Monday Tipsheet: Target’s ‘Sloppy’ Security Firm | Pinterest Drives 10.9% | Top Shop Apps


“Target’s Payment Security Firm ‘Sloppy’ “ by Jennifer Bjorhus at Star-Tribune.  “Trustwave Holdings gave Target Corp. the green light on payment card security last September, just weeks before malware installed on the retailer’s networks began sucking up customer information in a mega data heist.  It’s a rough position for a company that built its brand reputation selling payment compliance and security to some of the country’s largest corporations.  But it’s not the first time Trustwave’s been there.” Read more


“Report:  Pinterest Drives 10.9% of Its Traffic to Retailers’ Sites” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC.  “Pinterest, which at four years old is still in its infancy compared to social sites such as Facebook and YouTube, is driving the greatest percentage of its traffic to retailers’ sites, at 10.9 percent, according to the study. Facebook directs 5.3 percent of its traffic to shopping sites, YouTube 3.8 percent and Twitter 2.8 percent.”  Read more 


“Shopify:  Facebook Is No. 1 for Social Commerce” at eMarketer.  “According to Q3 2013 polling, Facebook drove nearly two-thirds of social media visits to Shopify-operated stores and claimed about 85% of all orders from social media—a year-over-year increase of 129%.  However, Facebook was not the leader when it came to average order value—not even landing in the top three…Read more


“Safeway/Albertsons Merger Goes to Shareholders and FTC as Key Deadline Passes” by Heather Somerville at San Jose Mercury News.  “Thursday night, the window during which Safeway could solicit a better offer, closed and Safeway said Friday morning that no one else was interested in buying the grocery chain. With that deadline behind them, the companies can now put into motion the buyout plans they first announced March 6, combining the century-old Safeway chain with Cerberus-owned Albertsons stores.”  Read more


“Consumer Reports:  Top 5 Shopping Apps” at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  “Pounce: See a must-have product advertised in a circular or catalog? Just snap a photo of it and this new tool lets you “pounce” on the item — that is, buy it via the app, directly from the retailer. It currently works for Ace Hardware, Babies R Us, Staples, Target and Toys R Us.”  Read more


“Amazon Raising Fees for Sellers, Could Increase 150%” by Ina Steiner at EcommerceBytes.  “The new fees take effect on May 16, 2014, and because of Amazon’s price parity policy, sellers who consider raising prices to cope with the higher fees say they’ll have to raise prices across all the venues on which they sell, including their own websites.”  Read more


“Retailers lure Pinterest clickers with design help” by Kelli Grant at CNBC.  “As stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s have found, consumers like to bundle products and installation, reasoning that the process will be easier with a big-name brand than an independent contractor, said Jaime Katz, an industry analyst at Morningstar. “You get more people in for more things,” she said. “It just drives traffic.”  Read more


“Meijer awards media business to Doner” by Wendy Parish at Marketing Dive.  “Doner, also Michigan-based, will be handling buying and planning for the estimated $30-million account.  The agency will be replacing Empower MediaMarketing from Cinncinati.”  Read more


“YouTube to Offer Advertisers Some Guarantees” by Suzanne Vranica at WSJ.  “In a renewed effort to lure a bigger share of the advertising dollars that now flow to major TV networks, Google’s YouTube is making a number of concessions long sought by marketers, ad executives say.  Most prominently, in discussions ahead of this spring’s TV ad-selling season, YouTube has told marketers it will offer audience guarantees to advertisers that make advance commitments.”  Read more


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Friday Tipsheet: Costco: No to PB | Wmart Sues Visa | Owl Likes Lowe’s


“Costco:  Peanut Butter from Bankrupt Vendor “not merchantable”, 950,000 Jars sent to Landfill” by Jeri Clausing at ABC News.  “After extensive testing, Costco agreed to a court order authorizing the trustee to sell it the peanut butter. But after getting eight loads, Costco rejected it as “not merchantable” because of leaky peanut oil…instead of selling or donating the peanut butter, with a value estimated at $2.6 million, the estate is paying about $60,000 to haul the 950,000 jars of nut butter — or about 25 tons — to the Curry County landfill in Clovis, where public works director Clint Bunch says it “will go in with our regular waste and covered with dirt.”  Read more


