Sporadic Thoughts: Retail, Consumer and First Data

Are retailers stilling their future holiday sales with early deep discounts?

Sporadic Thoughts Retail, Consumer and First Data

Retail swell?

This weekend when I heard about the 22% increase in shopping activity over last year, I could not help but wonder – have I seen this movie before? After all, auto companies tried to stimulate their demand by cutting prices, and we know how that story ended. It seems what attracted consumers to the stores were the great discounts, not the increase in their real income. Are retailers stilling their future holiday sales with early deep discounts? Time will tell.

Rushin’ promotion roulette?

On the BJ Wholesale (BJ) conference call, management made a very interesting comment that may explain the Black Friday rush to buy the latest must-haves: “There are a lot of earlier promotions and everybody is trying to pull in these sales before the first heating bill arrives in consumers’ mailboxes. ” Need I say more?

Wish you were here

First Data Corp’s (FDC) stock was up $2 on the news of its CEO Charlie Fote leaving for personal reasons. I never looked at Charlie as a liability at FDC, thus I am surprised by today’s price action.

Several months ago when I met Charlie at FDC investor day, he said that he was dissatisfied with FDC’s price and that he’ll have to do something within a couple of months if the price doesn’t move – well, I never thought this would be his solution to the problem.

Please read the following important disclosure here.

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