Tipsheet: Kroger’s Beer Taps | Canada Recession? | Confusion


Department stores duke it out over these shoppers by Krystina Gusfafson at CNBC. “…after losing market share to a swath of competition over the past 10 years, the department store set is clawing back for a bigger slice of the beauty business.” Read more


Kroger installing in-store beer taps by Alexander Coolidge at “This fall, customers will be able to buy or bring in their own growlers to fill with craft beers fresh from in-store taps at the new Kroger Marketplace in Oakley as well as the Harper’s Point Kroger store in Montgomery.” Read more


Myanmar sets $2.80 daily minimum wage for garment workers at Reuters. “Myanmar’s minimum monthly pay would be around $67 a month, based on a six-day work week, giving it a competitive advantage over thriving garment makers such as Vietnam and Cambodia where the monthly minimum wage ranges from $90 to $128.” Read more


Bankrupt grocery-store chain sells stores to save jobs by Gregory Besiger at NY Post. “With roughly 20,000 jobs on the line at A&P, Pathmark, Food Emporium and Waldbaums across the metropolitan area, the now-bankrupt company is slated to close 25 of its 301 stores and affiliates in the New York and New Jersey region around Thanksgiving.” Read more


Food delivery service is now China’s third-most funded startup at Venture Beat. “China’s popular food delivery service (which translates to “Hungry?”) raised a whopping $630 million in Series F funding at a $3 billion valuation right before the weekend. The round propels it into the number three spot of China’s top-funded startups, with about $1.1 billion in capital raised to date.” Read more CEO: We May Have the Lowest Prices, but Many Shoppers Can’t Figure That Out by Jason Del Rey at Recode. ““Believe me, we have this discussion every single day,” Lore said in an interview…“We keep tweaking the [user experience] to make it more clear and are bringing in research groups. But you’re right, it’s still frustrating to [some].” Read more


Why J.Crew Decided to Ditch High Fashion by Kim Bhasin at Bloomberg. “Mickey Drexler, J.Crew Group’s chief executive, keeps bringing up one word: “Heritage.”  In fact, he said it eight times on a conference call with analysts on Thursday, promising to guide J.Crew back to its more traditional roots after veering too far into the world of high fashion.” Read more


Aldi named Retail Achievement Award winner by Jon Springer at Supermarket News. “The sales momentum is concurrently fueling a $3 billion expansion spree that will see the Batavia. Ill.-based retailer add more than 650 new stores by 2018, including its first stores in California, set to open early next year.” Read more


Economists cut Canada’s growth projection by Bill Curry at Globe & Mail. “Economists are shaving their growth forecasts for 2015 ahead of a Statistics Canada report this week that is widely expected to confirm that Canada slipped into recession earlier this year.” Read more


9-Year-Old Girl Asks for a Unique Birthday Gift – Spend Time at Petsmart by Margaret Ann-Carter at WJBF ABC 6. “One little girl’s birthday wish was to give a gift, instead of get a gift. Paisley Shepherd turned 9-years-old Saturday, and for her special day, she wanted to spend time at Petsmart helping animals get adopted.” See the video / Read more



Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet is created early every weekday morning and read by retail merchants and executives worldwide. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s really happening in the world of retail. See our website at




Tipsheet: Woman Finds Vials of Blood In Target Order | Amazon’s Treasure Truck Trouble | Carhartt Opens Flagship


Companies are on the hook for contractors’ labor policies, NLRB says by Shan Li & Chris Kirkham. “The ruling could change operations of high-profile companies in a diverse group of industries, such as Wal-Mart, which subcontracts out warehouse work…The three Democrats on the board voted for the ruling and the two Republicans voted against.” Read more


Woman Finds Vials of Blood Inside Target Order by Josh Einiger at ABC 7 NY. “Packed inside were five different vials of the same person’s blood. And, for good measure, she also found a PlayStation game with a creepy title. “What a coincidence, a CD named ‘Old Blood’ and there’s blood in the box,” Henry said. “Just don’t get it. Everyone I speak to about this does not believe me. They’re like, blood?” See the video / Read more


Macy’s new outlet stores offer slightly different vibe by Anne D’inocenzio at AP via Seattle Times. “(Macy’s) gave The Associated Press an early look at one of its new outlet stores…The store, which is opening Sept. 2 in Elmhurst, Queens, is about the same size as a T.J. Maxx …Backstage is working with new brands, like Fila and Reebok, and new labels like Elf in the beauty section…Backstage is meant more for treasure hunting, the company says.” Read more


