4.00k followers • 8 symbols Watchlist by Yahoo Finance
This basket consists of brick and mortar who have lost considerable market share to online competition.
It said it will now allow no more than five customers per 1,000 square feet at a given time and that they would be admitted one by one and counted by store associates. Walmart also said it would implement a one-way movement through aisles in some stores by next week.
Walmart (WMT) puts plans to sell off a major stake in its U.K. grocery unit, Asda on hold to efficiently manage its business during the coronavirus outbreak.
(Bloomberg) -- With milk prices plunging to lows that haven’t been seen in nearly four years, dairy cooperatives are dumping the product to curb an oversupply.While shoppers are clearing out milk cases at grocery stores, that’s not making up for the closings of restaurants and schools. U.S. cows are entering their most productive time of the year right now as the coronavirus is killing off a significant source of demand.Some dumping usually occurs during the U.S. spring, but this year it will be “even more aggressive,” said Alyssa Badger, director of operations at HighGround Dairy in Chicago.“There’s no way to offset how much loss we’re seeing with school closings and food-service demand in the form of cheese and butter, just because someone’s buying an extra gallon of milk,” Badger said.American dairy farmers have been suffering a wave of bankruptcies amid years of low milk prices, and with so many exiting -- Wisconsin alone was losing two to three dairy farms a day for the past three years -- the industry was just starting a recovery. The onset of the virus has put any such turnaround on hold.Benchmark Class III milk futures, a type that’s used in cheese-making, dropped below $13 per 100 pounds this week in Chicago, a low not seen since May 2016. Butter prices are crashing, with futures touching the weakest since 2012 amid swelling stockpiles. Cheese is at the lowest in a year.While Wisconsin dairy farmer Wayne Gajewski hasn’t yet resorted to dumping milk, supplies are backing up in local markets and prices have fallen below his cost of production. He’s hoping the federal government can buy some dairy products to distribute to those in need, and that the virus clears up soon.“We’re not used to the supply chain breaking down,” Gajewski, who has about 80 dairy cows, said by phone. “That’s my biggest concern.”Demand for dairy products initially surged due to consumers stocking up on staples. Grocers including Walmart temporarily limited how much milk customers could buy. The limits are currently not necessary for store shoppers, the company said on Friday.But with schools and restaurants closed, some milk and cheese products have no market. Kristen Coady, a spokeswoman for Dairy Farmers of America, said the group is trying “all possible avenues” including donation opportunities at food banks.And it’s not just dairy. Backed-up corn ethanol plants are shutting down in Iowa and Nebraska. Farmers in Florida are dumping yellow squash and zucchini.“There’s some similarities with squash and a milk cow,” said James Alderman, a vegetable farmer in Florida. “With squash, if we have 85-degree temperatures, it has to be picked every day or it will get too big and we can’t sell it. They are cutting the squash every day and throwing it on the ground.”Dumping shows how urgently farmers need help, said Grace Atherton, communications director at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “If people do have milk disposal, we are encouraging them to document that loss,” Atherton said by phone.The federal aid package to tackle the fallout from the coronavirus crisis includes $9.5 billion in assistance for farmers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Canceled OrdersAt Grassland Dairy in Wisconsin, orders started getting canceled in late March as eateries shut down or shifted just to takeout and delivery.“There’s just so much unknown out there on the food-service side,” said Trevor Wuethrich, president at the dairy maker. “I think a lot of our customers in the food-service sector have butter in storage. They’re saying, ‘you know what, let’s not order for a couple of weeks.’”Around half of butter and half of cheese is consumed at restaurants, said Matt Gould, editor at Dairy & Food Market Analyst Inc. Because so many eateries have closed, cheese manufacturers have either shuttered or are running on reduced schedules.Milk that would have gone into those plants are instead being pushed to butter and milk powder plants -- but those are now full, too, according to Gould. That leaves dumping as the only alternative.“With plants shut down and running at reduced schedules, there’s not enough homes for the milk,” Gould said.(Updates with details on milk-buying limits)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The novel coronavirus has capsized the lives of freelancers and self-employed workers who are trying to find financial stability.
COVID-19 derails economic activities worldwide. lululemon (LULU) extends store closures in certain regions until further notice and creates a fund to help employees.
