Walmart at Raymond James Conference Notes

Steve Bratspies Chief Merchandising Officer

Customer changing dramatically

“The customer today is changing dramatically. Who they are, what they want, how they shop, where they shop, when they shop, lots of different changes that are going on all at one time. 79 million of them are millennials, and what’s great is they are moving into prime spending years, right. They started a little slower in household formation, they are moving faster and are in that time right now.”

Millenials are more value driven than any other generation

“48% of them are multi cultural, versus 285 from the boomers, which is a dramatic shift and dramatic change in the business. They are the most value driven generation that was seen in my life time, slightly ahead of Gen X but they are very, very focused to value to lines for Wal-Mart. And they also had a strong infinity for Wal-Mart than any of the generations.”

We want to be the first to deliver a seamless shopping experience at scale

“You heard this from us before, Greg Foran, my boss has talked about this, but I thought I would set the context quickly for what we are trying to do. And ultimately that’s delivered a seamless shopping experience of the scale. We think we are well positioned to do that in a way that no one else has been able to do that so far.”

Fresh drives traffic to the whole store

“You heard this from us before, Greg Foran, my boss has talked about this, but I thought I would set the context quickly for what we are trying to do. And ultimately that’s delivered a seamless shopping experience of the scale. We think we are well positioned to do that in a way that no one else has been able to do that so far.”

Customers buy online pick up groceries in store

“I mentioned it earlier but customers love the ability to shop online, order the groceries and come to a store and never even get out of their car. Open their trunk, we will put the groceries in their trunk for them and move right on”

WalMart FY 4Q16 Earnings Call Notes

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) C. Douglas McMillon on Q4 2016 Results

Ordering groceries online picking up in store

“We also expanded online grocery shopping to over 150 locations across more than 20 markets in the U.S. Customers are ordering online and on their phones and then picking up their groceries on our parking lots without ever leaving their cars. Customer satisfaction for those who use our free pickup service is in the high 90s. We are learning some interesting things along the way. We’ve found that 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. is one of the most popular times customers order groceries online”

Gregory S. Foran – President & Chief Executive Officer, Walmart U.S.

Raising wages for associates

“we announced the second phase of our two-year, $2.7 billion investment in our associates. Just two days from now, on February 20, we’ll raise the starting wage to at least $10 per hour for hourly associates hired before January 1, 2016.”

Headwinds from deflation, warmer temps and delays in tax refund checks

“While customers benefited from lower gas prices, we experienced significant headwinds from deflation in meat and dairy products. Additional sales pressure came from warmer than normal temperatures early in the quarter and delays in IRS tax refund checks impacted the very end of the quarter.”

Apparel improved throughout the quarter

“In our General Merchandise areas, Apparel improved throughout the quarter, after a slow start due to warmer-than-usual temperatures. On-trend assortments, particularly in active wear, drove results in this area. In Entertainment, we continued to experience soft wireless sales and a slower adoption of new technology in televisions.”

Slower flu seasons created a headwind

“Finally, Health & Wellness remained a positive comp driver for us, with growth coming from branded drug inflation and better in-stocks in OTC. However, a slower flu season created a headwind to our Cold, Cough and Flu business this quarter.”

David Cheesewright – President & Chief Executive Officer, Walmart International, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Gaining share in hypermarkets though comps fell 3% in China

“In China, despite ongoing economic challenges and slower GDP growth, we continued to gain share for the 12th consecutive quarter in the hypermarket channel, according to Nielsen. Net sales grew 0.3%, driven by new store openings and improved performance from completed remodels. Comp sales fell 3%, in part, due to warmer weather and disappointing sales in winter seasonal categories.”

Political and economic instability in Brazil

“In Brazil, we continue to face political and economic instability. The deterioration in the macro environment, combined with persistent high inflation, continues to put a strain on customers. Net sales grew 1.2% and comps grew 0.8%, in a retail market that contracted by 5.7%, according to Serasa Experian. We were encouraged by another quarter of double digit growth in our wholesale business, mostly offset by continued softness in the hypermarket format.”

