Today’s Tipsheet: H.Depot’s Hurricane Workshops | Better H&G New Product Awards


“The Home Depot to hold more than 700 hurricane workshops in stores from Texas to Maine”  “Hurricane Preparedness Workshops are free and will be held on Saturday, July 27 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. local time. Participating stores and registration information is located at, where customers can find information on all other Home Depot workshops year-round.”  Read more:


“Costco Wholesale CEO Discusses F3Q 2013 Results – Earnings Call Transcript” at Seeking Alpha.  Read at:


“Target beauty consultant service to debut at 36 Twin Cities-area stores” by Martin Moylan at MN Public Radio.  “Target is trying a strategy that’s rare among discount retailers–giving customers advice about how to be beautiful.  The retailer’s Beauty Concierge program, which is already up and running in Chicago and Los Angeles, will debut at 36 Twin Cities-area stores in July.”  Read more:


“Family Dollar’s Chairman & CEO Howard Levine Speaks at Citi’s 2013 Consumer Conference”  Listen to webcast at:


“Teen Angst: Retailers Fight for Relevance” by Courtney Reagan at CNBC.  “For teens, the biggest spending category is clothing, with about 21 percent of their budget going toward apparel, according to Piper Jaffray & Co.’s “Taking Stock With Teens” Spring 2013 survey. That’s followed by food, which gets 18 percent of spending, and accessories and personal care with 10 percent of spending.”  Read more:


“Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Awards Announces Call for Entries for 2014 Competition”  “Eligible products for the 2014 program must have launched nationally between January 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. The final deadline to enter products is August 16, 2013. There is a nominal registration fee to enter. To register a product and for more information, please visit”  Read more:


“Amazon opens office for 1,600 staff in London” by Jennifer Rankin at The Guardian.  “Amazon is opening an office for 1,600 staff in central London as the internet retailer seeks to expand its UK business.  “This new office location will provide the space we require for hundreds of our existing employees as well as many more that we will hire in the future,” said Christopher North, managing director of”  Read more:


“Google Fiber could turn cable, phone giants into boiled frogs, analyst says” at Market Watch.  ““We think the impact of Google Fiber on incumbent cable and phone companies will be limited in the near-to-medium term, in large part because it takes time to deploy networks,” Kirjner wrote. “Despite this limited short term impact, Google plays a very long game.”  Read more:


“Menards opens to steady traffic (in Garden City, KS), eager customers” by Ruth Campbell at Garden City Telegram.  “General Manager Lars Paulsen said store set up began three weeks ago “with empty shelves.”  He called the community reception on Wednesday “fantastic.” A contractor preview was held Tuesday night, which got a “strong reception” and good turnout.  “It’s been very steady,” in terms of traffic, Paulsen said Wednesday.”  Read more:


Thanks for reading…have  a great weekend.


Follow on Twitter @retaileyeretail

Today’s Tipsheet: Costco Profit Up | H. Depot’s CEO Speaks | Harris Poll Top Retailers


“Low Prices Help Costco’s Quarterly Profit Rise ” at CNBC.  “Costco Wholesale reported third-quarter profit just above analysts’ estimates, as its low prices for food and gasoline appealed to shoppers…Total sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, rose 5 percent.”  Read more:


“Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports Third Quarter and Year-to-Date Operating Results for Fiscal Year 2013 (Co. Press Release)”   “Net sales for the quarter increased eight percent, to $23.55 billion, from $21.85 billion last year. Net sales for the first thirty-six weeks increased eight percent, to $71.10 billion, from $65.54 billion last year.”  Read more:


“2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend Reports: Brick and Mortar Retail Brands Beat Out Their Online Counterparts”  “For the third year in a row, Target Stores are top ranked and, for 2013, earn the Mass Merchandiser Brand of the Year award. Target has been at the top of its category since pulling ahead of Walmart back in 2007.  “While both Target and Walmart are frequently shopped, Target has a strong position in Consumer Connection, which is comprised of four key predictive metrics: Emotion, Fit, Trust and Performance.”  See the full retail sector results:


“Transcript:  The Home Depot’s CEO Presents at 29th Annual Sanford C Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference  at Seeking Alpha:  Highlights:

1) CEO Frank Blake stays with the theme the housing market is recovering as he points to pricing as a powerful catalyst for Home Depot, but he also warns that the availability of credit could be hampering upside.

2) The retailer still has an eye on the negative equity situation for U.S. homeowners and is optimistic, but isn’t making too much out of the latest Case-Schiller reading on home prices.

3) Customer service is a larger focus with more appliances being sold. Overall, 60% of employee time should be customer-facing, according to Blake.


