Friday Tipsheet: Costco’s 112 Mil Hot Dogs | Kroger CFO Interview | Target in Maui


“Costco’s Annual Meeting Highlights; 112 Million Hotdogs & 69 Million Rotisserie Chickens” by Angel Gonzalez at Seattle Times.  “Last year Costco sold 112 million hot dog and soda combos; 69 million rotisserie chickens and 114,000 carats of diamonds, including a $68,000 rock, Jelinek said…Jelinek said that in the three days before Thanksgiving, the company sold 17.4 million dinner rolls and 1.6 million pumpkin pies. “For some of you that may not be exciting, but that’s really exciting for me,” he said.  Not all businesses did well: Photo prints amounted to $800 million, a 10 percent drop. “Most people don’t get prints made anymore,” Jelinek said. “We’ll be making decisions in the future where we’ll really go with this business.”  Read more


“The Economist’s Take on New Walmart CEO:  “The question is whether he loves it enough to force it to change” “  at The Economist.  “Mr McMillon will have to push harder. If supercentres are not to become obsolete, they must become “destination stores” where people go to eat and play as well as shop…Whether Mr McMillon is the right man to do all this is not clear. He knows Walmart well and has the confidence of the Walton family, which holds a majority of the shares. He is a consummate company man. The question is whether he loves it enough to force it to change.”  Read more


“Obama says Walmart, others to help jobless” by Sherisse Pham at CNN.  “The White House has secured commitments from some of the nation’s largest companies for a plan to boost hiring of the long-term unemployed.  “What we have done is to gather together 300 companies, just to start with, including, some of the top 50 companies in the country, companies like Walmart, and Apple, Ford and others, to say let’s establish best practices,” President Barack Obama told CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper in an exclusive interview.”  Read more


“Good PR:  Home Depot Regional VP Discusses Response to Atlanta Ice Store on Bloomberg; Sleeping in Aisles, Sitting on Homer Buckets” at Bloomberg.  See the video & in-store pics


“Interview with Kroger CFO, Mike Schlotman” by Dan Monk at WCPO Cincinnati.  “Between the time this deal was announced and completed, Harris Teeter grew by 15 stores. Will that continue?  A: It won’t surprise me if they open 10 to 15 stores a year. We’re very excited about the markets they’re in. Charlotte, the D.C. area, Baltimore area, fast-growing markets, a lot of customers, the kind of customers that are in Harris Teeter’s sweet spot.”  Read the full interview


“Amazon misses earnings, Prime price hike coming?” by JP Mangalindan at Fortune.  “Prime’s pros did little to soften the news disclosed during Thursday’s earnings call that Amazon was mulling over increasing the price of Prime in the U.S. by $20 to $40 — a bump that could affect millions of existing Prime members. The culprit? Increasing fuel and shipping costs.  As CFO Tom Szkutak pointed out, this is the first time in Prime’s nine years that Amazon has considered increasing prices.”  Read more


“Soon to be a Favorite for Store Walks…Target to Open First Store in Maui in 2015” at MarketWatch. “Target is pleased to announce plans to open a new store in the city of Kahului on the island of Maui in Hawaii, in March 2015. The store will be located on Hookele Street as part of the Pu‘unÄ“nÄ“ Shopping Center. This will be the first Target store in Maui.”  Read the release


“California Legalized Selling Food Made At Home And Created Over A Thousand Local Businesses” by Nick Sibilla at Forbes.  “In Los Angeles County, there are almost 270 cottage food businesses. Statewide, over 1,200 homemade food businesses have been approved.  Under the California Homemade Food Act, local governments cannot ban cottage food businesses based in private homes. Instead, home-based entrepreneurs can sell their goods after passing a “food processor course” (which can be done online), properly labeling their goods and practicing common-sense sanitation when cooking and baking.”  Read more


“TN Senate approves wine in groceries; House has next step” by Chas Sisk at The Tennessean.  “The Tennessee Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would let grocery stores, big-box retailers and convenience stores sell wine, largely following a plan put forward by the state House of Representatives earlier this week.  After seven years of debate, the vote suggested a law letting grocers sell wine may be rolling toward passage.”  Read more