Dollar General Q2 Comp +2.8% “We delivered 7.9 percent sales growth…We also grew both customer traffic and average ticket for the 30th consecutive quarter when compared to the prior year quarter,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s chief executive officer.” Read the release


Amazon’s Treasure Truck launch message was a screw-up — another misstep in bungled rollout by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “At this point, Amazon has basically lost all credibility on this project. Given the original hype, the first delay, and now this additional mistake, the company owes its customers an explanation: What caused the delay, and why hasn’t the Treasure Truck launched as expected?” Read more


Ex-Apple engineer launches furniture company to rival Ikea by James Covert at NY Post. “With Campaign, named for the simple-but-sturdy military furniture used by officers in the British Empire, Sewell is looking to put into home furnishings the knowledge he gained from a yearlong stint on Apple’s manufacturing design team in 2010.” Read more


***A message from Dig It Handwear–Protect finger nails from chipping or breaking when gardening. Revolutionary garden glove protects finger nails from chipping or breaking with patented “pillow-top” finger nail protection. See the line at Contact to request samples.


Home Depot to Present at the Goldman Sachs 22nd Annual Global Retailing Conference via MarketWatch. “The presentation will begin at 8:05 a.m. ET on September 10, 2015.” Read the release


Carhartt Opens the Door to Its New Flagship Store in Midtown Detroit Read the release


U.K. retailer Primark to make leap to U.S. by Sarah Halzack at Washington Post via Chicago Tribune. “Primark…plans to make the leap across the pond in September. As it opens its first store in Boston on Sept. 10 and then fans out with seven more outposts across the Northeast…Primark is sometimes described as the overseas answer to Forever 21.” Read more


Lowe’s COO Rick Damron Sells 13,075 Shares via Dakota Financial News. “The shares were sold at an average price of $68.71, for a total value of $898,383.25.” Read more


Fred’s Q2 Comp +0.9%  Read the release


Michael’s Q2 Comp +2.9%  Read the release


General Mills to remove artificial colors, flavors from fruit snacks by Mike Hughlett at Star Tribune. ““We’re really doing this because we’ve heard from families who say this will make the products better,” Klein said. In a marketing study last year, General Mills found that more than 50 percent of current and lapsed fruit snack consumers would more likely buy the product if it didn’t have artificial colors and flavors.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra

The Freshest Thing About the World’s Biggest Online Grocer Isn’t Food

CNBC: Your ground beef contains…what?!

Google Tells Developers How to Get Around Apple’s New Security Rules So They Can Keep Selling Ads

Facebook milestone: 1 billion people used the social network in one day

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Tipsheet: Amazon Lays Off ‘Dozens’ | Wmart Kicks Off Christmas w/Star Wars | Wayfair Building Big DC


Walmart using ‘Star Wars’ to start Christmas push in August by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “The discounter will kick off its Christmas marketing plans on Friday with a Toy Week that will feature plenty of items tied to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” It’s the earliest Walmart has ever kicked off its holiday push.” Read more


Report: Amazon lays off “dozens” in hardware group as it rethinks Fire Phone by Jacob Demmitt at GeekWire. “The group also is reportedly slowing down development of some of its most ambitious projects, like a large-screen tablet. The company had once planned a less feature-packed version of the phone, but that project has been postponed indefinitely, according to the WSJ.” Read more


Jobs cuts likely in the Wal-Mart supplier community by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “The City Wire has learned that some of the Wal-Mart HQ job reduction is coming in the marketing department…One of the hardest jobs to fill in the local supplier community is that of replenishment manager. These jobs also have the highest turnover rate, according to local recruitment specialist Scott Crossett of Cameron Smith & Associates.” Read more


Amazon Curtails Development of Consumer Devices by Greg Bensinger at WSJ. “In recent weeks Amazon has dismissed dozens of engineers who worked on its Fire phone at Lab126, its secretive hardware-development center in Silicon Valley, according to people familiar with the matter. The layoffs were the first in the division’s 11-year history, these people said.” Read more (Subscription)


Wayfair building massive distribution center near Cincinnati airport by Tom Demeropolis at Cincinnati Business Courier. “A joint venture between Dermody Properties, a national industrial development and operating company, and Hillwood Investment Properties will develop an 898,560-square-foot facility for Wayfair (NYSE: W) on a 52-acre site at 1600 Donaldson Road. “ Read more