Read the full transcript:


See the webcast:


“Grocery chains find power source in spoiled food” by Tiffany Hsu at LA Times via Seattle Times.  “What happens to the 40 percent of food produced but never eaten in the U.S. each year, the mounds of perfect fruit passed over by grocery-store shoppers, the tons of meat and milk left to expire?  At Ralphs supermarket chain, it helps keep the power on.  In a sprawling Compton, Calif., distribution center that the company shares with its fellow Kroger subsidiary Food 4 Less, organic matter otherwise destined for a landfill is rerouted instead into the facility’s energy grid.”  Read more:


“Target works to win loyalty of Hispanics” by Martin Moylan at Minnesota Public Radio.  “But in its bid to lure Latino customers, Target faces tough competition from Walmart…The Arkansas-based retailer has doubled its spending on multicultural marketing, with most the money going toward winning over Latinos…In Houston and Phoenix, Walmart has opened Hispanic-oriented supermarkets called Supermercado de Walmart. They offer a full range of products that appeal to Latino customers. At all of its stores, the company also offers services that are popular with many Latinos, including check cashing, prepaid payment cards and layaway.”  Read more:


“Walmart Sales Boost Production at Fayetteville Candle Company” by Kyle Leyenberger at KNWA-Fayettville.  “”We had four million in sales in 2012 to Walmart, and by 2017 we’ll have 45 million,” he says. “We’ve added fifty, sixty jobs because of it, our work schedules are more consistent and it’s been a big relief to all of our people.” Read more and see the video:

“Google to offer licensed retailer ratings to rival Amazon” by Alistair Barr at Reuters via Mercury News.  “This is the latest sign of Google’s increased focus on e-commerce, an important area of the company’s lucrative search business. More shoppers are starting online shopping searches on, the world’s largest Internet retailer, putting pressure on Google to respond.  “Google is making a big push in all things commerce,” said Leiser. “They need to be the first place people go when they are shopping online.” ”  Read more:


“Safeway Puts Local Farmers in Spotlight” by Carol Angrisani at Supermarket News.  “As part of its “Fresh From Our Farmers” campaign, the retailer has posted an interactive map on its website that gives the location and description of its 150 local suppliers.  Also on the retailer’s website and Facebook page are video profiles of several local producers. In one video, Bill Zirkle of apple grower Rainier Farms, Selah, Wash., talks about the long-term partnership between his business and Safeway.”  Read More:


“Online Retail to Shutter One in Five UK Shops by 2018” by Kiran Moodley at CNBC.  “The share of consumer spending on the “high street” (the main shopping street in U.K. towns and cities) has fallen from 50 percent in 2000 to a predicted 40.2 percent by 2014.  As shoppers increasingly stay at home to do their shopping, stores across the country will continue to shut down. By 2018, store numbers will fall by 22 percent, a loss of over 60,000 stores in five years, forcing some 316,000 jobs to be lost.”  Read more:


“Lowe’s to Webcast Annual Meeting of Shareholders”  “What: Lowe’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders.  When: 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday, May 31, 2013.  Where:  Visit Lowe’s Investor Relations website at  Click Webcasts and then Lowe’s 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.”  Read more:


“How Target, cross-border shopping are wreaking havoc on Canada’s inflation rate” by Michael Babad at The Globe and Mail.  “The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development didn’t name the giant U.S. chain in its global outlook today, but did cite “heightened” competitive pressure in the retail sector.  Target Corp.’s recent entry into Canada has sparked something of a price war among domestic retailers and foreign players operating in the country, notably Wal-Mart Stores Inc.  Coupled with other factors, this has helped hold store prices down, in turn playing a role in the muted pace of inflation in Canada.”  Read more:


“Retailers Descend on Mexico” by Amy Guthrie at WSJ.  “Analysts say these new entries have contributed to weaker sales growth in recent months at the country’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s local unit Wal-Mart de México,  as consumers trade up to fancier shopping experiences and department stores offer varied credit options.”  Read more:


“Insight selling: How retailers sell to us by stealth” by Jane O’Brien at BBC.  “The US capital already has a large number of bike shops, and Mr Mittelman knew his High Street store, Bicycle Space, could only succeed by offering customers more than competitive prices and good service.  “People can find all the products we sell online, and are often so well-read and knowledgeable. They’ve looked up every detail and come in knowing so much,” he says.  “To sell to those people you have to appeal to something greater – we’re selling a lifestyle and an experience.”  Marketers call this insight selling.”  Read more:


Thanks for reading…


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Today’s Tipsheet: Bi-Lo Buys Grocery Chains | Ace in Afghanistan | Walmart’s Pesky Protesters