“Rite Aid Same-Store Sales Up 1.8% in January”  “January front-end same store sales decreased 1.3 percent, of which 1.4 percent was attributable to a decrease in sales of flu-related over-the-counter products. Pharmacy same store sales, which included an approximate 124 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions, increased 3.2 percent.”  Read the release


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Thursday Tipsheet: Obama’s Costco List: Shovel, Dog Food, Chips | Canada: Lowe’s Tweaks, Target Adds 9


“Obama’s Wish List at Costco:  Snow Shovel,  Dog Food, Tortilla Chips” by David Jackson at USA Today.  “The president went on — and on — about the store’s variety.  “You know, you can buy a sofa, chocolate chip cookies and a snorkel set, all in the same (place),” he said.  “Now that was impressive,” Obama said, adding on this very chilly day: “Although, I do want to ask who’s snorkeling right now?”  Read more


“Target Hackers Used Stolen Vendor Credentials” at WSJ.  “We can confirm that the ongoing forensic investigation has indicated that the intruder stole a vendor’s credentials which were used to access our system,” Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said.  Target didn’t say how the credentials were stolen or which specific portal the hackers logged into.”  Read more


“Opportunities and Threats for new Walmart CEO” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “While comparable store sales have been challenged, there are a lot of close-in opportunities that can move the needle,” said Jason Long, CEO of Shift Marketing Group.  He said as Wal-Mart finally seems to be making a serious commitment to their small store format, he wonders if Walmart stores may be as common as Starbucks in the not too distant future. Long said as other big-box retailers are shuttering stores, there is an opportunity for Wal-Mart to benefit.”  Read more


“Lowe’s Canada Tweaks Store Formula in Attempt to Narrow Gap with Competitors” by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail.  “Mr. Prud’homme…often dons a baseball cap as a disguise and wanders through Lowe’s stores…His research uncovered several findings: Contractors complained it took too long to find the products they needed, while many female customers found the displays of certain items such as kitchen cabinets and faucets too high to touch or examine closely.  Armed with those results, Mr. Prud’homme made changes that will show up in the two prototype stores that will open next week.”  Read more


“Home Depot Opens 26 Stores to Shelter Ice Storm Victims; Watching Movies in the Break Room” by Reagan Ray at KETK.  “The company opened 26 stores in Alabama and Georgia overnight.  A Home Depot spokesman says he’s heard stories of customers watching movies in break room and at one store, an indoor garden serves as a reading area.”  Read more


“Target Doubles-Down:  Will Add 9 Stores in Canada” by Steve Alexander at Star-Tribune.  “It said that five of the new stores will be in Ontario, and single stores will be added in Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.”  Read more


“Tractor Supply ’13 Comps:  Up 3.5% in Q4 and 4.8% for Full Year; Opened net 100 Stores During Year” at MarketWatch.  “Fiscal 2014 Outlook:  …Comparable store sales expected to increase 2.5% to 4.0%. For the full year, the Company expects capital expenditures to range between $240 million and $250 million, including spending to support 102 to 106 new store openings and construction of the new Store Support Center to open in 2014.” Read more


“Amazon Sr. VP Int’l Interview: Amazon Wants to Invest a Lot in India and very Fast” by Sunny Sen at Business Today.  “What is your key learning from Amazon’s business in China?  A. The difference between China and India is that China was an acquisition. In India, it was an operation started from scratch with thousands of employees…One of the main things we learnt from China is that the amount of investment needed is huge. That is the reason we started in India in a much more aggressive way…Amazon in China is pronounced and spelt differently. It is pronounced in China as “YAMASHI”. It is an added complication.” Read the Full Interview


“Kroger seals deal for Harris Teeter; Ready to Learns Secrets” by Alexander Coolidge at Cincy Enquirer.  “Now that the $2.5 billion Harris Teeter deal is done, Kroger execs are anxious to learn more about the secrets to the North Carolina grocer’s success…Kroger wants to learn more about Harris Teeter’s Express Lane service, where customers order groceries online and pick them up curbside.  “We’ve been studying the concept, but we’ll have actual results to look at,” McMullen told The Enquirer in October. “I’d be shocked if we couldn’t do that at a significant number of stores.”  Read more


