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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On January 18, 2022, it was reported, Kohl's Corp. is once again feeling pressure from activist hedge fund Macellum Advisors. The investor, which has a roughly 5% stake in Kohl's, said the retailer should explore strategic options, including a sale, if it does not improve its business to boost its stock price. The move comes about 10 months after Kohl's reached a deal with a group of activist investors that included Macellum to add two of the group's nominees to its board as independent directors. Macellum sent an open letter on Tuesday to Kohl's shareholders in which it noted that the retailer's stock price has declined approximately 22% since reaching the deal for the two nominees in April 202. It said that the company has spent another year "materially mismanaging the business and failing to implement necessary operational, financial and strategic improvements." In its letter, Macellum also said that Kohl's has produced "some of the worst revenue numbers in its retail peer group since the economy began reopening in 2021," and that it failed to grow 2021 revenue versus. 2019 levels. Although the company's profits are up in recent quarters, but they have "dramatically trailed the average of its retail peer group," Macellum stated. "Given this underperformance, it is clear to us that the current board and management team do not understand the competitive dynamics in retail today," Macellum stated. "We contend they can no longer be allowed to oversee the degradation of this valuable brand and high-potential business."
    • On January 11, 2022, it was reported, detailing its long term ambitions, discounter Big Lots said that it could open 500 net stores, or more, in the coming years. The retailer plans to add more than 50 net new stores in 2022 and more than 80 per year after that, according to an investor presentation. The openings, together with initiatives to boost merchandise sales productivity and grow e-commerce, are aimed at bringing the retailer's sales to $8 billion to $10 billion in the long term.
    • On January 10, 2022, it was reported, after confidentially filing draft documents in September, Mattress Firm announced it filed papers for an initial public offering. The initial offering is for $100 million, which is recorded for filing purposes only and could change, according to the prospectus. The company will list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol "MFRM." The retailer in fiscal year 2021 recorded net revenues of $4.4 billion, up 35% from the prior year, while its comparable sales increased 36.1% year over year. But the company isn't profitable: In its latest fiscal year, Mattress Firm reported a net loss of $165.1 million, from an income of $125.6 million the year prior, according to the documents. As of Sept. 28, Mattress Firm's total liabilities and net long-term debt were $3.5 billion, and $1.2 billion, respectively.
    • On January 06, 2022, it was reported, Comps fell in all five of Bed Bath & Beyond's destination categories, with the biggest year-over-year declines in bath, bedding and decor. Comparable store sales under the Bed Bath & Beyond banner were down 13% in the five categories combined vs. last year's third quarter and down 3% compared to 2019. Consolidated comp from the other categories declined 4% vs. last year and fell 10% vs. 2019. The company said lack of replenishment inventory and other supply chain issues resulted in approximately $100 million in lost sales over the quarter, and the problem was especially acute in December. President and Mark Tritton told analysts during this morning's quarterly conference call that operational issues weren't the only factor hampering sales. Vendors for Bed Bath & Beyond's print circular a key trip driver for store visits ran into problems with paper supply, labor and timely distribution. "If anything has remained constant since I first joined this company, it is the reminder that we are executing a full-scale transformation and simultaneously running a business in a highly unpredictable environment," he said. Tritton added: "That said, as aspects of our third quarter results demonstrated, we are diagnosing issues, implementing solutions and delivering on the long-term structural transformation quarter by quarter to ensure sustainability for our three-year goals." For the third quarter, ended Nov. 27, total net sales tumbled 28% to $1.88 billion. That figure included a 14% related to divestitures of non-core retail operations such as Cost Plus World Market as well as a 14% sales declined at ongoing nameplates from the impact of store closures. Total company comp sales were down 7% compared to the