Neil M. Ashe – President & Chief Executive Officer, Global eCommerce and Technology

Walmart FY 3Q16 Earnings Call Notes

Wal-Mart Stores’ (WMT) CEO Doug McMillon on Q3 2016 Results

Investments will deliver sustainable growth

“We’ve never been a company that manages only for the short term and that’s certainly true during this period of change. Although investments in our people and technology impact near-term earnings, they will help us deliver sustainable growth and returns to shareholders over time. We’re confident these are the right steps because we know where and how we’re going to win. We will be the first to deliver a seamless shopping experience at scale. No matter how you choose to shop with us, through your mobile device, online, in a store, or a combination, it will be fast and easy”

Online retailers are testing physical store experiences

“Online retailers are testing physical store experiences because they recognize the same gap network of stores supported by a supply chain and systems like ours with an emerging set of digital capabilities to win with customers.’

Built new 1m sqft distribution center

“We also made strides in the U.S. on adding critical capabilities to our supply chain. In the third quarter, we opened a new e-commerce fulfillment center in Atlanta with more than 1 million ft² of space. This is our fifth next-generation fulfillment center.”

Sam Clubs in China performing well

“A few weeks ago I was back in Beijing and Shanghai walking stores, clubs and visiting our e-commerce offices. We now have a total of 12 Sam’s Clubs open and they’re performing very well. ”

We will deliver a seamless shopping experience at scale

“Wal-Mart U.S. will execute our part of the plan to be the first to deliver a seamless shopping experience of scale. We will drive growth and deliver shareholder returns by winning with stores, delivering value, being great merchants, and providing our customers with the convenient shopping experience that is fast and easy.”

Online grocery pickup expansion

“In e-commerce, we made strides on deepening the digital relationship with our customer. This quarter we accelerated our online grocery pickup offering to 85 additional locations. We now have almost 140 locations across 25 markets that offer the customer the ability to order their groceries online and conveniently pick up at a time of their choosing.”

Shift to installment wireless plans contributed to disappointing sales results

“we still have considerable headwinds in Entertainment. A slow adoption of new technology in televisions and the shift from post-paid to installment wireless plans contributed to disappointing sales results.”

holidays will be competitive and food inflation will remain low

“We know the holidays will be competitive. Additionally, we expect food inflation to remain low relative to last year, and will lap last year’s significant drop in the fuel prices, which will make the comparison for the fourth quarter more difficult.’

Exchange rate impact will be higher than initially expected

“assuming currency exchange rates remain at current levels for the remainder of the year, we now expect the full-year impact to earnings-per-share to be approximately $0.16 up $0.01 from last quarter’s revised guidance of $0.15.”

Walmart 2Q16 Earnings Call Notes

People have been asking if WalMart can get our magic back since 1996

“I talked with our managers about how our company has always changed to serve customers. And we are in another period of change right now. I shared an article from Fortune magazine that I keep in my office titled “Can Wal-Mart get back the magic.” It’s a pretty strong indictment of our future. And the fun fact is that, it was written in 1996. Just as it was in 1996, we will win the future of retail if we make the right choices as a business. We have a strong point of view on what that future will look like.’

E-commerce adoption internationally

“Internationally one of the encouraging signs we are seeing in Mexico and Canada is that customers are not only purchasing more in our stores, but also driving sales through eCommerce and mobile commerce. In China, we are expanding our Omni-channel offerings with the new test of in-store pickup of online orders in a number of Shenzhen stores. Chinese customers increasingly value the choice of both picking up their online orders in a local store and having it shipped to their homes. And we have started integrating our digital and physical offering for these customers.”

Winning the future requires change, which requires investment that pressures short term earnings

“‘Winning in the future requires change. Change in this case requires investment and investment pressures short-term earnings. Our strategy is designed to create robust and sustainable growth that will deliver return to shareholders.”

pressure on pharma reimbursements, higher shrink and wages impacted EPS

“We have margin pressure from pharmacy reimbursements and higher shrink than we expected during the quarter. These impacts coupled with higher wage investments impacted EPS.”

We have built a talent dense internet technology company inside of WMT

“we have a built talent dense Internet technology company inside of Walt-Mart. We are now able to create new experiences for customers across digital and physical. Overall Global eCommerce constant currency sales grew approximately 16%”

Shrinkage significantly higher than expected

“Additionally, inventory shrinkage was meaningfully higher than planned for the quarter. We are reviewing the end-to-end inventory management process with a special focus on shrinkage and working to close gaps. Investments are being made in training programs store and asset protection associates as well investments in staffing and high shrink areas of the store. But it will take time to see results, so this will impact us versus planned for the rest of the year.”

