Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/31/13: Amazon’s growth looks like Walmart’s; Costco in Australia


“Tupperware CEO: Our Products Are Just Too Classy For America’s “Walmart Market”” by Mary Beth Quirk at The Consumerist.  “You think you’re doing Tupperware a favor by sloshing your leftover peasant fare into its plastic receptacles? Ha! Far from it. The company’s CEO says the plastic containers are just too classy to really hit it off with American consumers, since it’s a “high-quality product and a brand” and we’re just part of the “Walmart market.” Oh, okay.”  Read more:  https://consumerist.com/2013/01/30/tupperware-ceo-our-products-are-just-too-classy-for-americas-walmart-market/


“Target’s Pending Arrival Fuels Canadian Retail Battle” by Matthew Rocco at Fox Business.  “Competition among Canada’s retailers is becoming more fierce with an upcoming invasion by Target, a move that has pushed other chains like Wal-Mart Stores to bolster operations there.  Target first detailed its plans to open Canadian stores in 2011, when the Minnesota-based retailer bought more than 200 Zellers stores. The first Canadian stores donning the familiar red logo will be ready for business in March, with a total of 125 to 135 of the old Zellers stores to be remodeled and opened in 2013 and 2014.  Target is in a unique position for a company expanding beyond its domestic stores. Cross-border shopping, a popular excursion for Canadians looking for better deals, has made Target a familiar brand. According to an internal survey conducted in March 2012, 92% of respondents said they already knew about Target.”  Read more: https://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2013/01/29/targets-pending-arrival-fuels-canadian-retail-battle/#ixzz2JYGFWfCK


“Amazon’s Growth Looks Like Walmart in the 1990s — But Even Better” by Marcus Wohlsen at Wired.  “…But Apple might not be the right behemoth to use as a benchmark for Amazon’s recent performance. In 1994, Walmart’s net sales topped $60 billion for the first time, the neighborhood that Amazon’s playing in today. A decade later, Walmart’s sales had nearly quadrupled to $256 billion. Last year, Walmart’s sales clocked in at just south of $444 billion.  Amazon may or may not continue to climb its own trajectory toward a half-trillion. But at its current flattening growth rate, Walmart may not get there for years. In the meantime, Amazon’s curve looks like Walmart’s in the 1990s, the decade Walmart pulled away from the competition to become a singular force.”  Read more:  https://www.wired.com/business/2013/01/amazons-walmart-like-growth/


“Trader Joe’s store coming to Tulsa but just for one afternoon” by Chris Cordt at KRMG-Tulsa.  “Paschal says the process is simple. You place an order on TYPro’s web site, pay for it then A TYPros crew will make the drive to Kansas City to purchase everything.  On February 16th between 4-8pm, TYPros will create a pop up store in Downtown Tulsa at 11 E Brady St for you to pick up your deliveries.  TYPros isn’t alone. There’s also a ‘Petition to Bring Trader Joes to Tulsa’ Facebook group with more than 3,100 likes.  Read more:  https://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/trader-joes-store-coming-tulsa-just-one-afternoon/nWBFQ/


“Australian Costco gets $50 million boost and turns its first profit” by Patrick Stafford at Property Observer.  “Big-box retailing is in full swing in Australia, with the local arm of bulk buying group Costco receiving yet another $50 million from its parent company in order to fund further expansion after reporting its first profit.  The move comes as the bulk buying industry continues to expand in Australia, with Costco planning an expansion which will bring multiple stores in capital cities across the country. The business received $140 million in 2012 to help open new stores.”  Read more:  https://www.propertyobserver.com.au/retail/australian-costco-gets-$50-million-boost-and-turns-its-first-profit/2013013059048 


“Target CIO Beth Jacob talks technology” by John Vomhof Jr. at Minneapolis-St.Paul Business Journal (Video & Text).  “Although she doesn’t go into a lot of detail about specific technology initiatives at Target, Jacob does touch on range of topics, including how the company is increasing tech investments, adding more tech talent, and expanding its partnerships with firms like Facebook, IBM and AT&T.  She also mentions that the retailer recently opened a small office in San Francisco, something I touched on in my October article.”  Read more:  https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2013/01/30/target-cio-beth-jacob-talks-technology.html


“WSU prof saves Kroger more than $170 million” by Meagan Pant at Dayton Daily News.  ““You don’t know day-to-day exactly the number of or particular medicines people will need,” Zhang said. “Although there might be some patterns, like during cold season, demand is never certain.”  When Zhang learned of the problem, he knew the model, which uses mathematical calculations, could have a huge impact. “But I wasn’t expecting this much,” he said.  Using the system, Kroger, which has 1,950 pharmacy locations, has been able to reduce out-of-stock prescriptions by 1.5 million, lower inventory by more than $100 million and yield additional revenue of more than $70 million since October 2011, according to the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, which gives the Franz Edelman Award.  Zhang said the same ideas could be applied to stocking fresh produce or general retail and in manufacturing.”  Read more:  https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/business/wsu-prof-saves-kroger-more-than-170-million/nWBL2/


“How One Entrepreneur Turned A Blog Into A Budding Fashion Empire” by Ashley Lutz at Business Insider.  “Shauna Miller started a fashion blog in 2010 with a simple mission: to make women feel good about their discount attire.  Just over two years later, she’s a fashion designer with an upcoming line at Walmart, the world’s largest retailer.  On her blog, Penny Chic, Miller put together fashionable looks she had put together from shopping at Walmart, Forever 21 and JCPenney.”  Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/penny-chics-shauna-miller-gets-walmart-line-2013-1#ixzz2JYKARl1C


“Wal-Mart opposing D.C.’s big box living wage bill” by Michael Niebauer at Washington Business Journal.  “The bill requires that all retailers larger 75,000 square feet, and whose parent company earns at least $1 billion a year, pay their employees a minimum wage of at least $11.75 an hour and provide them with health benefits. The legislative provisions do not apply if there is a collective bargaining agreement in place between a store and its employees…While the measure does not target a specific retailer, it is clearly aimed at Wal-Mart, which plans to open six D.C. stores over the next half decade. Other big box stores that may be affected include Target, Home Depot, Costco and Lowe’s. The bill does not appear to grandfather in existing stores.”  Read more: https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2013/01/wal-mart-opposing-dcs-big-box.html?page=all


“UK Walmart Ad Showing Moms Doing Housework Cleared Of Sexism Charges” by Mark Sweney at The Guardian (Video & Text).  “The U.K.’s advertising watchdog has cleared Asda’s festive TV campaign featuring an exhausted mother doing all the work to make Christmas a success, despite more than 600 complaints it was offensive and sexist…The TV ad showed a harassed mother swamped with festive preparations: shopping, cooking, cleaning, writing cards, wrapping presents and making beds.”  Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/uk-walmart-ad-showing-moms-doing-housework-at-christmas-cleared-of-sexism-charges-2013-1#ixzz2JYQo8GQf