“The Smartest Supermarket You Never Heard Of” by Roger Dooley at Forbes.  “If you don’t live in Texas (or some parts of Mexico), you may have never heard of H-E-B, a supermarket chain that hasn’t expanded to the other 49 states. Despite H-E-B’s regional, or sub-regional, status, they have adopted an impressive number of brain-friendly strategies.”  Read more


“Struggling Sears cuts another 624 jobs” by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail.  “Sears Canada Inc. is cutting another 624 jobs after having shaved 1,628 earlier this month and almost the same number last year as the retailer struggles to turn around its flagging operations.  It said in a release after the markets closed that it will let go an average of five staff in each store, as well as revamp its regional and head office structures.” Read more


“Amazon to Offer Kindle Checkout System to Physical Retailers” by Greg Bensinger at WSJ.  “ Inc. plans to offer brick-and-mortar retailers a checkout system that uses Kindle tablets as soon as this summer, people briefed on the company’s plans said.  In one scenario, the Seattle company would give merchants Kindle tablets and credit-card readers, the people said. Amazon also might offer retailers other services, such as website development and data analysis, the people said.”  Read more


“A Guerrilla Stock Analyst Plays Mystery Shopper at Retailers” by Robin Farzad at Businessweek.  “Sozzi, 30, says he’s redefining what an analyst can and should be in the crowdsourced age of social media, where everyone with a smartphone can be a valuable, motivated contributor to real-time company analysis. “Clients,” he says, “have coined me the ‘activist analyst’ in the business of providing guerrilla investment research. The way I like to look at it, I’m doing investment research and guidance differently given the quickly evolving world.”  Read more


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Wednesday Tipsheet: Obama Visits Costco | Walmart Closes Mas | Target Tally: 15.3 Mil Cards


“Walmart Begins Testing Online Grocery Shopping in Denver” by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch.  “Walmart To Go, the retailer’s on-demand shopping service offering home delivery of general merchandise, including in some cases, groceries, is expanding its test in the Denver market today to also include a local pick-up option. Denver area customers will now be able to order their groceries online, then pick up at a nearby store – without having to set foot inside the store.”  Read more


“Obama Visits Costco Store Today” by David Jackston at USA Today.  “On Wednesday, Obama will speak at a Costco store in Lanham, Md., near Washington, D.C., and at a steel plant in West Mifflin, Pa., near Pittsburgh. He then returns to the White House.”  Read more


“Sources: HQ job cuts ongoing at Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club” by Kim Souza at City Wire.  “Retail insiders and consultants to Wal-Mart Stores have told The City Wire the annual job elimination drill at corporate headquarters has been ongoing for the past two months with several hundred jobs between Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club home office operations being shaved from the payrolls as fiscal 2014 winds to a close.”  Read more


“Banks have replaced 15.3 million cards since Target breach” by Jennifer Bjorhus at Star-Tribune.  “U.S. banks have spent more than $153 million so far replacing 15.3 million debit and credit cards after the huge data heist from Target Corp., and the numbers are only growing.  The Consumer Bankers Association announced the numbers Tuesday, saying that as more retailers announce breaches, the price tag for banks could grow to “hundreds of millions of dollars, and possibly billions.”  Read more


“Wal-Mart to close chain’s only Más Club” by David Kaplan at Chron.  “Wal-Mart Stores is closing its one Más Club membership warehouse store, which is located in Houston…Más Club opened as a test format in 2009, she said, and the parent company came to realize that it made more sense to incorporate its best working elements, including some of the merchandise, into traditional Sam’s Clubs in Houston and throughout the U.S.”  Read more


“Struggling J.C. Penney amends poison pill provisions” by Maria Halkias at Dallas News.  “The company also lowered its poison pill threshold to 4.9 percent from 10 percent…Under the amendments, anyone who acquires at least 4.9 percent of the stock without board approval would trigger an event that dilutes that person or group’s ownership.”  Read more


“Amazon Raises Commissions for Low-Priced Goods in Some Categories” by Ina Steiner at Ecommerce Bytes.  “Amazon is raising minimum commission fees in some categories in what appears to be an attempt to combat under-pricing on its marketplace. Sellers who list in the Beauty and Health and Personal Care categories received an email notification that explained, “We are writing to notify you that Beauty and Health & Personal Care products will have a new minimum referral fee of $1.00 per item.”  Read more


“Tractor Supply Q4 Earnings Call Today at 5pm EST”.  Listen to Webcast


“Home Depot Cat Wins Battle To Keep Her Home” at Inquisitr.  “The little black cat became the store’s little pet and lived literally in the store. Well, Home Depot management told the store that the little cat had to go. This news didn’t seem to faze some customers, but to others, it was quite the big deal.”  Read more


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Monday Tipsheet: Target Protects Passwords | Sam’s Club Hacks | Michaels Hacked


“Study:  Target Gets High Marks for Protecting Online Passwords (Costco, Walmart, Home Depot trail)” by Dan Goodin at ARS.  “ was the only site to receive a perfect score of 100, which was based on 24 criteria, such as whether the site accepts “123456” and other extremely weak passwords and whether it sends passwords in plain text by e-mail. Microsoft and academic supplier Chegg tied for second place with 65, while Newegg and Target came in third with 60.”  See the Rankings


“Sam’s Club Hacks 2,300” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “Bill Durling, a Sam’s Club spokesman, reportedly said the layoffs would target a combination of salaried assistant managers and hourly employees. Certain positions, like telephone attendants, will be eliminated.  “We realized we had pretty much the same club structure whether a club had $50 million in revenue or $100 million in revenue,” Durling said of the distribution of assistant managers. “What we’re trying to do is balance our resources.” Read more


“Kroger prospered during 10 years with Dillon at the helm” by Josh Pichler at Cincy Enquirer.  “He’ll also keep preaching the importance of feedback to anybody who asks.  “Most bosses are supposed to give you some feedback, but they often are uncomfortable in doing it. If you ask them for the feedback, the invitation makes it easier,” he said.  “It’s my single most important piece of management and personal advice. Feedback’s a gift.”  Read more


“The 1 Plainly Obvious Explanation for Sears Store Closures Sweeping the Country” by Brian Sozzi at Belus.  “Sears desperately needs cash on its balance sheet. The reasons why: (1) to alleviate the highly likely concern amongst suppliers, temporarily; (2) to tell a story to the stock and bond markets that Sears could fund some form of its alleged turnaround given an asset rich balance sheet, preventing another stock slide; (3) to raise liquidity from underperforming assets in the hopes of soothing the worries of watchful creditors.”  Read more


“At Walmart Alaskan Salmon is Back on the Menu” by Clare Leschin-Hoar at The Guardian.  “After four months of uncertainty, Alaskan salmon suppliers to Walmart have something to celebrate.  The retail giant told the Guardian it has decided to expand its sustainable seafood policy to include certification programs beyond that of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the world’s largest seafood certifier.”  Read more


Radio Shack Breaks “Do it Together” Campaign In Support of New Positioning” by Meredith Derby Berg at Ad Age.  “A new national advertising campaign called “Do It Together,” from Austin, Texas-based GSD&M, aims to show how Radio Shack and consumers can collaborate to solve technological problems like connecting today’s many devices, said Jennifer Warren, the retailer’s chief marketing officer…The new ads will invoke a full tagline: “It can be done, when we do it together.”  Read more


Michaels Hacked” by Maria Halkias at Dallas News.  “The retailer said it has recently learned of possible fraudulent activity on some credit or debit cards that had been used to make purchases in its stores.  The company gave no details about the data security attack, but said it’s working with federal law enforcement and has hired data security experts to establish the facts.”  Read more


“Take that Beyonce – Target and Shakira Team Up with Three Exclusive Tracks on “Shakira” “The partnership is Target’s first major artist collaboration of 2014 and continues Target’s commitment to working with fan-favorite musicians to bring guests more content from the artists they love.”  Read more


“Retailers step up their visual game to hook shoppers” by Jennifer Wang at Orange County Register via Star-Tribune.  “Oakley’s strategy doesn’t stop after visitors cross the threshold. Stores are designed with an “interior window” in the first 10 to 15 feet for customers to engage with featured products, often involving interactive video and digital screens. “Otherwise you’ve brought them in and lost them,” Abbott said.”  Read more