Walmart Bars Sales Of AR-15s, Self-Defense Shotguns by Christian Lowe at Grand View Outdoors. “According to Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg, the massive retailer will replace ARs and self-defense and competition shotguns with budget-oriented bolt guns, rimfire rifles and pump-action shotguns. The spokesman denied that politics had anything to do with the decision.” Read more


***A message from Cutter Insect Repellents – For more than 50 years, Cutter (R) repellents have been fending off mosquitoes that can suck the fun out of summer. With insect repellents formulated for any occasion and area repellents designed to keep the backyard bite-free, we’re in the business of helping families have fun. Goodbye, mosquitoes. Hello, summer. See the video / Visit us on Facebook


CVS partners to explore virtual medicine by Jessica Barlett at Boston Business Journal. “CVS is hoping to make telehealth available through CVS Health’s digital properties, and would explore enabling its 1,000 MinuteClinics to consult with physicians.” Read more


Judge Scolds Wal-Mart For Doc Dump in Dukes Sex Bias Suit by Aaron Vehling at Law 360. “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has nonsensically submitted “countless” documents in connection with multiple pre-trial summary judgment motions in the long-running Dukes gender bias suit, a California federal judge said Wednesday, ordering the retailer to share in the expense of shredding hundreds of folders worth of documents.” Read more (Subscription)


I’m fed up with retailers ‘body shaming’ plus-size women like me by Andrea Kuchinski at Fortune. “After the tears, I thought: There has to be another option. I quickly found that there wasn’t. The plus-size workout clothes I came across looked as if they had been designed for grandparents.” Read more


Tentative settlement reached in RadioShack gift card dispute at Dallas Morning News. “…some holders of RadioShack gift cards would be paid in full for their outstanding balances. Others who hold the electronic retailers’ gift cards, however, would be left with pennies on the dollar, if anything.” Read more


Lowe’s Brings Sci-Fi Driven Innovation to Bangalore “Lowe’s is expanding its network into Bangalore by launching a startup accelerator focused on developing priority technologies including augmented and virtual reality, 3D scanning and printing, and robotics.” Read the release


Woman who battled cancer as a new mom at Amazon offers feedback to Jeff Bezos by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “I was nervous and excited to return to work, and I showed up that first day back with a big smile and a phone full of baby pictures to share…I was taken to lunch by a woman I barely knew. Over Cobb salad she calmly explained that all but one of my direct reports — the people I had hired — were now reporting to her…Not long after that I resigned.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra

New Bentonville project near Wal-Mart HQ will be ‘huge enhancement’

Former Target exec buys Bootleggers building

Vanilla Ice wants to open furniture store in Miami

Ad of the Day: Target Celebrates the Wonderfully Real Moments of Being a Star Wars Fan

Costco reps plead case at town gathering

Wayfair Announces Speakers for Inaugural Heart Home Conference

Amazon Prime Video Follows Netflix Into Japan

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Tipsheet: Will New Target Have a Bar? | Wegman’s #1 Pharmacy | Atlanta ‘Most Honest’ | Seattle #1 w/Gen Y


Booze at our door in 34 minutes: Testing Amazon’s new Prime Now alcohol delivery service by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “Amazon previously rolled out alcohol delivery as part of Prime Now in London, but this marks the U.S. debut of the service.” Read more


SEC won’t penalize Target over 2013 data breach by Evan Ramstad at Star Tribune. “In Tuesday’s filing, the company said it now estimates paying $264 million in breach-related costs…That’s up from its previous estimate of $252 million. About $90 million has been covered by ­Target’s insurers.” Read more


How a North Carolina tech company is helping Lowe’s take Manhattan by Ken Elkins at Charlotte Business Journal. ““The idea is not to do it just for those two stores,” he says. But Feldman can’t talk about the value of his contract with Lowe’s or specifics on future plans with the company.” Read more


The Best Cities For Jobs For Millennials (Seattle #1, Austin #4) by Leah Arnold-Smeets at PayScale. See the infographic


Will the new Chicago Target have a bar? by Peter Frost at Crain’s. “The Target store slated to open this fall in the former Fox & Obel grocery space in Streeterville not only will be the first small-format Target in Chicago, it will be the first throughout the chain to serve liquor in-store, according to a city filing.” Read more


Carrie Underwood’s CALIA line to show at New York Fashion Week by Jean E Palmieri at WWD. “The CALIA fall collection will be available to be purchased immediately at a pop-up store at The HQ, an idea thought up by Carrie after she grew tired of having to wait six months to buy the clothes she saw on the catwalk.” Read more


J.D. Power: Wegmans Pharmacy ranks highest among supermarket pharmacies by Lorraine Mirabella at Baltimore Sun. “Wegmans…drew the top ranking in the supermarket category, followed by Publix and H-E-B.” Read more


…Target #1 Pharmacy in Mass Followed by Sam’s and Meijer  Read the J.D.Power Release


Best Buy CEO outlines response to decline in warranty sales by Nick Halter at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. “Extended warranty sales are declining, CEO Hubert Joly said on an otherwise bright second quarter earnings call Tuesday. Warranty sales made up 2.1 percent of Best Buy’s total revenue in its most recent fiscal year.” Read more


Wisconsin under-pricing complaints against Meijer continue by Alison Bauter at Milwaukee Business Journal. “Allegations against new-to-town superstore chain Meijer Inc. aren’t over yet…The latest list of grievances includes offers such as 7.25-ounce box of Kraft Mac & Cheese for 79 cents; 12-16 ounces of Hormel Black Label Bacon for $2.00…” Read more


Atlanta the most honest city in America at Atlanta Business Chronicle.  Read more


….See the most honest cities ranked via Honest Tea Survey  See the rankings


Amazon secretly testing new restaurant delivery service in Seattle with Prime Now rollout by Jacob Demmitt at GeekWire. “Seattle appears to be the first market where Amazon is experimenting with full-blown restaurant delivery. A company spokesperson declined to comment on the experiment, citing a policy against discussing rumors and speculation.” Read more


The 16 Best Places to Live in America: 2015 at Outside.  Read more


Tipsheet Extra

Russia pulls P&G products from shelves

These Are America’s Best Food Cities (NYC #10, Minneapolis #5, Atlanta #4…)

Amazon snags big office space in North Austin

Best Buy’s Store-Within-a-Store Bet Is Paying Off

Busy Beaver joins True Value co-op

Boston fishing equipment startup endorsed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. folds

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Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet is created early every weekday morning and read by retail merchants and executives worldwide. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s really happening in the world of retail. See our website at


Tipsheet: B.Buy +2.7% | EEOC Hits Target for $2.8M | Amazon’s ‘Brutal’ 401k | WinCo #6 in TX


Target to pay $2.8M in EEOC settlement by Paul Walsh at Star Tribune. ““The tests were not sufficiently job-related,” Schmid said. “The tests on their face were neutral…They disproportionately screened out people in particular groups,” namely blacks, Asians and women…Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said the company has and continues “to firmly believe that no improper behavior occurred regarding these assessments.” Read more


Best Buy Q2 Comp +2.7% “Online comparable sales increased 17.0%.” Read the release


CNBC: Best Buy Shares Soar 11% After Earnings Easily Beat by Fred Imbert. “Still, Best Buy said its international revenue dropped by 25.6 percent year-over year due to consolidation of its Canadian brand, currency headwinds and “softness in the Canadian consumer electronics industry.” Read more


Amazon’s 401(k) Plan Is Pretty Brutal, Too by Suzanne Woolley, Margaret Collins & Spencer Soper at Bloomberg. “The match of employee contributions into their 401(k) plans is below average and made entirely in Amazon stock, which leaves employees dangerously exposed to the company’s fortunes.1 In fact, Amazon’s 401(k) came last in Bloomberg’s ranking of the plans offered by the top 50 companies in the S&P 500.” Read more


Best Buy hires new agency for holidays, Super Bowl season by Mark Reilly at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal Read more


Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren celebrates 10 years of marriage by Emily Smith at Page Six/NY Post. “Guests at the NOMO hotel included Tommy and Dee Hilfiger, AmEx CEO Ken Chenault and wife Kathryn,Tommy Mottola and wife Thalía, John Varvatos and Vera Wang, Home Depot mogul Ken Langone, Leonard Lauder and new wife Judy Glickman, and real estate king Jerry Speyer. Terry and Tina stood and did a lighthearted review of each year of their marriage.” Read more


51 Companies That are Changing the World via Fortune (Walmart #4, CVS #31, Costco #47)  See the full list


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Amazon employee’s ‘manifesto’ calls for 3 reforms to improve company by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “1) abolish the Feedback Tool that enables criticism of colleagues behind their backs; 2) abolish the Levels system that classifies employees by letter and number; and 3) abolish the “Rank and Yank” forced curve employee ranking system.” Read more


Target ups Dustee Jenkins to exec team as communications SVP at PR Week. “Colleagues and contemporaries wrote on Jenkins’ Twitter wall last week to congratulate her about the appointment.” Read more


Korea: Newly Opened Costco Store Attracts Waves of Customers at The Korea Bizwire. “Although it officially opened at 10am, customers had lined up in front of the store even at 8am, causing delays and inconvenience to commuters during rush hour. The store’s parking lots, with 800 parking spaces on the third and fourth floors and 500 additional spaces near the store were full all day.” Read more


Winco Opens #6 in Texas  Read the release


Sears Names Lynn Pendergrass As New Hardlines President  Read the release


A&P to lay off 8,500 in New Jersey by Alison Burdo at Philadelphia Business Journal. “The total number of layoffs is a big jump from Friday when the state Department of Labor said 3,781 employees would be let go, according to a NJ.Com.” Read more


Ex-Starbucks CEO to sell Seattle mansion for $3.7M by Patti Payne at Puget Sound Business Journal. See the 22 pics


Tipsheet Extra

A top device exec at Amazon has left again, this time for Google’s advanced products division

Instacart launches grocery delivery service in Indy

Home Depot’s Teresa Wynn Roseborough Sells 6,000 Shares

Belk to be acquired by Sycamore Partners at $3 billion valuation

Dan Gilbert, Home Depot to rehab 65 Detroit homes

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Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet is created early every weekday morning and read by retail merchants and executives worldwide. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s really happening in the world of retail. See our website at

Tipsheet: Target: Cornell Iview & Test Cafes | Jet’s 9+ Day Delivery | ACLU Targets Amazon Workers


One year in: Brian Cornell says he’s here to stay as tries to modernize Target by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “There’s just change, change, change,” said one longtime employee…Cornell and other executives have also been clear that the next round of layoffs will be in the technology services department, which has been relatively immune to reductions thus far. “I don’t think there are any secrets about it around town,” he said.” Read more


Interview: NYT reporter Jodi Kantor on the Amazon story, and what she would have asked Jeff Bezos by Todd Bishop at Geek Wire. “I would have wanted to tell him the stories of the employees who all felt like they were going to be replaced by younger people who could work harder. Those were both mothers, who were told directly by their bosses, and also men, a lot of men at the company at the company are really concerned about this, and ask him what his response would be.” Read More / Listen to Iview


Walmart CEO Doug McMillon posts $25 million gift on Instagram by Jen Wieczner at Fortune. “As the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches next week, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon used his personal Instagram account on Friday to announce a $25 million donation to support global disaster response efforts.” See the Instagram post / Read more


At test Target cafes, hot dogs out, salads in by Hadley Malcolm at USA Today via CNBC. “Starting in October the company will roll out a new cafe concept—fast-casual chain Freshii will go into nine stores, while Pizza Hut will open restaurants in three stores featuring a limited menu of “artisan” pies, such as margherita and barbecue chicken. Two Minneapolis stores will get outposts of D’Amico & Sons.” Read more


Is Amazon Considering Ditching the $299-a-Year Fee for Its Fresh Grocery Delivery Service? by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Amazon could be pushing back the free trial dates because it hasn’t built up enough demand in these areas to start charging for the service. Or it could want to give itself more time to gather results from the new pay-per-delivery option in California before potentially rolling it out in other markets.” Read more


Google Express workers join union by Matt O’Brien at Mercury News. “The 151 workers employed by Google contractor Adecco will be joining the Teamsters Local 853, the same union that has organized shuttle bus drivers who ferry tech workers to and from their jobs at Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, eBay, Zynga and Genentech.” Read more


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ACLU calls on Amazon employees to talk to them ‘to explore the possibility of legal representation’ by Jacob Demmitt at GeekWire. “The American Civil Liberties Union took out a full page ad in Friday’s Seattle Times, asking Amazon employees “who believe they were unlawfully penalized” for family leave issues to contact them “to explore the possibility of legal representation.” Read more


