Retail Focus 5/17/19 – Walmart’s NextDay Shipping; Macy’s Updates Progress on Initiatives

The legacy retailer Macy’s leads our show, not only with their latest earnings report, but as they update progress on their five initiatives to drive both brick-and-mortar and digital traffic back to the retailer. From there, we discuss Walmart’s new NextDay shipping adventure, and the limitations of the program from the customer’s perspective. We also address The Container Store’s stellar earnings, the CEO departure at Bed Bath & Beyond, and Kohl’s rumored interest in At Home.

Retail Focus 5/11/19 – Tuesday Morning Mulls Shift in Model; Office Depot/Max Continues Pivot

We lead our show with Tuesday Morning’s latest earnings report, but more than earnings, we discuss a potential shift in the way they handle inventory within their supply chain. After that, there’s a look into Office Depot/Max and their continued pivot away from retail and towards service offerings, and a discussion of Cub and comments their CEO made regarding a potential sale. Finally, we glance at helium’s impact on Party City, and Walmart’s latest move to attract pet owners.

Retail Focus 4/19/19 – New Initiatives for Two Retailers in Flux; Which Retail REITs Lead the Way?

We start our show by discussing Rite Aid and fred’s, back-to-back. Rite Aid reiterated some of their initiatives coming out of a transition period, while fred’s reveals a clearance program that leaves us both scratching our heads. We then discuss new data from Thasos that suggests which retail REITs might be leading the way in generating traffic, before talking about Pier 1’s direction forward.

Retail Focus 4/9/19 – Duluth Trading Co. Reveals Initiatives; Sears Planning New Stores

Leading off our show, we take a deep dive into Duluth Trading Co., focusing on the positives and negatives from their past and future initiatives after their earnings call. Then, we turn our attention to Sears, as they announced new store openings, and news broke of a potential reunion with their Hometown stores. We close by discussing news of At Home’s potential sale bid, and an activist investor backing off Dollar Tree.

Retail Focus 4/2/19 – Shoe Carnival, Sportsman’s Warehouse Make Market Share Plays

In two separate segments, and for two different reasons, Shoe Carnival and Sportsman’s Warehouse talked a lot in their respective earnings calls about making plays for available market share. We break down both retailers’ efforts, discuss Albertsons scaling back Plated’s retail presence, and look towards Wayfair’s first permanent brick-and-mortar store.

Retail Focus 3/25/19 – Hibbett’s Strong Earnings Showing, ascena Announces maurices Sale

A podcast heavily weighted towards retailers focused on small- and mid-sized markets, we begin by covering Hibbett Sports’ latest earnings call—and why it was much more positive than most media outlets let on. From there, we discuss Cato’s seeming lack of digital initiatives, ascena’s big announcement, and how new varieties of berries may allow grocers more options in the produce section.

Retail Focus 3/21/19 – Dollar General Earnings; Neiman Marcus’ Slow Digital Growth

A quick podcast covers Dollar General’s earnings—and why we’re more optimistic than most on their projections for 2019—as well as independents taking market share away from PetSmart and Petco in pet retail. We also discuss why Neiman Marcus’ digital numbers during their recent earnings call were a bit disappointing, and how Shopko’s liquidation may affect the retail real estate landscape in the U.S.

Retail Focus 3/9/19 – Target & Kroger Earnings; Dollar Tree’s Family Dollar Question

A big earnings week for the retail world, and we discuss how Target is bearing fruits from their trials two years ago, while Kroger is hoping to bear fruits in two years from their trials today. We also discuss the state of airport retail after a superb Retail Dive article on the subject, what Dollar Tree could or should do with Family Dollar, and whether Walmart’s new returns initiative might actually take hold.

Retail Focus 3/2/19 – JCPenney and Lowe’s Beat Slightly on Earnings; An Upstart Dallas-Based Retailer

After talking about two brief stories—Amazon’s new grocery concept and Gap’s plan to spin Old Navy off—we dive into JCPenney’s latest earnings and initiatives under new CEO Jill Soltau. We then turn attention to JCPenney’s former CEO (Marvin Ellison) and his latest earnings call at Lowe’s before looking at a potential up-and-coming retailer from the Dallas area seeking to expand. We close our show by peering at how earnings from one pet food company may suggest people are changing their pet-related buying habits.

