased with the progress our management team has made in structuring a strategic, phased outsourcing of our credit program," said Todd Spitzer, chairman, Signet. "By rolling out tailored outsourcing solutions for various tiers of our in-house credit program, we believe we will be able to substantially meet the strategic priorities we initially set for Signet: eliminating material credit risk from our balance sheet, maintaining net sales and streamlining our business model, while minimizing the potential impact on our operations and creating value for our shareholders.”
Also on Thursday, Signet released its results for the first quarter. Total sales dropped 11.1% to $1.4 billion, from $175.5 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales fell 11.5%.
The company reported net income of $78.5 million, or $1.03 per share, down from $146.8 million, or $1.87 per share, last year.
Earlier this months, Signet announced it had reached an agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to resolve issues related to allegations of workplace sexual harassment and discrimination. Signet said there were no findings of liability or wrongdoing.
Office supplies giant names marketing chief
Staples has added a new marketing leader to its executive team.
Michelle Bottomley has been appointed chief marketing officer. In this role, she will be responsible for marketing across Staples, and helping to promote the company’s focus on its North American Delivery business. She will report to Staples’ CEO and president Shira Goodman.
Bottomley replaces former chief marketer Frank Bifulco, who announced his retirement this year. Bifulco spent the last three years leading Staples’ marketing organization, and helping to launch the recent “It’s Pro Time” campaign.
Prior to joining Staples, Bottomley was global chief marketing and sales officer at the human capital firm Mercer, where she helped significantly grow revenue through world-class branding, demand generation and data-driven digital experiences that integrated marketing and sales. Earlier in her career, she was chief marketing officer for Barclaycard, one of the top five global credit card companies.
She also spent 10 years at Ogilvy & Mather. During this tenure, she con-tributed to the significant growth of Ogilvy’s consulting organization, and later became COO of Ogilvy’s flagship office in New York.