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Friday Tipsheet: 50 Most Powerful People in Food | Big Walmart Claims | Apple’s Glass Store Shatters


“Walmart’s Ecom CEO:  “Wal-Mart was the Internet before the Internet came along”; Will Match Amazon’s Delivery Capabilities Within Two Years” by Dennis Berman at WSJ.  “The plan under way will augment fulfillment from existing stores and distribution centers with online-only facilities, Mr. Ashe said.  “This is not a side project,” Mr. Ashe said. “This is how we will be serving customers going forward.”  Read more


“America’s 50 Most Powerful People in Food for 2014 (Walmart’s McMillon #3, Costco’s Jelinek #13…)” at The Daily Meal.  “These men and women decide what and how you eat, whether you realize it or not…What kind of power are we talking about? The ability to make things happen, rewrite the rules, change the conversation, shift the paradigms. The people with power in the food world decide or influence what and how and where and why we eat.” See the Top 50 List


“Walmart’s Simon announces $10 million innovation fund” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “Simon joined 280 of the nation’s mayors in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting to announce the five-year program…Wal-Mart also announced it will host its second U.S. manufacturing summit in Denver, Colo., in August 2014. One focus of the summit will be to connect manufacturers in need of component parts to factories with excess capacity.” Read more


“Home Depot Acquires” (Company Release).  “Based in Houston, is the #1 online window coverings retailer in the world. The acquisition closed today, and terms of the deal were not disclosed.  “We’re delighted to welcome the team into The Home Depot family,” said Frank Blake, chairman & CEO of The Home Depot.”  Read more


“Target hotline temporarily runs out of Experian free credit monitoring activation codes” by Gitte Laasby at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  “A Target customer service rep confirmed to the Public Investigator when we called the hotline at 3:30 p.m. (yesterday) that the customer service phone number we recently gave out ((866) 852-8680) is, indeed, the correct number for customers without Internet access or email to call to obtain an activation code…There was just one catch:  “We’re temporarily out of codes,” the customer service rep said. “We should receive more within an hour or an hour and a half.”  Read more


“Whoa! H-E-B tempers prediction of rapid growth in DFW” by Lance Murray at Dallas/San Antonio Bus. Journal.  “Leslie Sweet, director of public affairs for the H-E-B, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that predictions by Stephen Coslik, chairman of Fort Worth’sWoodmont Co. were a stretch.  Coslik said that H-E-B has been buying a site a month in DFW and that it could have two dozen stores here in the next three to five years, the Star-Telegram said.” Read more


“Pittsburgh-Based Giant Eagle to Open First Store in Indianapolis; May Be Eyeing Marsh Takeover” by Scott Olson at IBJ.  “Giant Eagle said it’s exploring additional locations in the Indianapolis area but declined to divulge how many stores it might open and in what timeframe.”  Read more


“Publix Invades Charlotte, First Store to Open in February” by Ely Portillo at Charlotte Observer.  “The grocer plans a total of 14 local stores for its new Charlotte-based division. Publix is also opening stores in Cary, Winston-Salem and Asheville as it pushes into North Carolina.”  Read more


“Apple’s iconic glass cube store shatters in the New York cold” by James Nye at Daily Mail.  “While there was no immediate threat that the glass would shatter completely, the estimated cost to the Californian firm to restore the cube is estimated to be around $450,000…’It’s kind of ironic,’ quipped Marvin Washington, 53, of Midtown…’Everyone drops their phones and the screens break. Now, it’s happened to them.’ ”  Read more / See the pics


“Target CFO to talk to Senate Panel on Feb. 4th” at Denver Post.  “Titled “Privacy in the Digital Age: Preventing Data Breaches and Combating Cybercrime,” the hearing also will include other panelists from the Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Secret Service, Consumer Union and Department of Justice, the Senate said on its docket.”  Read more


