Tue. Tipsheet: Costco ‘Shocked’ w/Tmall | Target’s Annie ‘Controversy’ | Kroger Expands Online Test


Luxe buyer not who you may think by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “57.5 percent of luxury spenders are actually male, and many are of Asian and Middle Eastern descent…The report, which examined 30,000 high-end shoppers, found that luxury brands lose 50 percent of their top customers each year by not correctly identifying them.” Read more


Study: In-store pickup does not save U.S. shoppers much time by Deepa Seetharaman at Reuters. “According to a small study to be released on Tuesday by retail-intelligence firm StellaService, in-store pickup saved shoppers just 96 seconds on average compared with searching for items on their own. In a few cases, in-store pickup took longer.” Read more


Target Outrages Customers After Debuting Controversial Annie Ads at Perez Hilton. “A Change.org petition has been started by L’Sean Rinique urging Target to remedy this by including more African-American models in the ads and issuing an apology to the film’s star Quvenzhané Wallis, and has already garnered several hundred signatures from supporters.” Read more


A Handful of Blockbuster E-Commerce Acquisitions That Could Happen in 2015 by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Walmart buys PayPal. Not the sexiest M&A possibility — especially for PayPal employees — but sources say the idea has been discussed by Walmart execs in the last few months…Walmart buys Wish. Wish, a mobile shopping app, is on fire. It has been one of the Top 10 shopping apps on the iPhone for much of this year.” Read more


Costco ‘shocked’ by one-day sales of $3.5M on Alibaba’s Tmall site by Tricia Duryee at GeekWire. “Our performance on Singles Day shocked and surprised our management and it totally transformed our annual business plan,” according to a statement issued by the company. “In 2015 we hope to offer Chinese consumers a richer variety of products through the platform and also improve their overall shopping experience.” Read more


WSJ: The 5 CMOs to Watch in 2015 (Target’s Jeff Jones #2) by Steven Perlberg. Read more (Subscription) 


Kroger expands online shopping test in Cincinnati by Alexander Coolidge at Cincinnati.com. “Kroger hopes to expand the service at another planned Kroger store: a proposed Marketplace store at Ohio 4 and Kyles Station Road that would replace and upgrade the Kroger at 5420 Liberty-Fairfield Road, pending local approval. The new store would be more than twice the size of the existing store.” Read more


San Diego: Target Promises No Starbucks at South Park Store at San Diego 7 NBC. “The company will commission a local artist to create artwork inside the store, to fit in with the aesthetics of the South Park community. The store will offer organic produce sourced from California when possible. “As we’ve mentioned before, we will not feature a Starbucks in this TargetExpress store because we know the local coffee cart is a popular neighborhood fixture and a gathering place for residents,” (Kristen) Emmons said.” Read more


Internet shopping has made it harder to hide holiday presents by Carrie Wells & Lorraine Mirabella at Baltimore Sun via Seattle Times. “Instead of hiding gifts in the closet or car trunk, shoppers on the Internet now must intercept the delivery person, hide email receipts in obscure folders, scrub their Internet history and buy with gift cards so a nosy spouse doesn’t spot charges on the credit card.” Read more


And the three most important retail themes for 2015 are…by Fred Imbert at CNBC. Read more / See the video


2015 could be year of first smart-home hacks by John Shinal at USA Today. “Eventually, the Internet of Things may be as convenient and hazardous for consumers as the Internet of PCs and smartphones.” Read more


Yesterday on Today (NBC): What are the best and worst products of 2014? (Walmart’s Great Value coffee and Family Dollar’s paper towels make worst list)  See the video


Texas: Possible prank leads to injury in Walmart by Sean Larsen at KXII 12 News. “One of them had to pull the seat,” Wesley Howard said, describing how he was freed from the restroom. “When one of them was putting some sort of acetone on it, so when they did they pulled the skin off the rear-end of this side of my thigh.” Read more / See the video


Happy Holidays!  Eye-on-Retail will return after the New Year.


