28 December 2017: SPAR

Some shops are deemed to vanish, but some others appear to have a second breath. Yesterday, we discussed the case of the department store. Today, we will address the small supermarket. Until a decade ago, the small supermarket was having a very hard time to compete against its larger brothers. In those days, assortment and price were the factors that mattered most to the majority of customers.
In the Netherlands and in many other European countries, many small supermarkets are part of the SPAR brand. At the end of the last decade, SPAR was in dire straits. Many SPAR supermarkets tried to be like their bigger rivals, but with a failing number of goods and unattractive prices. In the last nine year, CEO Sjaak Kranendonk has changed that. He noticed that a change in the shopping behavior of many consumers could make SPAR very relevant again. To Kranendonk, it all boils down to this question: “Do you know where and with whom you are going to have dinner tonight?” If the answer is ‘no’, you are a potential customer of a SPAR supermarket. And in this situation, it is not the size of the supermarket or the price of the goods that matter, but the location of the supermarket and type of goods that are on sale. Think downtown, think ready meals, think SPAR.

white-chapel-logo-smallVolume was low in US stock markets yesterday. The major stock indices booked slight gains. Stocks are on track to close out December with yet another positive month. If that is the case, they will be making history: it will  be the first time global stocks have risen in every month of a calendar year. The Dow added 0.11% yesterday, the S&P 500 0.08% and the NASDAQ 0.04%. Volatility rose slightly and is coming off the low levels it had been on for almost two weeks. The VIX closed at 10.47 points (+2%). UVXY ETFs followed suit and closed more than 1% higher. XIV ETNs lost almost 1%.
Danny Daredevil is trying to move away from the danger zone. His RSS rose to 1.5%. Adventurous Anny is holding cash. Her RSS remained at 23%. Solid Suzy and Lazy Larry had to take a small loss. Their RSS dropped to exactly 101%.
None of our models gave a trading signal at the end of yesterday’s session.

Model Holds Start date

RSS

YTD

QTD

AAR

Danny Daredevil UVXY 1 January 2016

1.49%

-74.82%

-27.15%

1%

Adventurous Anny Cash 6 March 2017

22.91%

22.91%

13.28%

29%

Solid Suzy XIV 6 March 2017

101.00%

101.00%

37.41%

136%

Lazy Larry
XIV 6 March 2017XIV

101.00%

101.00%

37.41%

136%

RSS = Return Since Start | YTD = Year-To-Date | QTD = Quarter-To-Date | AAR = Average Annual Return

 

RS_v05-small

In the eighteen months of its existence, Breda-based lunchroom Sunshine Lunch & Lounge somehow stayed under René’s radar. He must have passed the place dozens of times without noticing it. Until today.
Once inside, it appeared not to be the ‘thirteen in a dozen’ type of lunchroom, serving the nth interpretation of Broodje Gezond, but quite, quite different in the best possible way. While looking at the lunch menu with a surprisingly rich selection of fair trade drinks and world-inspired dishes, René was confronted with a moment of choice overload. What to choose: Italian grilled Piadina with Italian ham, cheese, vegetables and sardines? Or the Sandwich Scandinavian (Norwegian and Swedish) cheese with organic blueberry jam? Before choice paralysis could set in, René chose the Scandinavian Sandwich. A choice he didn’t regret. Next time René and Tim meet in Breda, this will be the place.