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Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/30/13: Apple trademarks its stores; Amazon sales jump


“Amazon.com Announces Fourth Quarter Sales up 22% to $21.27 Billion”  “Net sales increased 22% to $21.27 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $17.43 billion in fourth quarter 2011. Excluding the $178 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales grew 23% compared with fourth quarter 2011.  Operating income increased 56% to $405 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $260 million in fourth quarter 2011. The favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter on operating income was $2 million.”  Read more:  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20130129006591&div=-1245645151


“Walmart, Target Among Chains Saying No to Credit-Card Use Fees for Now” at Ecredit Daily.  “For now, U.S. consumers don’t have to worry about the big retail chains adding a surcharge for credit card purchases, despite a settlement with Visa, MasterCard and the banks that allow them to do so.  Whether small businesses will opt to charge customers extra for using credit cards is uncertain, although all retailers are required to post signs explaining the new policy if they do.  The so-called “checkout fee” option became effective Sunday, for either in-store or online credit card purchases.”  Read more:  https://ecreditdaily.com/2013/01/walmart-target-big-chains-credit-card-checkout-fees/


“Apple trademarks the ‘distinctive design’ of its stores” by Reena Jana at Smart Planet.  “Last week, Apple officially registered a trademark for its Apple Store interior layouts — as seen in its typical mall configurations — with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The descriptions on the registered trademark certificate (available online at Patently Apple), illustrate the elegant simplicity of the retail environments:  “The store features a clear glass storefront…rectangular recessed lighting units traverse the length of the store’s ceiling…rectangular tables are arranged in a line in the middle of the store parallel to the walls…there is multi-tiered shelving along the side walls, and a [sic] oblong table with stools located at the back of the store…”  Read more:  https://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/apple-trademarks-the-8216distinctive-design-of-its-stores/11460


“Students study Target’s supply chain” by Madison Martin at Iowa State Daily.  “Students in the College of Business have been presented with an opportunity to follow through Target Corporation’s supply chain.  The tour will primarily take place over spring break.  Supply Chain Management 428 is a course offered that covers special topics. This semester, Supply Chain Management 428 is taught by Scott Grawe, an assistant professor in supply chain and information systems. Grawe used to work for Target as well managing domestic international logistics.  “I asked Target, ‘Can we design something where we take students backwards through the supply chain.’ Target is not doing a lot with it other than the fact that we’re looking at their supply chain, and they’re going to help give us access to the ports, to the suppliers, to the store, the distribution center,” Grawe said.  Read more:  https://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/article_b084337a-6989-11e2-b4c7-001a4bcf887a.html


“Walmart to open smaller “Express” stores around Johnston County (North Carolina)” by Derek Quizon at Smithfield Herald.  “The small-store concept – known as Wal-Mart Express – offers about 15,000 items, down from the roughly 100,000 items available in Wal-Mart Supercenters. They typically range from 12,000 to 15,000 square feet and include a pharmacy, although Wertz said the stores are “more grocery-oriented.”…Wertz said Wal-Mart is opening Express stores in two very different types of markets. The first is urban neighborhoods where real estate is at a premium. The other target is rural communities that can’t support larger stores.”  Read more:  https://www.theherald-nc.com/2013/01/29/25954/walmart-to-open-smaller-express.html


“An Interview with Amazon Webstore’s Scott Pulsipher, Part One” by Ina Steiner at EcommerceBytes.  “Amazon Webstore is becoming better known among online sellers who use it to set up their own ecommerce-enabled stores, using Amazon technology. Scott Pulsipher, General Manager of Amazon Webstore, explains in this exclusive interview with EcommerceBytes how online merchants are using Webstore to design, build and manage multichannel ecommerce websites and integrate with Amazon’s other ecommerce offerings, including Amazon Checkout payment processing and Fulfillment By Amazon.”  Read more:  https://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y13/m01/i28/s01


“Retailers Must Differentiate from Restaurants, says Technomic”  “At the height of the economic downturn, many consumers flocked to supermarkets, mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs and other retailers, looking for a deal on prepared foods. But now that the economy is recovering from the recession, some consumers are purchasing retailer meal solutions (RMS) less often than they did just two years ago; in fact, 38 percent of today’s consumers say that they purchase RMS from traditional supermarkets each week—compared to 42 percent who said the same in 2010.  “These consumers may be reversing the patterns they set a couple of years ago by heading back to restaurants,” says Darren Tristano, Vice President of Technomic.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6208656&access=EH


“Ahold USA Appoints Mark McGowan As EVP Of Merchandising” at Food and Beverage People.  “Ahold USA announced that Mark McGowan has been appointed to the position of Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Ahold USA, effective January 24. In this role, which will be based in Carlisle, McGowan will report directly to James McCann, Chief Operating Officer, and will focus on leading a merchandising team that supports Ahold USA and its four Divisions, Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, Giant Landover and Giant Carlisle.”  Read more:  https://www.foodandbeveragepeople.com/cm/story/ahold_usa_appoints_mark_mcgowan_evp_merchandising


“Loveland entrepreneurs put (drywall patch) product on the market” by Craig Young at Reporter-Herald.  “…When Sward said he’d thought of a way to match the texture on a small drywall patch to the “knockdown” texture of the rest of the wall, “I kind of laughed about it at first,” Shoup said.  But the two started thinking through how they could make the idea work. Sward built a prototype, and the two patented it.  The conventional way for homeowners and contractors to match the texture involves a spray can, although the pros have their own tricks of the trade. But Shoup said the products on the market are messy and complicated and don’t work well…Loveland’s locally owned Orchards Ace Hardware stepped up to the plate first and put the product on the shelves last September. Now more than 50 stores carry the Pirate Patch, with a national retailer planning to start selling it next month in 70 of its locations in test markets around the country, Shoup said.”  Read more:  https://www.reporterherald.com/news/loveland-local-news/ci_22475069/loveland-entrepreneurs-put-product-market


“Where’s the Bread Aisle? Wegmans has an app Answer” by Danielle Haynes at Hispanic Business.  “Earlier this month, Wegmans announced the update of its free smartphone application, and while the program has been available for a couple years now, the grocery chain is hoping tweaks will draw new users and downloads.  The free app — available for iPhone and iPad devices through iTunes and now Android devices through Google Play — allows customers to customize their shopping trip, from making a grocery list down to knowing just which aisle to find that obscure ingredient you need for dinner.”  Read more:  https://www.hispanicbusiness.com/2013/1/29/wheres_the_bread_aisle_wegmans_has.htm