Eye-on-Retail is a tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives. It’s created and delivered early AM every weekday. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. Contact us at info@shiftmarketinggroup.net.

Monday Tipsheet: ‘Wardrobing’ | Galanti Re-Elect | UK: 31% Returns


Online Retailers Rebound After Last Year’s Christmas Delivery Debacle by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Shoppers hired by StellaService placed 160 orders on the last possible day an order could be placed to make it in time for Christmas and found that eleven of those orders didn’t arrive on time, for a seven percent miss rate. But that’s still better than last year, when 12 percent of orders didn’t arrive on time.” Read more


Behind the $3.8B loss retailers expect by Herb Weisbaum at CNBC. “One of the biggest challenges continues to be “wardrobing”—the return of a used but non-defective item, such as clothing or electronics. The NRF report noted that an increasing percentage of return fraud is now being done with digital receipts, popular with many customers and being heavily promoted by retailers.” Read more / See the video


UK: 31% of goods purchased online this Christmas will be returned by Joel Lewin at Financial Times. “Most of these will be returned on so-called “Boomerang Thursday” — the first Thursday after Christmas, when a deluge of unwanted gifts will be sent back to ecommerce companies.” Read more


Retailers Save Discounts for Bargain Hunters by Shelly Banjo at WSJ. “A fifth of online shoppers are considered true “discount junkies,” people who make purchases only when plied with discounts, according to new data from AgilOne Inc….About 15% of shoppers generally pay full price for items and don’t bother searching for sales.” Read more (Subscription)


Amazon says it has 10 million new Prime members by Ben Miller at Puget Sound Bus. Journal. Read more


Costco’s Richard Galanti re-elected to Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s board of directors at Seattle Times. Read more


Ships stacking up in San Francisco Bay by Pete Carey at Mercury News. “Merrilees said one problem is the growth of mammoth ships capable of carrying as many 14,000 containers. “Not too long ago, a ship carrying five or six thousand containers was considered a monster,” he said.” Read more 


West Coast port jam could open America’s backyard to China by Thomas Lee at SF Gate. “Nicaragua broke ground on a $50 billion, 172 mile canal, to be completed by 2020. The project is being financed by Hong Kong-based HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd , which is controlled by Wang Jing, a little-known Chinese telecom mogul well connected to China’s political elite. A new canal would pose a big threat to West Coast ports, already beset by dysfunction and competition.” Read more


Pinterest set for ad battle with Facebook, Google by Mike Isaac at NY Times via CNBC. “On New Year’s Day, the company plans to start selling ads on the site to marketers, sounding the call that Pinterest is open for business and that it wants to compete for ad dollars with the likes of Google, Twitter and Facebook.” Read more


With aw-shucks farewell visit, former Kroger CEO Dillon brings career full circle by Erin Caproni at Cincinnati Bus. Journal. “Dillon’s parents, Paul and Ruth Dillon, came to the store to watch their son. When he retires, there won’t be anymore Dillons working in the grocery business for the first time in decades.” Read more


Saks Fifth Avenue president to wed private equity rainmaker by Emily Smith at NY Post. “The stylish British beauty, who came from Harrods in London to revamp the Saks Fifth Avenue chain, was recently quietly engaged to Ford, known as Bill, whom she has been dating for about a year.” Read more


Canada: Vancouverites head to the shops for Boxing Day shopping blitz by Tracy Sherlock at Vancouver Sun. “An online survey commissioned by cashback shopping site Ebates.ca found that about 40 per cent of Canadians planned to shop on Boxing Day.” Read more


Sam’s Club Introduces Exclusive Furniture Collection by Nicholas Sparks “The collection was inspired by Sparks’s latest book, The Longest Ride (2013), and appears in the upcoming 20th Century Fox film based on this novel.” Read the release



Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. It’s created early AM and delivered around 8 AM EST daily. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. info@shiftmarketinggroup.net.

Tuesday Tipsheet: Wgreen Front-End +1.5% | Target Can. Slow | Frank Blake Gold


Walgreen Q1 Front-End Comp +1.5%First quarter sales increased 6.7 percent compared with the prior-year quarter to a record $19.6 billion, with total sales in comparable stores increasing 5.7 percent…customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 2.7 percent, basket size increased 4.2 percent.” Read the release


Canada: Walmart stores busy, Target stores, not so much by Francine Kopun at Toronto Star. “A snapshot of 76 stores across Canada, conducted the weekend of Dec. 13-14, found that 30 out of 38 Walmart stores were busy or very busy. Among 38 Target stores, 15 locations were busy or very busy.” Read more


Judge clears way for Family Dollar merger vote on Tuesday by John Downey at Charlotte Business Journal. “The dissident shareholders have claimed that Family Dollar’s board of directors has failed to properly consider an offer by Dollar General Corp. to buy the company for $80 per share.” Read more


Alibaba’s Tmall Global Site Stumbles by Kathy Chu at WSJ. “A review of the site for The Wall Street Journal suggests about 70% of the stores are doing “almost no volume,” said Jacob Cooke, chief executive of Web Presence in China, a digital marketing agency…Costco..had a “good outcome” on Tmall Global after a launch in October, Alibaba said. For instance, the retailer sells more than 15,000 tubs of mixed nuts and about 6,000 bottles of Cetaphil moisturizing lotion monthly.” Read more (Subscription)


Home Depot’s Frank Blake to Receive NRF Gold Medal AwardThe awards will be presented during a keynote session at Retail’s BIG Show – NRF’s 104th Annual Convention and Expo – on January 12.” Read more


Omni-Channel To Omni-Fail: How Target Went Wrong From Sale To Customer Service by Greg Sterling at Marketing Land. “A particularly egregious example of this comes in the form of a recent personal e-commerce experience with Target. It’s effectively a case study, a tale of Byzantine organization, perfunctory customer service and social media impotence – with failures at every point of customer contact.” Read more


Walgreen’s Bumps Home Depot from #1 Spot in Radio at Radio Ink. “Walgreen’s moved into the number one position on the Media Monitors weekly chart airing a total of 38,809 commercials on the radio last week. The Home Depot, which typically occupies the top spot, was pushed down to number four with 28,415.” Read more


Amazon’s top reviewers garner free stuff and death threats by Ben Miller at Puget Sound Business Journal. “Mandy Payne, who’s written more than 2,500 reviews, said she’s received death threats for some of her reviews in addition to the 30 boxes of free products she receives nearly every day.” Read more


Former Walgreen CFO signs severance agreement by Ellen Jean Hirst at Chicago Tribune. “Court documents show that Walgreen’s former CFO has signed a final severance agreement, bringing into question whether he will proceed with a defamation lawsuit against the company.” Read more


RadioShack CMO moves to At Home by Maria Halkias at Dallas News. “The company said it has hired Jennifer Warren as chief marketing officer after she spent 20 months at Fort Worth-based RadioShack…“We’ve been hiring people who have run their functions in multiple-billion[-dollar] companies,” said Bird, who was hired in December 2012 to expand the chain. “We need people who’ve been there to get us there.” Read more


Scenes From Putin’s Economic Meltdown by Alec Luhn at Politico. “People were purchasing refrigerators, washing machines, cameras—anything that was less likely to lose its value as fast as the plummeting ruble. Cars in some dealerships were being sold at 30 percent to 50 percent above the recommended retail price, yet “people run and bring their last money,” one social network user wrote.” Read more


Happy Holidays!  Eye-on-Retail will return after Christmas.



Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. It’s created early AM and delivered around 8 AM EST daily. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. info@shiftmarketinggroup.net.