“7 new Web domains to be released” by Andrea Chang at LA Times.  “On the Internet, .com is about to get some more company.  Seven new Web domains including .bike, .guru and .clothing are scheduled to be released Wednesday, the first of hundreds of online address extensions expected to become available over the next few years.”  Read more


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Thursday Tipsheet: Target: Cuts 475; 12 Bad Photos | Costco Stares Down Dotcom | ‘Tsunami’ of Store Closings


“Besieged Target Lays Off 475 and Won’t Fill 700 Jobs” by Adam Belz at Star-Tribune.  “A woman who was laid off from Target’s finance department said half of her 12-person team was fired immediately during a meeting Wednesday morning, while the other half will be laid off next month. The layoffs have been in the works for more than six months, the employee said, and she and her family had been preparing.  “They just sent out a memo saying we had a mandatory meeting at such-and-such time saying that you guys are being let go as of today,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified for fear that her severance could be affected.” Read more


“A ‘tsunami’ of store closings expected to hit retail” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC.  “Sozzi said that after a profitable but below-expectations holiday season, the retail industry will face its second “tsunami of store closures across the U.S.,” only a few years after what he called the “fire sale holiday season of 2008.”…”There is often a mismatch between the number of stores retailers operate today compared to how many they would choose to operate if they had to do it all over again,” Lejuez said.”  Read more


“12 photos that reveal why Target Canada is in big trouble” by Ashley Lutz at Business Insider via Financial Post.  “Wall Street analyst Brian Sozzi at Belus Capital Advisors recently published photos of Target Canada that indicate why the business could be struggling.”  See the pics


“Is Costco Vulnerable to Online Avalanche?” by Herb Greenberg at The Street.  “In an interview with me Tuesday, (CFO Richard) Galanti — who picks up his own phone and doesn’t duck the questions — said “It’s one of many things we discuss all the time,” he said. “Dot-com is more prevalent than before. I’m not trying to be cute or coy about it. We’re always blocking and tackling on all elements of the business. We’re pleased with our results over the past year and a half. We don’t believe everything will be online. It will be part of the panorama out there.”  Read more


“Kroger’s Forney store will be its first in Texas to sell clothes” by Maria Halkias at Dallas News.  “Kroger has been in the apparel business for some time, but not in Texas.  That will change Friday when a Kroger Marketplace store opens in Forney.  Kroger is devoting 5,000 square feet of the 124,000-square-foot store to adult and children’s clothing, shoes and accessories. The store will also sell kitchen, bed and bath merchandise, small appliances, toys, office, party supplies, fine jewelry, and, oh yeah, groceries.” Read more 


“Kantar Study:  11% Have Purchased Groceries Online in Last 90 Days (56% of those at Amazon)” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “Despite “conventional wisdom” and the limited yet growing availability of online grocery delivery models in the U.S. (Safeway, Fresh Direct, Peapod, Coburns), shoppers are already purchasing groceries online. Kantar Retail expects online grocery to grow at a compound annual rate of 26%, moving from 1% of the US grocery landscape to 5% by 2020.”  Read more


“Study:  CVS Most Popular Pharmacy, Walgreens #2” at WSJ.  “23 percent choose CVS and 19 percent choose Walgreens. Only 7 percent choose mail order to fill prescriptions, which is higher than Target, Costco or Sam’s Club pharmacies.”  Read more


“Esquire Study on Male Behavior:  Half Enjoy Shopping, Definition of Masculine Behavior Has Expanded” by Bernadette Giacomazzo at Latin Post.  “Richard Dorment, senior editor at Esquire, said in an interview. “The thing that deeply surprised us, that we have the statistical data for, is how the definition of conventional, masculine behavior has expanded to include all the things that up until a few years ago were considered totally alien.”  Read more


“Square: Rancor from Merchants, No Phone Calls Allowed” by Jessica Guynn at LA Times via StL Post Dispatch.  “Callers are greeted with an automated message, directing them to an online help center or to email their questions, and then they are disconnected.  Barry said she grew so frustrated exchanging emails with customer service representatives that she drove two hours to the company’s San Francisco headquarters to get some help in person…No one would speak to her, she said, and the security guards threatened to call the police.”  Read more


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Wednesday Tipsheet: Hardware dotcom Scales Up | Sam’s CEO Interview | Whole Foods TV Show


“Target Shut Down Internal Sites Including Info Retriever” by Paul Ziobro at WSJ.  “One system is a human resources website for employees called eHR. The other is a database called Info Retriever that suppliers use to access sales data for their products in Target. Info Retriever came back online for external users last week, according to company emails sent to suppliers that were reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.  Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said limiting access was part of the company’s response to the data breach.”  Read more


“BuildDirect Raises $30 Mil, Ready to Take on Home Depot/Lowe’s/Menards” by Alex Konrad at Forbes.  “A survivor of the first dot-com bubble, BuildDirect has infrastructure to scale up its operations and will increase its headcount to almost 400 by the end of this year.  “Technology has been largely kept out of this space, and that’s our advantage,” says CEO Jeff Booth. who was a builder himself before founding BuildDirect.”  Read more


“Walmart Suppliers: Top 5 Things to Do to Fend Off Chargebacks and Deductions” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “#1 – Don’t Backorder.  When a supplier breaks a single purchase order into multiple invoices and multiple shipments for that purchase order, it results in multiple receiving’s at the warehouse. Because of timelines involved in the invoice payment process, this will increase deductions being filed. Dennis said suppliers should bill and ship one invoice per purchase order. This is referred to this as ‘Fill and Kill’ the PO.”  See the full list


“Target’s $165M insurance firewall” by John Vomhof Jr. at Minn./St. Paul Bus. Journal.  “Business Insurance magazine reports that the Minneapolis-based retailer has “at least $100 million of cyber insurance, including self-insured retentions, and $65 million of directors and officers liability coverage,” citing insurance industry sources. It lists Ace, American International Group Inc., Axis Capital Holdings and AIG among the insurers.”  Read more


“Walmart’s President of Health & Wellness, Dr. John Agwunobi, Outlines Strategies” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “He admitted that Wal-Mart has taken a back seat to other drug store chains when it comes to in-store clinics.  “We have 140 or so in-store clinics at this time and hope to add more in the future. We continue to test and study this option, but we haven’t found the answer yet,” Agwunobi said.  He added that while a couple of drug store chains — Walgreen and CVS Caremark — have actively opened in-store clinics in the past two years, he isn’t sure the ventures are profitable.”  Read more


“Sam’s Club:  Q&A with CEO Rosalind Brewer” by Heather Weekly at Capital Style.  “What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day?  I’m hooked on Scandal. I enjoy reading. I love a great cup of hot green tea and a book. That’s living, and that’s great.” Read the full interview


“Survive The Zombie Apocalypse With This $4,000 Costco Food Stash” by Michael Peck at Forbes.  “Apocalypse or not, how in heaven’s name could a grocery list possibly cost $4,000? The answer is 30,144 servings of freeze-dried and dehydrated food, enough to feed four people for a year, according to Costco’s description…And for extra peace of mind, your food package “arrives on a pallet that is black-wrapped for security and privacy.” So your neighbors won’t storm your house after the zombies cut off the food supply…”  Read more


“The new normal: Target to drop health insurance for its part-time employees” by Jackie Crosby at Star-Tribune.  “All of a sudden where you used to work 31 hours a week, it’ll be cut to 28 hours or less — and that’s a huge hit,” said Hess, of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 789 in St. Paul. “You’ll see a department that might have one or two real full-timers and the rest will be these perpetual part-time people who will never have a chance for full-time hours because Target is looking at everyone as a cost.” Read more


“Would You Watch a Whole Foods TV Show?” by Simon Dumenco at Ad Age.  “Well, this was inevitable in the age of big brands acting like media companies: Whole Foods Market has teamed up with fledgling network Pivot to introduce a half-hour TV series called “Dark Rye.” It premieres tomorrow at 9:30 pm EST and is set for a robust 20-episode run.”  Read more


“CVS Caremark More Than Doubles Lobbying Expenditures” by Kent Cooper at Roll Call.  “CVS Caremark reported spending $4,908,939 on lobbying activities during the 4th quarter of 2013. This is more than double the $2,209,926 reported for the third quarter of 2013. For all of 2013, CVS Caremark spent $13,128,502.”  Read more