I placed the same order at Amazon, Jet and Wal-Mart. Here’s how they did by Sarah Halzack at Washington post. “Jet easily won on price…Jet’s rookie status really showed. The ibuprofen from the newcomer arrived lightning-fast, showing up on my doorstep a little more than 24 hours after I placed my order. But I am still waiting for the batteries, nine business days later.” Read more


Inside the Design Lab That’s Getting Target’s Tar-Zhay Back by Ashley Rodriguez at Ad Age. “Target’s product design and development team artfully primps and styles the space, located on the 26th floor. They’re readying it for a walk-through with CEO Brian Cornell, who was caught peeking at the merchandise earlier in the week. “[Brian] is incredibly passionate about product,” said Julie Guggemos, senior VP-product design and development. “He is naturally curious. He’s always walking the floor.” Read more


Washington Post: Gap is promising you cuter clothes by spring by Sarah Halzack. ““I’m not going to stand up at the plate and call which fence we’re going to hit it over,” (CEO Art) Peck said. “That’s not who I am. But I’m confident that Gap will make significant progress in spring and very pleased with what I’ve seen in the women’s assortment and the turnaround in the women’s assortment.” Read more


Alice Walton Reflects by Alexis Hosticka at Arkansas Business. “As the daughter of the founder of Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, Alice Walton was well immersed in the business world, but not pressured to follow her father’s footsteps. Walton said that her mom would remind her that she had made straight A’s in high school, while her father would say that making B’s was OK, too.” Read more



Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet is created early every weekday morning and read by retail merchants and executives worldwide. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s really happening in the world of retail. See our website at

Tipsheet: Wmart: Reassigns Top Execs; Shifts Mod Decisions to Stores | Google Express Shuts Its Two Hubs


Modular decisions shift back to Walmart store operators by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “This recent shift in decision making means that the store operators have the final say whether an item is right for their store and they can control how it is merchandised…With this shift in modular decisions, large suppliers who in past years have downsized their merchandising staffs could be forced to shift budgets and once again reallocate more resources to the stores.” Read more


Wal-Mart makes high-level executive changes in U.S, China by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “In recent internal memo received Thursday (Aug. 20) by The City Wire, Wal-Mart announced that Marybeth Hays, senior vice president over the home category for Walmart U.S., will move to chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart China…Rick Hays, who has served as vice president of hardware and paint for Walmart U.S., will take over as the general merchandise and merchandising officer for Sam’s Club China.” Read more


Google Express Plans to Shut Down Its Two Delivery Hubs by Mark Bergen at Recode. “When the service arrived in the Bay Area, Google tried out a hub model. Customers would order from Google’s retail partners, and drivers delivered the goods from the two locations on the same day or overnight. Now, Google is changing course.” Read more


Americans spending again but ‘value’ still reigns by Courtney Reagan at CNBC. “We actually really see spending twice a year. We see it in October for the winter, and we see it in April for the summer and we put a sweater on in between,” she said.” Read more


Canada pharmacy charged in $78M drug export scheme by Dan Mangan at CNBC. “”For years, millions of patients and physicians have relied upon and believing they are getting genuine drugs from a real Canadian pharmacy,” said ASOP founder and executive director Libby Baney. “The [Justice Department] indictment evidences that these entities have been touting myths.” Read more


***A message from Dig It Handwear – Protect your finger nails when gardening. Revolutionary garden glove protects finger nails from chipping or breaking with patented “pillow-top” finger nail protection. See the line at Retailers contact to request samples.


John Mackey: The conscious capitalist by Beth Kowitt at Fortune. ““(Whole Foods is) getting Tom Brady-ed,” says BB&T Capital Markets analyst Andrew Wolf. “They’re getting piled on.” What better time to test what is perhaps Mackey’s most dissonant, brazen idea yet? Read more


Sears reports first quarterly profit since 2012; sales still tumble at Reuters. “Comparable revenue at stores open more than a year tumbled 10.8 percent, partly due to a shrinking consumer electronics business. Total revenue fell 22.5 percent to $6.21 billion.” Read more


Jeff Bezos’ ruthless Amazon culture would never fly in Canada, and that’s a shame by Howard Levitt at Financial Post. “Without a fundamental shift in our political-cultural-judicial landscape, it won’t happen in Canada anytime soon. Here, it will take chickens coming home to roost in the form of unfinanced pensions, uncompetitive employers and a hollowing out of the economy before the requisite tectonic sea change will occur.” Read more