Scenes From Putin’s Economic Meltdown


Monday Tipsheet: Costco Finds Vin Scully’s Ring | ‘Lumberjack chic’ | Haggen Wants 164


Retailers’ holiday hopes rise after busy weekend by Jayne O’Donnell at USA Today. “Shopping at a Target in Milford, Mass., Tony Faath says “the store was mobbed,” but clerks were doing their best to keep lines moving. And, unlike Black Friday, there were no crazed rushes to deals, shelves weren’t bare and “the shoppers seemed to be in good spirits,” says Faath.” Read more


Indian E-Commerce is On Fire. What Will Amazon and Alibaba Do About It? by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “On Saturday, Flipkart — perhaps the most popular online shopping site in India — announced a massive $700 million investment. This would be a crazy enough sum on its own, except the company had just unveiled a $1 billion investment in the summer and, earlier, a $210 investment in the spring.” Read more


Grocery chain Haggen plans massive expansion from 18 to 164 stores by Rachel Lerman at Puget Sound Bus. Journal. “Bellingham-based grocery store chain Haggen announced plans Friday to embark on a major expansion that will take the store from 18 locations to 164 across Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona. Haggen is set to acquire the additional 146 stores as part of an Federal Trade Commission-mandated divestment when Albertson’s and Safeway merge.” Read more


Dodgers’ Vin Scully loses one golden ring in holiday loop around Costco by Bill Plaschke at LA Times. “Once they had loaded the trunk, Scully climbed into the front seat, glanced down at his Costco-weary hands, and noticed something missing. His 1988 World Series ring had disappeared from his finger. “I said, ‘Oh my God, I’ve lost my ring,’ ” Vin said.” Read more


The Psychology Behind a Mysteriously Fluctuating Holiday Sweater Sale by Chris Chafin at Fast Company. “When I ask Michelle Cordeiro Grant, JackThreads’ VP of Commerce, if they would think about changing their prices more than once a day, she laughs. “We’re not managing our business like a quant experiment,” she says, “where we ebb and flow like the stock market. I know places like Amazon do things like, but we do not.” Read more


‘Lumberjack chic’: Demand for L.L.Bean boot soars by Courtney Reagan & Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “A survey by Evercore ISI found that L.L.Bean is the No. 1 footwear brand teens and young adults would like to own, at 26 percent. Nike ranked second at 13 percent, followed by Steve Madden and Ralph Lauren/Polo.” Read more / See the video


Shoppers can sue Target over data breach by Nick Halter at Minn./St. Paul Bus. Journal. “U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson of St. Paul denied Target’s request to toss out a class action lawsuit.” Read more


Tesco Faces Fresh Accounting Investigation by Ian Walker at WSJ. “The U.K.’s Financial Reporting Council on Monday said it has launched an investigation into Tesco PLC’s accounts for fiscal 2012, 2013 and 2014, following the recent accounting scandal at the supermarket chain…The FRC had previously said it was monitoring the situation.” Read more (Subscription)


Wal-Mart appoints new CEO for its Mexican business at The City Wire. “Enrique Ostale was chosen by Wal-Mart to as its next CEO for Wal-Mart de Mexico…Ostale served previously at the parent company as the top Walmex and Latin America exec. He will take over the new role on Jan. 1.” Read more


Staples: Breach may have affected 1.16 million customers’ cards by Tom Huddleston Jr. at Fortune. “At all but two of those stores, the malware would have had access to customer data for purchases made between August 10 and September 16 of this year.” Read more


Kingfisher sells B&Q China stake as DIY fails to take off by Jennifer Rankin at The Guardian. “B&Q opened its first store in China in 1999 and now has 39 outlets employing 3,000 people, but the London-listed group has struggled to transplant its business model to a country where doing odd jobs around the house is not seen as a leisure activity.” Read more


The days of the year when Americans are most drunk, visualized by Philip Bump at Washington Post. “The company released a report with a perhaps-surprising finding: People drink more in the winter. They created this graphic, an interactive version of which is at their site. The darker the color, the higher the average blood alcohol content for the day. (The drunkest day in February? Super Bowl Sunday.)” Read more


Stanford ‘lizard brains’ create gecko-like paws that allow humans to scale glass walls by Bruce Newman at Mercury News. “The Stanford students have patents pending on all this and have already begun negotiations with toy companies eager to get some cold hard cash to stick to their fingers. A Swiss entrepreneur has scheduled a meeting with the gecko gloves team in January to discuss possible rock-climbing applications.” Read more


Friday Tipsheet: Feds Probe Costco | Kmart Layaway ‘Debacle’ | Amazon 1 Hr Ship


Costco reports federal probe about prescriptions for controlled substances by Angel Gonzalez at Seattle Times. “Costco said Thursday it has been informed by federal attorneys that they believe the company has violated civil regulations about the handling of prescriptions for controlled substances.” Read more


Amazon offers one-hour shipping in Manhattan at AP via SF Gate. “The service is available to customers enrolled in Amazon Prime, which costs $99 a year. One-hour delivery costs $7.99 but the company also offers two-hour delivery for free. Prime Now is available from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.” Read more


Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club implement stricter poultry safety protocol at The City Wire. “All poultry suppliers must be in compliance with the new requirements by June 2016.” Read more


Consumables tilt the pricing see-saw to Walmart: What does this mean for Amazon? by Nicole Santosusso at Internet Retailer. “Walmart.com took the lead with the least expensive overall basket across the three venues. Amazon’s overall basket was more expensive than both Walmart channels; it registered 12% more expensive than the Supercenter and 17% more expensive than Walmart.com. Amazon’s biggest disadvantage was in edible grocery, where it was 37% more expensive than Walmart.com and 38% more expensive than the Supercenter.” Read more


Rite-Aid Q3 Front-End Comp +1.6%Same store sales for the quarter increased 5.4 percent over the prior year, consisting of a 1.6 percent increase in front-end sales and a 7.2 percent increase in pharmacy sales.” Read the release


NY AG: Walmart Must End Online Toy Gun Sales by Awr Hawkins at Breitbart. “Schneiderman’s office said the toy guns were illegal because they were “virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.” NY law “prohibits retailers from selling guns in realistic colors unless it has a one-inch-wide orange stripe running down both sides of the barrel and the front end of the barrel that cannot be removed.” Read more


Psst! It’s Me, the Mannequin. This Would Look Great on You. by Rachel Abrams at NY Times. “But these can beckon you from outside the store, sending messages to your cellphones and beaming pictures of their outfits onto them. They are one of the latest efforts by the struggling retail industry to lure customers away from the Internet and back into brick-and-mortar stores. “We decided we had to work out a way to bring the good old-fashioned mannequin into the 21st century.” Read more


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P&G fined $189 million for fixing prices by Barrett J. Brunsman at Cincinnati Bus. Courier. “Sales managers and others “met regularly and secretly (in restaurants and private homes) to coordinate their commercial policies and discuss their pricing policies,” the Autorité de la Concurrence said in announcing the fines. “These practices are serious and harmed the economy.” Read more


Wal-Mart de Mexico Sells Bank Business to Inbursa at Nasdaq. “Inbursa said it would pay 3.6 billion pesos, or nearly $247 million, for the business.” Read more


39 percent of customers continue to avoid vendors more than two years after a bad experience by Susan LaMotte at Forbes. “There is a lot of research around helping others — humans have a predisposition to want to help. Research from the University of Wisconsin shows that employees who help others at work are happier. Stanford researchers found that creating goals around helping others directly correlates with happiness.” Read more


Can Wal-Mart Clerks Ship as Fast as Amazon Robots? by Shelly Banjo, Suzanne Kapner & Paul Ziobro at WSJ. “Ms. Merritt and her team handle about 1,000 items a day from the one store. At some robot-equipped Amazon warehouses, workers handle as many as 300 items an hour. Wal-Mart says the ship-from-store operations are only one piece of a larger network serving its online customers. “We have fulfillment centers that deliver the vast majority of online orders,” said spokesman Dan Toporek.” Read more (Subscription)


Kmart Apologizes For Layaway Debacle, Says Some Cancellations Were ‘Inadvertent’ by Mary Beth Quirk at The Consumerist via HuffPo. “Kmart contacted Consumerist to issue an apology for what is still a very confusing situation. When we started combing through our readers’ tales of woe over the Kmart situation, many said they’d later received yet another notice about their layaway items, saying that their entire layaway contract had been canceled.” Read more


