retail news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that "activist investor Starboard Value LP has taken a stake in CVS Health Corp. and held talks with the drugstore-and-insurance giant’s management, according to people familiar with the matter.

"The stake appears to be relatively small and the people said the talks, held recently, are amicable. How much Starboard currently owns and what it has discussed with the company couldn’t be learned. But Starboard is one of the top activist-investment firms and its presence in a stock usually causes a company to sit up and take notice."

I hope that Starboard doesn't do anything to distract CVS from its long-term healthcare-centric strategy. That approach isn't necessarily going to help folks looking to make a short-term profit, but it is, I think, the best way for a company like CVS to position itself for the future.

USA Today reports that "New Jersey-based arts and crafts chain A.C. Moore will close its 145 stores, its parent company Nicole Crafts announced in a news release Monday. Up to 40 of the closing locations will become Michaels," the the nation's largest arts and crafts retailer, which also will acquire a distribution facility and Moore's intellectual property.

The story notes that "not including A.C. Moore, nearly 9,100 store closures have been announced in 2019, 55% higher than total closures in 2018, according to a recent report from global marketing research firm Coresight Research … Retailers that closed or are closing all locations in 2019 include: Payless ShoeSource, Dressbarn and Gymboree."
KC's View: