“Will Wal-Mart Sell Your Small Business Health Insurance?” by Bill Tozzi at Bloomberg Businessweek. “Will Wal-Mart Stores soon be selling health insurance to small businesses? A report published Friday in the Orlando Business Journal quoted a Wal-Mart vice president saying the world’s largest retailer was exploring plans to work with insurers to sell low-cost coverage to small businesses: “It would allow small employers to piggyback [on] Wal-Mart,” Marcus Osborne, vice president for health and wellness payer relations at Wal-Mart Stores] said. “We haven’t got it all figured out, but it’s one of the things we’re looking at.” Read more: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-16/will-wal-mart-sell-your-small-business-health-insurance
“Amazon holiday results to show sales tax impact” at Reuters. “Acting as a tax collector may have hurt Amazon.com, Inc’s holiday sales analysts and industry executives said, but they expect to know more when the internet retailer reports its fourth-quarter results on January 29. Best Buy Co., an archrival of Amazon in consumer electronics, saw holiday online sales increase in three states where Amazon started collecting sales tax ahead of the period. “There was a little softness in states where Amazon is now collecting sales tax,” said R.J. Hottovy, an equity analyst at Morningstar. “That isn’t surprising to me. It levels the playing field for brick-and-mortar retailers.” Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/17/us-amazon-salestax-idUSBRE90G0JZ20130117
“What I learned from Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer (via Leadership Atlanta)” by Jeff Hilimire at Begin the Begin.
“Rosalind talked about the six points of her leadership philosophy, which are:
* Create a clear vision for your team and inspire them to march toward it
* Live the values you want to instill in your organization. For her, these values are: Trust, Candor (frank conversations), Integrity and Respect.
* Be ready to lead. Be prepared to lead when you’re not the leader. She said that you can pick a leader out as soon as they walk into a room, even if they aren’t technically the leader. This is a point I agree with wholeheartedly.
* Lead for change. Things will always change and as a leader, you should be a catalyst for that change rather than a roadblock. “Always challenge the status quo”.
* Keep it simple and consistent. Your team should clearly understand their goals and what’s expected of them. Strive for simplicity as a leader.
* Own your mistakes. Communicate a lot, early and often, and have a plan for how to correct your mistake. Again, admitting mistakes is something I try to live by as well.”
“Amazon’s Same-Day Delivery Will Shake Up Retail” by Theodore di Stefano at E-Commerce Times. “The hard fact is that we are now pretty far down the road to an online economy. More and more people realize that Amazon’s prices are hard to beat. When they can couple Amazon’s prices with same-day delivery, would you be willing to pay a little more for that same-day delivery and stay in the comfort of your home and, with just a few clicks, order merchandise to be delivered that very day?” Read more: http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/Amazons-Same-Day-Delivery-Will-Shake-Up-Retail-76955.html
“Whole Foods CEO: Obamacare Is ‘Like Fascism’” by SyMukherjee at Think Progress Health. “In an interview with NPR, Whole Foods CEO and self-professed libertarian John Mackey revived his previous criticism of Obamacare — but this time, with a new twist: “Technically speaking, it’s more like fascism. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it, and that’s what’s happening with our healthcare programs and these reforms.” Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/01/16/1456571/whole-foods-obamacare-fascism/?mobile=nc
“Businesses Cashing in on Flu Season” by Josh Haskel at ABC News. “As Americans cope with flu symptoms, the onslaught of germaphobia and the debate over whether to get the vaccine, U.S. businesses are cashing in.We’re not just talking about medical businesses that produce the vaccine and treat the flu: everything from tissues to hand sanitizers to orange juice are flying off the shelves. Walgreens Pharmacy tells ABCNews.com that they increase their store inventories of flu-related products every flu season. “We’re seeing an increase in demand for facial tissues, sports drinks, and thermometers among other items,” said Jim Graham, senior manager of corporate communications for Walgreens.” Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Flu/businesses-cashing-flu-season/story?id=18229802
“Cramer’s Mad Money – The Dollar Store Debacle” at Seeking Alpha. “The rising payroll taxes should hit low income shoppers at these stores especially hard, and they are likely to keep tightening their belts. The dollar stores are facing increasing competition from Wal-Mart, Target and CVS Caremark. As a result, the dollar stores may have to enact dramatic discounts to compete, a strategy that will further cut into gross margins. While multiples for the sector are low, there are no catalysts to drive these companies. For those who want to invest in the discount space, Cramer recommends Five Below which has doubled since its IPO in July. Given the amount the stock has jumped, Cramer would wait for a pullback in FIVE before buying.” Read more: http://seekingalpha.com/article/1116581-cramer-s-mad-money-the-dollar-store-debacle-1-16-13
“Winter is Most Popular Season for Retail Therapy, Finds New CouponCabin.com Survey.” “26 percent of U.S. adults agree that bad weather, like cloudy, cold, and gray skies has prompted them to shop in pursuit of a better mood… Regardless of the time of year, the number of people who shop in hunt of a mood enhancement has increased. Nearly half (45 percent) of U.S. adults have shopped for retail therapy, i.e. gone shopping or purchased something solely because they were in a bad mood. This is up from 24 percent who said the same in a 2011 CouponCabin.com retail therapy survey. More women shop in search of retail therapy than men, at 53 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Women ages 18-34 were the most likely to hit the mall to improve their mood, at 63 percent. Read more: http://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6136624&access=EH
“Ahold 4Q Sales Up 7.7% Due To New Store Openings” at Automated Trader. “Dutch food retailer Royal Ahold NV said Thursday its fourth quarter sales were up 7.5% compared to a year earlier, mainly due to opening of new stores. Ahold consolidated net sales of EUR7.8 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 7.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. At constant exchange rates net sales were up 5.1%.” Read more: http://www.automatedtrader.net/real-time-dow-jones/123765/ahold-4q-sales-up-77-due-to-new-store-openings
“People Want To Get Personal With Brands — When A “Like” Is Make Or Break For A Brand’s Bottom Line.” “The initial findings from the study have shown that 80% of shoppers are digitally engaged with brands in some way. However, some consumers, termed ‘Brand Connected Consumers’ (BCCs), are more connected than others, and can have a great impact on the public opinion and the potential sales of a brand…Although the majority of posts are positive, when BCCs do post a negative comment, it goes unanswered by brands more than half (56%) of the time. Seven in ten shoppers report that they stop buying the brand in these cases.” Read more: http://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6138795&access=EH