How the Deepest, Darkest Secrets of Moms Shape the Products in Aisle 6 by Rebecca Greenfield at Fast Company. “When I sit in meetings, the way people talk about mothers, it’s like it’s the 1950s,” said the founder of The Mom Complex, which works with the likes of Walmart and Johnson & Johnson on product development and marketing research specifically geared toward America’s 80 million moms. “They think we’re all June Cleaver, and happy all the time, and baking all the time.” Read more


Minecraft’s Creator Buys The Most Expensive House In Beverly Hills by Luke Plunkett at Kotaku. “In case you needed a material transaction to illustrate just how much money Markus Persson, aka Notch, has having sold Mojang (and Minecraft) to Microsoft, take a look at this: the dude just paid $70 million (and maybe beat out Beyonce & Jay-Z) to buy the most expensive house in Beverly Hills.” See the video walkthrough



Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. It’s created early AM and delivered around 8 AM EST daily. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. info@shiftmarketinggroup.net.


Thursday Tipsheet: Target Leadership Changes | Menards Jingle History | Hoarding Buckwheat


Target CEO announces leadership promotions by Nick Halter at Minn./St. Paul Business Journal. “Omnichannel president and senior vice president Casey Carl moved into the leadership team, reporting to Cornell as chief strategy and innovation officer. Jason Goldberger has been named president of Target.com and mobile. Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Jones will take on added responsibilities, including enhancing the guest experience through a new “guest center of excellence” Read more


Retail watchers say Nook would be a good fit for Wal-Mart by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “You need go no further than Wal-Mart’s own book section on their website to understand their motivation for acquiring Nook. Prominently featured at the top of the page is a banner ad for “Great Gifts” promoted by the “Hatchette Book Group.” Read more


Target Teams With Improv Everywhere For Elaborate Christmas Carol Stunt by Steve Hall at Marketing Land. “This week, Improv Everywhere teamed with Target for some unconventional marketing and to orchestrate an elaborate Christmas Carol stunt involving five surprised families. Unlike many of Improv Everywhere’s flashmob-style stunts, the Target stunt involved elaborate planning, a large crew and five willing mothers.” Read more


The “Save Big Money at Menards” Jingle: A History by Chaz Kangas at City Pages. “While the popular feel-good urban legend is that the jingle’s music and lyrics were created by John Menard Jr.’s wife as something of a home improvement theme-music Betsy Ross, most accounts attribute the song’s origins to studio musicians and the competitive nature of the jingle era.” Read more / See the old video


Michelle Obama: I Was Asked to Take Something Off a Shelf at Target by Daniel Halper at The Weekly Standard. “The Obamas talked with People magazine about dealing with their “own racist experiences,” as the magazine described…Michelle Obama told one story that recently took place…”I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new,” Michelle Obama, who is 5’11”, said.” Read more 


NY Times: Amazon Not as Unstoppable as It Might Appear by Farhad Manjoo. “The key to its vulnerability is the smartphone, a device whose scope and significance Jeff Bezos, the chief executive, has not yet managed to corral. Phones have already radically altered both the way Americans shop and how retail goods move about the economy, but the transformation is just beginning — and it is far from guaranteed that Amazon will emerge victorious from the transition.” Read more


Hudson’s Bay taps former Target Exec as new CEO by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “(Gerald) Storch, 58, was chairman and CEO of Toys R Us from 2006 to early 2013…Prior to that, he held varying executive roles at Target between 1993 and 2005, and was in charge of the retailer’s SuperTarget grocery strategy, its credit card business and the rollout of its web division, Target.com.” Read more


America’s holiday spend: $1000-plus per person by Rebecca Shabad at The Hill. “Just under a third said they usually regret how much they spend during the holidays.” Read more


Fox News anchor Shep Smith Worries We’ll Ruin Cuba with Taco Bell and Lowe’s by Andrew Kirell at Mediaite. “You know the fear among anybody who’s ever been there or who cares at all about the Cuban people, as so many of us do,” Smith continued, “the last thing they need is a Taco Bell or a Lowe’s.” Read more