Retail Focus 2/21/19 – Walmart Earnings; Advance Auto’s Place in Auto Parts Retail

We discuss Walmart’s latest earnings, along with their initiatives on the table for 2019, to lead the show. Then, it’s a deep dive into Advance Auto Parts—despite their comp store sales going up, we revisit how they seem to be losing market share to their two main competitors. We close by discussing Samsung’s retail foray, a retail-centric REIT, and the long-term potential of CVS.

Retail Focus 2/15/19 – Clarity on Sears Deal, JCPenney Pivots Away from Appliances

A few weeks after an initial deal, we get clarity on Eddie Lampert’s deal to save Sears—at least for now. We discuss Under Armour’s latest earnings call, which largely beat analyst expectations but left something to be desired in U.S. sales figures. From there, we discuss JCPenney’s big move, an abrupt about-face for Amazon’s HQ2 in New York, and a potential slew of store closings from Payless that may have a ripple effect on retail real estate.

Retail Focus 2/5/19 – Amazon Continues to Invest; Simon Shows Mall Trend Isn’t All Downward

We lead with Amazon—because we have to—but from there it is on to discussing Simon and their most recent occupancy rates numbers. Then, we discuss Tuesday Morning’s second straight positive earnings call and their potential return to long-term profitability, and Mastercard’s record-breaking numbers. We close by looking ahead at potential H&M store closures and Natural Grocers’ choice to open stores in less-populated areas.

Retail Focus 1/28/19 – Signet Jewelers May Scale Back, Big 5 Shows Signs of Rebound

In an area of retail we don’t discuss often, Signet Jewelers updates holiday sales, and the poor showing leads to management suggestions regarding scaling back brick-and-mortar. From there, positive signs at Big 5 Sporting Goods after a strong December sales showing, and a potential bankruptcy at Things Remembered. We wrap up with fresh credit card data, Shopko’s pharmacy suitors, and Google Express. Our podcast is brought to you by Blinkist—start a free seven day trial by visiting

Retail Focus 1/15/19 – Sears Gets Another Short Lease on Life; Early December Sales Results

We begin with an abrupt about-face in the retail news cycle, as Sears Holdings goes from doomed to liquidation to still alive (just barely) in the span of a few days. From there, it’s on to early December sales tallies for Kohl’s and Macy’s, earnings for Bed Bath & Beyond, and Sprouts seeking to expand their footprint by three more markets.

Retail Focus 1/7/19 – Mall Occupancy Rates Stabilize; Fleet Farm Heads West In Expansion

In a podcast looking largely at macro trends, we discuss a retail real estate report that suggests that mall occupancy rates are stabilizing heading into 2019, and the potential impact of a slew of minimum wage increases. After discussing Amazon/Whole Foods, we take a deep dive into Fleet Farm’s westward expansion, and their buildout of existing stores to include new product categories.

Retail Focus 12/31/18 – Early Holiday Sales Numbers; Top 5 & Bottom 5 Retailers of 2018

In our final podcast of the year, we detail early numbers from Mastercard that suggest holiday sales may have been even better than estimates. We spend the bulk of the episode counting down our picks for the top five and bottom five retailers in terms of 2018 performance, before covering a potential shift in retail real estate purchasing habits with interest rates rising.

Retail Focus 12/21/18 – Costco’s Margins; the State of Dairy in Retail; Designing a New Grocery Store

We begin with Costco, whose earnings call revealed continued growth but was not up to analyst expectations by the slimmest of margins. Additionally, we talk a notable purchase in the pet retail space and the state of dairy in retail stores in 2018. Our interview guest is Kevin Kelley of Shook Kelley, who was responsible for leading up the design of the newest Gelson’s Markets store in California.

Retail Focus 12/8/18 – Shopko Shrinks; Kroger’s Non-Food Initiatives; Michaels Earnings

Shopko leads off our show, as the regional general merchandise retailer announces a slew of closings…we discuss what this means for both the company and rural retail in general. We talk earnings from At Home and Michaels, and do a deep dive into Kroger’s many initiatives to boost margins even after price investments on the food side threaten to erode their bottom line. Finally, we look ahead to a change of leadership at Sprouts and whether or not ESL Investments can save Sears.

Retail Focus 12/1/18 – Increased Trucking Costs Snare Ross & Dollar Tree; Cyber Monday Numbers

We begin the show with two earnings calls—first Dollar Tree, to see if potential rising costs of goods might pose a risk to their future bottom line, then Ross, to see how they are stacking up against their off-price competition. From there, we look to early Cyber Monday data from Edison Trends to see which businesses saw a boost over last year (hint: Sears did not), and fresh data from YouGov that suggests a positive change in perception surrounding Victoria’s Secret.