SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

April 12, 2012 08:20 ET

Big-Box Retailers Shifting Focus to "Small-Box" Stores

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Wal-Mart Stores and Target Corporation

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 12, 2012) - Big-box retail came alive in 1962 when Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Target all opened their first stores. After nearly 50 years of kicking mom and pop shops to the curb, big-box retailers' era of dominance may finally be coming to an end. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Services Sector and provides equity research on Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT).

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While big-box retailers continue to open larger stores, they are collectively shifting their focus to "small-box" stores. Best Buy Mobile stores are projected to double by 2016. Wal-Mart looks to build up to 100 "small-box" stores this year, while Target looks to open five CityTarget locations.

"The biggest challenge for big boxes is increasing consumer confidence in making online purchases," said Matt Arnold, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. in Des Peres, Missouri. "Best Buy is arguably more exposed than the Wal-Marts of the world that are heavy in the food, apparel and consumables category. In the case of consumer electronics, it comes down to price. While big-box retailers are struggling, they aren't going away," Mr. Arnold said in a recent interview. "They are shifting to smaller formats and investing in online retailing."

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The Board of Directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has approved an annual dividend of $1.59 per share, approximately a 9 percent increase from the $1.46 per share paid during fiscal year 2012. For the current fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2013, the annual dividend of $1.59 per share will be paid in four quarterly installments of $0.3975 per share.

Target Corporation reported that its net retail sales for the five weeks ended March 31, 2012 were $6,427 million, an increase of 7.9 percent from $5,955 million for the five weeks ended April 2, 2011. On this same basis, March comparable-store sales increased 7.3 percent.

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