“Four New Fresh Grocery Concepts Invade St. Louis” by Kavita Kumar at St. Louis Post Dispatch.  “At least four such companies plan to set up shop — if they haven’t already — in the region…Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Lucky’s Market, the Fresh Market and Fields Foods…“Our center store is fresh,” said Chris Sherrell, president of CEO of Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, which is planning to open 10 to 12 stores in this region. “Their center store is Coke and Doritos.”  Read more


Comp Sales:

Fred’s: +.1% Q4, +.6% FY ’13  Read the release

Restoration Hardware:  +17% Q4, +27% FY ’13  Read the release

Gamestop:  +7.8% Q4, +3.8% FY ’13  Read the release


“Wal-Mart Sues Visa for $5 Billion Over ‘Swipe Fees’ “ by Shelly Banjo at WSJ.  “Smaller retailers settled over the issue in July 2012, but dozens of large merchants including Wal-Mart, Target Corp. and Macy’s Inc. opted out so they could pursue suits of their own—hence the suit filed this week.”  Read more


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“Neiman Eyes First NYC Store” by James Covert at NY Post.  “The Dallas-based upscale department store is nearing a deal to open a flagship store at Hudson Yards, the mega-development under construction on Manhattan’s West Side, The Post has learned.” Read more


“Lowe’s: Great Horned Owl Sets up Shop in Omaha Store” at KETV 7 Omaha.  “Store employees preparing the garden center at a northwest Omaha Lowe’s made an unusual discovery.  They found a baby Great Horned Owl that had likely been there for several weeks.”  See the video / Read more


“Selling Your Product to Walmart…or Not” by Rakesh Sharma at Forbes.  “When megastore approached Peak Design, a San Francisco-based outfit, to sell their products on the retailer’s site, they were in for a surprise: the startup declined their offer.  “They (major retailers) take their pound of flesh,” says Peter Dering, founder of the startup that makes camera accessories. He is referring to Walmart’s product margins and high turnover.”  Read more


“Random:  Russia dairy plant closed after workers’ milk bath” by Sergei L. Loikoi at LA Times.  “A Siberian dairy products plant was temporarily closed Friday after its workers had been found bathing in milk…In the photographs and video clips posted on New Year’s Eve by the dairy worker Artyom Romanov, a group of undressed employes relaxes in a container of milk as part of their New Year celebration. While still partly undressed, they then demonstrated cheese making in a clownish manner.” Read more


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Thursday Tipsheet: Senate Needles Target | Wmart Probe = $439 Mil | Cabela’s 14/Year


“Senators Criticize Target on Handling of Breach” by Jim Spencer and Jennifer Bjorhus at Star-Tribune.  “The three-hour hearing was Target’s third trip to Capitol Hill to explain how it got hacked. But Wednesday’s hearing was the first where members of Congress took the company to task for what they considered mistakes.”  Read more


Senators Needle Target in Hearing:

Senator Rockefeller: Target “fell far short”, “At some point, the CEO and board of directors have to take responsibility.”

Senator Blumenthal:  “The best technology in the world is useless without good management.”


“Wal-Mart Says Bribe Probe Cost $439 Million in Two Years” by David Voreacos and Renee Dudley at Bloomberg.  “The company spent $282 million in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31 and $157 million the previous year, and expenses will continue to rise, according to an annual report filed March 21. On Feb. 20, Wal-Mart projected FCPA probe and compliance costs would be $200 million to $240 million for fiscal 2015.”  Read more


“Canadian Tire Gets a Makeover” by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail.  “The day you start thinking like a general merchant, you’re in trouble,” Mr. Medline said at an annual CIBC retail and consumer conference. “… We have to think more like a specialty retailer under this big roof of a general merchant.”  Read more


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“Cabela’s Wants 14 New Stores a Year through 2017” by Janice Podsada at World-Herald.  “Cabela’s expects to add about 1 million square feet of retail space annually for the next three to five years, said Ralph Castner, executive vice president and chief financial officer…officials said they would be pleased if same-store sales showed consistent increases of between 2 percent and 4 percent.” Read more


“Sports Authority “Stuck in the Middle”, Attempts to Make a Comeback” by Sarah Pringle at Deal Hotline. “Investment banker Jeffrey Gross suggested Leonard Green might have better success splitting Sports Authority in pieces, and perhaps sell its real estate and online business to separate parties.  The most valuable part of Sport’s Authority is its online business,…”They have great real estate and that’s worth something to someone,” Gross added. “And they have a good brand.”  Read more


