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Mon, Aug 28, 2017
Vol 1, Issue No. 33
Monday, November 27, 2017
Volume 1, Issue No. 46

Retail Tech Adoption Slower Than Perceived

According to a study commissioned by TotalRetail and Radial, U.S. retailers are moving slower to adopt new technologies than perceived, and only 39 percent intend to increase spending on personalization technology over the next year despite industry chatter about the need to create one-on-one relationships with customers to advance long-term loyalty. Further, the survey found that retailers prefer to evaluate only two or three service providers for a moderate to major technology purchase where most are made within three months.

The survey on technology trends and buying behaviors aims to discover how retail spending on technology will change over the next 12 months, and what emerging technologies might have the biggest impact on the retail industry in 2018.

Among key findings:
•Some hyped new technologies—virtual reality, chatbots and 3-D printing—have yet to see widespread adoption among retailers.

• Technologies with the most traction, in terms of increased 2018 spending, are: analytics, ecommerce platform, marketing automation, video and behavioral retargeting.

• More than 51 percent of respondents told TotalRetail they will increase 2018 technology spending on marketing automation software.

• Technologies most likely to see budget cuts by retailers over the next 12 months include: augmented reality, scheduling software, point-of-sale systems, mobile apps and order fulfillment software.

• Retailers intend to keep spending flat on most technologies in 2018, adopting a wait-and-see strategy before determining where to increase spending.

• Emerging technologies forecast to have the biggest exposure, and biggest spend, in 2018 are: Internet of Things, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Internet of Things (IoT) will focus on new services and products, more transparent view of inventory and more efficient supply chains. Survey respondents appear less focused on drones and chatbots.

• The most important metrics when evaluating new technologies are: increased revenues (62.8%) followed by cost savings (50.3%), efficiency gains (38.9%), increased customer engagement (26.9%), increased traffic in store and online (26.3%) and brand awareness (16.8%).

Largest North American SG Distributor Files Chap. 11

Photo: Maurice Sporting Goods

Maurice Sporting Goods, the family-owned sporting goods distributor founded on a Chicago pushcart in 1923, filed for bankruptcy protection on November 20. The Northbrook, IL, company, which is 50 percent-owned by Michael Olshansky, hopes to complete an asset sale to “stalking horse” bidder, private equity/real estate firm Middleton Partners, by December 22. Court objections to that sale are due by November 30 with a tentative court sale hearing slated for December 5 and auction date slated for December 18.

According to court documents and the company website, Maurice employs more than 600, operates seven distribution facilities and has over 1,400 vendor partners in its business distributing fishing, hunting, camping, marine, athletics, fitness, hiking, licensed sports, bike accessories and outdoor gifts to more than 15,000 storefronts. The company, also co-owned by Jory Katlin (30 percent) and Andy Katlin (20 percent), owns Danielson Outdoors, South Bend Sporting Goods and Triple Crown Holdings. Maurice owes more than $15.9 million to its top five trade creditors, led by River’s Edge of Saint Clair, Missouri ($5,546,622) and including three Asian suppliers.

Maurice has obtained nearly $17.5 million in post-petition financing from its principal lender, BMO Harris Bank, which it owes more than $45.1 million. A proposed debtor-in-possession budget for the retailer, submitted with bankruptcy documents, suggests Maurice will generate more than $12.36 million in cash receipts for the five weeks ending December 22 but will also have the need to make more than $17.47 million in cash disbursements over the same period.

Outdoor Insight
Uncle Dan Will Be Merch Man for Gander Outdoors

Photo: Uncle Dan's Blog

Uncle Dan’s Outfitters has been provisioning Chicago for 45 years, and while the four-store chain is now part of the Camping World family of retailers, its core mission to help city residents explore the outside seems unchanged.

Founded as an Army-Navy surplus store by then-16-year-old Brent Weiss and named after his Uncle Dan, the stores were bought early last month for an undisclosed sum, part of a Camping World buying spree that included purchasing some of the assets of Gander Mountain and Overton’s out of bankruptcy in late May for $35.4 million cash and $1.1 million in contingencies. Subsequently, Camping World acquired Active Sports, Inc., doing business as and specializing in bikes, sailboards, skateboards, snowboards and outdoor gear, for $30 million cash and $5.7 million in stock in mid-August, and EIGHTEENOTHREE, LLC, doing business as W82, a Chicago outdoor specialty shop, in mid-September for $600,000 cash and the assumption of $1.5 million in debt.