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Tuesday Tipsheet: Target: 2 Arrested at Border | Kroger Kills Furniture Test | NYC Lux RX


“Two Arrested at Mexico-U.S. Border in Connection with Target Hack; Canadian Customers Warned” by Christopher Sherman at AP via Star-Tribune.  “Account information stolen during the Target security breach is now being divided up and sold off regionally, a South Texas police chief said Monday after the arrest of two Mexican citizens who authorities say arrived at the border with 96 fraudulent credit cards…Target Corp. on Monday warned some Canadian customers that their personal data may have been compromised when hackers stole credit- and debit-card information from the discount chain’s U.S. operations last year.”  Read more


“Kroger Kills Furniture Department Test in VA – Switches to Apparel” by Randy Hallman at Richmond Times-Dispatch.  “The Stonebridge (VA) Kroger Marketplace store will open an apparel department next month, replacing the furniture and home décor department that has been part of the grocery megastore since it opened in December 2012…“We watched closely how customers responded,” said Carl York, spokesman for the Kroger Co.’s Mid-Atlantic division, based in Roanoke. “We really liked what we saw with the apparel department in Virginia Beach.”  Read more


“Target store victim receives Costco credit card bearing stranger’s photo” by Doug Miller at KHOU 11 Texas.  “But her sadly common story took a curious twist over the weekend when she received a credit card bearing a unique piece of evidence: a photograph of a strange woman on the back of a Costco membership card.  “I’m looking at the card,” she remembered, her voice cracking with laughter. “And I turned it over and there’s her picture.”  Read more / See the video


“Fortune’s 2014 Best Companies to Work for All Stars (Wegmans #2, Whole Foods #4…)”  “Only 13 companies have reappeared on Fortune’s Best Companies list every year since it began in 1998. By consistently investing in employees’ health and well-being to create stellar workplaces, these employers have become perennial Hall of Famers. Meet Fortune’s 100 Best Companies All Stars.”  See the Top 13 List


“Lack Of Quality Space Is Becoming A Big Problem For Brick-And-Mortar Retailers” by Matthew Boesler at Business Insider.  “Retailer demand is up and has been for a number of years in some of the strongest performing local economies in the U.S. That demand is heavy for quality, Class A space. Yet, we have now reached a point where little of that type of space remains available in even the slowest recovering marketplaces.”  Read more


“Good Walmart PR:  Tomato pickers cite Walmart in wage battle with Publix” by Evan Axelbank at Fox 13 Tampa Bay.  “The Coalition of Immokalee workers is demanding that Publix join other chain food-sellers – like Burger King and Subway – in the fair food program.  It pays pickers another penny per pound picked.  Just this week, Walmart signed on, saying it would improve the lives of workers. Workers say the pressure’s now on Publix.”  Read more / See the video


“Why Wal-Mart Just Gave a Raise to Tomato Pickers” by Kyle Stock at Businessweek.  “A penny per pound of produce isn’t much of a commitment, even given the huge pile of tomatoes that Walmart sells. The social capital it will harvest from the announcement—and the ensuing sales that brings—is probably far greater. Plus, it helps Walmart keep pace on the socially responsible supermarket front with the likes of Whole Foods, which is already participating.”  Read more


“Target’s Plans Now Call For 10 New Stores, 12 Closures in 2014” by Kevin Mahoney at Twin Cities Business.  “Target recently announced plans to open new stores in Ohio, California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts; they will open shortly after Target closes locations in Illinois, Nevada, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, and Florida.”  Read more


“New York City Gets a Luxury Pharmacy” by Mia Taylor at The Street.  “Stanley’s Pharmacy is less CVS, Walgreen’s or Eckerd and more new age wellness destination meets old-fashioned neighborhood drug store and soda fountain.  “Pharmacies have gone so far away from their roots. I felt a mission to bring that back,” says George, a Bronx native…Stanley’s combines a wellness bar that specializes in drinks blended by George with the standard prescription services other pharmacies offer and a wellness library stocked with glossy monthly health, fitness and fashion publications — all in an atmosphere that is California cool meets 1970s retro.”  Read more


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