Market Basket film, funded by fans, will retell the saga by Callum Borchers at Boston Globe. “Jay Childs, who spent much of July and August filming on the picket lines, has launched an online fund-raising campaign through Kickstarter that aims to collect $50,000 for editing and post-production costs of a project he calls “Food Fight: Inside the Battle for Market Basket.” In five days, he’s pulled in about $13,000, mostly from donations of $75 or less.” Read more


“You Know It’s Bad in Russia When They Start Hoarding the Buckwheat” at Bloomberg. “Volkova said that when she was in her hometown of St. Petersburg last week, shelves in some electronics and home-goods retailers had been cleaned out.” Read more



Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. It’s created early AM and delivered around 8 AM EST daily. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. info@shiftmarketinggroup.net.



Wednesday Tipsheet: Wmart #1 Searched | Dick’s Next LBO? | GA Loves Christmas


Where Christmas is Most Loved in U.S. by Eric Chemi at CNBC. “Look at the states dominating the top of the list: Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina, Texas, Mississippi and North Carolina are all up there. These are all Republican-voting strongholds, home to a dominant Christian citizenship.” Read more


Most-searched places on Google Maps in 2014 (Walmart #1, Home Depot #5, Costco #10) by Ben Abramson at USA Today. See the Top 10 List


WSJ: Sears Bets Big on Technology, but at the Expense of Its Stores by Suzanne Kapner. “…in the four years it was open, Mygofer notched an unusual distinction: On some days, more people returned goods than bought them…internal projections had called for Mygofer to build over four years so that it would eventually generate $8 million in annual sales…Annual sales struggled to top $1 million, these people said. During an interview, Mr. Lampert acknowledged that “going to a store where there were no products may have been weird for shoppers.” Read more (Subscription)


Wal-Mart must pay $188 million in workers’ class action at Reuters. “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered Wal-Mart Stores Inc to pay $188 million to employees who had sued the retailer for failing to compensate them for rest breaks and all hours worked. Wal-Mart said on Tuesday that it might appeal the decision.” Read more


Family of man killed in BB gun case sues police and Walmart at CNN. “The shooting happened August 5. Crawford was shopping at Walmart and picked up a BB gun that wasn’t packaged and had been sitting on the store shelf for two days, the Crawford family’s lawyers said.” Read more


Retailers to try again for online sales tax by Bernie Becker at The Hill. “David French of the National Retail Federation said advocates would continue to “carpet bomb Congress with our message,” after his group and others have sponsored fly-ins from local retailers and state and local government officials. “We’ve told the Hill all along that this is going to pass because it needs to happen, and eventually people will see that,” French added. “They’re not going to pass a bill just because we have a good lobbying strategy.” Read more


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Standard shipping deadlines loom for online shoppers by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. See the chart


Amazon extends Christmas shipping deadlines by Ben Miller at Puget Sound Business Journal. “Amazon.com said it’s extending its free shipping cutoff deadlines to Dec. 19 to ensure Christmas delivery.” Read more


Private label items give Walmart pricing edge in new study by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “A consumer who purchased a basket of 55 grocery and consumable products in December at a typical Walmart Supercenter or Neighborhood Grocery Store would have saved $45 on the $160 purchase by choosing private label products or rollback items over branded everyday low priced products, according the study.” Read more


Boston: Watershed Exchange is a farmers’ market on wheels by Jane Dornbusch at Boston Globe. “He says there are three main problems with the traditional grocery model that he and Stanfield wanted to address. First, says Schoen, “In that model, 40 percent of food goes to waste. Second, only 20 cents on the dollar goes to a farmer or producer. Third is that the average product travels 1,500 miles. We said, How can we create a system that’s better and different?” Read more


Watch Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Get Grilled in Rare Public Interview by Jason Del Rey at Recode.  See the video