Today, Uncle Dan’s specializes in the gear city dwellers need most: the small, impeccably organized location in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood, puts a premium on travel apparel and warm puffer jackets for men, women and kids. Brands include a strong selection of Patagonia, The North Face as well as ExOfficio, Icebreaker, Canada Goose and Toad&Co. The sock walls for men, women and kids are especially eye-catching, with a robust selection of hike and lifestyle socks from Fits and SmartWool. A small sale rack, heavy on the kids’ items, sits in the back, but the focus is on in-season and full-price product.

Downstairs, a small footwear section for men and women features classic hikers as well as more casual silhouettes from Sorel, Olukai and Sperry. It’s also home to the store’s gear: an extensive wardrobe of packs, a deep display of insulated drink carriers including Hydroflask, and sleeping bags.

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis has said he intends to use Uncle Dan’s as the supplier for outdoor gear to Gander Mountain when it relaunches with 15-20 locations in the first quarter of 2018, which could provide a broader national stage for Uncle Dan’s mix.

Retail Round-Up
Digital, Apparel Bolster Urban Outfitters

Within the Philadelphia company’s Retail segment group, Direct-To-Consumer continued to outperform the store channel in the third quarter, driven by higher sessions and conversion rate. More than 50 percent of segment revenue was generated by digital in the period ended October 31 when the company’s total sales rose 3.5 percent to more than $892.8 million. In the fourth quarter, URBN expects its SG&A expenses to rise approximately 4 percent as it increases investments in digital marketing. In the third quarter, the company saw its Instagram followers rise to nearly 8 million as 95 Instagram stories generated more than 30 million views. In particular, there were more than 2.3 million views to a quarterly campaign with Hanesbrands-owned Champion featuring five rising celebrities and musicians.

On the apparel front, Urban Outfitters continued to generate strong total and regular price growth, particularly in bottoms. The apparel team focused on the separates trend in the Anthropologie Group and delivered more color, patterns and special details as the company delivered positive comps in both men’s and women’s apparel.

“Customer reaction to newness and emerging ideas is strong and almost every sensibility is showing product opportunity,” Trish Donnelly, Global CEO for the Urban Outfitters Group said. “Early signs point to this trend continuing in both women’s and men’s as we move through the fourth quarter.”

• Online shoppers spent more than $640 million during the first 10 hours of Black Friday, according to Adobe, with 46.2 percent of the spend coming from mobile devices. On the Thanksgiving holiday, online shopping rose more than 18 percent as total online sales hit $2.87 billion, the company said.

• Famous Footwear, which generated a 0.9 percent in comparable store sales in the third quarter, was negatively impacted by three hurricanes and by warm weather that hurt boot sales. The Caleres-owned retailer said lifestyle athletic, which grew double-digits in the year-ago period, was again a solid contributor in the period. Women’s and girl’s athletic sales rose high-single and mid double-digits. Conversely, women’s boot sales fell 20 percent, forcing management to adjust category inventory down mid-single digits. Ecommerce sales accounted for approximately 30 percent of the company’s brand portfolio revenues. Meanwhile, Famous Footwear’s “Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store” effort, in place since June, accounted for approximately 13 percent of orders in the third quarter.

• A tempered outlook for its Ebuys business, recognition of a new fashion cycle taking shape, expansion of its loyalty program and new store design to four additional doors in early 2018 are among the key developments at DSW. At Ebuys, DSW completed its fulfillment center consolidation and continued moving slow-moving inventory in the third quarter. The retailer, which has tempered its long-term expectations for the website, has installed new leadership at Ebuys and is evaluating how the model will best fit into DSW’s growth strategy. Meanwhile, DSW senior management hinted that a new fashion cycle is emerging during its conference call and said its new VIP rewards program will offer its 25 million members for everything from downloading the app and writing reviews to making a shoe donation. DSW is currently forecasting revenue growth of 3-4 percent on flat comparable store sales this fiscal year.

The Buzz

Major League Baseball and New Era Cap are introducing new batting practice and Spring Training headwear for 2018. The ProLight 5950, replacing Diamond Era caps worn by teams since 2013, are said to be 26-percent lighter than their predecessor cap due to a new, featherweight polyester material. They also will feature rubber badge and silicone-printed logos instead of embroidered logo.

