Today’s Tipsheet: Target: Mad Dash for the Bears | “Seminal Moment”: Clicks Beat Bricks | 4.4% Fewer Today


More Americans Shopped Online than at Stores over Black Friday Weekend by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “Talk about a seminal moment in American culture. Some 103 million Americans shopped online over the Thanksgiving-Black Friday weekend, slightly more than the 102 million who went out to stores.” Read more


NRF: U.S. holiday sales on track amid online boost by Nathan Layne at Reuters. “U.S. holiday shopping is on track for a modest 3.7 percent rise this year after strong turnout during the Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend and thanks to strong online sales, the National Retail Federation said on Sunday after releasing an annual consumer poll.” Read more


Holiday sales ‘perfectly average’ so far: Analyst by Tom DiChristopher at CNBC. “…nothing suggests estimates for total 2015 holiday sales growth have changed at the close of the big four-day kickoff period.” Read more


4.4% fewer expected to shop online on Cyber Monday by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. “That 121.3 million number represents 49.5% of all consumers, the first time less than half of all shoppers surveyed said they planned to shop on Cyber Monday since 2010.” Read more


Spending in stores fell 10 percent from last year on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, according to retailing research firm ShopperTrak via Maria Halkias at The Dallas Morning News. “Thanksgiving weekend is now “more like the second quarter, going into halftime” of a football game because retailers are offering special prices several weeks earlier, said Matthew Shay, CEO of the National Retail Federation.” Read more


Retailers are losing $1.75 trillion over this by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “…out-of-stocks” accounted for $634.1 billion in lost retail sales for the year ended in the spring — 39 percent higher than in 2012. Likewise, overstocks contributed $471.9 billion in lost revenues.” Read more


NY Times: Kohl’s Invests in Beatles Tune for Holiday Campaign by Martha C. White. “The Beatles and their representatives retain control of how their music is used. Even after Kohl’s paid to use the song, the company’s creative team and partners had to work with Sony to secure approval for the final advertisements, a process that took roughly five months.” Read more


The surprisingly popular Black Friday hit: Target’s teddy bear by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “At the Target store in Minnetonka, I saw a mad dash for the bears, piled in a box toward the back of the store. About 15 minutes or so after the store opened, this was the only one left and it was quickly snatched up after I took this picture.” Read more


**A message from Black Flag® Brand: When the flag flies, pests die. The Black Flag® indoor/outdoor pest arsenal arms homeowners in the battle against invading bugs. Offering quick, decisive formulas that act fast and never back down, Black Flag insect and rodent controls get the job done, and take no prisoners. It’s time to Let It Fly. Check out our videos | Visit us on Facebook


Amazon reveals new delivery drone design with range of 15 miles by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “This new video featuring Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson…to create a new car show, shows how the drone scans a landing area at a customer’s home and is able to spot what looks like an Amazon logo where the package is dropped.” Read more / See the video


Neiman Marcus Extends Black Friday Online Sale Following All-Day Outage by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “ was down intermittently Friday, November 28th for approximately 12 hours,” the statement read. “The exact cause of the outage has yet to be determined. Our Black Friday online promotions have been extended until 6 pm CT Saturday.” Read more


Conversion: Just two out of 100 visitors to a mobile shopping site or app by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Five out of 100 visitors to an online store made a purchase on Thanksgiving…“[A]s an industry we need to solve this mobile problem as it’s clearly not getting better even though retailers have invested substantially in this area over the last year,” Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor’s executive chairman, said.” Read more


How an army of Amazon reps handle customer confusion, rage by Jay Greene at Seattle Times. “The metric it uses is “negative response rate” or NRR. At the end of each call, reps ask if they’ve resolved the problem…“You’ll never see anything about average handle time,” Scharffenorth said. “It may take 20 minutes. We’ve had calls that take an hour.” Read more


Kohl’s to ‘relaunch’ Sonoma brand in new women’s clothing sales push by Rick Romell at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Star Tribune. “Kohl’s wins if women’s wins,” said Michelle Gass, chief merchandising and customer officer. “If women’s doesn’t perform, we have a major issue.” There are issues. “You can look at our [women’s] performance over the last five years, and it’s been choppy,” Gass said.” Read more


Brooks Brothers’ glitch overcharges shoppers by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “The wait time on Brooks Brothers’ customer service line was more than 10 minutes Friday afternoon.” Read more


Macy’s CEO: Despite Web, death of store experience ‘greatly exaggerated’ by Trent Gillies at CNBC. “If you saw the traffic when we opened the doors at 6 pm, flowing into stores like Macy’s Herald Square, you’d say people definitely want to shop on that night and in a store like Macy’s,” he said.” Read more


Half a million British families at risk as hackers target toy firm website by Nick Craven at Daily Mail. “Toy giant Vtech admitted that a database of names and addresses holding up to five million accounts worldwide had been breached.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Toys ‘R’ Us CEO Says Early Signs Point to Slower Growth for Toys

1,000 Christmas trees stolen from South Florida Costco

Pop-up Goodwill (“GW”) shop uptown to offer tacky Christmas sweaters, designer apparel

Bogus bomb threats target Wal-Marts across Maine, other states

In One Brutal Chart, the Federal Reserve Shows What Has Happened to U.S. Department Stores Since 2001

Canadian miner who found second biggest diamond holding out for ‘north of $60 million’

Retailers boost offerings as Nordstrom joins crowded Canadian beauty sector

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Contact Jason Long,


Today’s Tipsheet: U.S. Probes Wmart | Beacons not Big | No Target 50% Off Coupon


U.S. Probes Possible Wal-Mart Misconduct in Brazil by Aruna Viswanatha & Sarah Nassauer at WSJ. “Federal prosecutors are examining $500,000 in payments that they believe ultimately went to an individual hired to obtain government permits the company needed to build two stores in Brasília, Brazil’s capital, between 2009 and 2012, an investigative document shows.” Read more (subscription)


…Walmart spokesman Greg Hitt told the Journal that the retailer is cooperating fully with the government but declined to divulge any details via International Business Times. Read more


Apple’s Failed Retail Revolution: Beacons Still Won’t Be Big on Black Friday by Joshua Brustein at Bloomberg. “A survey conducted by Forrester earlier this year found that only 3 percent of retailers use beacons; just 16 percent had plans to try the technology in the foreseeable future.” Read more


Amazon and JetBlue team up to let Prime members binge watch at 35,000 feet for free by Jacob Demmitt at GeekWire. “And we’re not stopping at video; our relationship with Amazon offers opportunities to delight our customers in ways that have never been done before,” JetBlue vice president Jamie Perry said.” Read more


How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce by Susan Berfield at Bloomberg. “The details of Walmart’s efforts during the first year it confronted OUR Walmart are described in more than 1,000 pages of e-mails, reports, playbooks, charts, and graphs, as well as testimony from its head of labor relations at the time.” Read more


No, Target Is Not Giving You A 50% Off Everything Coupon For Liking A Page On Facebook by Chris Morran at Consumerist. “If it sounds too good to be true, it is. A rep for Target HQ confirms to Consumerist that there is no such coupon and this is a fake.” Read more


L.L. Bean again leads e-retailers in customer service by Don Davis at Internet Retailer. “Behind L.L. Bean in the overall ranking were The Net-A-Porter Group LLC, Shopbop, Mr. Porter and Burberry Ltd.” Read more


What It’s Like to Manage a Target on Black Friday by Caroline Cunningham at The Washingtonian. “…This is great news, but for Michael Yost, how his employees perform over the next few days will be even more crucial. As the store team leader (Target-speak for general manager), everything the fluorescent lights touch is his domain…” Read more  Video via Washington Business Journal


Menards division plans $25M plant in Kansas by David Schuyler at Milwaukee Business Journal. “Under the plans announced by the Economic Development Corporation of Lawrence & Douglas County, Menard Inc. subsidiary Midwest Manufacturing will create 100 jobs.” Read more


**A message from Pro Chlor chlorine tabs – Does a gap exist in your septic assortment? Aerobic septic systems require chlorine tablets – not Rid-X® – to disinfect water. Aerobic systems are more environmentally friendly and mandated for use in certain communities in the lower-half of the US. Chlorine tablets are expensive to ship making them ideal to drive in-store traffic (at high margins). See why Pro Chlor is the choice of retailers’ nationwide. Contact for program information.