“Lowe’s:  ‘Mulch Meltdown’ in FL; Woman Kicks & Screams at 68-year old Man for Cutting in Line” at Fox 4 News.  “This woman came raging like a raging bull,” described Maerz. “She then proceeds to throw the bags out. I’m trying to grab her and grab the bags and put them back in.”  Maerz says he was also kicked in the arm and the chest but was left with minor injuries.”  See the video / Read more


“Canada:  Grocers’ Discount Gap Shrinking Amid Food Price Wars” by Hollie Shaw at National Post.  “Prices in conventional [stores] have had to come down,” and that has resulted in a “permanent drag” on the conventional stores, Perry Caicco, retail analyst at CIBC World Markets, told the bank’s retail and consumer conference on Wednesday.  The price gap between conventional stores and discounters is now about 10%.”  Read more


“Random:  This Teenager Got A McDonald’s Receipt Tattooed To His Arm” by Caroline Moss at Business Insider.  “Now I’m a living billboard , but I think all this is just fun,” Ytterdahl told RB News. ”Maybe it’s not as fun when I’m 50 or 60 years,, but it’s my choice.”  See the pic / Read more


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Wednesday Tipsheet: Target Testifies Today | C.Reports Hits Wmart | Wgreen: Close 76, Keep Cigs


“Target CFO back at Capitol Hill Today; Senate Report Unflattering” by Doina Chiacu at Reuters via Chicago Tribune.  “Target Corp missed multiple opportunities to thwart the hackers responsible for the unprecedented holiday shopping season data breach, U.S. Senate staffers charged in a committee report released on Tuesday…”This analysis suggests that Target missed a number of opportunities along the kill chain to stop the attackers and prevent the massive data breach,” according to the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee report.”  Read more


“Target Re-examining Missed Warnings by Data Security Team” by Paul Ziobro at WSJ.  “With the benefit of hindsight and new information, we are now asking hard questions regarding the judgments that were made at that time and assessing whether different judgments may have led to different outcomes,” according to prepared remarks Target Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan plans to deliver Wednesday afternoon to the Senate Commerce Committee.” Read more


“Consumer Reports Supermarket Survey:  Costco, Trader Joe’s earn highest scores; Walmart the lowest.”  “No chain tried their customers’ patience more than Walmart Supercenter.  The biggest gripe overall: Not enough open checkouts (cited by 19 percent of shoppers), followed by congested aisles, out-of-stock advertised specials, and lack of choice. Walmart shoppers surveyed were especially irritated by too few open checkouts, out-of-stock basic items, and spotty price labeling.”  Read the release


“Walgreen’s to close 76 unprofitable stores; No plans to stop selling tobacco” by Peter Frost at Chicago Tribune.   “(Walgreen’s) declined to specify the locations of the stores slated to close aside from saying they’re “spread across the country.”…Including the closures, the company still plans to have a net increase in store count in 2014 of between 55 and 75 locations. It operates 8,210 drugstores nationwide, 138 more than a year ago.”  Read more


“Walgreen’s Q2 2014 Earnings Call Transcript”  Read the full transcript


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“HD Supply Q4 Earnings Beats Street, Shares up 8.2%”  at Investors Business Daily.  “The beat was driven by a reduction in depreciation and amortization expenses and, to a lesser extent, lower overall selling, general and administrative costs and a 50 basis-point improvement in gross margin.”  Read more


“HD Supply Q4 2013 Earnings Call Transcript”  Read the full transcript


“Walmart’s Andy Murray, SVP – Creative, Honored at Shopper Hall of Fame Ceremony” at Supermarket News.  “Murray oversees Walmart’s U.S. circular development, retailtainment, in-store TV, and the development of both corporate and co-operative ideas.” Read more


“Home Depot Loss Prevention Officer Sure Is Glad There Was a Concealed Carry Permit Holder Around” by Jason Howerton at The Blaze.  “Police in Roseville, Mich., say a heroin addict attempted to steal a $179 battery-powered drill from a Home Depot and then stabbed the store’s loss prevention officer with a contaminated syringe when he was confronted.  Luckily, there was a customer carrying a concealed firearm nearby. The man reportedly drew his gun and ordered the suspect to drop the syringe.”  Read more