RYU Apparel, which has opened its fourth store in Greater Vancouver at Metrotown, intends to raise another $5 million through a non-brokered private placement of more than 55 million units.

Shiekh Shoes, the privately-held, 128-door retailer founded in 1991, is searching for financing in order to avoid downsizing or filing for bankruptcy protection. According to multiple reports, the Ontario, CA-based chain, which counts 79 of its doors in the Golden State, is not in default with lenders but having cash flow issues. New financing may be needed for the chain to operate through the holiday season. Already, Shiekh, which has remodeled 61 stores since 2015. is working to renegotiate rents with some landlords.

Tubes of the Week


Numbers In Play
Week of 11/16-11/24
The Sports Insight Index is our opinion of what we think are the 30 most important public companies in the industry, 15 vendors and 15 retailers. Space considerations prevent us from tracking more, but we will make changes over time.
Index base of 100 is key to the closing prices of 12/31/14
Thirteen of 15 stocks are up for the week, sending the Weekly aggregate nearly 4 percent higher. Sports Direct, which bought another 1.12 million shares of Finish Line on November 17, now has an indirect interest in the U.S. specialty retailer of approximately 35 percent. Across the pond, SPD signs a new four-year, $1.2 billion credit revolver and hints it may extend the ceiling further. Foot Locker tightens its bond with Nike, including a new Sneakeasy pop-up on New York’s Wall Street that may surface elsewhere this holiday season. Shoe Carnival shares get a bounce after third quarter earnings that included a 4.4 percent comparable store sales increase and a 4.3 percent drop in inventory per store. Walmart reportedly saw its online inventory of TVs and apparel depleted before Thanksgiving was over, sending social media into a frenzy. Some out-of-stocks were no longer by Black Friday.
Segment Index jumps to its highest mark yet on more than 3 percent aggregate growth for the period as 14 of 15 show improvement. Fitbit, whose shares are down 15 percent year-to-date, becomes the first supplier of wearables for government-funded All of US research program to study how lifestyles, the environment and biological make-up play a role in disease and the healthiness of people. Amer Sports updates and extends its credit revolver to four years with a ceiling of 200 million euros. VF Corp. Direct-to-Consumer revenues are now forecast to rise 13 percent this fiscal year, instead of 10-11 percent. Also, digital revenues will increase 30 percent. Under Armour names Ryan Drew, general manager of basketball, as head of footwear to replace Peter Ruppe, who has left the company. Bowflex commercials from Nautilus have begun showing up on TV. NLS shares lowered to ‘C+’ rating earlier this month by The Street.





Retail Name (Ticker Symbol)
Close on 11/16/17
Close on 11/24/17
% change over time
Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV)
Sports Direct (LON: SPD)
Camping World (CWH)
Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS)
Finish Line (FINL)
Foot Locker (FL)
Genesco (GCO)
Hibbett Sports (HIBB)
Kohl’s (KSS)
Macy’s (M)
Sportsman’s Warehouse (SPWH)
Shoe Carnival (SCVL)
Tilly’s (TLYS)
Walmart (WMT)
Zumiez (ZUMZ)
Brand Name (Ticker Symbol)
Close on 11/16/17
Close on 11/24/17
% change over time
Acushnet Holdings (GOLF)
adidas (ADDYY)
Amer Sports (AGPDY)
Callaway (ELY)
Columbia Sportwear (COLM)
Deckers Brands (DECK)
Fitbit (FIT)
GoPro (GPRO)
lululemon (LULU)
Nautilus (NLS)
Nike (NKE)
Skechers (SKX)
Under Armour (UA)
VF Corp. (VFC)
Wolverine Worldwide (WWW)

Sports Insight Extra Podcast Series

Bob Smith

The design consultant who began his 20-year career as a graphic artist for Nike dishes on the blur between lifestyle and performance and the importance of Struktur, the creative conference for active, outdoor and urban design.

Rob & Mike Barnes

The co-founders of Selkirk Sports, a Hayden, ID maker of Pickleball paddles and accessories, dish on the rise of the sport that counted 2.5 million participants in 2015.

Brendan Candon

CEO of SidelineSwap, an online marketplace for used sports gear and equipment, dishes on the market and whether it steps on the toes of traditional, full-line retailers.

Dave McGillivray

The long-time race director and long-distance runner weighs in on marathon participation, the future of event marketing and his latest venture that may bring a marathon to a MLB ballpark near you.