Target Expands Inventories to Repair Stock-Outs by Erica E. Phillips at WSJ. Read more (subscription)


CDC: E coli linked to Costco sickens at least 19 people via CNBC. “The majority of the illnesses have been reported in the western United States, with five people hospitalized, though no deaths reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.” Read more Lands $350 Million in Funding, With $150 Million More Coming by Jason Del Rey at Recode. Read more


This Is How Macy’s Will Target Its Facebook and Instagram Ads for the Holidays by Lauren Johnson at Adweek. See the spots / Read more


Amazon Studios Decides Plastering Trains With Nazi Symbols Isn’t Such a Great Idea, After All by Noah Kulwin at Recode. Read more


Some Malls Pressure Retailers to Open on Thanksgiving by Drew Fitzgerald at WSJ. Read more (subscription)


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Coca-Cola exec retires after health research controversy

Retailers Scrambling Against Latest Credit Card-Stealing Malware

Amazon worker contacts Massachusetts Attorney General to check on legality of Amazon being open Thanksgiving

Target expands LED customer tracking to 100 stores

Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ Campaign Gets Festive With Holiday Names on Bottles

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Today’s Tipsheet: 20 Best Retail Workplaces | New Malware Threat | Amazon Secret Air Cargo Operation? | D.Tree +2.1%


U.S. retailers hunt for attacks after being warned of stealthy malware by Jim Finkle at Reuters via Globe & Mail. “This is by far the most sophisticated point-of-sale malware seen to date,” said Maria Noboa, lead technical analyst for privately held iSight Partners, which uncovered the malware and was due to release a technical report about it on Tuesday.” Read more


The 20 Best Workplaces in Retail by Jonathan Chew at Fortune. “Here’s Fortune’s second annual list of the best workplaces in the retail industry…” See the top 20 list


Report: Clues point to secret air cargo operation at former DHL facility in Ohio by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “Is running its own air cargo operation? Vice’s Motherboard published a report Monday evening describing an “air freight transportation operation” flying four flights per day out of Ohio’s Wilmington Air Park, which previously served as a facility for DHL until 2008.” Read more


Dollar Tree Q3 Comp Sales +2.1% “The Company estimates consolidated net sales for the fourth quarter of 2015 to range from $5.32 billion to $5.42 billion, based on a low single-digit increase in same-store sales.” Read the release


New York Mall Caves in to Boycott Threats After Canceling Santa Parade by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “Many customers, already angry with the shopping center’s decision to move Santa and his train to another part of the mall for picture-taking with kids, took to Facebook to create a “Boycott Staten Island Mall” page. It already had 15,000 followers by Monday afternoon, many seeing in the incident as the latest manifestation of a perceived “War Against Christmas.” Read more


How Nordstrom and Sephora Are Nailing Social Media Going Into Black Friday by Christopher Heine at Ad Week. “To measure which retailers have the best momentum on social media going into the holidays, Shareablee studied 109 big-box and department store brands across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram between Nov. 1 and Nov. 18…” See the top 10 list


Fred’s Q3 Comp Sales +2.7% Read the release


Lowe’s Promotes Marci Grebstein to CMO “Grebstein most recently served as vice president of advertising, leading the U.S. advertising strategy and marketing operations to build loyalty for the brand. She will report to Michael A. Jones, chief customer officer, and succeeds Thomas J. Lamb who has left the company.” Read the release


**A message from Orchard Road Canning – Decorative Series lids bring innovation to the home canning category. Orchard Road’s Decorative Series delivers three distinct designs: Wild Daisy, Fruit and Gingham. See the designs here. Contact for program information.