Staples CEO: Paper still generates money by David Harris at Boston Business Journal. “”And then paper, which we all think that’s going away, paper, which is almost 10 percent of our mix, was flat,” Sargent said in the call.” Read more


Hillary Clinton Pushes Branded Back-to-School Gear by Ashley Rodriguez at Ad Age. “The collection — advertised as “back to school basics” on Ms. Clinton’s website — features new arrivals such as a “She’s Got Your Back(pack)” knapsack for $65.” Read more / See the pics


Tipsheet Extra

Popular foods taking on new hues without artificial dyes

Minneapolis Gets Trashed: How a unique energy project helped remake the trendiest neighborhood 

Amazon plans to lease this new Seattle office building, source says

Walmart stores in Fort Smith, Greenwood to sell U.S. Marshal coins

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Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet is created early every weekday morning and read by retail merchants and executives worldwide. We love data, earnings reports, executive presentations and stories off the beaten path that get at what’s really happening in the world of retail. See our website at


Tipsheet: Costco Sued Over Shrimp | Target/Lowe’s Call Highlights | Meijer Accused of Under-Pricing | Pet Store Has 250K Animals


Costco Sued Over Claims Shrimp Harvested With Slave Labor by Erik Larson at Bloomberg. “Richard Galanti…said in a statement that the company has been working closely with the Thai government, the Thai fishing industry and other retailers “to address the issues that have surfaced” over the past year.” Read more


Target CEO says store’s stocking problems are “unacceptable” by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Frankly, as a result, some retail fundamentals have started to suffer,” (Brian Cornell) said. “Specifically, in-stocks in our stores have been unacceptable so far this year. Our guests deserve better.” Read more


New Target CFO Checked out Merchandise Before Joining by Maxwell Murphy at WSJ. “Before joining target (incoming finance chief, Cathy Smith) said she “dedicated a couple of weeks to visit more than 65 stores across 10 states and I [dragged] my family along for most of the ride.” Read more (Subscription)


Retailer accuses Meijer of under-pricing goods by Alison Bauter at Milwaukee Business Journal. “A Meijer spokesman confirmed the company has received “documentation of a complaint” from the state. “We are currently investigating it,” he said by email. “This is a bit peculiar for us, (as) we are not accustomed to regulations that limit our customers’ ability to save money when they shop with us.” Read more


Amazon Employee Wants 15 Seconds of Congrats for a Job Well Done by Melissa Dahl at NY Mag. “The pace is much faster, and more demanding. And it’s never enough. ..I would like to work at a company that spends 15 seconds congratulating me for a job well done, instead of the two seconds that it is now. It doesn’t have to be gushing. Just 15 seconds.” Read her note


Diet Pepsi drinkers furious over new aspartame-free formula by Katie Hommes & Richard Morgan at NY Post. “A second tweet, citing a clear distaste for the new sucralose-sweetened drink, wished “a slow death” for the new Diet Pepsi.” Read more


CVS Awards Media-Agency Business to IPG’s UM by Alexandra Bruell at Ad Age.  Read more


Cabela’s opening brings thousands through doors by Michael Clark at Cincinnati Enquirer. “The 82,000-square-foot Cabela’s in Butler County’s West Chester Township swung wide its doors for the first time and more than 4,000 customers clamored in through a gauntlet of applauding store workers. It’s the second store in Ohio and 72nd nationwide for the Nebraska-based Cabela’s.” Read more


Despite lawsuit, Kohl’s ex-CIO takes job with luxury retailer by Alison Bauter at Milwaukee Business Journal. Read more


The World’s Biggest Pet Store has 250,000 Animals by Ben Crair at Bloomberg. “Zajac’s pet shop fills a 130,000-square-foot warehouse in an industrial part of Duisburg. It’s called Zoo Zajac, and it unfurls, like an airport terminal, along a horseshoe in the road. It’s more than twice the size of the White House and three times as large as a Whole Foods Market. It is, according to Guinness World Records, the biggest pet shop in the world.” Read more


Target’s latest e-commerce weapon? More precise delivery windows by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “In its latest attempt to get an edge in the e-commerce wars, Target will start testing a new program in the fall called “available to promise” that aims to tell shoppers with more specificity when their item will be delivered to their homes, and improve customer satisfaction.” Read more


