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Dick’s Sporting Goods picks President Lauren Hobart as CEO, sees sales surge as consumers buy fitness gear

Dick’s Sporting Goods said Lauren Hobart will succeed Ed Stack as chief executive on Feb. 1….

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Dick’s Sporting Goods on Tuesday announced its current president, Lauren Hobart, will succeed Ed Stack as chief executive on Feb. 1.

Stack, 65, will transition to executive chairman and remain chief merchant, the company said. He took over the business from his dad, Dick Stack, in 1984, at age 29. He took the company public in 2002.

“This is the perfect time for this transition,” the outgoing CEO said in a statement. “We have the best management team in the company’s history, and the investments we have made in our people, our stores, and our communities are paying off.”

The announcement comes as Dick’s Sporting Goods continues to reap the benefits of consumers buying more workout gear, sporting goods and outdoor equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. Its e-commerce sales surged 95% during the third quarter, and it reported record quarterly same-store sales growth of more than 23%. The company also cited strength in the golf category.

Its shares were up 1.5% in premarket trading.

Here’s how Dick’s Sporting Goods did during its fiscal third quarter of 2020, compared with what analysts were expecting, based on Refinitiv data:

  • Earnings per share: $2.01 adjusted vs. $1.01 expected
  • Revenue: $2.41 billion vs. $2.23 billion expected
  • Same-store sales: Up 23.2% vs. growth of 14.1% expected by StreetAccount

For the quarter ended Oct. 31, Dick’s Sporting Goods’ net income grew to $177.2 million, or $1.84 a share, from $57.6 million, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time charges, the company earned $2.01 per share, better than the $1.01 expected by analysts.

Net sales climbed roughly 23% to $2.41 billion from $1.96 billion a year earlier, better than the $2.23 billion forecast by analysts.

The company said it is not offering an outlook for the remainder of the year due to the uncertainty stemming from the pandemic.

However, the company noted that, so far, “the favorable trends in our business have continued” into the fourth quarter. Through the first three weeks of the holiday quarter, it said same-store sales are up a high-teens percentage.

Dick’s Sporting Goods announced its current president, Lauren Hobart, is set to succeed Ed Stack as chief executive on Feb. 1, 2021.

Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods

Like other retailers, the company has seen its costs boosted by the pandemic. In the latest period, it incurred $48 million in costs for safety measures and additional employee compensation.

The focus for Dick’s Sporting Goods during the pandemic has been on driving sales online and encouraging shoppers to use its in-store pickup option for e-commerce purchases. During the third quarter, the company said its online sales accounted for about 21% of total net sales, up from 13% a year earlier.

Retailers are also getting better at using their stores and stock rooms to help fulfill online orders. Dick’s said its stores fulfilled about 70% of its digital purchases during the quarter.

These efforts and investments should continue as the 52-year-oldf Hobart takes the reins in early 2021.

Following stints at PepsiCo, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan, Hobart joined Dick’s in February 2011 as senior vice president and chief marketing officer, where she played a key role in helping develop and launch one of the retailer’s top private labels, CALIA by Carrie Underwood. In 2015, she was promoted to executive vice president and CMO, and then chief customer and digital officer. She was named president in May 2017, and has served on the board since January 2018.

Hobart also earlier this year joined the board of Yum Brands.

Hobart has made the women’s athletic apparel and footwear market a bigger focus at Dick’s Sporting Goods, helping to drive the launch of additional private labels. She has helped Dick’s refocus its strategy to compete against Amazon and Walmart, as a number of its sporting goods rivals — such as Sports Authority, Sport Chalet and City Sports — have filed for bankruptcy and shuttered stores in recent years.

She has helped the company refocus its inventories on key categories like youth sports, improve customer service and add in-store experiences like batting cages, to offer shoppers something they cannot find on the internet.

As of Monday’s market close, Dick’s Sporting Goods shares are up more than 18% this year, giving the company a market cap of about $5.2 billion.

Find the full press release from Dick’s Sporting Goods here.

Its shares were up 1.5% in premarket trading.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/24/dicks-sporting-goods-dks-names-new-ceo-announces-q3-2020-earnings.html

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Entrepreneur

The Unbearably High Price of ‘Free’

Using the word ‘free’ in your marketing is a quick way to get attention, but it’s also a double-edged sword that has tripped up a lot of businesses.