UK sales decline

“UK sales declined 4.1% and comp sales excluding fuel were down 5.2% driven by declining traffic especially in fresh fruit categories. Grocery and shopping sales continue to grow and we remain focused on driving improvements to our customer metrics. ”

Confident in China growth despite headwinds

“While there are ongoing market headwinds from slow economic growth, we’re are confident we’ll continue to delivery sustainable growth in China. Wal-Mart continues to outperform the market and gain market share in hypermarkets for the tenth quarter in a row.”

Walmart FY 1Q16 Earnings Call Notes

Customers are using gas savings to pay down debt or save

“Based on recent surveys, we know that many of our U.S. customers are using their tax refunds and the extra money from lower gas prices to pay down debt or put it into savings. They’re also using these funds for everyday expenses like utilities and groceries. That’s where we can be their destination of choice. We’re not where we want to be in every store, but I’m pleased with the progress that I’m seeing.”

$1 B investment in our associates

“As a part of our $1 billion investment in our associates, we also raised the floor and ceiling on pay bands in our stores, creating raises for many full and part-time hourly associates at every level. More than 500,000 associates benefited from this change. We’re also restructuring the management teams in the stores, adding back almost 8,000 department managers.”

Pressure in media/electronics

“Within general merchandise, we continued to feel pressure in media and electronics, resulting from industry contraction, the shift from physical to digital media, and lapping last year’s release of the movie Frozen.”

Food deflation

“One key headwind we faced in grocery during the first quarter was moderating inflation in meat, and deflation in both dairy and produce. While partially offset by inflationary trends in dry and frozen foods, we estimate the moderation in fresh foods impacted our overall comp performance by almost 70 basis points this quarter. Overall, net food inflation negatively impacted our comp by approximately 20 basis points.”

Brazil market conditions continue to worsen

“Now, on to Brazil, market conditions worsened this quarter due to continued inflationary cost pressures. In addition, the retail grocery sector had its worst first quarter growth in the last six years at 2.2%, according to Serasa Experian, a global information services company.”

Currency was larger effect than anticipated

“currency exchange negatively impacted our sales by $3.3 billion and earnings per share by $0.03, which was more than we anticipated. Even though our Walmart U.S. comp sales were around the bottom of our guidance, we are pleased with our earnings per share coming in at $1.03, in the middle of our range.”

Added 4m soft of retail space around the world

“In this fiscal year, we added approximately 4.1 million additional square feet of retail space around the world.”

Walmart Strategy Call Notes

New CEO giving view of business

“why are we here? You might remember, Greg, had mentioned back in October, he was very new to his position and he promised to come back and give you his thoughts and observations of the business and what he thought we wanted to do going forward. So, we thought this was a good time. He’s been in role now for approximately eight months, so he has a pretty good idea of the business.”

Our principles

“Let me begin with the principles: One, tell the unvarnished truth, if you acknowledge the issue, you can begin to address it; two, make hard decisions; three, explain the strategy to your team so they understand and are committed to what you are doing; four, trust in you associates and take care of them; five, keep things simple; and finally, six, play it away.”

Improve shopping experience

we can further strengthen our shop keeping skills and in turn the customer experience. Our processes require some rework, might be overnight stocking, markdown cadence, rotation of fresh food are just some.”

“Two, our inventory quantity and flow can be better.”

“Point three; we’ve got some opportunities in store layout and design.”

“Fourthly, the integration of physical and digital retail: With over 4,500 stores, we are within 10 miles of nearly 90% of all Americans.”

“Point five; we’ve got opportunities with adjacencies like gas, care clinics and financial services.’

“Point six, we have opportunities in price”

“Point seven, assortment, it’s the life blood of our business. When we get the assortment right, we know that the customers respond”

“And finally point eight, our job at the home office in Bentonville is to serve the stores to in turn serve customers. Sam Walton, founder of our business based on this principle.”