“ hires a VP of marketing” by Thad Reuter at Internet Retailer.  “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has hired Brian Monahan as vice president of marketing for He starts his job today and reports to Joel Anderson, president and CEO of is No. 4 in the new Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.”  Read more:


“Bi-Lo acquiring Harveys, Sweetbay, Reid’s chains” by Christopher Seward at Atlanta Journal Constitution.  “Bi-Lo Holdings is acquiring the stores from Delhaize Group, a Belgium-based company. As part of the deal, Bi-Lo will acquire 72 Harveys stores and 72 Sweetbay locations, in addition to leases for 10 Sweetbay locations and 11 Reid’s stores.  The stores employ about 10,000 employees throughout the Southeast.”  Read more:


“Mompreneur’s Germ Slaying Doormat Wins Coveted Retailers’ Choice Award”  “Dr. Doormat is the first antimicrobial treated doormat designed for home use. The mat is infused during the manufacturing process with a specially formulated antimicrobial treatment that permanently bonds to the fibers of the doormat and cannot be tracked through the home. The antimicrobial formula does NOT poison microbes but instead renders them harmless through a physical mode of action”  Read more:


“Ace Hardware to open outlets in Afghanistan” at My Retail Media.  “US home improvement chain, Ace Hardware is opening a franchise in Afghanistan. The hardware chain that sells home furniture, luxury grills and garden tools to middle class in America is sure that opening a home improvement outlet in a war torn country will be lucrative.”  Read more:


“Wal-Mart to pay $81.6M for illegal waste disposal” by Paul Elias at AP via Seattle Times.  “The plea agreements brought a close to an investigation that lasted eight years, involved more than 20 prosecutors and 32 environmental groups and cost Wal-Mart a total of $110 million.”  Read more:


“Home Depot at 101 Stores in Mexico” at WSJ.  “The home-improvement retailer opened its 101st store in Mexico last quarter, and has plans to open another six by the end of its fiscal year in early 2014.  “We have a pretty clear line of sight to 125 [Mexican] stores” over the next several years, Home Depot CFO Carol Tomé said in an interview.  Ms. Tomé said she has heard the bold projections for Mexican investment, and added that one Home Depot supplier recently began producing toilets in Mexico.”  Read more:


“Five retail technology trends you should know about” at The Guardian.  “If a shopper clicks on the swimwear section of a fashion retailer website in November, there’s a good chance they have a holiday planned. Leading the follow-up email with information on the bikini range – even if it’s just in the subject line – can generate rich returns. Retailers are starting to pick out the smaller, out of place results from huge data sets to yield greater returns.”  Read more:


“Wal-Mart Workers Plan a Fresh Protest, This Time in Bentonville” by Susan Berfield at Businessweek.  “It takes place at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., on June 7. OUR Walmart says about 100 members from the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Washington, Miami, and a dozen other cities will head to Bentonville this week in a bus caravan they’re calling the “Ride for Respect.” They expect to arrive by Sunday, June 2.”  Read more:


“US Entrepreneurship Reaches 14-Year High: Report” by Heesun Wee at CNBC.  “While necessity-driven entrepreneurs have not disappeared, opportunity seekers returned in 2012. Research found that nearly 78 percent of entrepreneurs last year started ventures to pursue opportunities. That is up from 71 percent of total entrepreneurship in 2010 .Before the financial collapse unraveled, about 87.3 percent were opportunity entrepreneurs in 2008.  “People are now seeing a positive environment and jumping in,” Kelley said.”  Read more:


“Bilingualism rate drops for first time in Canada” by Tristin Hopper at National Post.  “Between 2001 and 2011, Canada’s bilingualism rate dipped to 17.5% from 17.7%.  Although slight, the decline marks the first time Canada’s French-English skills have slipped in more than four straight decades of surging bilingual growth.”  Read more:


Thanks for reading…


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Today’s Tipsheet: Walmart’s Green Dots | Target’s Budget Bridal Line | H.Depot’s “Fun” Shareholder Mtg


“Wal-Mart Plasters Stores With Green Dots to Stay Stocked” by Renee Dudley at Businessweek.  “In April, Acosta Inc., a Jacksonville, Florida-based consulting firm, began the green-dot program in Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores after previously conducting shelf audits without telling workers what items would be monitored.”  Read more:


“Say ‘I Do’ in Target’s Budget Bridal Line” by Kate Rogers at Fox Business News.  “The discount retailer announced this week a new line of wedding dresses that are all priced at $130 or less. And with the average bride spending $1,211 on their dress, according to The  Brides can browse the offerings exclusively on, which has four brides’ dresses, 10 bridesmaids’ dresses and two flower girl dresses. All of the designs are from Target’s in-house bridal collection Tevolio.”  Read more:


