πŸ› TJ Max beats retail-apocalyse

Thursday, February 27, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
_When you hit TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods all in the same day_

When you hit TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods all in the same day

Yesterday’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
26,958 (-0.46%)
S&P 500
3,116 (-0.38%)
Nasdaq
8,981 (+0.17%)
Bitcoin
$8,808 (-5.94%)
10-Yr US Treasury
1.335%

Hey Snackers,

The GIF vs. JIF debate is finally over: peanut butter legend Jif is releasing a GIF peanut butter with a hefty serving of "HARD g pronunciation." In case it wasn't clear enough, it's labeled as "animated looping images." Hats off to marketing.

Stock indexes continued their dip as the White House started discussing coronavirus defense measures at home.

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1. TJ Maxx crushes sales by offering America "affordable splurge" vibes

Coming in hot off the rack... Discount retail giant TJX is the company behind TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Homegoods (the "treat-yo-self-without-going-broke" trifecta). It reported expectations-shattering sales growth, sending its stock up 7% to a record high. We'll discount the details for you:

  • TJX: Quarterly same-store sales popped 6% from last year with $985M in profit. TJX has opened ~1,100 stores over the past 5 years and its market value is a whopping (and surprising) $77B (that's 7 Lyfts) β€” for reference, Macy's is $4B. On that note...
  • Retail peers didn't fare as well: Burlington's sales (you know, the Coat Factory) grew a measly 0.6% last quarter while Macy's dipped 0.5%. Meanwhile, JCPenney hasn't posted a gain since 2017, and last month announced it was closing 6 more stores. Oh, and JCP's stock costs less than $1.

It's beating the retail-apocalypse... With brick-and-mortar retail stores closing all over, TJX stands apart from the rest. Part of its success is in creating the "treasure hunt shopping experience" β€” nothing beats finding a $40 Michael Kors purse in a heap of sweaters.

THE TAKEAWAY

TJX is all about embracing the "affordable splurge"... The bargain-reputation is TJX's bread and butter β€” it's not trying to hide its love of price-slashing. TJX's CEO: "What once, maybe, wasn't as cool to give a T.J. Maxx or Marshalls bag has now become very cool." Okay, very cool might be an overstatement, but... you get it. As economic inequality rises, Americans are turning to TJX for brand names, at a discount.

Ride

If you want it, let's do it... Pony.ai is a self-driving car startup that claims to be based in both Silicon Valley and Guangzhou, China β€” and it just got a $400M investment from the world's largest car maker, Toyota. Now Pony's riding high at a $3B valuation. Pony has been testing the robotaxi life since 2018, and is now one of China's leading self-driving car companies (along with Baidu and WeRide). Pony and Toyota's AI love story:

  • Pony has been testing robotaxis since 2018 and first partnered with Toyota in 2019.
  • $400M later, Pony's relationship with Toyota is closer than ever β€” they're going to be co-developing their autonomous tech.

Toyota has been kinda secretive... about its self-driving car projects β€” but its investment in Pony suggests things are getting serious. FYI, it's not an exclusive relationship: in 2018 and 2019, Toyota poured around $1B into a similar project with Uber. Toyota's status quo is Priuses, Corollas, and Camrys β€” so it needs other companies' AI tech to future-proof its vehicles. Because...

THE TAKEAWAY

Getting ahead of the curve is key... Self-driving cars could be the future, and no company wants to miss out on the future β€” especially the world's most profitable car company. Instead of wasting time trying to develop its own robocar tech, Toyota (and several other carmakers) are investing big in existing startups:

  • Ford: Invested $1B in self-driving tech startup Argo AI and acquired mobile robotics company Quantum Signal.
  • GM: Purchased Cruise Automation for over $1B back in 2016, and it's reportedly worth over $19B now, with Honda and Softbank as co-investors.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Sobering: Liquor legend Diageo believes it could make $258M less profit this year because of Coronavirus' havoc on its Asian business
  • Cheesier: Chipotle started a buzz with carne asada β€” now it's introducing a fancy new 13-ingredient queso: "Queso Blanco"
  • Bye-er: Bayer's chairman will step down in the middle of the Roundup herbicide legal fiasco β€” the company's got thousands of ongoing lawsuits after its disastrous Monsanto acquisition
  • Grounded: Delta temporarily cuts flight to South Korea as coronavirus cases in the country rise over 1,260
  • Lift: Fitness startup Tempo raised $17M to be the Peloton of barbells β€” you won't need a spotter, but the screen will run you $2K

Snacks Daily Podcast

Outdoor Voices changed the game in athleisure (made you want to wear it to work) β€” Now its iconic CEO is stepping down.

Our daily podcast is looking at why Lululemon's thriving, but Outdoor Voices is struggling in athleisure's epic era.

⬇️ Click below to listen ⬇️

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Snack Fact of the Day

Seattle tech workers earn 56% more than NYC finance workers β€” they make an average $5,367/week, while NYC's financial employees average $3,437/week

Thursday

Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Lululemon and Beyond Meat

ID: 1102648