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Using the word ‘free’ in your marketing is a quick way to get attention, but it’s also a double-edged sword that has tripped up a lot of businesses.

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June 13, 2021 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the most powerful words in the English language is the term “free.” Do any of these phrases sound familiar?

  • “Buy one get one free.”
  • “Get a free gift with purchase, valued at $499.”
  • “Get a free eye examination.”
  • “Try our membership for FREE.”
  • “Get FREE delivery”

It seems like just about every company uses some kind of “free offer” in their marketing. So why is the term “free” used so liberally?

Because, frankly, it works — by appealing to our basic human emotion of greed.

The word “free” has appeared in more advertisements than there are grains of sand on a beach. And it goes way back to the genesis of advertising when giving free samples was the best (and only) new way to get customers. So what makes “free” work so well?”

Free gets attention. It makes people feel like they are getting a great deal. On a subconscious level, it works in reverse, too — you feel like you’re missing out if you don’t take advantage of something for free.

But using the word “free” in your marketing can be a double-edged sword, especially if you don’t use it correctly.

Related content: The 5 Triggers of Psychological Pricing

Is there a wrong way to use the term “free” in your marketing?

Absolutely. There are thousands of ways that using the term “free” in your marketing can trip you up, reduce your product or service value, and do irreparable damage to your brand.

Let me give you a real example. One of our clients was in the business of producing extremely high-end Italian-made leather shoes and bags for men. Their most famous pair of boots retailed for $3,500. Their most popular bag, a messenger-style laptop bag, retailed for $950. The company’s previous marketing agency advised them that the best way to double their boot sales would be to offer the messenger bag for free.

As far as irresistible offers go, that’s a pretty good one, and it did in fact, increase sales of the boots — in the short term. But it was a strategic disaster in the long term because now they had conditioned their clients to expect the messenger bag for free.

In other words, by offering it for free, they had completely devalued that product (remember it was the company’s top-selling bag.) Even worse, by offering something of high perceived value for free, they had also damaged their own luxury brand. Why would people ever pay full price again?

The good news is that people have a short attention span, and with the right strategic pivot and messaging, you can erase the damage of using “free.” But it takes time.

The same dangers apply when you start using discounts in your business. If you discount your products, why would people ever pay full price? They just wait for them to go on sale. When our Italian client came to us, they had a branding and sales disaster on their hands through no fault of their own. Fortunately, we were able to get them out of their pickle by repositioning their products and reinventing their brand — a move that resulted in them being purchased eighteen months later by a competitor.

Moral of the story: Using a free offer can be a slippery slope and must be used sparingly and carefully.

Related: The Price Is Right: How to Price Your Product for Long-Term Success

Before using “free” in your business, ask yourself:

  • Does this have a real value that we depend on for revenue?
  • By offering this item or service for free, will this adversely impact another related service or product (for example, if you offer the first consult for free, and expect to be paid for all future consults)?
  • Why are we considering offering something for free? What else could we offer that would help us achieve the same result?
  • What if it’s not your business using “free”, but your competitors?

    Now, if you’re on the other side of the fence and your competitor is offering something for free that you are charging for, it’s time to put your marketing into high gear.

    Just because there is no money exchanged doesn’t mean that it’s not paid for in other ways — for example, in lost time, huge frustration or poor quality.

    Think of the experience and quality of “free” healthcare versus a private plan. Draw these analogies in your marketing to establish your value in the minds of your clients.

    “Free” is still a mighty word used to grab attention in marketing. But handle with extreme caution, and don’t be lured into using it to stimulate short-term sales at the expense of long-term growth.

    Related: 3 Lessons About Setting Your Price Learned From a Vegas Prostitute

    It seems like just about every company uses some kind of “free offer” in their marketing. So why is the term “free” used so liberally?

    Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/-ft2fOOD5wI/372155

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    CNBC

    RH beats earnings, hikes outlook as retail rebound boosts high-end home goods; shares jump

    Shares of the high-end furniture retailer surged Wednesday after the company beat analysts’ profit and sales estimates for the fiscal first quarter.

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    Jason Kempin | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

    Shares of the high-end furniture retailer RH surged in extended trading Wednesday after the company beat analysts’ profit and sales estimates for the fiscal first quarter.

    RH also hiked its full-year outlook, building on the momentum it’s seeing in the luxury home category, and gave a stronger-than-expected sales forecast for the second quarter.