“Amazon is America’s #1 Business Brand” by Scott Bridges at Atlanta Bus. Chronicle.  “…annual survey of more than 1,600 business owners, which has been conducted for more than a decade by The Business Journals.  Amazon was named the 2014 Grand Award winner of eleventh-annual American Brand Excellence Awards, which recognize brands that best meet the needs of small to mid-sized businesses. It was Amazon’s first win.”  See the Top 25 list


“Kohl’s chief merchandising officer resigns amid sales decline” by Stacy Vogel Davis at Milwaukee Bus. Journal.  “Donald Brennan, Kohl’s Corp.’s chief merchandising officer, will resign as of April 1…Brennan has worked for Kohl’s since 2001 and became chief merchandising officer in late 2010, but the company has struggled in the past two years with merchandising and inventory.” Read more


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Tuesday Tipsheet: Wgreen Q2 Comp +2% | D.Gen CEO +$18 Mil | Snowden Slams Amazon


“Walgreen’s:  Q2 Front-End Same-Store Sales +2%; Traffic -1.4%”  “Second quarter sales increased 5.1 percent from the prior-year quarter to a record $19.6 billion, while first half sales increased 5.5 percent to $37.9 billion. Front-end comparable store sales  increased 2.0 percent in the second quarter, customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 1.4 percent and basket size increased 3.4 percent, while total sales in comparable stores increased 4.3 percent.  Read the release


“NSA Leaker Snowden Slams Amazon” at Seattle Times.   “Snowden said he didn’t mean to “single out” Amazon, but then proceeded to do so.“The world’s library is, but not only do they not support encryption by default, you cannot choose to use encryption when browsing through books,” Snowden said. “… All companies need to move to an encrypted browsing habit by default for all users who haven’t taken any action or picked any special methods on their own.”  Read more


“LA Times Calls out Walmart on Food Stamps” by Michael Hitzik.  “Wal-Mart’s annual report puts a different spin on things. Buried within the long list of risk factors disclosed to its shareholders–that is, factors “outside our control” that could materially affect financial performance–are these: “changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans, (and) changes in the eligibility requirements of public assistance plans.”  Wal-Mart followers say this is the first time the company has made a disclosure like that.”  Read more 


“Barron’s:  Dollar General CEO sold 323,197 Dollar General shares for $18,718,018”  Read more (subscription required)


“Time Magazine: Walmart’s 5-Step Plan to Conquer Absolutely Everything” by Brad Tuttle. “GameStop, 7-Eleven, Dollar General, CVS, Target, Home Depot, and Food Lion are among the many, many retailers that have new reason to worry about competing with Walmart.”  Read more


“Look Out, Amazon Fresh: Instacart Announces Grocery Delivery Expansion” by Jacqueline Sahagian at Wall St. Cheat Sheet. “Instacart announced that it’s expanding into more neighborhoods around Philadelphia as well as adding additional store options for customers and same-day delivery. Instacart is now available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C., and is offering grocery delivery within one hour…For bulk stores like Costco and BJ’s, Instacart pays for its own membership fee so that their customers don’t have to, enabling Instacart customers to shop at one of the big bulk stores without having to pay for a yearly membership.”  Read more


Tweet:  Beer Display at Walmart Looks Like a Stadium: @msjessicaellis: Lol walmart got a beer at the plate and a runner on first.  See the Pic


“RadioShack’s online presence not clicking with customers” by Maria Halkias at Dallas News.  “In a list of “who’s up and who’s down” over the past decade, RadioShack had the third-largest decline in Web sales among retailers, according to Internet Retailer’s recently published Top 500 Guide. sales were down 21.7 percent, from $65.1 million in 2003 to $51 million in 2012. “That traffic is lost to Best Buy, Amazon and others forever,” said Michael Pachter, managing director at Wedbush Securities.”  Read more


“Wal-Mart’s Asda banner to cut 200 corporate jobs” at The City Wire.  “The job cuts are part of a new five-year plan underway to tackle heightened competition from rival discounters and supermarkets. The moves were reportedly part of a package of recommendations put forward by consultancy firm McKinsey, which also included calls for a widening of product ranges, according to the BBC report.”  Read more


“Random:  Four Reasons the Government Isn’t Going to Sell Off the Post Office” by Devin Leonard at Bloomberg.  “4. Postal worker unions are dead set against it. Don’t discount the political power of the four postal worker unions. They’re among the largest donors to the Democratic Party, they’ve been able to keep Donahoe from ending Saturday mail delivery, and they’ve done a masterful job of building opposition to his plan of opening post offices inside Staples stores.”  Read more


