March 18, 2019 by Sujay Seetharaman

1. ULTA Q4 earnings call

Beauty retailer ULTA announced its Q4 earnings results on Thursday. Net sales increased 9.7% to $2.12 billion for the quarter ending February 2, compared to $1. 93 billion in the year-ago period. This slightly outpaced the analyst consensus of $2.11 billion. Same-store sales were up 9.4%, Retail comparable sales 7% and salon comparable sales 6.2%. E-tail comparable sales increased 25.1%. EPS came in at $3.61 against the Street’s consensus of $3.56 a share. In addition to the 80 new stores that ULTA said it will open in 2019, it will also reportedly undertake some 20 remodel or relocation projects and complete approximately 270 store refreshes.

2. Walmart to have 3000 grocery pick-up locations by end of 2019

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2019 Consumer & Retail Technology Conference last week, Walmart’s CFO Brett Biggs reportedly said that he expects eCommerce to account for 35% of the company’s sales in 2019, with the number of grocery pick-up locations to increase to 3000 by the end of the year. Grocery delivery will also double from 800 stores to 2000 stores, he said. Touching upon logistics, he said that the business will be more flexible through a combination of third-party delivery partners, crowdsourcing platforms and in-store picking and packing by store associates.

3. Showfields debuts bricks-and-mortar store for digital brands

Showfields, a retail concept that encourages shoppers to visit and engage with up-and-coming brands, debuted its first experiential concept to the public on Friday. According to Retail Dive, the space will host a rotating selection of up to 30 digital brands, starting with the likes of quip, frank body, and PureWow, among others. In the selection process for the brands housed under its roof, CEO Tal Zvi Nathanel said Showfields is starting with three key verticals: wellbeing, home, and design.

4. Zalando to stop selling private labels

Zalando is closing its private label business zLabels on April 1. According to Retail Gazette, the company took the decision after deciding to seek a curated exchange with its partner brands. The online fashion retailer said a “significant number” of the 550 zLabels employees will be transferred to the Zalando Fashion Store business and a review of 11 private label brands will follow at a later date.

5. APAC becomes Italian brand Furla’s new powerhouse

Asia-Pacific has reportedly become the new powerhouse for Italian leather goods brand Furla, reports Insideretail. APAC accounted for 26% of the brand’s €513 million sales in 2018, recording a growth of 18.2%. By comparison, US sales grew by 13.2% last year, and the US now accounts for 8% of all sales. EMEA remains the largest market, accounting for 44% of all sales. Japan remains the brand’s leading single-country market accounting for 22% of total sales. CEO Alberto Camerlengo was quoted as saying that “the travel retail sector was particularly strong for the brand last year, registering a 16.2 per cent increase in sales year on year, and now accounting for 7.3 per cent of the group’s turnover through its sales at 293 doors, from boutiques, corners, shop-in-shops, aircraft, and cruise ships, across 64 countries.”

6. Z Gallerie files for bankruptcy

Home decor retailer Z Gallerie has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reports Retailtouchpoints. As part of its restructuring, the retailer will close 17 of its 76 stores. In the bankruptcy filing, the retailer emphasized the need for a fast sale or a debt-for-equity swap to avoid liquidation. As of now, all Z Gallerie stores that aren’t being shuttered will continue to operate on normal schedules, and the eCommerce site will remain open for business. The company blames the filing on self-imposed problems, including a failure to invest enough in eCommerce, the addition of a costly distribution center and an expansion that didn’t meet performance targets, said Bloomberg.

Sujay Seetharaman

Market Analyst @ PipeCandy

Currently donning the Researcher's hat. Talks to himself.