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Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/29/13: Home Depot’s CEO: “A third of all retailers will be wiped out”


“Home Depot CEO: Internet biggest challenge” by Jonathan Copsey at North Fulton.  “Blake spoke Jan. 24 to members of the Roswell Rotary Club about his company and how he saw the coming years…The most significant challenge facing the company, he said, was the threat of losing sales to Internet companies…”Retail is a detail-oriented business,” he said. “You need the right amount of product in the right store at the right price.”…”The Internet will have an enormous impact on the brick-and-mortar retailers,” he said. “A third of all retailers will be wiped out because of dot-com competition.”  Read  more:  https://www.northfulton.com/Articles-BUSINESS-c-2013-01-27-197125.114126-sub-Home-Depot-CEO-Internet-biggest-challenge.html


“NRF Forecasts 3.4% Increase in Retail Sales for 2013”  “The National Retail Federation released its 2013 economic forecast today, projecting retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) will increase 3.4 percent*, slightly less than the preliminary 4.2 percent growth seen in 2012. The subdued forecast comes on the heels of a holiday season that went head-to-head with Washington’s political wrangling over fiscal concerns, shifting consumers’ spending plans downward. In the end, holiday sales in 2012 grew 3.0 percent…Shop.org, NRF’s digital division, expects online sales in 2013 to grow between 9.0 and 12.0%. Online sales in 2012 during the months of November and December last year grew 11.1 percent.”  Read more:  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20130128005923&div=-1245645151


“Walmart loses market share to other grocers in DFW” by Candice Carlisle at Dallas Business Journal.  “Retail giant Walmart has the largest market share of Dallas-Fort Worth’s hotly contested grocery business, but it could be losing a portion of that pie to other retailers.  In the past five years, Walmart’s market share has declined about 1 percent, while Kroger, Tom Thumb and Sam’s Club have gained more shoppers, Walter Bialas, vice president and market research director for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Dallas office, told me Monday.”  Read more:  https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2013/01/28/walmart-loses-market-share-to-other.html


“Costco Endorses Sustainability Efforts” by Elliot Zwiebach.  “”Do you think it is fair to charge low- and middle-income Americans more for products because Costco and other retailers want to green-wash their images?” he (shareholder) said, calling on Costco to reject initiatives dealing with sustainability “to reduce the company’s bottom line.”  In his response, Jelinek gave a couple of examples of sustainability efforts that reduce costs, including the use of solar panels on warehouse roofs “that allow us to spend less on electricity,” as well as recycling grease from chicken rotisseries for sale to renderers.  Read More: https://supermarketnews.com/sustainability/costco-endorses-sustainability-efforts#ixzz2JKNYsYTs


“For CMOs, Agility Is The New Black: Survey” by Jennifer Rooney at Forbes.  “…Clearly, CMOs are reluctant to let go the value of intuition and ideas even in the face of—or perhaps because of—the persuasive and pervasive influence of data. Many expressed the danger that comes in relying so much on science such that it stifles creativity.  “We use insight to shape beliefs that inform the creative execution, but we don’t ask guests to pick the creative that we run. So much of our advertising is trend- and style-focused, we need to lead the guests. Guests can’t tell us about things they haven’t seen before. We need to use our knowledge of trends and judgment to lead here,” explained Target’s Jones to the researchers.”  Read more:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferrooney/2013/01/28/for-cmos-agility-is-the-new-black-survey/


“Marc Andreessen: The Internet Helps Small Businesses Beat Walmart” by Julie Bort at Business Insider.  “…Ultimately, these software-as-a-service startups mean that a company doesn’t need a big IT budget to compete, he says:  “The classic was Walmart versus local retailer, right? Walmart’s advantage in logistics and in pricing and in data analytics was just so great that they could kill small retailers at will. Today all the consumerized enterprise stuff is as easily usable by the small business as it is by the large business. In fact, it’s probably more easily usable by the small business than it is by the large business.”  Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/marc-andreessen-small-business-beat-walmart-2013-1#ixzz2JKQTZmNz


“Why big-box retail needs a serious upgrade” by Rocky Agrawal at Venture Beat.  “One of the biggest challenge facing big box retailers is that online shopping is getting more convenient all the time.  Stored credit card information makes checking out a breeze. Expedited fulfillment like Amazon Prime, which offers free two-day shipping, dramatically reduces the delay in getting products. (In many markets, Amazon can deliver many products overnight.) These changes make brick-and-mortar shopping even less convenient by comparison.  Last week, I had an experience at a large national electronics chain that highlighted some of these important differences.  Some of these can be improved with technology, possibly creating opportunities for startups to plug these holes.  Read more: https://venturebeat.com/2013/01/23/why-big-box-retail-needs-a-serious-upgrade/#L18xKGPSvuSgIMoS.99


“Macy’s, Inc. Announces Executive Management Changes”  “Macy’s, Inc. today announced a series of changes to its senior executive leadership team, effective immediately.  “These adjustments to our senior leadership team provide continuity and strengthen our ability to innovate as we work to maximize results in the years ahead from our core business strategies, including My Macy’s localization, omnichannel alignment, and customer engagement.”  Thomas L. Cole is retiring as Macy’s, Inc.’s chief administrative officer after an exceptional 41-year career with Macy’s, Inc. and its predecessor companies. He will remain with the company through May 2013 to affect a smooth transition to several other executives. His responsibilities have been re-assigned as follows…”  Read more:  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20130128006360&div=-1245645151


“Target Bringing Fresh Grocery to Stores in Detroit Area”  “Target Corp. is pleased to announce that fresh grocery is coming to the Detroit area as part of the company’s ongoing effort to remodel stores across the country. In addition to featuring a large selection of affordable fresh foods, the new layout will include reinventions in several other departments such as beauty, home, shoes and baby, aimed at providing guests with an exceptional one-stop shopping experience.  “We’ve heard from our guests that they want more fresh food options in the convenience of their local Target store”  “Remodeled stores will include approximately 10,000 square feet dedicated to fresh food, including a curated assortment of fresh produce, fresh packaged meat and pre-packaged baked goods, in addition to dry and frozen offerings. Guests will also find a selection of national food brands, as well as award-winning Target owned brands including Archer Farms premium foods, Market Pantry value staples and meal options, and Sutton & Dodge premium quality USDA Choice beef.”  Read more:  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20130128005066&div=-1245645151


“What Does Wegmans Sell for $999 per Pound?” by Pete Kennedy at Malvern Patch.  “The produce section in a supermarket isn’t typically a place to find high-end luxuries. But in the corner of the Malvern Wegmans produce section, black truffles, imported from Italy, are kept under lock and key.  Located next to other, less expensive mushrooms, the rare, renowned fungi sell for $999.99 per pound.”  Read more:  https://malvern.patch.com/articles/what-does-wegmans-sell-for-999-99-per-pound

Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/28/12: Target Announces Canada Brands; Shoppercetion


“How Walmart and Heineken Will Use Shoppercetion to Put Your In-store Experience in Context” by Shel Israel at Forbes.  “Retailers are installing 3D sensors directly over the area where customers stand in front of a retail store section. Let’s assume that its breakfast cereals. The sensors will see when a shopper picks up a particular box, seems to be reading ingredients and whether they buy or return the package. It can tell where in a section customers interact the most often.  As they reach for a particular cereal—or even just look at it—a display iPad—makes a special promotional offer, either for the box being vied or a competitive offering. To get the deal, all the customer has to do is toss it into her or his shopping cart, and the cash register will automatically adjust the price.”  Read more:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelisrael/2013/01/27/how-walmart-and-heineken-will-use-shoppercetion-to-put-your-in-store-experience-in-context/


“Target Announces Brands Set to Launch in Canadian Stores”  “Target today officially unveiled its exclusive partners, owned brands and limited time only collections that will be available to Canadian guests when stores start opening in March/April 2013. Target Canada senior vice president, Merchandising, John Morioka , along with special guests Nate Berkus , Michael Budman , Don Green , Sonia Kashuk , Giada De Laurentiis, and Kate Young unveiled the comprehensive collection of brands at an exclusive event. The announcement demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing Canadian guests with a one-stop shopping destination for affordable, stylish, quality products.”  Read more:  https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/target-announces-brands-set-to-launch-in-canadian-stores-188340911.html


“Amazon Surges to New Highs on Expectation of Positive Holiday Report” by Tricia Duryee at All Things D.  “Amazon usually grows at twice the rate of the overall e-commerce market during the fourth quarter. The last three months of 2012 should be no exception.  According to comScore’s final tally for the November-December shopping season, online spending in the U.S. totaled $42.3 billion, which was a 14 percent increase over 2011, but fell short of its expectations. Ahead of the Christmas holiday, comScore was anticipating a 16 percent jump in spending.  So, if it follows form, Amazon’s year-over-year growth should end up around 30 percent.  Read more:  https://allthingsd.com/20130125/amazon-surges-to-new-highs-on-expectation-of-positive-holiday-report/


“Vendors compete for Whole Foods spots” by Kim Chappell at ABC 57 News (Video and Text).  “In less than three months, the new Whole Foods store is scheduled to open in Mishawaka. But before that can happen, the company is on the prowl for local products to fill the shelves.  On Thursday, Michiana vendors got a chance to enter the “shark tank” of natural foods. in a foodie face off. Forty local vendors vied for precious space on the shelves for the new Mishawaka location.”  See and read more:  https://www.abc57.com/news/local/Whole-Foods-on-the-prowl-for-local-products-188338371.html


“Amazon is busy, but secretive, at Kendall Square offices” by Scott Kirsner at The Boston Globe.  “They are building some sort of new device that will have speech as an interface,” said Michael Phillips, a speech recognition entrepreneur who founded Vlingo in Cambridge in 2006. His was among the first companies, even before Apple’s Siri, to devise software for dictating text messages to your mobile phone or initiating Web searches with speech. Phillips said Amazon has hired several Vlingo veterans.  The tech industry rumor mill has settled on a mobile phone as Amazon’s secret project.  “I think most people would be totally un-stunned by a phone,” said Russ Wilcox, a Framingham entrepreneur who, as a founder of E Ink, worked with Amazon on its Kindle e-book products.  And Wilcox notes that it wouldn’t be unusual for Amazon to assign important work to its Cambridge office, such as writing the software necessary for a phone, or perhaps a more futuristic product, like a “wearable” communicator.”  Read more:  https://bostonglobe.com/business/2013/01/27/amazon-workers-keep-busy-cambridge-but-what-are-they-working/QCe5kORPZ8pgU71Iz4VviL/story.html


“Why I dread going to the Apple Store” by Scott McNulty at MacWorld.  “Who doesn’t love going to the Apple Store?  Well, me, for one.  Sure, I’ve waited in line at an Apple Store opening—I got a t-shirt!—and I’ve also waited in line for the special holiday sale at an Apple Store—I got Mac-themed magnetic poetry!—but instead, I now just wait for the urge to visit an Apple Store to pass. I’m still a fan of what Apple makes, but the retail experience has become less akin to shopping at a high-end boutique and more like going to Walmart (albeit, a well-designed Walmart).”  Read more:  https://www.macworld.com/article/2026223/why-i-dread-going-to-the-apple-store.html


“Even Sears Shoppers Don’t Care About Sears” by Pam Goodfellow at Forbes.  “Sears is often on the receiving end of retailer-related jokes. My favorite is the line uttered by Gary Cole’s Mike Brady in 1995’s camp “classic,” The Brady Bunch Movie: “Put on your Sunday best kids; we’re going to Sears!” Yes, nearly 20 years ago we were laughing at Sears in a movie that aimed to epitomize 1970s kitsch. Outdated indeed.  However, the $13.5 million investment that CEO-elect Edward Lampert recently infused into Sears Holdings is no laughing matter. It seems that Mr. Lampert intends to make a serious effort to revive the ailing department store – targeted by many as next in the line of potentially defunct retailers. The department store’s historical performance suggests that Sears cannot rely on its powerhouse Kenmore and Craftsman brands alone to survive in its current state. So if Sears is serious about making a comeback – and cultivating a legacy – it’s time the retailer took a hard look at three major problems it’s facing in the very competitive women’s apparel category.”  Read more:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/prospernow/2013/01/22/even-sears-shoppers-dont-care-about-sears/


“Supervalu gives $23M in ‘golden parachutes’ to four executives” by Ed Stych at Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.  “Supervalu, which recently announced a $3.3 billion deal that changes control of the company, is giving $22.78 million in “golden parachutes” to four executives, with CEO Wayne Sales receiving more than half the total.  Sales, who became the grocer’s CEO last July, will receive $12.8 million when he leaves the company, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Of that, $8.1 million will be in the form of cash and $4.7 million will be in equity.”  Read more:  https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2013/01/26/supervalu-ceo-sales-golden-parachute.html


“Stater Bros. CEO lauded for career” at MMR.  “When Jack Brown joined Stater Bros. Markets in 1981, the chain had 79 supermarkets, 3,300 employees and about $475 million in annual sales.  Under Brown’s leadership (he has served as the company’s president and chief executive officer for 32 years and its chairman for 27 years) Stater Bros. has grown dramatically. It now has 167 supermarkets, about 18,000 employees, and annual sales of about $4 billion…For these accomplishments, the editors of MMR are recognizing Jack Brown with the publication’s Lifetime Achievement Award.”  Read more:  https://www.massmarketretailers.com/inside-this-issue/news/01-14-2013/stater-bros-ceo-lauded-for-career



Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/25/13: Costco feels the love; Green is the new thin


“Shareholders show Costco CEO the love as profit rises 17%” by Amy Martinez at The Seattle Times.  “Jelinek, who took over as CEO last year from co-founder Jim Sinegal, kept with tradition and went through a series of highlights from 2012. Among them:

• Costco had 92 warehouses that each reported more than $200 million in annual sales.