    In a letter to shareholders, Chief Executive Officer Gary Friedman said the remainder of this year “will surely be a tale of two halves” for the retail industry. But he said that “the un-masking of the general public could lead to a Roaring Twenties type of consumer exuberance.”

    The company’s stock was last up more than 7%.

    Here’s how RH did in the quarter ended May 1 compared with what analysts were anticipating, using Refinitiv estimates:

    • Earnings per share: $4.89 adjusted vs. $4.10 expected
    • Revenue: $861 million vs. $758 million expected

    RH’s net income for the fiscal first quarter grew to $130.7 million, or $4.19 per share, compared with a loss of $3.2 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time adjustments, it earned $4.89 per share, topping expectations for $4.10.

    Revenue surged 78% to $861 million from $483 million a year earlier. That also beat expectations for $758 million.

    Friedman said that a strong housing and renovation market, a record stock market, low interest rates, and the reopening of the U.S. economy all bode well for the company in the quarters ahead.

    RH hiked its fiscal 2021 outlook for revenue growth to a range of 25% to 30%, compared with a prior range of 15% to 20%. Analysts had been looking for a 19.7% increase year over year.

    For its fiscal second quarter, RH expects revenue to grow 35% to 37%. Analysts had been looking for a 27.2% jump.

    The company is preparing to kick off its global expansion in the spring of 2022, starting with England. To drive future growth, it is also considering expanding into new services, potentially into areas such as landscape architecture. It currently offers interior design consulting.

    RH shares are up roughly 37% year to date. The company has a market cap of about $13 billion.

    Find the full earnings press release from RH here.

    Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/09/rh-earnings-q1-2021.html

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    Techcrunch

    Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin auctions off seat on first human spaceflight for $28M – TechCrunch

    Blue Origin has its winning bidder for its first ever human spaceflight, and the winner will pay $28 million for the privilege of flying aboard the company’s debut private astronaut mission. The winning bid came in today during a live auction, which saw 7,600 registered bidders, from 159 countries compete for the spot. This was […]

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    Blue Origin has its winning bidder for its first ever human spaceflight, and the winner will pay $28 million for the privilege of flying aboard the company’s debut private astronaut mission. The winning bid came in today during a live auction, which saw 7,600 registered bidders, from 159 countries compete for the spot.

    This was the culmination of Blue Origin’s three part bidding process for the ticket, which included a blind auction first, followed by an open, asynchronous auction with the highest bid posted to the company’s website whenever it changed. This last live auction greatly ramped up the value of the winning bid, which was at just under $5 million prior to the event.

    This first seat up for sale went for a lot more than what an actual, commercial spot is likely to cost on Blue Origin’s New Shepard capsule, which flies to suborbital space and only spends a few minutes there before returning to Earth. Estimates put the cost of a typical launch at someone under $1 million, likely closer to $500,000 or so. But this is the first, which is obviously a special distinction, and it’s also a trip that will allow the winning bidder to pretty much literally rub elbows with Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, who is going to be on the flight as well, along with his brother Mark, and a fourth passenger that Blue Origin says it will be announcing sometime in the coming “weeks,” ahead of the July 20 target flight date.

    As for who won the auction, we’ll also have to wait to find that out, since the winner’s identity is also going to be “released in the weeks following” the end of today’s live bidding. And in case you thought that $28 million might represent a big revenue windfall for Blue Origin, which has spent years developing its human spaceflight capability, think again: The company is donating it to its Club for the Future non-profit foundation, which is focused on encouraging kids to pursue careers in STEM in a long-term bid to help Bezos’ larger goals of making humanity a spacefaring civilization.

    You can re-watch the entire live bidding portion of the auction via the stream below.

    As for who won the auction, we’ll also have to wait to find that out, since the winner’s identity is also going to be “released in the weeks following” the end of today’s live bidding. And in case you thought that $28 million might represent a big revenue windfall for Blue Origin, which has spent years developing its human spaceflight capability, think again: The company is donating it to its Club for the Future non-profit foundation, which is focused on encouraging kids to pursue careers in STEM in a long-term bid to help Bezos’ larger goals of making humanity a spacefaring civilization.

    Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/12/jeff-bezos-blue-origin-auctions-off-seat-on-first-human-spaceflight-for-28m/

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