Not moving away from price…

” We continue to be extremely focused on price, and I hope that came through by what I see. And we’re not moving away from that at all. But we also recognize that assortment and the experience that you have in store is pretty important as well. And we’re going to make sure that we get that part of the equation right; we’re focusing heavily on that this year without taking our objective of continuing to ensure that Walmart does win on price. We’re not moving away from that. We will remain true to everyday low price. ”

Assortment is key and it’s also very difficult ot get right

‘One of the most important things and that makes a retailer work well in our game is getting the assortment right. I mentioned that it is the life blood of your business. Building an assortment is actually a combination of art and science, and if any of you have been buyers, you — and a good buy you’ll understand how difficult it is. It’s not something that you just walk in and do in order you sit there and wait for a supplier to tell you that this is exactly the assortment that you should run. You’ve got to understand how to do this, there is a process that you go through, you begin first of all by understanding the customer, understanding the customer decision tree, you need to analyze the market, you need to understand opening price point, you will need to understand the role of private label will play, you need to understand what products are substitutable and which ones customers are loyalty, you need to make decisions on which ones are deleted, what roll seasonal plays, it’s like a 10 step process.”

You can’t be too restrictive with costsw or it impacts shopping experience

“we’re not about moving away from low price, really difficult to have low price unless you have low cost. We’ve learned that if you put too much pressure on some cost in your business and read into that stores then you can impact the shopping experience and environment for customers. So that it does make sales difficult to achieve and the second thing it does is that it’s a bit like squeezing a balloon, you can start incurring cost elsewhere in your organization because you are not as efficient or effective in things like marking product down.”

Assortment is key

“You got to have the store operating disciplines but actually that secondary to getting new assortment right, you can run the cleanest, tidiest, nicest store that you’ve ever seen but if the products in there isn’t right it actually doesn’t matter. If you get the product right and the store isn’t clean and nice and tidy you still have a business.”

Walmart was historically very good at assortment

I’ve been visiting Walmart for getting up 20 years and I can tell you that when I visited them and even prior to that they were really, really good at building an assortment. It was probably their single biggest competitive advantage. By having the right assortment they’ve got customers into their stores to buy the products, they we then able to get the productivity loop going and get the pricing right. Sure one doesn’t always exactly follow in that sequence but don’t underestimate how good they were at assortment or how important it is in building a business.”

Let’s get to the point where we’re proud enough to take our grandmother to the store

“hat’s why we’ve said let’s get ourselves to holiday seasons to a point where, where we’re proud enough of take our mother or grandmother into the store and say hey this is who we work for, our associates are engaged. I think it’s a really logical approach for us to take to get that fixed and I think there is good growth by doing that.”

WalMart 4Q14 Earnings Call Notes

Each week I read dozens of transcripts from earnings calls and presentations as part of my investment process. Below are some of the most important quotes about the economy and industry trends from the transcripts that I read this week. Full notes can be found here.

Good close to the year

” Overall, we had a good fourth quarter to close out our fiscal year, with underlying earnings per share of $1.61. Walmart U.S. delivered better than expected comp sales. Sam’s Club had its best performance of the year, and Walmart International had solid sales and profitability.”

Pay increase for associates

“Approximately 500,000 full-time and part-time associates at Walmart U.S. stores and Sam’s Clubs will receive pay raises in the first half of the current fiscal year. Current and future associates will benefit from this initiative, which ensures that Walmart hourly associates earn at least $1.75 above today’s federal minimum wage, or $9 per hour, in April. The following year, by February 1, 2016, current associates will earn at least $10 per hour”

Higher pay will lead to better store experience for customers

“As a result, we firmly believe that our customers will benefit from a better store experience, which can drive higher sales and returns for our shareholders over time.’

485B in sales

“Total revenue for the year grew to $485.7 billion, as consolidated net sales increased $9.2 billion, or 1.9%”

Wage increase are based on our core principles

“The changes we are making are based on our core principles and will make Walmart a better place to work and shop.”

Apparel and home business strong

“we remained pleased by our apparel and home businesses, which brought value to the customers through strong national brands, consistent quality across price points, and relevant products at the right time of the season.”

Entertainment business was poor

“declines in our entertainment business persisted, as we faced industry contraction and deflation across many categories. Lapping last year’s gaming console releases, along with fewer video game titles available for new consoles, and shifts from physical to digital media in movies and books, drove high single-digit negative comps in this area.”

Still headwinds in China

“Moving to China. Ongoing headwinds from government austerity measures, reduction in gift card sales, and continued deflation in key categories continue to pose challenges in the market. Walmart China’s Q4 net sales declined 0.7% and comp sales declined 2.3%, partially due to Chinese New Year falling nearly three weeks later than last year.”