• The chain’s Honolulu store boasted the most million-dollar days during the holiday sales season, with 32. Locally, the Issaquah store led with 13 million-dollar days.

• It sold 113,000 carats of jewelry, including a $103,000 diamond ring in Gaithersburg, Md.

• Customers bought 1.5 million pumpkin pies at $5.99 each over Thanksgiving.

• E-commerce sales in the U.S. and Canada reached $2.5 billion. The company recently began selling online in the U.K., and Mexico and Korea may be next.

Read more:  https://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2020208680_costcoannualmeetingxml.html


“Green Is The New Thin”  “One hundred million dieters are spending approximately $20 billion a year on weight loss efforts, yet a new survey reveals women actually feel more pressure to beautify the Earth than their own bodies. A survey of 600 women conducted by the makers of Green Works® products learned that women say it’s being green that causes more pressure than being skinny (39% vs. 29% respectively).  For some, the pressure to be environmentally conscious even outweighs the pressure to have a great relationship, or have children who are successful in school or extracurricular activities. Along with feeling the pressure, women also feel it’s trendy to be environmentally conscious. Fifty-one percent of respondents said “green is the new black.” And when they do commit a green faux pas, throwing recyclables into the regular trash container is when they feel the most judgment.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6183415&access=EH


“Lowe’s Names Michael A. Jones as Chief Merchandising Officer” at Fox Business.  “Lowe’s Cos. has named Michael A. Jones, who most recently served as North and Latin America executive vice president and president of lawn and garden equipment company Husqvarna, as its new chief merchandising officer.  Prior to joining Husqvarna, Jones spent 15 years with General Electric Co.  “Mike has extensive experience with consumer products in categories relevant to the home improvement business, with both Husqvarna and GE including appliances, outdoor power equipment and lighting categories,” Chief Customer Officer Gregory M. Bridgeford said. “His experience in leading businesses, identifying and pursuing marketing opportunities, and discipline around value creation throughout the chain, from supplier to consumer, make him an outstanding fit for this position.”  Read more:  https://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2013/01/24/lowe-names-michael-jones-as-chief-merchandising-officer/


“Amazon buys text-to-speech software company Ivona” at Reuters.  “Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it acquired text-to-speech technology company Ivona Software, a sign that the world’s largest Internet retailer may be looking to develop more services similar to Apple Inc’s Siri voice-based search product…”The Ivona acquisition could provide some technology on the Kindle to compete with Siri, although I would argue that Siri has not been all that was expected of it so far,” said Kerry Rice, an analyst at Needham & Co.”  Read more:  https://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/24/us-amazon-ivona-idUSBRE90N0T020130124


“Wanelo: Social Commerce Site Is Big With Young Shoppers” by Jenna Wortham at NY Times.  “Fashion Tumblrs, Pinterest and Lookbook.nu, a street photography site, are certainly adept at displaying dreamy and sumptuous pictures of items you might want to buy. But more often than not, there is no information about how to purchase an item — or even where it is from.  Enter Wanelo a start-up based in San Francisco that has the same aesthetic as those sites, and one important difference: clicking on an image takes you directly to the place where it’s available for sale — not another blog, image site or Pinterest post.”  Read more:  https://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/24/a-look-at-wanelo-a-social-commerce-site-for-younger-shoppers/?src=rechp


“India Assures Wal-Mart on FDI Policy” by Prasanta Sahu at WSJ.  “India’s Trade Minister Anand Sharma met the chief of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s WMT international operations during the World Economic Forum in Davos Thursday and said his government will provide further clarity on its policy on foreign investment in the retail sector.  Wal-Mart International Chief Executive Doug McMillon told Mr. Sharma the retail giant was “excited about India” and that they were studying the conditions in India’s policy related to multi-brand retail before making a final announcement on its India strategy, according to an official Indian government statement.  Read more:  https://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323539804578261522732301016.html


“Walmart, Tesco may not rush in with stores (in India)” at The Times of India.  “Foreign retailers Walmart and Tesco on Thursday indicated that they will not rush into opening stores in India despite the government aggressively courting them to set up multi-brand outlets.  During a meeting with commerce & industry minister Anand Sharma in Davos on Thursday, British retail giant Tesco sought clarifications on sourcing from small scale units and rolling out of back-end infrastructure for foreign players entering the retail space. The move is seen as a precursor to the supermarket chain deciding on entering the Indian market after the government allowed 51% foreign direct investment in the multi-brand retail segment.  Similarly, Doug McMillon, president and chief executive of the international operations of Walmart told the minister that the global giant is studying the conditions before making a final announcement on its India plans, an official statement said.  Read more:  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Walmart-Tesco-may-not-rush-in-with-stores/articleshow/18176828.cms


“Target’s ‘Live Tweet-to-Runway Show’ Was…Strange” by Patrick Coffee at PRNewser.  “Here’s the deal: Target encouraged fans to log on to the “Everyday Show” page via Twitter and post messages concerning some product sold in the “Everyday” line. Target describes Everyday as “the most intensely sensible grocery and essentials collection of the season”, which could apply to pretty much anything. Someone in the marketing/PR department chose the “best” tweets, which were then read aloud by models as they paraded down the runway carrying the products in question with the requisite techno beats in the background.”  Read more:  https://www.mediabistro.com/prnewser/targets-live-tweet-to-runway-show-was-strange_b55611


“Better Homes And Gardens Best New Product Awards Announces 2013 Winners As Voted By 77,500+ Americans”  “Better Homes and Gardens along with leading market research firm BrandSpark International, today announced the winners of the 2013 Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Awards (BNPAs). The BNPAs are the leading consumer-voted awards program in North America, honoring consumer products in the categories of Beauty, Food & Beverage, Health & Personal Care and Household. See the 63 winning products here:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6184925&access=EH


“Global Retail Branding And Sourcing Expert Daymon Worldwide Releases 2013 And Beyond Global Retail Trend Predictions”  “Daymon Worldwide, the only end-to-end global retail branding and sourcing company, released its Global Retail Trend Predictions for 2013 and beyond, offering insider intelligence gleaned from its international team of retail and insights experts.  See the 13 trends here:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6184977&access=EH



Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/24/13: Target’s online only brands; Amazon’s really big shop


“Target Introduces Six New Brands … That You Can’t Buy in Stores” by Brad Tuttle At Time.  “Cheap chic retailer Target is renowned for brand collaborations good (the Missoni craze) and bad (the Neiman Marcus collection that no one wanted). Target’s new brand partnerships may be the most intriguing of all. Just don’t go looking for them in actual Target stores.  Last week, Target announced the debut of six new online-only brands, sold exclusively at Target.com. The brands include a women’s apparel outfit (Labworks), baby clothing (Zutano Blue), bedding (Room 365), home décor (TOO by Blu Dot), and others focused on stylish, affordable products that are desired in the typical American household. In other words, they all seem to be in Target’s wheelhouse, so to speak.”  Read more:  https://business.time.com/2013/01/23/target-introduces-six-new-brands-that-you-cant-buy-in-stores/


“I Discovered Music Through a Kroger Grocery Store” by Jill Krasny at MTV Hive. “But in the dairy aisle, surrounded by squishy gobs of cheese and cartons of milk, I felt invincible. “Treat your children well,” urged Jerry Garcia; “Have a cuppa tea,” Ray Davies implored, as I tossed beef-flavored ramen packet into the shopping cart. We could be doing the most mundane thing in the world and hearing those songs would brighten our day. They established a sense of place — California, Great Britain — and instilled a nostalgia for all things drudgery that’s stuck with me ever since. To this day, a quick trip to Walgreen’s feels as warm and reassuring as a mixtape left in the tape deck long after a road trip.” Read more: https://www.mtvhive.com/2013/01/23/supermarket-music/


“Walmart, Lowe’s Develop Chemical Reporting Tool” at Environmental Leader.  “The Retail Industry Leaders Association has rolled out an initiative designed to streamline the required safety data sheet process used by suppliers and retailers to exchange chemical and product information.  Retailers require detailed information to safely handle chemical products in compliance with regulations from the US Department of Transportation, Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration and EPA, among other agencies.  RILA along with retailers Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Target, Walmart, American Eagle Outfitters, Meijet, Publix and Sears Holdings developed a safety data sheet template that aligns with a 16-section format prescribed by OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, which went into effect last May. The SDS template initiative, which was sponsored by 3E and The Wercs, aims to improve the efficiency of the process.”  Read more:  https://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/01/23/walmart-lowes-develop-chemical-reporting-tool/


“Amazon Sets Up (Really Big) Shop to Get You Your Stuff Faster” by Marcus Wohlsen at Wired (Picture and Text).  “Across the country, Amazon is erecting massive distribution centers in the nation’s exurbs to shorten the distance between online shoppers and the stuff they want. This week, the company announced it’s planting a Sasquatch-sized footprint right in Silicon Valley’s backyard.  Amazon’s newest million-square-foot warehouse is slated to go up an hour east of San Francisco in Tracy, California. This conservative farm town of 84,000 may be a world away culturally from its Bay Area neighbors. But it’s close enough physically to make shipping Amazon orders a snap.”  Read more:  https://www.wired.com/business/2013/01/amazon-distribution-centers/


“Target Reveals 2 Reasons Why Its Collaboration With Neiman Marcus Failed” by Ashley Lutz at Business Insider.  “The spokesman, who WWD didn’t identify by name, said part of the problem was timing:  “’There are two spikes during the Christmas season, Black Friday and last-minute shopping just before Christmas,’ he said. ‘There’s that lull in between. The line was timed to excite consumers during that time. We underestimated that lull. Consumers were fatigued coming out of Black Friday. They were looking for deals.'”  He also said pricing was an issue:  “‘It was priced a bit higher than some of our partnerships because products had real silk, hand-beading and 18-karat gold. We believe we created a price barrier.”  Read more:  https://www.businessinsider.com/targets-neiman-marcus-collection-flops-2013-1#ixzz2It1XuUdP


“Intown Ace Hardware, Local Mom-And-Pop Store, Outmaneuvers Home Depot To Survive” by Catherine New at HuffPo.  “Jones changed up his business plan, going from a building supply provider to something more like a general store. He scuttled low-margin, high-maintenance items, like table saws and power tools — things Home Depot routinely discounted — and spent his energy on customer service to attract a new demographic of customers, namely women. Today, Intown still sells hardware goods, but now it also offers things like colorful wrapping papers, a large garden center and knickknacks. To Jones’ satisfaction, Home Depot even sends customers to him when they need a special part or have a specialized home repair problem, he said.”  Read more:  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/intown-ace-hardware_n_2456458.html


“Safeway Should Sell Canadian Operations Says BMO” by David Benoit at WSJ.  “The analysts go as far as to predict that if Safeway Canada was put on the block, there would be a bidding war for it, judging by some recent action by the likely bidders. BMO said the unit is worth around $5.5 billion, which is more than Safeway’s current $4.4 billion market capitalization, but the analysts cautioned “have no insight as to whether a potential sale is or is not in the works.”Safeway shares jumped 7.3% to $20.21 in recent trading, the first time the stock has been above $20 since early May.”  Read more:  https://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2013/01/23/safeway-should-sell-canadian-operations-says-bmo/


“Three Ways Retailers Are Fighting Back Against Amazon and the ‘Showrooming’ Effect” by Sterling Wong in Minyanville.  “According to a poll by Harris Interactive, 43% of US adults have showroomed, having visited a brick-and-mortar store to check out a product before buying it online, most likely on Amazon. Best Buy has been hurt the most from this phenomenon, with 24% of those polled naming the electronics chain as the store they visited most often to view a product they then purchase online. Wal-Mart (22%) was next, followed by Target (9%), and Home Depot (4%)”  Read more: https://www.minyanville.com/sectors/consumer/articles/From-Price-Matching-to-Mobile-Apps253A/1/23/2013/id/47580#ixzz2It6cIdYl


“Dollar General plans to add 6,000 jobs” at AP.  “Discount retail store company Dollar General Corp. announced Wednesday that it would open 635 new stores this year and add 6,000 new jobs.  Dollar General also said that it would relocate 550 stores in 2013. The company said it plans to open the chain’s 11,000th store before the year’s end and the company’s 75th anniversary in 2014.”  Read more:  https://www.nbcnews.com/business/dollar-general-plans-add-6-000-jobs-1C8086502 