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Monday Tipsheet: Target Breach, the Movie | Top 50 CEOs | Top 10 Gas Brands


“Target Breach:  Coming to a Theatre Near You” by Jennifer Bjorhus at Star-Tribune.  “Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. confirmed Friday that it is working on a movie based on the security blogger who exposed Target Corp.’s monster data security breach.  No production date has been set, a Sony spokeswoman said, but the cyberthriller will be penned by Richard Wenk, a writer and director whose credits include “The Expendables 2” and “The Mechanic.” He also wrote “The Equalizer,” a not-yet-released movie that has Denzel Washington playing a former black ops commando.”  Read more


“Interview with Target Canada President Tony Fisher” by Francine Kopun at Our Windsor.  “In a rare, unguarded moment, he did not mince words when it came to how he feels about 2013, which saw the retailer open 124 stores across Canada in less than a year and lose nearly $1-billion U.S.  “I hope to God it is the most challenging year I ever have in my career,” he said…He admits to challenges. For one thing, expectations were too high, including the expectations Target set for itself.  “We bought into a much more aggressive sales rate than what materialized,” said Fisher.”  Read more


Glassdoor’s Highest Rated CEOs 2014 (Costco’s Jelinek #1 in Retail / #6 Overall; H.Depot’s Blake #41 Overall)  See the Top 50 List


More on Walmart’s New ‘Savings Catcher’ Test…


“Walmart’s ‘Savings Catcher’:  Smart but Limited” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “The program only pertains to grocery. It does not include general merchandise or electronics, which is one of the several ways Wal-Mart has protected itself with this program, according to analysts.  “At first glance I like the program. Psychologically, it could resonate with the customers. It should also help to drive in-store traffic…” said Jason Long, CEO of Shift Marketing Group. He said it hasn’t been that long ago that Walmart was the clear leader in low prices in the minds of most consumers. But Dollar Stores, Aldi and aggressive pricing from Kroger, HEB and other grocers have nipped away at that image.”  Read more


AP’s take on ‘Savings Catcher’:  “The tool isn’t revolutionary” by Anne D’Innocenzio via Charlotte Observer.  “Anne Jurchak of Belmont was part of Wal-Mart’s focus group. She said she’s been getting back $5 to $7 on her weekly trips to Wal-Mart in which she typically spends $200 to $250. Jurchak used those savings to buy holiday stocking stuffers and a case for her e-reader.  As a part-time marriage counselor and mother of two sons, Jurchak, 41, a said she’s never had time to take advantage of price matching.  “They’re doing the work for me,” Jurchak said. “The only thing they’re not doing is putting the groceries away.” Read more


“These Are the 10 Strongest Gasoline Brands — and You’ll Never Guess What’s at No. 1” by Aimee Duffy at The Motley Fool.  “That’s right, Costco is at No. 1. It’s almost unfathomable that a company that barely, if at all, advertises for gasoline can take the top spot on this list, but it has. In a way, it’s almost an advantage not being an oil company in this case (you’ll notice BP is not on the list) and generating good feelings with the larger brand.”  See the top 10 list


“Former FreshDirect Delivery Workers Sue for Tips” by Vanessa Wong at Businessweek.  “The plaintiffs claim FreshDirect’s mandatory delivery charge, which starts at $5.99, should be considered a gratuity that’s owed to the roughly 300 delivery people employed by the company. As a result, they allege that FreshDirect unlawfully takes in at least $23.4 million in gratuities each year.” Read more


CNBC Headline:  “Pssst…a peek at retail’s next big thing”  10 stores that could be coming to a mall near you


Speaking of Malls…CBS Sunday Morning’s lead story:  “A dying breed: The American shopping mall”  “Today, malls across the U.S. are dying. No new enclosed mall has been built since 2006, and Lewis predicts fully half of all our malls will close in the next 10 years.  “Why would you get in your car and drive to a mall when you can just reach in your pocket?” asked Strassmann.” Read more / See the video


“Merrill Lynch Defends Home Depot, Says It Is Headed to $100” by Jon Ogg at 24/7 Wall Street.  “What investors need to consider is that this $100 price target is the top price target in the Home Depot analyst coverage universe. It is also more than $10 above the consensus $89.60 price target listed by Thomson Reuters.”  Read more


