Archive for February, 2016


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After Home Depot reported on a successful fourth fiscal quarter a day earlier, Lowe’s said its quarterly comps showed a 5.2% same-store gain with an increase in customer traffic. Marketwatch comments that although Americans have cut back spending in other retail categories such as apparel and electronics, people seem to be willing to spend on refurbishing their homes……Target had a 2.1% same-store gain in the fourth fiscal quarter and saw the fifth straight quarter of increased traffic. Profit rose as revenue slipped, both factors partially due to Target’s sale of its pharmacy and clinic business……Noting sales were particularly weak on the Southern border and energy-producing regions, Dillard’s reported fourth fiscal quarter same-store sales down 2%, with profit down more than 35%. The chain consists of 273 Dillard’s locations and 24 clearance centers in 29 states……Still hoping to get government approval to be taken over by Staples, Office Depot had flat comps in the fourth quarter, although some of that was due to having closed many stores earlier. A total of 181 were closed last year, with some of those stores’ business shifting to remaining locations……In automotive retailing, Sonic quarterly new-vehicle sales were up 1.4% and used-vehicle sales rose 6.9%, helping to produce a 19% gain in profit. Sonic’s EchoPark used-only secondary chain is still only in the Denver market, but the company expects to move into at least two different markets by the end of the year……Discount grocer Aldi already operates almost 1500 stores in 32 states, but until now none have been in California. The first in the Golden State are now set to open in the L.A. market next month, with 45 expected in the state before the end of the year. By the end of 2018, Aldi expects to approach the 2000 mark nationally……Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen had a domestic 5.7% same-store sales increase in the fourth quarter after opening a record 219 new restaurants during the year. Another 115-135 stores should open in the U.S. this year……Texas Roadhouse is another restaurant chain that had a good quarter, although the same-store gain of 4.5% at company-owned units was actually lower than in prior quarters. 29 units were added during the year, with another 30 in the pipeline for this year……Another restaurant looking to expand is Fazoli’s, and Convenience Store News reports c-stores are of particular interest to the Italian food chain. Recently taken over by Sentinel Capital Partners, Fazoli’s has 123 company-owned units and 91 franchised locations, with only eight of them currently in c-stores……7-Eleven is adding soda to its 7-Select private label line; the drinks are made with cane sugar and natural flavors.


Food delivery is not a new phenomenon but the accessibility and availability of these direct-to-door home meal services, whether in-home meal kits, like Blue Apron, or foodservice delivery, like DoorDash (pictured), is unprecedented, finds The NPD Group. Historically, consumers were limited to pizza and Asian foods in terms of delivery or local grocery delivery, but now there are numerous choices. What has also changed from past food delivery, NPD says, is that consumers are now accustomed to ordering goods online and having them delivered to their door quickly.

In terms of restaurant delivery, delivery traffic outside of pizza is growing strongly, up by 33% since 2012, while traditional quick service restaurant (QSR) pizza delivery is on the decline, according to NPD’s foodservice market research. Foodservice delivery options outside of pizza are still relatively small, with roughly six million delivery-related visits in the past year. But there is little doubt that the growth rate for categories outside of QSR pizza will continue on a strong growth path. All types of restaurants are increasingly partnering with delivery services, such as Eat24, Grub Hub and Seamless. As UberEATS and Amazon Prime Now restaurant delivery continues to roll out nationally, delivery will see significant growth. NPD’s analysts forecast that off-premise foodservice will continue to outpace overall restaurant industry traffic growth over the next decade.

“Consumers want the ‘dining out’ experience of quality food, but they’re saving money and time by having food delivered to their homes,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. “Similar to the consumer value online direct-to-door shopping fulfills, there is the appeal of being in the comfort of their own homes, and not having to deal with the ‘hassle’ of the outside world.”

In-home meal kits, whether meals to cook from scratch or just assembly, are a more recent offering than foodservice delivery. These kits appeal to consumers wanting fresh, authentic food, and control over what they’re eating, says NPD. Meal kit delivery services are growing in popularity, particularly in urban areas, but are not nearly as mainstreamed as foodservice meals.

“I don’t believe we’ll see mainstream adoption of home meal kits, like we’ve seen with foodservice delivery,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. Meal kit consumers tend to have more expendable income and primarily live in major metro areas. “There is definitely a market for these services; it’s just not nearly as big as foodservice delivery,” says Seifer.


The Super Bowl is the biggest one-day sports event in the nation every year, but for the hometowns of the two teams that make it to the game it is a huge local event. For the local TV stations it’s a major opportunity to connect with fans and advertisers—especially for the one network affiliate in each town lucky enough to air the actual game.

The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers have made it to the big game before, but this is the first time for the Broncos that CBS had the broadcast for O&O KCNC Denver and more than a decade for Raycom’s WBTV Charlotte.

“Colorado loves the Broncos and we feel fortunate to get super-sized ratings every time we air a game. But having our hometown team in Super Bowl 50 is something that’s really special for everyone at KCNC,said GM Walt DeHaven. You will not be surprised to learn that Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, will be the biggest revenue day in KCNC’s history. KCNC has been airing nightly specials this week and a two-hour Road to the Championship special is scheduled for Saturday. The station has anchors, reporters and a meteorologist providing live reports from across the Bay Area this week.

The Super Bowl local avails were sold out on WBTV even before it was certain the Panthers would be in the game. GM Steve Dempsey says advertisers wanted to make sure they weren’t squeezed out by political spots. He’s expecting an 80+ local market share, so the real value of having the Super Bowl is being able to promote other WBTV programming to the massive local audience—and he says the staff has worked up some great creative to air. “The windfall for us will come beyond the Super Bowl,” he said.

Of course, WBTV has had staffers in San Francisco reporting live this week on game preparations—and he had nothing but praise for CBS O&O KPIX and the network for their assistance in the Super Bowl host market. WBTV has been airing extensive pre-game coverage and a special, Panthers’ Championship Drive, will air tonight in primetime.

KPIX has been planning its Super Bowl coverage since it was announced in May 2013 that the NFL had picked the Bay Area to host Super Bowl 50. The station aired its first local Countdown to Gold special last February, one night following Super Bowl XLIX. KPIX secured legendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana (a four-time Super Bowl champion) and his wife Jennifer (who previously had been a KPIX on-air host) as special contributors to the station’s coverage. KPIX had a total of 11 Countdown to Gold specials planned, including 7-8 pm broadcasts on Monday-Saturday this week. “It’s extremely gratifying to see the responses from viewers and advertisers to our ‘Countdown to Gold’ coverage. Our three years of planning is really paying off. And, of course, the best is yet to come,” said KPIX GM Bruno Cohen.