Monday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: H.Depot CEO Interview | 1st Nonprofit Supermarket | India Done Tinkering


“Home Depot CEO’s Interview with Fortune” by Geoff Colvin at Fortune. “Retailing is among the industries most disrupted by technology. How is Home Depot adapting its business model?  The Internet does a number of things to retailers. There’s a general rule that software eats hardware, so some retailers are very disrupted — think books, CDs, DVDs, and things like that. Not so much an issue for us: You can’t digitize drywall. On the other hand, the expectation of our customer has increased.”  Read the full interview


“Retail stores become shipping hubs to battle Amazon” by Alistair Barr at USA TODAY.  “Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has been shipping online orders from some stores for about two years and about 35 stores do this now.  “We started ship-from-store as a test. It has exceeded every expectation we’ve had for it,” said Neil Ashe, head of Global eCommerce at Wal-Mart. “We will probably scale this to hundreds of stores.”  Already, 10% of the items ordered on are shipped from stores and the majority of those packages are delivered in two days or less, according to the company.”  Read more


“As Whole Foods grows, so does the spotlight” by Brian Gaar at Austin-American Statesman via Charlotte Observer.  “That perception that Whole Foods is too expensive and caters to a largely affluent demographic continues to be a challenge for the company, Wolf said.“That’s been their biggest hurdle,” Wolf said. “And that remains. I mean, they’re not going to stop trying to create a better value image, because as they get bigger, they have to.”  The company has worked hard to improve its value and accessibility, Robb said.” Read more


“Nation’s 1st nonprofit supermarket set to open in Pennsylvania” by Alfred Lubrano at Philly Inquirer via Star-Tribune.  “In Chester, Pa., a city where hard times often plow under shiny promises, a hunger-relief agency’s pledge to build America’s first nonprofit supermarket was greeted skeptically at first.  But Philabundance may be confounding local doubters. Its Fare & Square grocery store, seven years in the making, is ready to open its doors Saturday.”  Read more


“Home Depot Found a Way to Plug a Huge Hole in Its Business Model” by Kyle Stock at Bloomberg.  “Door installation is a great example…Redbeacon cuts out a big chunk of that work with a series of online questions. How many doors are involved? What type of doors are they? Interior or exterior? Zip Code? At each step, it updates a chart of thousands of price quotes to detail a range of expected bids, from low to high. Replacing a regular interior door, for example, should run between $97 and $318, depending on where you live.”  Read more


“dunnhumby Names Menards #1 Customer-Centric Home Improvement Retailer” at Fort Mill Times.  “dunnhumby’s Customer Centricity Index™ provides quantifiable data across seven key areas that are most important to long-term customer satisfaction and business growth, and shows retailers where they can focus to best meet customer needs.”  Read more


“No further tinkering of FDI rules, India Ministry tells Walmart” by Amiti Sen at Business Line.  “Walmart’s attempts to press for further relaxation in the existing Foreign Direct Investment rules in India, especially those related to sourcing inputs locally, could meet with only limited success.  The Commerce & Industry Ministry has indicated to the company that it has little space to tinker with the existing rules as it cannot go for another policy amendment.”  Read more


“For stores, many returns aren’t so happy” by Cotten Timerblake at SF Gate.  “Many merchants have long lived by the mantra that the customer is always right, adopting liberal return policies in hopes of winning the loyalty of free-spending shoppers. But with a recent increase in the wearing and subsequent return of expensive clothes – a practice merchants call wardrobing – many retailers are taking a stronger stand against the industry’s $8.8 billion-a-year return fraud problem.”  Read more


“Bloomberg’s Poorly Sourced Walmart Coverage” at the City Wire.  “Melissa Lee, an anchor for CNBC Fast Money, reminded investors and viewers that this was the second time in six months that a Bloomberg report sourced from an e-mail raised false alarms. Her reminder came with an indirect suggestion that maybe the markets think twice before acting on a future Bloomberg story about Wal-Mart.”  Read more


“Kroger Names Steve McKinney President of Fry’s Food Stores”  “The Kroger Co. announced today the promotion of Steve McKinney as president of the Fry’s Food Stores division. Fry’s operates 119 food stores in Arizona.  Mr. McKinney, 57, has been vice president of operations at the company’s Ralphs division since 2007. He succeeds Jon Flora, who passed away unexpectedly two weeks ago.”  Read more


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Friday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: H.Depot Expands Redbeacon | Google’s New Search Algorithm | T.Supply Opens #1,223


“It’s Target Versus Amazon in the Battle for Moms” by Brad Tuttle at Time.  “Target wants its moms back. This week, Target rolled out a new diaper-delivery plan and a family friendly on-demand video streaming option. Both services are aimed at wooing moms—in particular, moms who might otherwise give their business to Amazon.  While rivalries among competing retailers are rarely friendly, and Target have a history of confrontation.”  Read more


“Home Depot Expands Redbeacon to Boost ‘Do-It-for-Me’ Services” by Chris Burritt at Bloomberg.  “Redbeacon, which connects consumers with painters, plumbers, carpenters and maids, expanded this week through Home Depot to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Montana and Alaska. That puts the service in 11 states as the service pushes nationwide over the next two years, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Rodio said in an interview Wednesday.”  Read more


“Kroger CEO Succession Plan Gets High Marks” by Ann Meyer at Retail Leader.  “This is a textbook case of how to do it right. Rodney McMullen was groomed for this job,” said Gene Grabowski, executive vice president at Levick, a Washington, D.C.-based communications firm that helps companies create succession plans. “It’s one of the best transitions you’ll ever see.”  Read more


“Fifteen Years In, Google Revamps Its Search Algorithm” by Liz Gannes at All Things D.  “Google has “changed engines midflight,” search leader Amit Singhal announced today. Not that anyone noticed, or that Google can even describe what changed in layman’s terms. But, about a month ago, the company swapped out its search-ranking algorithm for a new one, code-named Hummingbird, that can handle more complex queries faster.”  Read more


“7 Products Wal-Mart Sells To Keep Its ‘Made In America’ Pledge” by Emily Coyle at Business Insider.  “The jury’s still out on whether Wal-Mart really is leading the effort or actually joining in on a phenomenon that is well underway, but nonetheless, the retailer has made significant strides in recent months to keep good on that promise, and its suppliers are helping. Here are 7 products Wal-Mart now sells that help it maintain its “Made in America” pledge.”  Read more


“Home Depot unveils 1.6 million-square-foot distribution center in Joliet, IL” at The Times Weekly.  “The facility, adjacent to the company’s Rapid Deployment Center, will employ approximately 200 people and serve more than 340 Home Depot stores across the Midwest, according to Holifield. However, the home improvement giant will not be adding new jobs at the Joliet location. Home Depot is closing facilities in both Bolingbrook and Romeoville.”  Read more


“Tractor Supply Company Enters Nevada Market”  “Nevada represents the 47th state of operation for Tractor Supply…Tractor Supply Company plans to open 100-105 stores in 2013, and grow its square footage approximately eight percent annually toward its domestic opportunity of 2,100 stores. The Company currently operates more than 1,223 stores.”  Read more


“Why Canadians may never realize their dream of having U.S. prices” by Dan Ovsey at Financial Post.  “In 2011, an average of 3.4 million Canadians made a conscious choice to hop in their vehicles each month and make a run for the border — to shop.  That trend is likely to grow in the near future given that the federal government’s 2013 budget announced the introduction of new tariffs to be imposed on goods entering Canada from 70 different countries, costing Canadian consumers an estimated $330-million more each year in retail prices.”  Read more


“Patent trolls have a new enemy: Martha Stewart” by Timothy Lee at Washington Post.  “In July, Lodsys sent Stewart’s media empire letters warning her that four of its iPad apps infringed LodSys’s patent. Lodsys demanded $5,000 for each of the four apps to license the patents.  Instead of paying up, Stewart went on the offensive.”  Read more


“Why big American businesses fail in China” by Benjamin Carlson at CNBC.  “As Best Buy and other American retailers have found, Chinese consumers don’t like big, boxy warehouses far away from a city center…Home Depot tried to bring American notions of DIY to a market where labor was so cheap that most people simply hired a handyman…The company admitted as much when it left China. As the company spokeswoman said at the time, “China is a do-it-for-me market, not a do-it-yourself market, so we have to adjust.”  Read more


Follow @retaileyeretail


Have a great weekend!

Thursday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: Walmart: Cut Orders & Pick Next CEO | Target Likes Babies & Movies


“McMillon, Simon top picks as next Wal-Mart CEO” by Kim Souza at City Wire.  “The Wal-Mart Board of Directors meeting scheduled for later this week may include the selection and announcement of Doug McMillon or Bill Simon as the new top boss at Wal-Mart Stores.  A majority of insiders that include analysts, academics, service providers and consultants recently interviewed for this story give the nod to 46-year-old Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart International. If McMillon is not selected, the insiders say Bill Simon, 53, CEO of Walmart U.S., will be promoted to the top job.”  Read more


“Wal-Mart Cutting Two Quarters of Orders as Inventory Swells” by Renee Dudley at Bloomberg News via SF Gate.  “Last week, an ordering manager at the company’s Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters described the pullback in an e-mail to a supplier, who said others got similar messages. “We are looking at reducing inventory for Q3 and Q4,” said the Sept. 17 e-mail, which was reviewed by Bloomberg News.”  Read more


“Wal-Mart wrestles down inventory ahead of holiday push” by Kim Souza at City Wire.  “The categories seeing the biggest cull rate include food, consumables, health and wellness and home. The aggressiveness with which Wal-Mart has cut inventory over the past 60 days has been greater than anything seen out of the retailer in recent years, according to analysts with Cleveland Research Company.” Read more


“Family Dollar Takeover in the Works?” by Ely Portillo at Charlotte Observer.  “For what it’s worth – and file this under “odd” – I was contacted this week by someone who identified themselves as “an investigator based in New York conducting some research on behalf of an investment fund regarding the Family Dollar company.”  They were looking for information about whether CEO (and founder’s son) Howard Levine views the business as a “family affair,” and how that might influence his decisions about the company’s future. Hm.” Read more


“Target Launches Online Baby Goods Subscription Plan” at Fox Business.  “Target Corp will launch a free service on Wednesday that lets shoppers set up recurring deliveries of bulky baby goods, a move that mimics Inc and is aimed at attracting more moms.  Target has a battle ahead since it is not the first to offer such delivery, and for now is only selling 150 items such as diapers, baby wipes and formula.”  Read more


“Home Depot’s CEO: ‘We’ve pretty much built all the Home Depot’s we need to build (in US)’ “  via Fortune’s Leadership Series.  See the video


“PayPal Seen With ‘Limited Traction’ At Home Depot” by Reinhardt Krauss at Investors Bus. Daily.  “PayPal kicked off their in-store payment option at 2,000 Home Depots across the U.S. over 12 months ago,” wrote RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney. “We recently re-visited 11 Home Depots in the (San Francisco) Bay Area in order to determine whether adoption of PayPal’s in-store payment functionality has increased. Overall, we discovered still limited traction.” Read more


“Target Introduces Target Ticket, a Family-Friendly Digital Video Service” at WSJ.  “Target partnered with Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization best known for its reviews of movies and television shows. Through the partnership, Target Ticket gives guests access to thousands of reviews, making it easier for parents to choose the right content for their children.”  Read more


“Jewel scrapping self-checkout at some stores” by Samantha Bomkamp at Chicago Tribune.  “Jewel-Osco is getting rid of self-checkout lanes from some of its stores.  Jewel said it’s an effort to reconnect personally with all of its customers despite the higher costs the shift entails.  Theft is also a concern driving some grocers away the unmanned checkouts, as are hassles such as liquor and other purchases that require an employee to step in. Self-checkouts generally have one staff member assisting customers at four or six stations at once.”  Read more


“Advertisers miss chance to reach black consumers” by Robert Channick at Chicago Tribune via Seattle Times. “The buying power of African Americans continues to grow, but advertisers are missing the mark by passing over black-oriented media.  That is the conclusion of a Nielsen report, which shows that of the $75 billion spent last year in the U.S. on television, magazines, Internet and radio advertising, less than 3 percent went to media focused on black audiences.”  Read more


Follow @retaileyeretail




Wednesday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: Sears Can. calls in U.S. Marine | Amazon’s ‘mayday’ button | achoo Tool



“Wal-Mart ‘Made in America’ drive follows suppliers’ lead” by Jessica Wohl at Reuters.  “An examination of the company’s “Made in America” campaign suggests Wal-Mart’s caught on to a reshoring phenomenon that was already underway.  In many cases, Wal-Mart’s suppliers had already decided to produce in the United States, as rising wages in China and other emerging economies, along with increased labor productivity and flexibility back home, eroded the allure of offshore production.  Though wrapped in the stars and stripes, the world’s largest retailer’s push to bring jobs back to the United States also makes business sense both for suppliers and retailers.”  Read more


“Sears Canada puts former U.S. Marine in charge as CEO Calvin McDonald resigns” by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post.  “Struggling department store operator Sears Canada Inc. shocked the market Tuesday when it put a decorated former U.S. Marine pilot who fought in the Iraq war at its helm to replace Calvin McDonald, a savvy merchant who revamped the chain’s look and retail brands.”  Read more


“Hispanic Home Improvement Spending Tops $19B in 2012” at Digital Journal.  “In 2012, Hispanics’ estimated share of Home Improvement spending topped $19B or 9% of sales.  Hispanics’ internet adoption has accelerated and is similar to the overall US population in terms of online shopping (37%) and online buying (11%) for Outdoor Power Equipment.  Sears and Home Depot are the leading Outdoor Power Equipment retailers for Hispanics.”  Read more


“Why Most Online Shoppers Don’t Make it Past the First Step of Checkout” at KISSmetrics.  “We’ve identified four UX (user experience) fixes that will reduce the number of visitors who abandon their cart before they really even get started. We’ve seen improvements of up to 5% in overall conversion rates as a result.”  Read more


“Dunnhumby Launches Venture Fund for Retail Data, Marketing Startups” by Jack Neff at Ad Age.  “Dunnhumby, the analytics and direct-marketing firm behind loyalty programs at Tesco and Kroger among others, is launching a venture fund to back startups in retail data, analytics and marketing technology — including some that potentially challenge its own business or that of its clients.”  Read more


“eBay and U.K.’s Argos strike ‘click and collect’ deal” by Arjun Karpahl at CNBC.  “Online retail giant eBay has announced a “click and collect” tie-up with British retailer Argos as the U.K.’s stores look to increase their online business and e-retailers try to gain a foothold on main street.  Shoppers will be able to buy items from at least 50 merchants on eBay and pick them up from 150 Argos stores across the UK.”  Read more


“Bezos goes for ‘wow’ factor in new Kindle Fire ‘mayday’ button” by Jay Greene at Seattle Times.  “Customers who can’t figure out how to set up an email account on the device, or ones looking for a recommendation for a game to buy, can tap the button and get on-demand, on-device tech support in a postage stamp-sized video window that pops up on the new tablets. There, a live tech-support representative will walk customers through fixing whatever digital snafu they encounter.”  Read more


“Kleenex Brand Launches Break-Through Tool that Predicts Where the Cold and Flu Will Hit Next”  “The achoo by Kleenex tool utilizes CDC data and a proprietary forecasting model developed by a global network of professors, top business leaders and highly trained analysts. The result is a one-of-a-kind cold and flu tool that predicts where it will hit next up to three weeks in advance with an average accuracy rate of more than 90 percent.”  Read more


“Advertisers Struggle to See the ROI on Branded Content” by Jack Neff at Ad Age.  “Marketers are finding content is far from cheap, and that “owned” and “earned” media don’t mean you don’t pay handsomely. A Gartner survey earlier this year found marketers now spend almost as much on content creation and management as they do on paid online display.”  Read more


Follow on Twitter @retaileyeretail

Tuesday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: Wmart’s Reality TV Show | Sears Can. CEO Departs | ‘The Pig’ Gets Carved


“Walmart Launches Online Reality Series” at Seeking Alpha.  “The five weekly “webisodes,” which go live on Tuesdays beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET from Sept. 24 through Oct. 22, feature a group of finalists under the same theme, such as Kid Stuff or Great Gadgets. The webisodes give viewers a chance to learn more about the entrepreneurs behind the inventions and watch as they pitch their product to a panel of judges.”  Read more


“Sears Canada CEO Departs” by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail.  “The departure was sparked over differing views with parent Sears Holdings Corp., whose controlling shareholder is Edward Lampert. The disagreement was tied to “the pace at which capital was being deployed to keep the momentum of the transformation going,” according to a source.”  Read more


“Nordstrom: How To Remain Relevant In A Tech Savvy World” by Walter Loeb at Forbes.  “Nordstrom Labs is a small team of techies, designers, entrepreneurs, statisticians, researchers and artists whose mission it is to discover what will be in the future of retailing. It is one of the most important initiatives underway at Nordstrom, as management looks to build on its legacy of customer service and care in a technological world.”  Read more


“Wal-Mart Tries Workforce Surge to Battle Sparse Shelves” by Susan Berfield at Businessweek.  “The decision to increase Wal-Mart’s permanent workforce comes amid reports that its stores have been understaffed and its customers frustrated. The U.S. workforce at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club fell by about 120,000 employees in the past five years, to 1.3 million, according to Bloomberg News, even as the company added more than 500 stores.”  Read more


“As Piggly Wiggly Gets Carved Up, Customers Cry” by Kyle Stock at Businessweek.  “The name helped, too. It isn’t a grocery chain, or even a store; it’s simply “The Pig”—a brand the company fattened up with a pile of branded souvenirs in every store. This week, customers are rushing to snap up beer koozies, t-shirts, Frisbees and other swag plastered with the company’s porcine logo.”  Read more


“Facebook Quietly Rolls Out Its Mobile Payments “Autofill” Product” by Mike Issac at All Things D.  “Beginning on Monday evening, Facebook will make that product public, slowly rolling it out to its billion-strong user network.  It’s (aptly) named “Autofill with Facebook,” and it’s a simple yet seemingly useful proposition. If you’ve stored your address and credit card information on Facebook, retail apps partnered with the company in the pilot program — currently only Jack Threads and Mosaic — will display a small drop-down prompt when hitting the payment info screen upon checkout.”  Read more


“In D.C., Wal-Mart job seekers want work. Any work.” by Petula Dvorak at Washington Post.  ” “Is this the line for Wal-Mart jobs?” asked Stephon Holly, 18, who arrived interview-ready. His wingtips were polished, his cardigan buttoned. He had a black portfolio packed with copies of his resume and talking points written on the legal pad to help him through a face-to-face.  But it never happened.  Wal-Mart reps were standing on the sidewalk, handing out fliers instructing the job seekers to apply online.”  Read more


“Walmart opens hiring centers in D.C.” by Sam Ford at WJLA-ABC.  “Retail giant Walmart isn’t wasting any time. Just days after the D.C. city council failed to override the Mayor’s veto of the controversial living wage bill, the company has opened two hiring centers.”  See the Video


“China Reportedly Lifts Ban On Facebook In The Shanghai Free-Trade Zone”  by Catherine Shu at TechCrunch.  “The Chinese government will allow access to some banned Web sites in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone, including Facebook, Twitter and The New York Times, the South China Morning Post reports, citing anonymous government sources.”  Read more


” ‘Made in USA’ fuels new manufacturing hubs in apparel” by Heesun Wee at CNBC.  “More small merchants and independent designers have been calculating the costs associated with international manufacturing and are opting to make clothing domestically. Think Raleigh, N.C., which boasts a rich textile history. Or consider Fort Wayne, Ind., in the Rust Belt.  These fashion manufacturing hubs are small compared to New York and Los Angeles. But armed with laptops and websites, entrepreneurs with a passion for domestic manufacturing are rolling the dice in smaller cities.”  Read more


Follow on Twitter @retaileyeretail


Monday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: Kroger CEO to Retire | Will D.General Buy F.Dollar? | H.Depot’s 1st Day


“Kroger CEO to retire at start of 2014, COO to replace him” at Reuters.  “Kroger said on Friday that David Dillon, the grocery store’s chief executive officer for a decade, plans to step down from that job in January and that President and Chief Operating Officer Rodney McMullen will replace him as CEO.”  Read more


“Q&A: W. Rodney McMullen, next Kroger CEO” by Alexander Coolidge at Cincinnati Enquirer.  “On Kroger’s strategy: McMullen said he’s not planning any major changes in strategy. He noted the company has prospered in the past decade with its Customer 1st strategy that emphasizes competitive pricing, a broad variety of products, customer service and improving the shopping experience.”  Read more


“Does Dollar General have Family Dollar takeover in mind?” by G. Chambers Williams III at The Tennessean.  “On Oct. 5, Dollar General Corp. will celebrate the opening of its 11,000th store, in Murfreesboro, as the small-box retailer continues to deliver on a promise to add 650 new stores this year.  But analysts are buzzing over the possibility that Goodlettsville-based Dollar General, founded in Scottsville, Ky., in 1939, could instantly bring an additional 7,600 stores into its fold by acquiring its biggest direct competitor, Family Dollar Stores Inc.”  Read more


“The First Day of Home Depot’s Conquest of the Stock Market”  by Alex Planes at Motley Fool.  “Home Depot went public on Sept. 22, 1981, two years after its first stores opened in Atlanta. The home-improvement retailer listed 600,000 shares at $12 per share to raise $7.2 million — enough to build a handful of megastores in 1981.  In its first year of trading, this tiny over-the-counter stock soared more than 300% in value, but it remained off Wall Street’s radar despite recording a 220% year-over-year increase in revenue.”  Read more


“America’s fastest-growing retailers” at MarketWatch.  “From 24/7 Wall St., these are America’s fastest-growing retailers…”  Read more


“Costco grand opening: 200 jobs and ‘a huge win’ for New Orleans” by Robert Morris at Up Town Messenger.  “For their 650 other stores around the country, they mostly just opened the doors and people started shopping, the executives said.  “We’ve never been treated like this before,” Costco cofounder Jeff Brotman said. “You guys know how to throw a party.”  Read more


“Home Depot Can’t Escape Rivals’ Power Tool Antitrust Suit” by Jonathan Randles at Law 360 (Free Subscription Required).  “A California federal judge on Thursday refused to excuse Home Depot USA Inc. from a rival retailer’s antitrust suit alleging the world’s largest home improvement store conspired to prevent its competitors from stocking popular power tool brands.  U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar mostly denied Home Depot’s bid to dismiss competitor Orchard Supply Hardware LLC’s complaint. Orchard Supply claims Home Depot pressured power tool makers Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. and Makita USA Inc. to boycott rival retail chains, including Inc.”  Read more


“US holiday sales may rise 4.5%, Deloitte says” by Katie Little at CNBC.  “As the economy continues to improve at a steady gradual pace, one research firm expects sales during the crucial holiday season to improve moderately.  Sales are expected to rise between 4 percent and 4.5 percent in the November to January period to a range of $963 billion to $967 billion, according to a forecast from Deloitte released on Monday.”  Read more


“Costco Loses $9.9 Million in Runaway Cart Verdict” by Selim Algar at NY Post.  “A pain-wracked mom scored a stunning $9.9 million verdict last week after she was smacked with an out-of-control shopping cart at a Costco outlet in Brooklyn that left her forced to hobble on a cane, The Post has learned.”  Read more


“Real men don’t shop? Think again: Retail’s new frontier” by Katie Little at CNBC.  “”I think we’ve reached a point in society where millennial and Gen X men grew up a little differently,” said Candace Corlett, WSL’s president. “They grew up hanging out in a mall in a world where there were so many stores. They didn’t marry as young, and now they’re married to working women. Now all of these forces are coming together to create a new world of male shoppers.”  Read more


“For Migrants, New Land of Opportunity Is Mexico” by Damien Cave at NY Times.  “While Mexico’s economy is far from trouble free, its growth easily outpaced the giants of the hemisphere — the United States, Canada and Brazil — in 2011 and 2012, according to International Monetary Fund data, making the country more attractive to fortune seekers worldwide.”  Read more


“Macy’s blurs lines between stores, online” by Alexander Coolidge at Cincy Enquirer.  “The nation’s second-largest department store has expanded its network of fulfillment departments to 500 stores – including all six in Greater Cincinnati. The backroom operations add shipping capabilities at two-thirds of Macy’s stores, allowing them to fill both online orders and from locations where an item is out of stock.” Read more


Follow on Twitter @retaileyeretail

Friday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: Target Ticket Trouble? | H.Depot ends Med Coverage | Rite-Aid Profit Up


“Why Target’s New Digital Video Service Could Face Complications” by Todd Spangler at Variety.  “But on the eve of Target’s big digital video launch, the company faces a potential wrinkle: The core system it is using just changed ownership.  On Sept. 1, entertainment technology firm Rovi completed the sale of its money-losing Rovi Entertainment Store, a one-stop shop for video e-commerce that powers Target Ticket, to an entity called Reliance Majestic Holdings — a Beverly Hills startup that is staying silent as to its plans.”  Read more


“Rite-Aid Swings to Unexpected Quarterly Profit” at WSJ.  “For the period ended Aug. 31, Rite Aid reported a profit of $32.8 million, or three cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $38.8 million, or five cents a share.”  Read more


“The End of The Beginning Of Ecommerce” by Doug Stephens at Retail Prophet.  “So, I think it’s fair to say that anyone anticipating an imminent plateau in ecommerce growth is likely to be disappointed… for a long time. Not only is the volume and velocity of digital commerce likely to continue at its present clip but the net profitability of resulting sales is likely to improve as well – representing a renewed, double-threat to any less-than remarkable brick and mortar experience in the market.”  Read more


“Rare bottle of scotch selling for $17,000 at Costco” at Fox News.  “While $17,000 might sound like a lot, the price at this Costco is apparently a steal. Bottles typically sell for about $20,000.  That breaks down to about $1000 a shot, if you’re counting.”  Read more


“Home Depot Sending 20,000 Part-Timers to Health Exchanges” by Chris Burritt at Bloomberg.  “Home Depot Inc. plans to end medical coverage for about 20,000 part-time employees and direct them to government-sponsored exchanges scheduled to open next month as companies revamp benefits to fit the U.S. Affordable Care Act.  Employees with fewer than 30 hours a week will no longer be offered limited liability medical coverage.”  Read more


“Traditional grocers poised to join e-commerce boom” by Bob Sullivan at CNBC.  “Rather than wait for a delivery van, online shoppers select items on a store’s website and then set up a time to rendezvous with their purchases at a designated pickup center. In the past 12 months, the Stop & Shop and Grand Union grocery chains have set up 70 such locations in the Northeast with delivery partner Peapod. Specialty food stores such as Harris Teeter are also experimenting with click and collect.”  Read more


“Target matching Walmart’s $79 iPhone 5c deal, preorders start today” at 9 to 5 Mac.  “While the iPhone 5c will begin selling in stores tomorrow starting at $99 on contract through most retailers, we’ve just learned that Target will be matching the $79 offer that Walmart recently announced for preorders of the iPhone 5c. It will also throw in an extra 5% off for those with a Target REDcard.” Read more


“Coke cancels Canadian campaign after bottle caps appear with offensive phrases” at The Vancouver Sun.  “Coca-Cola has cancelled a Canadian promotion that paired randomly generated English and French words inside bottle caps after an Edmonton woman got one that said “You Retard.”  Blake Loates says she and her husband were eating at a restaurant in Edmonton earlier this week when her husband read the cap of his bottle of Vitaminwater.  Loates says they thought at first it was a prank by a rogue employee at the bottling plant.”  Read more


“Pinterest Promises Users It Won’t Mess Up the Site With Ads (Oh, and It’s Going to Do Ads)” by Liz Gannes at All Things D.  “They’ll be called “promoted pins” (a la Twitter’s “promoted tweets”) and they’ll be ways for brands to pay to make their pins appear near the top of search results and category feeds.  Silbermann told users that if they see such ads, it’s because Pinterest is going to start testing them for free, because it wants user feedback.”  Read more


“DIPP tells Walmart to invest in India before 2014 elections” by Rituparna Bhuyan at Money Control.  “Asia CEO Scot Price today met senior officials of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to seek clarity on the FDI policy on multi brand retail. In his second visit in less than a month to Udyog Bhawan, the message that he got from the DIPP was — submit your proposal to FIPB as soon as possible, preferably before the general elections are announced… because once approved, Walmart’s investments will be secure.”  Read more


“Valpak Integrates Coupons into Google Wallet”  “The “Save to Google” feature will be available for desktop and mobile web users later this week, providing the ability for almost anyone with a smart phone to access the capability and convenience of the Google Wallet. Valpak is one of the first local coupon companies to be incorporated into the Google Wallet.”  Read more


Follow on Twitter @retaileyeretail


Have a great weekend!



Thursday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: Ace in Afghan. | Dick’s wants 800 | Wmart expands Campus locations


“Walmart Loses Share to Dollar General” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “Kantar found Dollar General had the least expensive total basket by far; driven by lower opening price points in its edible and non-edible baskets…Long said Dollar General is blanketing the country with rural stores, while Wal-Mart is still in the first inning of its Walmart Express format, which began in rural areas but more recently has been gravitating toward denser populated regions…“A trip to a Walmart Supercenter is a commitment, but a Dollar Store trip is quick and easy with a little bit of a treasure hunt mixed in,” Long said.”  Read more


“Walmart to Expand Campus Locations Throughout the US” by Zachary Stanton at Arkansas Traveler.  “There are three operational campus Walmarts in the U.S. Besides the store at the Univ of Ark., which opened in 2011, Arizona State University and Georgia Tech both have campus Walmarts that opened in 2013.  Walmart plans to open another location across the street from the University of Missouri.  The new locations will range between 2,500 and 5,000 square feet and offer pharmacy services, as well as financial services, including in-store check cashing and bill pay, Jones said.”  Read more


“Ace says Afghanistan is the place” by Steve Geary at DC Velocity.  “Press reports suggest that the Safis expect to invest $40 million to $50 million in the Ace Hardware expansion. A significant portion of that will go toward logistics…But getting it to the shelf won’t be easy. Ace’s closest distribution center is in Dubai, more than 1,000 miles from Mazar-e Sharif as the crow flies. And there’s no easy way to move freight between the two locations. In theory, you could ship from Dubai via Iran, but for a variety of obvious reasons, that option is not available.”  Read more 


“Publix Pharmacy Ranks No. 1 in Consumer Satisfaction with Target a Close 2nd” at Digital Journal.  “The top performers on the delight index – Publix and Target – rated head and shoulders above the other leading chains in the operational excellence attributes. Publix ranked first for friendly staff, atmosphere and cleanliness. Target led in checkout times, followed by Walgreens and Rite Aid, both of which performed consistently well across most of the categories. See Graph 3.”  Read more


“Dick’s Sporting Goods Shoots for 800 Stores by 2017”  “The Company anticipates growing its store base to over 800 DICK’S Sporting Goods stores by the end of fiscal 2017, an increase of approximately 300 stores from the 518 stores at the end of fiscal 2012. DICK’S Sporting Goods has developed a range of prototypes depending on market characteristics, including its traditional 50,000 sq. ft. single-level stores, 35,000 sq. ft. smaller market stores and 80,000 sq. ft. two-level stores.”  Read more


“Walmart’s Platform For Female-Owned Businesses Is Surprisingly Exciting” by Ariel Schwartz at Fast Company.  “For now, most products from the Empowering Women Together suppliers are only available online. That may change. ComfortCake, a company started by Chicago entrepreneur Amy Hilliard, has already made the transition to selling its Luscious Lemon Gourmet Pound Cake Mix in physical Walmart stores.  “We have the ability to understand current capacity and future capacity. Some [entrepreneurs] like Amy might start selling on–let’s say 500 to 1,000 pieces–and if she’s able to increase orders, we can figure out the right timing to get into stores,” explains Lemmon.”  Read more


“No more business cards for you! Inside the new Heinz” by Jennifer Reingold at Fortune.  “Later that day, about half of the executives were summoned, in 15-minute increments, to a conference room where the new CEO calmly informed them whether they had a place at the new company or whether their Heinz career was over. “You couldn’t dream it up, it was that weird,” says one attendee.  When the purge was over, 11 of the top 12 executives were gone, replaced, in many cases, by people they had managed.”  Read more


“Companies including Kroger and Walmart Unplug From the Electric Grid, Delivering a Jolt to Utilities” by Rebecca Smith & Cassandra Sweet at WSJ.  “At a big food-distribution center Kroger also owns in Compton, Calif., a tank system installed this year uses bacteria to convert 150 tons a day of damaged produce, bread and other organic waste into a biogas that is burned on site to produce 20% of the electricity the facility uses…Wal-Mart produces about 4% of the electricity it uses but intends to make 20% by 2020, taking advantage of idle acreage on thousands of store rooftops.”  Read more


“Whole Foods Teaches the Art of Butchery”  “To teach the art of butchery and continue to honor an age-old profession, Whole Foods is launching an in-store Meat Apprenticeship Program for its team members. The intensive 18-month training program is designed to transform aspiring butchers into skilled meat cutters.”  Read more


“Twitter posts inaccurately high metrics about its ads, changes them after questions” at San Fran Chronicle.  “Today the Twitter Ads blog posted numbers about how well Twitter ads performed at this week’s London Fashion Week, based on how many times people tweeted about an advertiser and how many times the event’s hashtag appeared in user timelines. SFGate looked into the numbers, which appeared to be inaccurately high. Twitter has since changed one to 1/25th of what it first reported. Another number, which was found to be wrong by 680 million impressions, has since disappeared from the blog.”  Read more


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