Sainsbury’s is to ease some of its shopping restrictions on the number of items customers can buy but allows only one adult per household to shop.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Donald Trump wasn’t alone in hoping everyone’s lives could get back to normal by Easter weekend.Retailers’ decisions to furlough hundreds of thousands of U.S. retail workers this week underscore that store closures are set to go on for much longer than initially anticipated. Closings in many major markets around the world will remain in place through next weekend and beyond, wreaking havoc with the prime spring shopping season.Hennes & Mauritz AB said on Friday that net sales fell by 46% in March from the year earlier. It expects a loss in its second quarter. The extended closures will now affect crucial pre-Easter shopping period, worth about $25 billion to U.S. retailers, according to GlobalData. While people may still indulge in filling their children’s baskets with chocolate eggs to create some holiday cheer in this difficult time, crackdowns on even the smallest of gatherings mean they won’t be planning big fancy meals, nor refreshing their bunny-and-chick-themed decorations. What’s more, consumers can’t take advantage of the long holiday weekend in much of Europe to start shopping for the latest trends for summer. That’s a blow because it typically kicks off the period when consumers refresh their wardrobes, home decorations and gardens for the warmer months. If temperatures soar, that can normally set non-food retailers fair for the coming quarter. From there, people’s diaries would typically be chock full with weddings, graduations and parties, plenty of reasons to update one’s wardrobe. But the novel coronavirus has radically changed all of that, eliminating pretty much any reason to dress for success. It’s estimated that half of couples planning weddings in the U.S. this year are looking to postpone them, according to data from the Wedding Report. The graduation season has been thrown into question. More than 80 U.S. colleges and universities have either canceled, postponed or been turned their 2020 commencement ceremonies into virtual gatherings. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nordstrom (@nordstrom) on Apr 2, 2020 at 5:40pm PDTThat means everything from floral dresses to pastel hued shoes may have to be offloaded. Discounting to clear unwanted stock means the crisis is likely to last well into the second quarter, and possibly beyond.There’s another reason why the impact on may be bigger than initially feared: Some online demand has evaporated. Retailers have to ensure workers processing internet orders observe strict social distancing rules. So far British online fashion group Asos Plc, which generated 13% of its sales from the U.S., has kept its warehouses in Atlanta, Berlin and the U.K. open, albeit with longer delivery times. But rival fashion chain Next Plc has stopped taking online orders while it reconfigures its distribution centers. This would be in line with its worst case scenario of the business being closed for four weeks, cutting full-year sales by 1 billion pounds ($1.2 billion).No wonder store chains have shifted to cash preservation mode. H&M said it was taking a number of initiatives, from cutting working hours to seeking rent reductions, to try to cope. In the U.S., hundreds of thousands of staff are being temporarily laid off, with chains such as Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney Co., Kohl’s Corp. and Gap Inc. halting pay for much of their workforce while preserving some benefits. The longer the hiatus in consumer spending, the more likely that some retailers and restaurants just won’t open their doors again. Others may decide to radically cut down on their brick-and-mortar locations. U.S. department stores, already grappling with the shift to online and mostly lackluster product selections, look particularly challenged.But even companies that do emerge relatively unscathed could find recovery just as demanding. Consumers who have kept their jobs will likely be eager to splash out on holiday and work attire when they’re finally able to move about freely and go back to the office, purchases they can fund with money saved during lockdown on everything from gym memberships and dining out.The question is whether any pent up demand will be enough to alleviate lost sales from those who have been temporarily laid off, or worse, made redundant. Individuals in fear of losing their jobs, or being forced to take pay cuts, are likely to save more. So consumer-facing companies need to brace themselves for a long haul. It’s going to be some time before stores reopen, and even longer before they get back to any semblance of normality.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
British supermarket group Sainsbury's said on Friday it would start to remove the customer purchasing limits it imposed as a response to increased demand during the coronavirus emergency. Limits will remain in place on the most popular items which include UHT milk, pasta and tinned tomatoes, he said.
(Bloomberg) -- Walmart Inc. has put the sale of a majority stake in its U.K. grocery chain Asda on hold to focus management’s attention on running the business amid unprecedented spikes in demand driven by the coronavirus.The world’s biggest retailer has paused the sale process, people familiar with the decision said Thursday, and there’s no timetable for talks with bidders to restart. Walmart told Asda’s leadership in recent days to concentrate on day-to-day business instead, the people said. Stockpiling by Britons lifted U.K. grocery sales to a record in March, and supermarkets around the globe have had trouble keeping everyday essentials in stock.Private-equity firms Apollo Global Management Inc., Lone Star Funds and TDR Capital each submitted first-round offers for Asda last month and had been invited to join the next round of bidding, people familiar with the process said in mid-March, just a few days after the virus reached pandemic status. A deal for Asda could value the business at more than 7 billion pounds ($8.6 billion), according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.But the recent market turmoil has hampered financing for leveraged buyouts, forcing companies to put a number of bidding processes on hold. EQT AB is deferring the sale of IFS, a software maker valued at more than 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion), while Bridgepoint is postponing the sale of Iberian agrochemical business Rovensa, Bloomberg News reported this week. Air Liquide SA’s sale of its German disinfectants unit has also been hurt after private-equity suitors’ access to financing was curbed, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.Walmart has more than 630 Asda stores in Britain, a market it entered in 1999. In recent years Asda’s market share has been eroded by German discounters Aldi and Lidl, while traditional rivals like Tesco Plc and J Sainsbury Plc have made big acquisitions to bolster their clout with suppliers.The pause in the sale process was first reported by CNBC.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Ron Johnson, who is the former CEO of J.C. Penney and architect of Apple's retail stores, gives his take on the future of department stores during coronavirus.
Nordstrom (JWN) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.
Morrisons have told staff to expect a bonus of over £1,000 as coronavirus fears made March the biggest month on record for grocery sales.
Banks are considering raising up to £3.5bn of underwritten debt to back a potential buyout of British supermarket Asda, which Walmart is close to selling, assessing appetite for a jumbo deal in light of the coronavirus pandemic, banking sources said. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has been in discussions with potential buyers Apollo, Lonestar and TD&R for some time and is set to make a decision shortly on whether they will push on and get the deal done or put the process on hold. Walmart has been looking to sell a portion of Asda after it failed to combine it with Sainsbury’s last year.
The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits last week shot to a record high for a second week in a row - topping 6 million - as more jurisdictions enforced stay-at-home measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic, which economists say has pushed the economy into recession. Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose to 6.65 million in the latest week from an unrevised 3.3 million the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday. The figures far exceeded the median estimate of 3.50 million in a Reuters survey of economists.
The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits likely shot to a record high for a second week in a row as more jurisdictions enforced stay-at-home measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic, which economists say has pushed the economy into recession. Thursday's weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department, the most timely data on the economy's health, is expected to show that claims blew past the previous week's record 3.3 million. It will likely reinforce economists' views that the longest employment boom in U.S. history probably ended in March.