Lumber Liquidators’ stock surges after Cantor Fitzgerald upgrade by Tomi Kilgore at Marketwatch.  Read more


Michael Jordan: I wouldn’t let Dominick’s use my identity for only $126,900 by Kim Janssen at Chicago Tribune. “Jordan, watching Fort from a few feet away in the courtroom, laughed and shook his head as Fort said that a $100,000 payment Jordan accepted from a Japanese TV company and a $500,000 deal he cut with Sirius satellite radio were fairer comparisons.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra

Ex-Walmart CFO Joins Alibaba Board

Kroger to offer online ordering at 8 Indianapolis-area locations

25 Sexiest Cities

Over a dozen Democrat Senators push Cabela’s, Bass Pro, etc. to ignore FBI rules, slow gun sales

One-hour liquor delivery? Good luck, Amazon. It’s harder than you think, Drizly CEO says

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


Target Q2 Earnings Call Highlights

Brian Cornell, Chairman & CEO

About two thirds of (the 2.4%) comp increase was driven by a growth in traffic combined with the smaller increase in average ticket.

Comp sales in signature categories grew more than 7%.

Comps in both Home and Apparel were in the 4% to 5% range this quarter.

Toys part of our Kids focus in hardlines…saw more than a 12% increase in comp sales.

Digital sales grew 30% from a year ago slightly below our expectations.

Digital growth contributed about 60 basis points to our comp sales.

More than 80% of our second quarter digital channel sales growth was driven by Home and Apparel.

We’re already shipping digital orders from approximately 140 stores and by the end of this year we’ll be shipping for more than 450 locations.

This fall we’ll begin testing what we’re calling available-to-promise in which we’ll the guest a specific delivery commitment typically 2 or 3 business days.

To inform our localization efforts we launched a small test in the Chicago market…comp performance in this group of test stores has been 1 to 2 points higher than the rest of the Chicago market.

In stocks in our stores have been unacceptable so far this year. And our guests deserve better.


John Mulligan, COO & EVP (Effective September 1st)

This week we began accepting EMV or chip-card transactions at all stores across the country.

This quarter we will initiate the process of replacing all of our REDcard products with chip and pin cards.

Marketing expense timing was a meaningful benefit this quarter…This timing shift benefited our second quarter SG&A rate by about 30 basis points…we expect this shift will reverse in the third quarter.

We are planning for a third quarter comparable sales increase of 1 to 2%

Read the full transcript via Seeking Alpha


Lowe’s Q2 Earnings Call Highlights

Robert Niblock, Chairman, President & CEO

Comparable sales grew 4.3%, primarily driven by a 3.3% increase in average ticket.

Strength in outdoor power equipment and seasonal living offset some of the weakness and some of the softness in lawn and garden.

We also experienced solid growth in big ticket discretionary project categories, such as kitchens, flooring, millwork, and fashion fixtures.

For the third quarter in a row, we drove double-digit comps in appliances.

We expect to have roughly 70 stores in Canada by 2017.

Roughly half of respondents indicated that they believe they’re home values are increasing; double the number from 2012.

Australia: I was just down last week for a joint venture board meeting. I met with the team. I walked some of the stores.


Rick Damron, COO

We’re expanding our interior project specialist program into another 470 stores, reaching over three-quarters of our stores by year end.

We achieved high single digit comps in outdoor power equipment, with particular strength in walk-behind and riding mowers, and pressure washers.

Our patio and outdoor fashion area recorded strong solid comps again this quarter, on top of double digit comps last quarter.

Our performance in Paint was in line with the industry.

We currently have approximately 135 AEPs (Account Executive Pro Services) in the field, an increase of 25 over last year.

We saw the strongest performance in our Southern division across the country.


Bob Hull, CFO

Comps were 3.6% in May, 4.6% in June, and 4.6% in July.

For the year, we expect…the addition of 15 to 20 stores, which includes five Orchard and two City Center locations.

We had two categories that were below average. Lawn and garden was actually negative. If we think about tickets below $50, they were only up 0.8%…largely because of the strange weather we had in the mid quarter.

We saw the bulk of our pressure in paint largely in exterior categories as well, exterior stains in particular is where we saw the bulk of our pressure, largely in Texas and Midwest.

Dotcom: it’s about 3% of our business now.

Read the full transcript via Seeking Alpha



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