“Dick’s Sporting Goods Next Buyout Target?” at Seeking Alpha. “I believe that DKS is the next buyout target, due to its attractive valuation, its ability to generate substantial returns, its FCF and EBITDA strength, and same-stores-sales competitive moat. At a reasonable $61.5 purchase price, DKS presents at least a 22% upside opportunity, with a high likelihood given the high achievable returns for a financial buyer.” Read more


Salvation Army bell ringer hit by car outside Walgreens store at WCVB 5 Boston. “A Salvation Army bell ringer was injured Tuesday after he was run down by an elderly driver who mistook a store’s door for a drive-through in Arlington, police said. “ See the video / Read more



Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. It’s created early AM and delivered around 8 AM EST daily. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. info@shiftmarketinggroup.net.

Tuesday Tipsheet: Google’s “Buy” Button | Aldi Tests Credit Cards | Sears = Landlines


Google Shopping to Counter Amazon by Rolfe Winkler & Alistair Barr at WSJ. “Google has approached retailers about creating a “buy” button for its online shopping site that would be similar to Amazon’s popular “one-click ordering” feature, according to people familiar with the discussions. Until now, Google Shopping has referred shoppers to merchants’ websites via links in search results. But Google wants to keep users on its own pages longer, rather than send them elsewhere.” Read more (Subscription)


Sears CEO Lampert explains why he closed 200 stores by Phil Wahba at Fortune. ““Most of these stores were losing money, some for a long time,” Lampert wrote. “We have experimented with different formats, different levels of investment and different processes to bring about a better result. Given changing circumstances, both in the retail industry and in our company, we can no longer afford, nor justify keeping these stores open.” Read more


…compares Sears to landline phone by James Covert at NY Post. “Real estate owners and communities are trying to figure out what to do with large, windowless buildings that once held essential — now useless — telephone equipment to make landlines work,” the hedge-fund billionaire wrote in a Monday blog post.“Similarly, some of our stores are simply too large for our needs.” Read more


Canadian Tire draws fire over ‘sexist’ flyer at City News Toronto. “Some shoppers were taken aback by a Canadian Tire flyer containing a list of “gifts for her” that included items, such as sewing machines, pots and pans and a pink tool kit. Other items under the gifts for her section included crock pots and a chocolate fountain. “Ideally it should say gifts for the family,” said shopper Laima Cers. “That’s what it should say.” See the video / Read more


Aldi’s testing credit cards by John Ewoldt at Star-Tribune. “Matt Lilla, divisional vice president of Aldi in Faribault, Minn., said the company is testing credit cards in Minnesota, Hudson, Wis., and a few stores in Syracuse, N.Y.” Read more


Minnesota: Twitter account for Home Depot store shutdown after “war crimes and torture” tweet by Michael Brodkorb at Star-Trbune. “Stephen Holmes, Director of Corporate Communications for Home Depot said in a statement that this was not “a company Tweet or a company statement.” Holmes added that Home Depot “quickly investigated and an employee admitted to accidently retweeting this, not realizing it was coming from the store’s Twitter account.” Read more


Houston: Hundreds Line Up for Chance at Air Jordans at KHOU. “I’m here with friends and family,” said Chelsea Boyd, who said she had been waiting since midnight. Others in line said they got in line as early as 8:30 Saturday night. Around 2 a.m., the crowd got a bit unruly as people argued who was first in line and two windows were cracked during the commotion. Officers with the Houston Police Department, who were on scene all night, then put up tape to put everyone in a unified line.” See the video / Read more


GameStop’s secret weapon against Wal-Mart’s incursion by Phil Wahba at Fortune. Read the interview with Gamestop CFO


Edward Snowden calls Amazon ‘morally irresponsible’ by Drew Hansen at Washington Business Journal. “He described Amazon allowing users to browse products without encryption to be a “morally irresponsible” practice, according to the report.” Read more



Eye-on-Retail is a daily tipsheet read by thousands of Retail Merchants & Executives every weekday morning. It’s created early AM and delivered around 8 AM EST daily. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s happening in the world of retail. info@shiftmarketinggroup.net.