“How ‘Extreme Couponing’ Is Ruining Coupons” by Brad Tuttle at Time.  “A NCH Marketing report released earlier this year indicated that there was a 17% drop in coupon redemption in 2012. Among consumers who used fewer coupons last year, the most popular explanation given for the decreasing in couponing was this: “I can’t find coupons for the products I want to buy.”  Read more:


“Home Depot shareholders rediscover their comfort zone at annual meeting” by Maria Saporta at Saporta Report.  “After Home Depot’s annual meeting at the Cobb Galleria Thursday morning, Chairman and CEO Frank Blake was asked how he felt it went.  “It felt different,” Blake said. “This was fun.”…But perhaps the real reason the annual meeting felt different was because the rediscovery of the company’s core values and culture was now complete, and that realignment of its roots had been translated to Home Depot’s associates and shareholders.”  Read more:


“Walmart job an offer H+K’s Bartlett couldn’t refuse” by Steve Barrett at PR Week.  “Bartlett will report directly to Walmart CEO Mike Duke, who joined the world’s largest retailer in 2009 to succeed Lee Scott. Earlier this month, Bloomberg News speculated that Duke himself was on his way out in the coming months, citing Walmart executives Doug McMillon and Bill Simon as possible successors.  As far as Dach is concerned, after seven years in the role it is understood he had become disillusioned with the commute to Walmart’s Bentonville base from his home in DC.”  Read more:


“Target takes aim at repeat customers as Canadian sales ‘unexpectedly strong’” by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post.  ““People shop for food in Canada an average of 1.8 times a week and the idea is that if you get them in for food and other household items, they then cross-shop in the other departments,” said Richard Talbot, a retailing consultant…That is why Walmart opened a glut of locations with full grocery stores last year and by the end of this year will have 246 stores with food, compared with 209 now, in addition to 142 standard stores. Target’s new Canadian stores have tiny grocery departments with a limited selection of perishable items.  “The food offering is more like a convenience store, or the food department of Shoppers Drug Mart,” Mr. Talbot said. “They would do well to expand their food and get more of a direct comparable food offering to Walmart”.  Read more:


“Foe to Friend: Using Mobile to Turn ‘Showroomers’ into Buyers – Study” by Sam Gopal at Power Retail.  “TNS has released its annual Mobile Life study revealing one-third of mobile users globally ‘showroom’, a major threat to retailers.  The study was conducted between 20 November 2012 and 4 February 2013 and is based on responses from 38,000 people in 43 countries. It focuses on how people use their mobile device and the opportunities available to retailers to counteract the threat posed from ‘showrooming’.”  Read more (w/infographic):


“Wal-Mart to send automated shopping lists to its mobile app” by Stephen Lawson at Tech World.  ” “The future of retailing is the history of retailing, of a personalized interactive experience for every customer delivered through a smartphone,” Thomas said. Citing independent studies of the U.S. market, Thomas said in-store buying influenced by mobile use was on track to be about twice as big as e-commerce sales by 2016…Mobile already drives about one-third of the traffic to, spiking to more than 40 percent during the holiday season late last year.”  Read more:


“Don’t Read Infographics When You’re Feeling Anxious” by Nicholas Diakopolous at HBR.  “Ever had to look at a data visualization while you were in a lousy mood? Chances are you were more likely to make an error in visual judgment than if you had been feeling more cheerful. New research suggests that putting users in an emotionally positive mindset improves their accuracy in interpreting data visualizations.”  Read more:


“Kroger division president ends 50-year career” at The Packer.  “John Hackett served in his current position for 23 years, according to a news release from Cincinnati-based Kroger. During his tenure, the Mid-South division grew from 55 stores to 161 stores and increased sales more than 10-fold.”  Read more:
Thanks for reading…
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Today’s Tipsheet: Amazon’s “No Drama” Shareholders Meeting | Dollar Tree Up | Sears Down


“The Rise of Virtual Brick-and-Mortars” by Jeffrey Rayport at HBR.  “UK-based retailer, Tesco, has launched an array of “virtual” stores designed to sell products with no merchandise. The world’s first virtual store was a Tesco Homeplus opened in the Seoul Subway in August 2011. This wasn’t really a store: it was a wall that displayed over 500 of the chain’s most popular products, each with an associated barcode that users could scan to populate a shopping basket that Homeplus would deliver to their homes the same day. Since launch, the Homeplus Smartphone App has become the number one shopping app in Korea, with over a million downloads to date. Homeplus has extended this concept to bus stops.”  Read more:


“Drama is no-show at Amazon meeting” by Amy Martinez at The Seattle Times.  “The Internet retailer’s annual shareholders meeting Thursday lacked all the drama of last year, when dozens of labor activists took their protests to the event to criticize Amazon’s treatment of warehouse workers and tax policies…Asked if Amazon soon will expand its local grocery-delivery service, Bezos said only that the business had “made progress on the economics over the past year.” He added, “So I’m optimistic that the team is making good progress” — perhaps a sign he remains committed to the 5-year-old experiment.”  Read more:


“Why Lowe’s Is Losing the Housing Recovery to Home Depot” by Kyle Stock at Businessweek.  “Last quarter was the first time since the 2008 recession that sales to tradesmen outpaced business from ordinary homeowners, and Home Depot was ready. It had loaded up on such products as plywood and fast-drying paint, set up dedicated checkout lines and loading services for contractors, and sent employees to make sales calls at building sites. Home Depot also appealed to banks and private-equity firms with a turnkey program to spiff up properties in foreclosure. The result: Home Depot saw 35 percent of its revenue come from professionals, compared with 25 percent at Lowe’s.”  Read more:


“Delhaize wants to sell two American chains” by Yoni Van Looveren at Retail Detail.  “Delhaize is working hard on cleaning out its American branch: under the leadership of Roland Smith the distribution group cut heavily in the bonuses of management last year and it upped profit margins. He also closed down over thirty (unprofitable) shops of Sweetbay this year.  Now it seems Delhaize wants to divest the Sweetbay chain completely, as well as Harveys.”  Read more:


“Youthful Trend to Drive Whole Foods” by Lee Brodie at CNBC.  ” “Millennials will be about 30% of this country in a half-dozen years,” he added. In turn that suggests an entire generation may be coming of age that’s committed to the mission of Whole Foods – responsible eating.  In fact, Cramer believes the trend is so strong that as Whole Foods opens new supermarkets – it can tap into a vast audience who share that same desire.  “There’s a store scheduled to open in Brooklyn in November. A borough of 2 million people is just now getting a Whole Foods. It is a reminder of just how much runway there really is for this company,” he said.”  Read more:


“Google Faces Antitrust Probe Over Dominance In Online Display Ads” at Ad Age.  “FTC investigators are examining whether Google is using its position in U.S. display ads — a $17.7 billion industry that includes the sale of banner ads on websites — to push companies to use more of its other services, a practice that can be illegal under antitrust laws, the people said.”  Read more:


“Dollar Tree, Inc. Reports Record First Quarter Results”  “Comparable store sales increased 2.1%, on top of a 5.6% increase for the first quarter 2012…The Company continues to expand. During the first quarter, Dollar Tree opened 94 stores, closed 2 stores, and expanded or relocated 16 stores. Retail selling square footage increased 7.0% compared to a year ago, to 41.2 million square feet.”  Read more:


“Sears losses mount, weighs sale of unit to shore up liquidity” at Reuters.  “Same-stores sales fell 3.6 percent in the United States. Overall sales fell 9 percent to $8.5 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of $8.74 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.”  Read more:


“Target Launches Beauty Concierge Program in Los Angeles and Orange County in May”  “Target is pleased to announce that it will introduce its Beauty Concierge program to 96 existing stores in Los Angeles and Orange County area on May 24, 2013…Participating stores will be staffed with a Target Beauty Concierge, a highly-trained, brand agnostic beauty enthusiast who is available to answer guests’ questions in-store.”  Read more:


“The Home Depot to Speak at Goldman Sachs Fourth Annual dotCommerce Day” at Sacramento Bee.  “The Home Depot…today announced that Kevin Hofmann, president, Online will speak at the Goldman Sachs Fourth Annual dotCommerce Day in New York, NY. The presentation will begin at 9:45 a.m. ET on June 6, 2013.  The speech will be webcast live over the internet at”  Read more:


Thanks for reading, enjoy Memorial Day Weekend!