Paul Froio

Reebok’s VP of U.S. Retail and Direct-to-Consumer channels talks about the company’s new South Boston headquarters and adjacent global flagship store.

Aquiles M. Bermùdez P.

The former president of the Dominican Association of Free Zone Companies and current member of the National Commission of Footwear addresses the industry, Dominican Republic’s infrastructure and Footwear Technology Institute.

W. Andrew Martin

The managing director for Baird in Charlotte, NC discusses the M&A climate, consumer loyalty to brands today and the impact of private label.

Mark Sullivan

The president of Formula4Media, LLC previews The Running Event conference and trade show set for November 28-December 1 in Austin, Texas.

Bryan Smeltzer

The general manager of Zamst Americas talks sports protectives, dispelling some of the consumer and athlete misconceptions about the category.

Emily Walzer

Formula4Media colleagues Emily Walzer, Textile Insight editor, Jennifer Beaudry-Ernst, footwear specialist, and contributor Kurt Gray, owner of SimplyGrayDesign, dish on key trends from the final Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City.

Judith A. Russell

Shifting consumer purchasing patterns are vital to understanding today’s marketplace. Russell, a marketing and strategic planning professional, offered up her thoughts at TexWorld in New York on a panel with Sports Insight Extra’s Bob McGee.

Will Decker

Family-owned Silicon Valley firm Plug and Play, which dubs itself the “Ultimate Startup Ecosystem,” has raised over $6 billion in venture funding during its 11 years while bringing corporations, venture capitalists and start-ups together.

Matthew Lyon

In the fragmented hydration market, where price points for performance products are on the rise, HydraPak is an OE supplier to numerous brands and has its own lightweight, flexible products.

Eric Hayes

Superfeet Celebrates 40th Anniversary. The employee-owned company introduces footwear and rolls out a 3D printed insole program.

Shawn Neville

BOA introduces New Tech and Names New CEO. Nothing will constrict Boa Technology CEO Shawn Neville from helping the Denver company improve its customized fit solution.

Waingarten and Frydlewski

No strings attached. The married Argentinean couple has raised nearly $20 million for Hickies, a Brooklyn company addressing how athletic shoes are closed around the foot two eyelets at a time.

Michelle Carmichael

The Co-founder and Managing Partner of Partners Growth, which brings premium brands into the U.S. market, talks Finnish children’s wear brand Reima. 

Brian Beckstead

Six-year old Altra is teaming with Utah State University to develop outdoor design talent.

Declan Condron

Let's Go Hyperwear: Former Equinox personal trainer merges the innovative, functional fitness gear from Austin, TX company with programming for schools, camps and institutions.

Hugues Gontier

Sly and Simple. and its technology enable a retailer to interact with customers in store and track traffic. No beacon required. The CMO explains the benefits of the platform.

Reza Raji

The CEO of Xenio Systems talks about the company’s new platform that tracks where shoppers spend time in physical stores and its patented hyper-positioning technology.

Jacob Torres Espino

The director of export promotion for Mexico’s Guanajuato State government agency addresses the proposed impact of the Border Adjustment Tax by the U.S. and the possibility of a renegotiated NAFTA free trade agreement.

Isabelle Ohnemus

The founder and CEO of EyeFitU, a former investment banker, talks ‘glocal’ assortments, shoppers’ personal sizing and global web payment options.

Tom Cove #2

The president and CEO of the SFIA addresses the most serious threat the industry has faced in the past half-century and the expected re-introduction of the PHIT Act by Congress.

Matteo Scarparo

The Italian global trade expert in footwear talks about the present and future of TheMicam trade show and the potential impact of a Border Adjustment Tax in the U.S. on imported shoes.

Dr. James Eakin

Dr. James Eakin, chief marketing officer and director of U.S. operations for Xenoma, discusses the Japan company’s e-skin shirt and entire wearable category.

Rusty Saunders

Industry senior statesman Rusty Saunders dishes on industry leadership, pressing issues and the inactivity pandemic.

Barbara Barclay

Expert Barbara Barclay, president of RightEye, talks eye-tracking technology and her company’s recent alliance with Major League Baseball and USA Baseball.

Julie Sylvester

Julie Sylvester, Executive Producer at Living in Digital Times, talks trends likely to emerge at Sports and FitnessTech Summit at CES in Las Vegas.

Chris Palmer

Chris Palmer, Founder and CEO of BoxFox, talks excess inventory and solutions for vendors, retailers and distributors.