Week at a Glance: Earnings Announcements

3/25:  Walgreen, HD Supply, Five Below

3/27:  Fred’s, Restoration Hardware, Gamestop


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Friday Tipsheet: Sam’s #1 in Cust. Service | Target Teaches Nordstrom | Meijer Likes WI


“Target Canada to open downtown anchor store in 2016” by Francine Kopun at Toronto Star.  “Unlike urban City Target stores in the U.S., it will not be a smaller store with fewer items, but a large location providing discount department store shopping to the tens of thousands of waterfront residents whose closest option today is the Eaton Centre. “It will be one of our largest stores in the entire country,” said Target Canada chief executive officer Tony Fisher, pointing out that the new store will also be easily accessible from the Financial District.”  Read more


“Top Ten (and Bottom Ten) Retailers Ranked on Customer Service (Sam’s #1, Amazon #2, Ace #1 in Hardware)” by Temken Group.  “Sam’s Club narrowly beat out for the top spot, receiving an 81% rating and an overall rank of 8th out of 268 companies across 19 industries. With ratings of 79% each, Costco, PetSmart, Ace Hardware, and BJ’s Wholesale Club also earned high marks from customers.”  See the rankings


“Nordstrom Learns From Target, Delays Push into Canada” by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail.  “Nordstrom executives watched Target struggle to launch 124 stores in Canada over nine months – and another three last week – which many industry observers say was too much to execute properly… “There are absolutely lessons to be learned,” Ms. White said on Thursday.  “We are approaching it differently than them to begin with.”  Read more


“Meijer planning expansion into Wisconsin” by Karen Dybis at The Detroit News.  “Meijer Inc. will expand into Wisconsin next year, further broadening its Midwest footprint with a $146 million distribution center and six new superstores in its sixth state…In 2015, Meijer will open full-size supercenters in the Milwaukee suburbs of Grafton, Sussex and Wauwatosa. Guglielmi said. It also will open one in Kenosha, a lakefront city that is about 45 minutes north of Chicago, where Meijer has built a loyal following. It will add sites in Waukesha and Oak Creek in 2016.” Read more


“Supervalu reshapes wholesale division” by Mike Hughlett at Star-Tribune.  “(Supervalu) will consolidate its distribution business from three regions to two, forming new east and west teams. They will be located in Hopkins, where Supervalu has a large distribution center, and in Mechanicsville, Va.  Supervalu will significantly downsize its regional office in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., 35 miles south of Milwaukee near the Illinois border.”  Read more


“Automated shop for UK villagers who lost their local stores” at The Telegraph.  “Peter Fox spent two-and-a-half years honing the shop – which he describes as a ‘giant vending machine’ – before it was installed this week outside a pub in Clifton, near Ashbourne in Derbyshire.  Residents can use cash or credit cards to buy milk, eggs, toiletries, kitchen essentials, pet food and even umbrellas and the machine will send out an email when its stock levels are getting low.”  Read more


“FedEx Takes Sloppy E-Tailers to Task” at WSJ.  “Retailers’ shortcomings on their side of the delivery equation “is a big part of the e-commerce business that really didn’t get enough publicity last year because they were an integral part of the problem even more than the weather and the carrier performance,” the FedEx chief said.  FedEx didn’t name names on the e-commerce naughty list, but Mr. Smith said his company is working with its retailing customers on these issues.”  Read more


“Trending on Social Media:  Man finds live worm in package of fish from Costco” at WBTW News.  “The video posted on Facebook by Binh Nguyen has more than 227,000 shares. Craig Wilson, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Food Safety, confirms that a nematode was found in the package of wild pacific cod fillet earlier this month…”Although it’s, quite frankly, disgusting, I wish I could tell you it’s very very uncommon,” said Wilson.”  See the video / Read more


“Campers wait outside Cabela’s for 1st Georgia store to open; Ribbon cutting to be done with a bow & arrow sharp shooter” at WAGT 26 News.  “The 42-thousand square foot facility is the first one in Georgia and the Southeast…”  See the video / Read more


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Thursday Tipsheet: Wmart: Yes on Tobacco, No on Cannabis | H.Depot’s Blake at ISI


“Walmart Testing New Ad Match Program Called ‘Savings Catcher’ ” from ISI Retail Summit.  How it works:  Consumer buys products, enters receipt code online, Walmart looks at ad prices in the area, if there is a lower price Walmart gives a credit to consumer on a Walmart gift card.  Currently being tested in seven cities: Charlotte, Lexington, Atlanta, Minneapolis, San Diego, Dallas, Huntsville.