Follow on Twitter @retaileyeretail





Today’s Tipsheet: Lowe’s Resets + Weather = Perfect Storm | Target’s Weather Excuse | Walmart Hires Image Maker


“Wall Street pours cold water on Target’s weather excuses” by Thomas Lee at Star-Tribune.  ““Weather does not even make up [a quarter] of their sales decline,” said Robin Lewis, CEO of the Robin Report, a retail strategy newsletter.  The Minneapolis-based retailer said sales at stores open for at least a year dropped 0.6 percent while overall sales were nearly flat at $16.6 billion. Specifically, Target executives said cold weather that persisted into spring especially hurt seasonal goods like clothing, lawn, patio, and sporting goods.”  Read more:


“Target Reports First Quarter 2013 Earnings” – Company Press Release.  “In first quarter 2013, sales increased 0.5 percent to $16.6 billion from $16.5 billion last year, reflecting a 0.6 percent decline in comparable-store sales combined with the contribution from new stores…Target opened its first 24 Canadian stores in March 2013, which generated sales of $86 million in the first quarter with a gross margin rate of 38.4 percent.”  Read more:


Lowe’s Q1 Negative Comps:  Blame the Ongoing Category Resets as Much as the Weather…

Heard Yesterday on the Lowe’s Q1 Earnings Call: 

*  The month of March was particularly soft, with a roughly 10% comp decline, but April improved significantly, resulting in positive comps of approximately 10%.

*  Comps for indoor products were positive approximately 3%, while comps for outdoor products declined approximately 7%.

*  Pro services business outperformed the company average.

*  We continued to apply a particular focus on building stronger relationships with our largest Pro customers, both in-store and to our field based Pro services team.

*  At the end of the first quarter we had completed resets representing over half of our business.

*  Examples of resets completed in the first quarter include seasonal products by planters, patio furniture and grills, and year around products like kitchen cabinets and garage door openers.

*  We expect to finish the initial round of resets in 2013…the financial benefit of value improvement is greatest once we have reached stabilization. That is, when we are past clearance and selling only new assortments.

*  We completed the reset of over 80 categories in Q1 and that reset process brought us to over 50% of the categories. But with the weather impacts and a slow sales environment, many of those categories that are seasonally oriented did not reach stabilization. And therefore moved through their clearance inventory so we could appreciate the margin gains from the new sets.

*  There is — we still have from a reset standpoint, half of our categories to go. So there is about 100 and half left…As we move into summer they will be more hard line focused and probably more focused in some of the areas of plumbing, fashion electrical, some in millwork that I am aware of. But it is spread across the store.

*  We still have a lot of disruption going on as we go through the reset process, the transition of the lines, those type of things and selling through existing inventory.

Read the full transcript at Seeking Alpha:


“CEO says Lowe’s will add employee hours after cutting too deeply” by Ely Portillo at Charlotte Observer.  ““I think we just pulled hours back too far as we went through (the recession),” Niblock said. “We didn’t have enough coverage.” He said the cuts are now hampering the company as the housing market recovers.  Niblock’s comments came as Lowe’s, the nation’s second-largest home improvement retailer, reported lackluster results Wednesday for the first quarte.”  Read more:


“Amazon Tops Walmart in Ranking of Most Valuable Brands” by Kimberly August at Ad Age.  “Amazon, with a brand value of $45.7 billion, saw its value grow by 34%, while Walmart grew by 5% to $36.2 billion. Amazon’s operational swiftness accounts for a good part of its financial success.”  Read more:


“Wal-Mart Hires Former Bush Aide as Chief Image Maker” by Stephanie Clifford at NY Times.  “The company, the nation’s largest retailer, announced on Wednesday that Dan Bartlett, an adviser to President George W. Bush, would be its new executive vice president for corporate affairs, starting in late June.  The vague-sounding role in fact has a wide mandate, overseeing corporate communications, government relations, sustainability and the Wal-Mart Foundation. It is in essence Wal-Mart’s chief image maker.”  Read more:


“How Amazon’s Rising Headwaters Could Threaten Google” by Derek Brown at Read Write.  “I actually think there’s one final aspect to Amazon’s business with which Google cannot (yet) directly compete, and which may prove to be the difference-maker in this faux-ish battle: Data.  With 17+ years of history and hundreds of millions of transactions across almost every category of goods, Amazon now has massive quantities of data about the actual buying habits of tens, if not hundreds, of millions of consumers around the globe. Not just what people are searching for (Google, though actually has it too).”  Read more:


“Wal-Mart Puts Its Faith in Big Data for Mobile Strategy” by Cadie Thompson at CNBC.  “”Our mobile strategy is as simple as it is audacious. We want to make mobile tools that become indispensable for our customers while shopping in our stores and online,” said Gibu Thomas, global head of Wal-Mart’s mobile division, on Wednesday at the CTIA Wireless conference in Las Vegas.  “Our goal is to create shopping tools that become second nature to the customer, providing assistance with every part of the retail experience from pre-store planning to in-store shopping and decision making to checking out.”  Read more:


“Family Dollar to Present at the Citi 2013 Global Consumer Conference”  “Family Dollar Stores, Inc. announced today that the Company will make a presentation to the investment community at the Citi 2013 Global Consumer Conference at 2:05 p.m. ET on May 29, 2013. A webcast of this presentation can be accessed live at approximately 2:05 p.m. ET through the Company’s website at in the “Investors” section under “Presentations & Webcasts.”  Read more:


“Walgreens to Present at Deutsche Bank 38th Annual Health Care Conference May 30”  “Rick Hans, divisional vice president of investor relations and finance for Walgreens will present during the Deutsche Bank 38th Annual Health Care Conference in Boston at 10 a.m. Eastern time Thursday, May 30…A live audio webcast of the presentation will be available through the Walgreens investor relations website at”  Read more:


“Kroger executive gives insight into Memphis market” by Andy Ashby at Memphis Business Journal.  “Among the improvements to new Kroger stores is the “cue vision” seen at the new Poplar Plaza location. This measures shopping patterns in a store. “We’ll know how many people we have at produce at any given time,” Tim Brown said.  This lets store management know when people will get to the checkout area so they can open registers as needed.”  Read more:


Thanks for reading…


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Today’s Tipsheet: Lowe’s Soggy Sales | H.Depot Earnings Call Highlights | Why Target Ditched Amazon


“Lowe’s Earnings Miss as Cool Weather Damps Sales” at CNBC.  ” “Cooler-than-normal temperatures and greater precipitation resulted in a delayed spring selling season, which impacted our results in exterior categories,” Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president, and CEO, said in a statement. “While overall performance in the month of March was particularly soft, April improved significantly and we have maintained that positive momentum through the first few weeks of May.”  Read more:


“Lowe’s Reports First Quarter Sales and Earnings Results (Lowe’s Press Release)”  “Sales for the quarter decreased 0.5 percent to $13.1 billion from $13.2 billion in the first quarter of 2012, while comparable sales for the quarter decreased 0.7 percent.”  Read more:


“Home Depot Q1 Earnings Call Transcript” at Seeking Alpha.  Heard on the call:

“Transactions for tickets over $900 also representing approximately 20% of our US sales were up 9.7% for the first quarter. Average ticket increased 5% in the first quarter.”

“For the first time in the last several years the growth rate in our pro customer segment outpace the growth rate in the consumer segment.”

“Also our smaller spend pro customers contributed more significantly to the overall pro growth than in the last few years. Our expectation was that we would see improved performance in the smaller spend pros as the housing market recovers, so this is another positive sign.”

Craig Menear brand mentions:  SoftSpring carpet, Moen, Delta Foundations, Glacier Bay, Behr’s Marquee Paint, Graco, Pennington

“Comps for U.S. stores were positive 4.8% for the quarter with positive comps of 4.8% in February, negative 3% in March and positive 10.8% in April.”

“Every department with the exception of our garden department reported a positive comp in the quarter.”

“This year we estimate we lost about $188 million of garden sales. But it’s not lost forever, some of it’s lost. But we are going to get the majority of that back in the second quarter and with that comes people.”

“One out of five customers who pick up and order at the store also buys an additional item over there.”

Read the full transcript:


“Kids Turn to Twitter, Shun Facebook ‘Drama’ ” by Holly Ellyatt at CNBC.  “”Teens are now migrating to Twitter in growing numbers, often as a supplement to their Facebook use,” Pew reported.  “Twitter draws a far smaller crowd than Facebook for teens, but its use is rising. One in four online teens uses Twitter in some way. While overall use of social networking sites among teens has hovered around 80 percent,Twitter grew in popularity,” the Pew report said.”  Read more:


“Target Corporation to Webcast 1st Quarter Earnings Conference Call”    “WHAT:  Target Corporation’s webcast of its 1st quarter earnings conference call.  WHEN:  Wednesday, May 22, 2013 9:30 a.m. central time.  HOW:  Investors and the media are invited to listen to the call through the company’s website at (click on link under “Upcoming Events”)”  Read more:


“Staples, Inc. Announces First Quarter 2013 Performance”  “Sales for the first quarter of 2013 were $2.8 billion, a decrease of four percent compared to the first quarter of 2012. First quarter 2013 sales growth was negatively impacted by approximately one percent due to 48 store closures during the 12 months preceding the first quarter of 2013”  Read more:


“Best Buy CEO Sees Turnaround Within His Control” by Courtney Reagan at CNBC.  “”These vendors, Samsung and others, spend billions of dollars developing new products. Just seeing pictures or mock-ups, but without demonstration and explanation, you are missing the point. Vendors are excited about using our platforms in store and online, it’s an enhanced experience [compared] to competitors,” he said.”  Read more:


“Why Target Ditched Amazon” by Rachael King at WSJ.  “Just weeks after the launch, the retailer experienced the first website outage the day it started selling a limited collection of the Italian design label Missoni for Target. In the following six weeks, the site crashed again with Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel addressing the issue on an investor conference call, reported Minnesota Public Radio. “Those challenges are painful, in the moment,” said Ms. Jacob.”  Read more:


“Amazon’s plan for giant spheres gets mixed reaction” by Sanjay Bhatt at Seattle Times.  “Glass orbs.  Planet Earth.  Fly eyes.  Whatever you make of them, the three glass-and-steel spheres has proposed as the “heart” of its high-rise complex in Seattle’s Denny Triangle drew instant reaction Tuesday from online commenters and at a public hearing before a city design review board.”  Read and see more:


Thanks for reading…


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Today’s Tipsheet: Home Depot US Comps +4.8% | Best Buy Short on Revenue


“Home Depot Announces Q1 Results; U.S. Comp Sales +4.8%” at MSN Money.  “The Home Depot®, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $19.1 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, a 7.4 percent increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2012…The Home Depot will conduct a conference call today at 9 a.m. ET to discuss information included in this news release and related matters. The conference call will be available in its entirety through a webcast and replay at”  Read more:


“RadioShack Looks to Regain Relevance With Push for Younger Consumers” by Natalie Zmuda at Ad Age.  “Jennifer Warren, the new chief marketing officer and a former ad-agency exec, says the retailer is moving quickly to make changes in its advertising as it attempts an aggressive turnaround. It hopes to attract younger consumers, alert customers to the popular products it carries, such as Beats, and rethink the design of its stores. RadioShack is also rolling out a brand platform and tagline, “Let’s Play,” in an effort to become the “neighborhood technology playground.”  Read more:


“Home Depot Employees More Upbeat than Lowe’s” by Christopher Seward at Atlanta Journal Constitution.  “Glassdoor said said 61 percent of workers who submitted reviews about Home Depot said the outlook was bright, ranking the company No. 10 on the overall list…For Lowe’s, 28 percent of workers said the business outlook would be better.”  Read more:


“Walmart pushing for more Ark. product makers” at NewsOK.  “The world’s largest retailer on Monday held an event in Little Rock to highlight more than 1,700 Arkansas-made items on its shelves.  Walmart has developed an “Arkansas Own” label to flag items made in the state.”  Read more:


“Kroger Uses Food Waste to Power California Distribution Center” by Gina Marie Cheeseman at Triple Pundit.  “The Kroger Recovery System converts the carbon in organic material into methane, which is then used as energy. By using anaerobic digestion, which occurs naturally, organic food that is not fit to be sold or donated, and onsite food-processing effluent, is turned into biogas, which is used to help power the DC. The system provides enough biogas to provide 20 percent of the DC’s power.”  Read more:


“Dollar General Corporation Announces Upcoming Webcasts; Provides First Quarter Earnings Conference Call Information”  “Dollar General plans to webcast its 2013 annual meeting of shareholders on Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. CT/10:00 a.m. ET. The webcast will be broadcast live online at under “Investor Information.”  Read more:


“Wal-Mart Fattens Up On Poor America With 25% Of U.S. Grocery Sales” by Stephen Leeb at Forbes.  “Wal-Mart is the largest and most accessible non-Internet retailer in the world. The company is known for its low prices—especially for staples and necessities. Groceries stand-out, major league. They currently account for some 55% of sales for the massive chain. Food is a critical category where Wal-Mart continues to grow. Indeed, the company now holds roughly a 25% “franchise” on America’s grocery budget.”  Read more:


“Best Buy Earnings Top Estimates; Revenue Is Short” at CNBC.  “The company posted first-quarter earnings excluding items of 32 cents per share, down from 76 cents a share in the year-earlier period.  Revenue decreased to $9.38 billion from $10.37 billion a year ago.  Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 25 cents a share on $10.66 billion in revenue”  Read more:


“Valspar to Present at Goldman Sachs Basic Materials Conference 2013”  Jim Muehlbauer, executive vice president, chief financial and administrative officer of The Valspar Corporation will present at the Goldman Sachs Basic Materials Conference 2013 in New York on Wednesday, May 22 at 8:35 a.m. ET. Muehlbauer will provide an overview of Valspar’s growth strategy and discuss the company’s business outlook for fiscal 2013. The presentation will be available as a webcast through the Investor Relations section of Valspar’s corporate website at”  Read more:


Thanks for reading…


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