FINANCE

Whole Foods Market disappoints

BY Marianne Wilson

Whole Foods Market on Wednesday reported a disappointing first quarter and also lowered full-year sales and earnings guidance.

Net income was $95 million for the quarter ended Jan. 15. The company earned an adjusted 39 cents a share during the quarter, in line with estimates.

Total sales in the quarter increased 1.9% to $4.9 billion, less than the Street expected.

Same-store sales decreased 2.4%, also lower than expected. It was the chain’s sixth consecutive comp sales decline.

Whole Foods has found itself challenged as much lower-priced competitors such as Aldi increase their organic and fresh offerings.

“In this increasingly competitive marketplace, we are committed to taking every step necessary to improve comps and deliver higher returns for our shareholders,” said John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market. “To this end, we are refining our growth strategy, refocusing our efforts on best serving our core customers, and moving faster to fully implement category management. Evolving our purchasing operating model while developing data-rich, customer-centric category management capabilities is critical to our go-forward merchandising, pricing, marketing and affinity strategies."

In the quarter, Whole Foods opened 13 stores, including two relocations. So far in the second quarter, it has opened three stores, including one relocation, and expects to open three additional stores, including one relocation.

Whole Foods said it recently terminated two leases and signed four new leases. It currently has 93 stores in development.

The company reduced its outlook for the full year based on slower sales growth and additional costs. It now expects sales growth of "1.5% or greater," compared with its prior forecast of a 2.5% to 4.5% increase.

The retailer said it expects to earn $1.33 a share "or greater," compared with $1.42 a share previously.

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B.Lackey says:
Feb-09-2017 04:26 pm

Whole Foods
For some reason, price is my guess, Whole Foods just isn't our go to store with lower priced grocery stores more widely available, we just never think of Whole Foods at all.

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TECHNOLOGY

Trump takes a swipe at Nordstrom — is TJX next?

BY Marianne Wilson

Nordstrom on Wednesday found itself the latest target of President Donald Trump's Twitter attacks.

The department store’s shares fell from session highs midmorning after Trump tweeted that his daughter, Ivanka, had been treated “so unfairly.” His comments were made in response to Nordstrom’s decision to stop carrying the Ivana Trump brand, which the retailer said was based on the brand’s performance.

Nordstrom shares recovered their losses and moved 4% higher in late trading.

In related news, The New York Times reported that employees at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls (both of which are owned by TJX Cos.) were instructed not to display Ivanka Trump merchandise separately and to throw away Ivanka Trump signs.

“The communication was intended to instruct stores to mix this line of merchandise into our racks, not to remove it from the sales floor,” TJX spokeswoman Doreen Thompson wrote in an email to the Times. “We offer a rapidly changing selection of merchandise for our customers, and brands are featured based on a number of factors.”

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ECOMMERCE

Pinterest makes it easier to buy with ‘Shop the Look’

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Buying merchandise on Pinterest just got even easier.

On Wednesday, Feb. 8, the social media site rolled out a new service called “Shop the Look.” An extension of the company’s Buyable Pins program which enables “pinners” to buy a specific item directly on Pinterest, Shop the Look users can “click on and even buy products they find inside fashion and home decor Pins,” Tim Kendall, Pinterest’s president, explained in the company’s business blog.

The new service enables pinners to check out directly on the site, or they can order from the retailer.

Brands currently participating include CB2, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Target and Wayfair, among other companies, Kendall said.

The new service was introduced with two other programs. The first, Pinterest Lens, is an image-based search engine. As users point their mobile cameras at objects they see out in the real world, Lens serves up similar styles or related information on their mobile device’s screen.

“Lens works best for finding home decor ideas, things to wear and food to eat,” Kendall reported. “As more and more people use it, results will get even better, and the range of objects Lens recognizes will get increas-ingly wider.”

The company also introduced “Instant Ideas,” a program that enables pinners to discover ideas inspired by the Pins they see in their home feeds, the blog said.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing what ideas people discover with these new visual features, and using what we learn to make the technolo-gy even better — both for Pinners and businesses,” Kendall added.

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