“Staples Brand Products Launch in Japan”  “Staples, Inc., the world’s largest office products company and second largest internet retailer, today announced the launch of Staples brand products in Japan, bringing North America’s most trusted brand in office products to businesses in one of the world’s biggest markets.  “Japanese consumers will love the quality and value as well as the unique designs and vivid colors of Staples brand products, and we expect to grow both our retail and delivery businesses through this relationship.”  Staples has established a wholesale distribution relationship with Jointex, a leading office products wholesaler and division of PLUS Corporation, a manufacturer of stationery and office furniture based in Tokyo. Read more:  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20130123006048&div=-1245645151


“Target to launch in March first of 124 stores in Canada” by Thomas Lee in Minneapolis Star Tribune via Detroit News.  “In what is arguably Target’s boldest project in its 50-year history, the chain in March will open the first of 124 stores in Canada, its first expansion beyond the United States.  The move is Target’s first big step at becoming a global retail force.  Target’s international ambition has less to do with bragging rights than basic survival. Not only is Target running out of room to grow, but recession-worn American consumers haven’t been as eager to open their wallets, much to the benefit of low-priced competitors like Wal-Mart and Amazon.  Read more:  https://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130123/BIZ/301230326#ixzz2It0TsisY


“Former Home Depot HQ sold” by Douglas Sams at Atlanta Business Chronicle.  “The Home Depot Inc.’s former world headquarters has a newly formed joint venture behind it involving Oak Tree Capital Management.  The buildings on the northwest side of Atlanta in Vinings are known as Paces West and include two interconnecting office towers with a total of 646,000 square feet along Interstate 285. Piedmont Healthcare is now an anchor tenant in the project.”  Read more:  https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/real_talk/2013/01/former-home-depot-hq-building-sold.html


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Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/23/13: Club Stores Outpace; Amazon Not Collecting Tax


“Walmart Canada announces expansion plans”  “Walmart Canada announced that it plans to complete at least 37 supercentre projects in the company’s next fiscal year, which runs from February 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014. The company also announced it will be expanding its distribution network to support its ongoing store growth and expansion plans.  The distribution centre projects, construction of new stores, and expansion, remodelling or relocation of existing stores represents an investment of more than $450 million in the Canadian economy. These expansion plans are expected to generate more than 7,000 store, trade and construction jobs.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6165738&access=EH


“Wal-Mart Readies Fresh-Food Fight With Target” by Greg Quinn at Bloomberg.  “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to expand its fresh-food offerings to every store in Canada from about 50 percent now as it takes on grocer Loblaw Cos. and girds for Target Corp. arrival in the country this year.  Wal-Mart will add food sections to stores in Canada’s Maritime provinces this year and plans to increase its food line to as many stores as possible, Shelley Broader, 48, chief executive officer and president of Wal-Mart’s Canadian unit said in an interview today at Bloomberg’s Toronto office.  “The addition of fresh food through supercenters a few years ago has really not only driven our growth trajectory in Canada, but it is really meeting the needs of the consumer base that was under-served,” Broader said. “I would like to put fresh food in every facility that I can.”  Read more:  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-23/wal-mart-readies-fresh-food-fight-with-target.html


“Deloitte Study: Consumer Products Industry Expects Sales in Warehouse Club Stores to Outpace Other Retail Channels”  “Consumer products executives expect their highest growth to come from the warehouse club channel compared with any other retail sales channel over the next three years, including mass merchandise, grocery, and e-commerce, according to new research from Deloitte.  Nine out of 10 (89 percent) of consumer package goods (CPG) executives Deloitte surveyed expect their company’s sales through the warehouse club channel to increase during that time. This channel is outpacing grocery in CPG companies’ focus, as less than half (49 percent) expect grocery sales to increase during that three-year period, while one in six (18 percent) expect sales in the grocery channel to decline.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6167127&access=EH


“ACE Hardware hammers zombie film shot at store” by Carla Caldwell at Atlanta Business Journal.  “A short film shot by college students at a Lawrenceville ACE Hardware store has earned a spot at Sundance – but is being panned by the company and could cost an employee his job, reports Atlanta Business Chronicle broadcast partner WXIA-TV.  The 9-minute film titled “When Zombies Come” beat out more than 8,000 entries for a showing at Sundance Film Festival. It was filmed as part of a Georgia State University class project.  ACE says the film was shot on company property without consent and features an employee, Alex Warner, who was not given permission to participate.”  Read more:  https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/morning_call/2013/01/ace-hammers-zombie-film-shot-at-store.html


“Amazon fails to collect new Georgia tax” by Arielle Kass at Atlanta Journal Constitution.  “Georgia shoppers at Amazon still aren’t paying sales tax, three weeks after the start of a state law designed to snag the money from the world’s biggest online retailer.  Whether or when Amazon’s tax collection will begin is unclear. State officials are aware Amazon isn’t collecting the money, but they aren’t disclosing what they will do about it. “Our expectation is that the law would be abided by,” said Ryan Teague, executive counsel to Gov. Nathan Deal.”  Read more:  https://www.ajc.com/news/news/amazon-fails-to-collect-new-georgia-tax/nT4wm/


“Lowe’s Boosts Seasonal Hiring, Plans to Add Permanent Part-Timers” at Fox Business.  “Lowe’s Cos. increased its temporary-worker hiring plan for the spring season from last year and said it also would bring on permanent part-time workers, adding 54,000 positions in all as its turnaround shows traction.  The retailer said Tuesday it planned to hire 45,000 seasonal employees, temporary positions like cashiers and stockers that supplement its ranks during a home-improvement demand spike in spring and summer. A year earlier, the merchant aimed for more than 40,000 seasonal hires. Read more: https://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2013/01/22/lowe-boosts-seasonal-hiring-plans-to-add-permanent-part-timers/#ixzz2Io0hHPYy


“Dollar General plans further expansion” by Jaquetta White in the Tennessean via USA Today.  “Dollar General Corp. plans to hire another 6,000 employees in 2013 on its way to opening more than 600 new stores across the country. The latest announcement reflects the brisk pace at which the discount retailer has grown in a half decade. Based on current projections, Dollar General will have added 2,800 stores and 30,000 employees since 2004 when its upcoming fiscal year ends in January 2014. The additions will bring the Goodlettsville, Tenn., company, which already has more locations than any other retailer in America, to 11,000 stores by the end of the year.”  Read more:  https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/01/22/dollar-general-plans-expansion/1856877/


“What happens when Walmart comes to Nicaragua?” by Hope Michelson at Oxford University Press.  “When a supermarket chain like Walmart moves into a developing country it requires a steady supply of fresh fruits and vegetables largely sourced domestically. In developing countries where the majority of the poor rely on agriculture for their livelihood, this means that poor farmers are increasingly selling produce to and contracting directly with large corporations. In precisely this way, Walmart has begun to transform the domestic agricultural markets in Nicaragua over the past decade. This profound change has been met with both excitement and trepidation by governments and development organizations because the likely effects on poverty and inequality are not known.”  Read more:  https://blog.oup.com/2013/01/what-happens-when-walmart-comes-to-nicaragua/


“Delhaize Group 2012 revenues and preliminary results” in International Supermarket News. 

