“Top Billionaires in the World (Walton’s are top family, Jeff Bezos #18, HEB family #121)” at Forbes. See the List
“RadioShack to Close 1,100 Stores; Same-Store Sales Down 19% in Q4” “For full year: Total net sales and operating revenue were $3.43 billion, compared to $3.83 billion last year. Comparable store sales were down 8.8%.” Read the release
“Bold move: Walmart to Allow Public Comments on Corporate Website Blog” by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “The retailer plans to unveil a new blog on its corporate website sometime Monday (March 3), according to Chad Mitchell, senior director of digital communication at Wal-Mart. In a bold move, Wal-Mart will allow public comments on the blog site, which the retailer plans as a discovery portal for its major platforms such as veterans hiring, empowering women, manufacturing jobs, healthy food and hunger, sustainability and global responsibility.” Read more
“Kroger Said to Contact Safeway About Buying Some Assets” by David Welch at Bloomberg. “Kroger also has contacted Cerberus Capital Management LP, the private-equity firm that is the lead bidder for Safeway, about buying some stores that Cerberus may not want, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified.” Read more
“Ace Hardware Loves the Polar Vortex, Having Best Winter in More than a Decade” by AP via NPR. “Sales of shovels and snow blowers have doubled at Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware. The company is also shipping salt and other ice melters to southern regions such as Atlanta, which rarely have to deal with severe weather. Total sales are up 20 percent so far this year compared with a year ago.” Read more
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“Restoration Hardware CEO Gary Friedman’s Luxury Retail Ambitions” by Susan Berfield at Businessweek. “Other stores will be even bigger, with wine bars and restaurants, performance spaces, courtyards, and rooftop gardens. All will have free valet parking. RH says average sales could be $30 million a year per store. “No one has ever built stores like this,” Friedman says. RH has opened five so far and will eventually open 60 to 70 in North America, replacing its 62 existing ones. Friedman calls them “design galleries.” Read more
“Supreme Court to hear Amazon warehouse-pay case” by Jay Greene at Seattle Times. “The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a case in which Amazon.com warehouse workers are seeking compensation for the time they must wait to go through security screening at breaks or the end of shifts. Those lines can stretch as long as a half-hour a day during peak holiday-shopping seasons, according to the workers’ lawyer.” Read more
Home Depot: “Heard on the Call” at Raymond James Investor Conference
Ted Decker, SVP U.S. Retail Finance:
Over 10% of our online orders are actually created in the store with the consumer or pro working side-by-side with one of our associates. In addition, over 30% of all online orders are picked up in the store and about 20% (of those) coming into the store to pick up their online order buy another item to their basket while they’re at the store.
(Pros represent) about 3% of our customers, (but) over 35% of our sales.
The whole idea of a program like Pro Xtra is to build stickiness with all those customers, but most importantly those two lower groups of just under $10,000 and over $10,000. So it’s a loyalty program.
And one of the biggest things (Pros) want to know is are you in stock.