We’re building a tech company inside of the world’s largest retailer

“We’ve talked about the importance of investing in talent and the fact that we are building a technology company inside the world’s largest retailer. In the past year, we have been able to build up our team to the critical mass needed to be that technology company. And we did it in a very selective way, bringing in some of the best talent in Silicon Valley through organic hiring and targeted acquisitions.”

E-commerce sales 12B

“E-commerce sales grew approximately 22% to more than $12 billion. ”

Healthcare expenses were a headwind, but not as bad as expected

“Although not as high as we anticipated, healthcare expenses were a headwind for Walmart U.S. during the year.”

Currency will take 1-2% off of sales growth

“In October, we forecasted a 2% to 4% net sales increase for this new fiscal year. However, as a result of where currency rates are today, we expect a currency headwind of approximately $10 billion on net sales. Our new forecast for fiscal year 2016 net sales growth is between 1% and 2%. ‘

Wage investments will impact EPS by 0.20c for the full year

“These strategic investments, which will cost approximately $1 billion this year, are designed to ultimately benefit our customers and our businesses through a better store and club experience. However, they will impact our earnings per share this fiscal year. In the first quarter, we expect these investments to negatively impact earnings per share by approximately $0.02. The full year earnings per share impact is expected to be approximately $0.20.”

EPS decline from initiatives

“Taking all of this into account, we expect first quarter fiscal year 2016 earnings per share to range between $0.95 and $1.10. This compares to $1.10 last year. We expect full year earnings per share to range between $4.70 and $5.05. This compares to reported earnings per share of $4.99 in fiscal 2015”

Walmart 3Q14 Earnings Call Notes

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha

Encouraged by a positive comp

“Walmart U.S. added $2.3 billion in net sales. Since the beginning of this year, you’ve heard me say that our focus was on delivering a positive comp by year-end. I’m encouraged that comp sales were positive in Q3, but we are still not satisfied. We have areas to improve, including in the customer experience and in our price leadership position and we are taking the steps necessary to fix these areas. ”

Operating income declined due to increased healthcare costs

“Operating income declined due to increased healthcare expenses, investments in e-commerce, and investments in price.”

Chinese making guacamole

“During the quarter, I traveled to Asia to see how things are progressing in China and Japan. In a supercenter in Beijing, customers shared how they appreciate the quality of our fresh meats and produce. I got a kick out of watching our associates show our Chinese customers how to use avocados to make guacamole. The world is shrinking right before our eyes.”

Customers all over the world are integrating how they shop

“While our customer feedback in China is improving, one customer when asked what we could do better, mentioned she can sometimes find diapers and formula cheaper online. Customers all over the world are integrating how they shop. They don’t see the same lines of separation some of us might focus on and this is a great opportunity for Walmart. Increasingly, we are seeing it just how they do.’

Dropping into stores

“Last week, I dropped into some stores in Chicago including a new Neighborhood Market in an urban area. A customer stopped me to thank us for the value we’ve brought to his community”

Similar customers around the world

“Interactions like this often remind me how similar our customers are around the world. Everyone is interested in getting quality products at a value. Walmart makes a difference in people’s lives.”

Excited for the holidays

“”For the holiday season, I’m excited by what I see in our stores. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we are prepared to make it a great day for our customers and their families. As we revealed this week, we are excited for The New Black Friday at Walmart.”

Opportunities and challenges for 4Q

“As we enter the fourth quarter, we see both opportunities and challenges ahead of us. We lapped the approximately 6% reduction in SNAP benefits on November 1. Additionally, gas prices are considerably lower this year than a year ago, which may give customers a little more discretionary spending power in the coming months.”

Entertainment business is up against deflation and lack of innovation

“However, we expect this holiday season to be highly competitive, and we are mindful that the entertainment business, which comprises a larger percentage of overall Q4 sales is up against continued deflation and a lack of new product innovation. We’ll continue to see pressures to the bottom line as we balance wage leverage with higher customer service standards.”

Most trusted

“We also remain focused on being the most trusted retailer wherever we operate. For example, Walmart China recently launched a Worry Free Fresh program starting with 49 stores providing our customers with a money-back satisfaction guarantee when buying fresh produce and meats.”

Sales declined in China

“Walmart China’s Q3 net sales declined 0.8% and comp sales declined 2.3%. Sales remain challenged as we, along with all retailers, continue to face significant headwinds from government austerity, reduction in gift card sales, and deflation in key categories such as dry grocery, liquor, and consumables. Despite the top line challenges, Walmart China grew sales at a faster pace than the market in the hypermarket category for the quarter ended September 30, according to Nielsen.”

