Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Retail sales rose 1.3% in April according to the Commerce Department, trouncing forecasts. The rise in sales was the biggest in a year. Retail sales fell 0.3% in March, and last month’s rebound reflected a jump in auto sales and slightly higher gas prices. Among retailers reporting monthly comp-store sales, L Brands was up 1.0%, Gap was down 7.0%, and Costco sales were flat. See our sales reports BELOW...A US District Court Judge in the District of Columbia granted the Federal Trade Commission’s request for an injunction against the $6.3 billion merger of Staples and Office Depot. Staples will terminate the proposed merger as a result, and pay Office Depot a $250 million break-up fee. Staples also will scrap an agreement to sell more than $550 million in corporate contract business and related assets to Essendant in connection with the Office Depot deal... Sports Authority will close all of its 450 stores by Memorial Day after seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in March, but notified a US Bankruptcy Court last month that it could not reorganize and would instead focus on selling the firm. A group of liquidators that includes Gordon Brothers has reportedly acquired the assets of the company. An auction for the retailer’s store leases will be held at a later date. Sports Authority reportedly has more than $1.1 billion in debt.

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