Susie McCabe

Susie McCabe, SVP of global retail for Under Armour who previously spent 16 years at The Ralph Lauren Corp., dishes on UA’s retail strategy and new Brand House in Boston.

Tom Cove

On the eve of Election Day, we talk to three leading industry lobbyists on how the results may impact trade in the sporting goods, outdoor and apparel and footwear industries.

Rich Harper

On the eve of Election Day, we talk to three leading industry lobbyists on how the results may impact trade in the sporting goods, outdoor and apparel and footwear industries.

Stephen Lamar

On the eve of Election Day, we talk to three leading industry lobbyists on how the results may impact trade in the sporting goods, outdoor and apparel and footwear industries.

Bill McInnis

The president of Reebok Future discusses the intent of the unit and the brand’s plans to develop footwear in a new way.

Tom Fowler

Polar USA CEO Tom Fowler talks technology and the future of smart wearables.

Paul Schille

TREW CEO Paul Schille dishes on the eight-year old company in the process of completing its Series A round of funding and his dual career.

Jason Kaplan

Milestone Sports CEO Jason Kaplan dishes on the company’s low-cost, wearable pod and how it will help specialty retailers connect.

Duncan Finigan

OOFOS marketing executive talks about the recovery footwear brand and candidly about her courageous personal health journey.

Matt Priest

Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America President Matt Priest the likelihood of the Trans-Pacific Partnership being passed soon.

David and Josh Higgins

ING Source executives dish about compression technology and the Hickory, NC company’s breakthrough OS1st Brace Layer System.

Charles Liberge

Jones & Vining’s Charles Liberge addresses strategies and directions for the iconic brand.

Jim Baugh

PHIT America’s Jim Baugh dishes on the inactivity pandemic.

Sue Dooley and John Daher

Rockport Group senior executives talk about the brand’s fresh start under new ownership that has a major emphasis on versatility.

Josh Shaw

Mission Athletecare CEO Josh Shaw says thermoregulation is the New York company’s singular focus.

Tim Porth

Tim Porth of Octane Fitness talks trends, Zero Runner and the company’s January acquisition by Nautilus Inc.

David Costello

The principal and founder of Rising Tide Associates talks about industry advocate lobbying for the domestic textile and footwear industries.

Steven D’Angelo

The ‘47 brand executive dishes on the Boston company and long-time MLB licensee founded by his father Arthur and his late Uncle Henry.

Pam Gelsomini and CB Tuite

Pam Gelsomini, president, and CB Tuite, VP–sales, discuss the company’s products, partnerships and what’s new for the season ahead.

Kenneth G. Andres

The tradeshowdirector for the American Sportfishing Association casts comments on the activity’s popularity, and trends in fishing.

Dick Sullivan

The principal and founder of Rising Tide Associates talks about industry advocate lobbying for the domestic textile.

Dave Coradini

The VP of sales and sponsorships for Spalding, Dave Coradini talks Shot Tracker and basketball.

Scott McGuire

The executive brand and product innovation leader dishes to F4M’s Emily Walzer on an array of topics.

Kelly Davis

Snow Sports Industries of America’s Kelly Davis talks weather, participation trends and how to handle the psyche.

Kevin Davis

The CEO of Performance Sports Group dishes on new bat standards and Own the Moment.

Gene McCarthy, Pt 2

Gene McCarthy, president of Asics America, speaks to Jen Ernst Beaudry on specialty run and more in the second part of the podcast.

Gene McCarthy, Pt 1

Gene McCarthy, new president of Asics Americas, dishes to F4M’s Jen Ernst Beaudry in the first of a two-part podcast.

Richie Woodworth

Saucony’s Richie Woodworth offers his views on brand’s running business and what it takes to manage through change.

Bruce Cazenave

Bruce Cazenave, CEO of Nautilus Inc., recently ranked 23rd on Fortune’s “Fastest Growing Companies” list.

Tony Armand

Armand is leading USB, created after the April merger of Shock Doctor and McDavid.

Gary Smith

Gary Smith has been at the helm of the Lawrence, MA firm for three years, and his 2016 strategies will broaden Polartec’s scope.

Marty Hanaka

City Sports CEO Marty Hanaka has 42 years in retail, starting at Sears in 1973.

Mike Dowse

Wilson Sporting Goods, one year removed from its 100th anniversary and a major restructuring, has a renewed focus and strategy.