Forex negative impact on sales

“As we indicated at the recent Analyst Meeting, we now anticipate net sales growth for fiscal 2015 to range between 2% and 3% versus our prior guidance of being at the low end of our stated range of 3% to 5%. And as of today, we would expect foreign currency to have a negative impact for the full-year of more than $4 billion. In addition, today we are updating our guidance for full-year earnings per share to range between $4.92 and $5.02. This revised guidance includes approximately $0.03 per share of charges related to the closure of underperforming stores in Walmart Japan. This compares to our prior guidance of $4.90 to $5.15.

Retailer Inventory Comparison

There have been a few comments on retail/apparel earnings calls suggesting that retailers are currently managing their inventories relatively tightly.  Fossil, for instance, said this:

What we discovered or what we experienced in the second quarter was that both with department stores and some of our boutiques, they were really focusing on managing their inventories tightly. And relative to our expectations, we saw some compression on sales because they were reducing their inventory level.”

TJX echoed that sentiment on its call yesterday

we are very clean in the stores. In fact, our inventory, well, it’s been lean off season and, given the second quarter with sales picking up, our clearance levels are very under control. No real liabilities there.”

If this is true, it’s a good sign for retail that inventories are under control.  Lean inventories are not only more efficient from a working capital standpoint, but also could help signal that the highly promotional environment that retailers have been complaining about is about to let up. If retailers are more conservative with their inventories, they don’t have to take as many markdowns to clear it.

If retailers are running their ships more tightly it’s not really showing up in financial statements quite yet though.  Below is a chart of a few important retailers’ days of inventory on hand (365/COGS/Inventory) since 2000.  If anything it looks like retail inventories have been trending slightly higher as of late.  For what it’s worth, the Census Bureau’s data shows that retailers’ inventory to sales ratio is above its recession low, but below where it was at the beginning of the year.

WMT AMZN TGT Inventory

M TJX KSS Inventory

Source: Factset

Walmart 2Q14 Earnings Call Notes

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha

New head of Walmart US (he’s an Aussie?)

“Thank you, Claire. Let me begin by saying how honored and excited I am to lead the Walmart U.S. business. I’ve learned a great deal in 35 years as a retailer and look forward to learning more about the U.S. market and from our leadership team, our customers and our 1.2 million U.S. associates.”

US service centers had negative comp

“In Q2, our Supercenter fleet had a comp decline of approximately 30 basis points. We recognize the need to improve the performance and standards of this format to meet customers’ expectations. And I’ll discuss more about our strategic priorities in my closing remarks.”

Grocery inflation

” In grocery, overall inflation accelerated around 60 basis points from Q1 to approximately 1.8% in Q2. Food delivered a relatively flat comp, driven by price investments in targeted categories and regions, solid performance during key seasonal events, and inflation, which was particularly strong in deli, dairy, produce, meat and seafood. However, we continued to face SNAP-related headwinds of approximately 1.6% to food, which we will cycle in November.”

Comp declines in mobile phones because lack of new phone technology

“In wireless, we’ve experienced recent comp declines due to a lack of innovation in phone technology and our delay in system upgrades needed to process new carrier installment plans. ”

Focus on growing the core US business

“At the core are the Walmart stores, and my initial efforts will focus on the core. We will deliver against these key customer requirements: being in stock; clean stores; the right price; the right items; improved service; better productivity. I will be out in stores hearing directly from our customers and our associates and tracking our performance. I’m a competitive person, so I will be visiting the marketplace as well. We will look to build momentum.”

Good start to the quarter, but still expect flat Q3

“While it’s early in the quarter, I’m encouraged by a strong start to Q3. However, we know we’re in a challenging retail environment and it will take some work to continue moving in the right direction. Given that, we expect comps sales to be relatively flat for the 13-week period from August 2 through October 31, 2014.”

Global economy remains challenged

“The global economy remains challenged, which means the customer is also stretched. Price remains a critical factor in our customers’ buying decisions.”

24% global ecommerce growth

“Globally, e-commerce sales grew approximately 24% in the second quarter. I’m excited about the capabilities we’ve delivered and how we are integrating the digital and physical world to offer customers easier and more convenient ways to shop”