Walmart’s Duncan Mac Naughton,  Highlights from Summit:

* Walmart has a 41% – 42% share of Bud Light’s two new Lime-A-Rita brands (Mango & Rasberry).  A $100 Mil Business across all four sku’s.

*  Launching an OPP brand, 55 sku’s, in 400 stores + 240 more coming called Fit for Purpose.

*  Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuit Mix (“crazy how well it sells”) – Exclusive to Walmart until June.

*  On tobacco: “As long as it’s legal we’ll keep selling it legally.”

*  Sell marijuana in Denver stores?:  “No sir, we’ll follow the Federal rule”

Listen to Webcast


First ‘Walmart to Go’ Officially Opens in Bentonville (3 Blocks from HQ):

The City Wire:  “Walmart to Go sells convenience, prices remain consistent” by Kim Souza.  “The items were consistently priced at all three formats (Walmart to Go, Neighborhood Market & Supercenter) — 14 items were priced exactly the same, the bottled water at the supercenter did not have a price listed on the shelf, but it was $3.48 at the other two stores. Total spend, excluding the water was $47.60 at all three formats.  The retailer looks to be selling convenience in this new hybrid format. The real savings came in time, something there never seems to be enough of for most consumers today.”  See the in-store video / Read more


NWA:  “First ‘Walmart to Go’ Opens in Bentonville” by Rebecca Jeffrey & Rebeckah Garrett.  “Customers are saying they are so excited and surprised that this is a smaller size box that offers convenience options but at the Walmart price,” Layton said.  So far, Bentonville is the only city slated to have a “Walmart To Go.”  See the in-store video / Read more


“Tomorrow:  Walmart Kicks Off Spring ‘Black Friday’ Event” at CNBC.  “Wal-Mart is slashing prices and debuting deeper offerings in its outdoor living and lawn and garden segments. The move puts pressure on home improvement leaders Home Depot and Lowe’s, which consider the critical spring selling season their version of Christmas.”  Read more


“Wal-Mart’s New Ad Is A Carbon Copy Of Duracell’s Ad With Derrick Coleman” by Aaron Taube at Business Insider.  “Duracell’s commercial starring Seattle Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman is easily one of the best ads of 2014.  If you don’t remember it, the ad features a moving voiceover in which Coleman tells the story of how he reached the NFL despite being deaf…It seems Walmart might have liked it even better than we did.  That’s because the retail giant’s newest commercial, which tells the story of a factory worker with physical and mental disabilities, is extremely similar to the Duracell ad. It was made by the same ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi New York.”  Read more


“Consumer Reports:  5 Things to Buy at Walmart and 5 Things to Avoid”  “Walmart is known for value, but there are also plenty of top-performing products on its sprawling shelves. Then again, you could easily end up with a low-priced dud—which is no bargain in the long run.”  See the list


“Home Depot’s CEO Frank Blake Speaks at ISI Retail Summit.”  Highlights:

What are you spending your time on?  “Interconnected retail and organizational”

On management transition: 

* “I’m turning 65 this summer.  I’m shockingly not going to live forever.”

* “Craig (Menear) has done a phenomenal job with everything I’ve given to him.”

On “Tribes” within Home Depot:

“Operations and Merchandising are our major tribes.”

“Interconnected retail is not a new tribe – the customer won’t think of it that way.”

On Tech Talent:

“We have our own building called the Tree House where our more creative online people are.”

“I’d like to play ping pong in the afternoon too…”

Square Footage:

In five years will you have the same square footage?  “Give or take”

Lengthy discussion on vendor relations and Amazon…

Listen to 30 minute Webcast


“Random:  Disney reveals film plans at annual shareholder meeting” by Daniel Miller at LA Times.  “Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios plans to make a sequel to the 2004 hit “The Incredibles” and a third film in the popular “Cars” franchise.  Iger also discussed Disney’s upcoming “Star Wars” film, which is slated for released Dec. 18, 2015. He said the movie, “Star Wars: Episode VII,” would take place 30 years after “Return of the Jedi” and feature “some very familiar faces along with a trio of new young leads.”  Read more


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