Full Year 2012 Results (at identical exchange rates)

» Group revenue growth of 2.9%; organic revenue growth of 2.1%

» Preliminary unaudited underlying operating profit decline of approximately 17.5% compared to 2011

» Free cash flow generation in excess of €600 million

Read more:  https://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/news/9740


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Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/22/13: Walmart Toughens Supplier Policies; Costco’s Secret Codes


“Wal-Mart Toughens Supplier Policies” by Shelly Banjo at WSJ.  “The tougher new policies replace the Bentonville, Ark., retailer’s prior “three strikes” approach to policing suppliers, which gave the suppliers three chances to address problems before being terminated. Starting March 1, Wal-Mart will employ a “zero tolerance” policy to sever ties with suppliers that subcontract work to factories without the retailer’s knowledge; Its previous “three-strike” policy gave suppliers three chances to comply with Wal-Mart’s safety requirements…”Obviously our three-strike policy wasn’t working as well as it could have,” Rajan Kamalanathan, Wal-Mart’s vice president of ethical sourcing, said in an interview. “Our message of zero tolerance is meant to get people’s attention.”  Read more:  https://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323301104578256183164905720.html


“Costco’s Secret Codes For Special Discounts; Look For 97 Cents” by George Gombossy at ctwatchdog via HubPages.  “Normally, according to HubPages, prices end with 99 cents. But when it ends with 97 cents it means the item is a closeout and you will save more money, maybe a little, maybe a lot.  But don’t just look for the 97 cents, look for for other unusual prices, like 79, 49, or 89 cents.  “These usually mean that these items have a special price on them because Costco got a special deal from the manufacturer. In other words they were a special purchase and the buyers really killed their vendors for this price,” says the article.  Now if you see an asterisk * on the top right side of the price sign, it means that Costco is not reordering the product. So if you like it, stock up on it.  Read more:  https://ctwatchdog.com/finance/costcos-secret-codes-for-special-discounts-look-for-97-cents


“Amazon Woos Advertisers With What It Knows About Consumers” by Jessica Leber at Mashable.  “Google built its $38 billion business selling ads based on how people search and browse the web. Facebook, too, uses what it knows about its one billion users to sell targeted ads. But when it comes to what many advertisers value most — what people actually buy, or what they may want to buy soon — there may be no better data than the information in Amazon’s 152 million customer accounts.  Since last year, the world’s largest online retailer has been packaging information on what it knows about consumers so that some marketers can use it to make split-second decisions about where to buy ads online and how much to pay for them. This automated process occurs on real-time ad exchanges that sell ad impressions as a person loads a web page.”  Read more:  https://mashable.com/2013/01/21/amazon-woos-advertisers-with-what-it-knows-about-consumers/


“Ahead of the bell: Google’s 4Q to give ad insights” at Seattle Times via AP.  “Google’s fourth-quarter earnings report should provide a barometer on how much more advertising shifted to the Internet during the holiday shopping season.  The results, due out after the stock market closes Tuesday, will also give investors a better sense on how the growing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers is affecting the prices in the digital advertising market.”  Read more:  https://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2020185790_apusgoogleaheadofthebell.html


“Nielsen: Global Consumers More Likely to Buy New Products from Familiar Brands.”  “Sixty percent of global consumers with Internet access prefer to buy new products from a familiar brand rather than switch to a new brand, according to a new study from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy…While 77 percent of global respondents say word-of-mouth advice from family and friends are the most persuasive source of new product information, active Internet searching (67%), and traditional television advertising (59%) remain influential. Globally, respondents say the Internet is very or somewhat important when making a new product purchase decision for food and beverages (62%), personal hygiene categories (62%), personal health/over-the-counter medicines (61%), and hair care categories (60%).”  Read more:  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20130121005056&div=-1245645151


“Walmart Visitor Center sees increase in visitors, exhibits” by Julie Bagley at The City Wire.  “Now, up to 150,000 visitors a year walk through the interactive history of the company and how it came to be the world’s largest retailer. There are approximately 3,800 artifacts in display cases along with touch tables as well as interactive displays of the company’s expansion into the international market as well as Sam’s Club and Neighborhood Market.”  Read more:  https://www.thecitywire.com/node/26115#.UP6AXydEHX4


“Samsung’s road to global domination” by Michael Lev-Ram at Fortune.  “To understand how Samsung — yes, Samsung — became America’s No. 1 mobile phonemaker and thorn in Apple’s side, it’s helpful to rewind to last fall. On a mid-September morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook stepped onto a stage in San Francisco to unveil the iPhone 5. Several hundred miles away, in a Wolfgang Puck restaurant in Los Angeles, a group of marketing executives from Samsung Electronics followed real-time reactions to Cook’s remarks. They huddled around tables mounted with laptops and TV screens, carefully tracking each new feature and monitoring the gush of online comments on the new device via blogs and social media sites. As the data flowed in, writers from the company’s advertising agency, who were also camped out in the restaurant turned war room, scrambled to craft a response.”  Read more:  https://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/01/22/samsung-apple-smartphone/


“Store of the Month (Dierbergs): From the Bottom Up” by Jim Dudlicek at Progessive Grocer.  “…Two escalators take customers to and from the main level of the store, while a third, cart-dedicated conveyor — dubbed the “cartolator” — moves customer carts from the main level to the garage…The store has hosted live wellness Twitter chats, complimentary store tours and tastings for individuals with gluten allergies, and a sold-out class with chef Eric Brenner, chief culinary officer of New York-based Bold Organics, which produces a frozen gluten-free pizza. “We hosted a meet-and-greet session with Hungry Girl, the Food Network’s Lisa Lillien, that attracted more than 300 fans,” Padousis adds.”  Read more:  https://www.progressivegrocer.com/inprint/article/id5362/store-of-the-month-from-the-bottom-up/


“Beam Inc. to Sell Select Brands to Luxco”  “The brands included in the transaction are Wolfschmidt vodka, Calvert (Lord Calvert Canadian, Calvert Extra, and gin), Bellows (blended whiskey, Bourbon, gin, rum, Scotch and vodka), Dark Eyes vodka, Canada House Canadian, and Tempo Triple Sec. The brands, distributed in North America, generated 2012 revenues of approximately $30 million (excluding excise taxes) and volumes of approximately 1.8 million cases. The purchase price is approximately $65 million.”  Read more:  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20130121005198&div=-1245645151


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