Cabela’s Investors Say They’d Want $60 a Share or More in Buyout by Matthew Townsend at Bloomberg. “Mark Mulholland, who runs the Matthew 25 Fund, said he would refuse anything below $72 a share if there’s a takeover attempt for Cabela’s.” Read more


Ex-Walmart Exec Leslie Dach Talks About the Future of Obamacare at WSJ. Read more (Subscription)


Small-format Target set to anchor Main Street Cupertino by Nathan Donato-Weinstein at Silicon Valley Business Journal. “The retailer completed a lease last week for a 21,000-square-foot store at Main Street Cupertino, anchoring the retail portion of a mixed-use project that will include apartments, a hotel, shops and new offices for Apple.” Read more / See the artist’s sketch


New Saks chief seeks new luster for flagship store by Hiroko Tabuchi at NY Times via Seattle Times.”You spend your whole life saying, ‘If I was in charge, I would. If I was in charge, I would,’ ” (Marc) Metrick said. “You have all these ideas. Then all of a sudden, I can.” Read more


Target’s Big Digital Holiday Campaign Combines Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram by Lauren Johnson at Ad Week. “Social makes up 12 percent of its paid media spend, a 30 percent increase over last year…(Target) is also using Facebook’s Canvas e-commerce ads to push sales of a new product called Wonderpacks, craft-activity packs that help families make things like ugly sweaters and mistletoe.” Read more


Vanity Fair: Amazon Has Plastered New York Subway Cars with Nazi Imagery by Richard Lawson. “I chose to sit on the Nazi insignia because I really didn’t want to stare at it.” That’s a strange decision to have to make while heading to work on a Monday morning.” Read more


RioCan, Target reach $132-million settlement over Canadian leases via Globe & Mail. “The real estate trust says Target has paid $132-million, including $92-million which belongs to RioCan, under the agreement. In return, RioCan and its partners have released Target from its obligations.” Read more


Florida’s Orange Industry Is in Its Worst Slump in 100 Years by Marvin Perez at Bloomberg. “Florida oranges are threatened with destruction if scientists and the government can’t find a way to stop an Asian bug from spreading a tree-killing disease…The disease is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, a tiny winged insect, and there’s currently no known cure.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Tech’s Newest Billionaire Is Making A Bet On The Internet Of Things

Nine Apparel Startups to Solve the Real Style Problems of 2016

Ex-Walmart Exec Joins Liquidity Services Board of Directors will be 15% off sitewide on Cyber Monday

Gwyneth Paltrow launches lux holiday pop-up shop

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Today’s Tipsheet: Petco Nears $4.7B Deal | Walmart’s Cyber Sunday | Patti LaBelle Dragged on Twitter


Petco Nears $4.7 Billion Sale to CVC and Canadian Pension Plan by Leslie Picker at NY Times. “The deal is likely to be announced on Monday, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions were still private.” Read more


Walmart is About to Turn Cyber Monday into Cyber Sunday by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “Walmart said on Monday it would offer its Cyber Monday deals beginning on Sunday for the first time ever, looking to get a head start on an online shopping day expected to generate $3 billion across the retail industry. Those Walmart deals will be available starting at 8 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 29.” Read more


“It can be exhausting for working parents and millenials to stay up past midnight to shop online, only to wake up early the next day to get ready for work,” said Fernando Madeira, President and CEO,….Read Walmart’s press release


Under Armour may be working out Lululemon purchase by Josh Kosman at NY Post. “It seems a natural pairing, since Under Armour has been actively seeking to grow in women’s sportswear.” Read more


Target drops early-retiree health-care benefits by Neal St. Anthony at Star Tribune. “One Twin Cities retiree, who left Target several years ago said he already was paying about $300 more per month for health insurance than active employees…” Read more


Supervalu to consider potential Save-A-Lot sale by Lauren Hirsch & Greg Roumeliotis at Reuters. “Supervalu has received interest in Save-A-Lot from several private equity firms, and has told them that it will consider offers once it registers the unit with regulators for a spin in early 2016, the sources said this week.” Read more


Patti LaBelle Gets Dragged on Twitter for Taking Credit for Sweet Potato Pie Success by Trent Fitzgerald at The Boombox. “In an interview with TMZ, when LaBelle was asked if she would get Wright to help her sell more pies, she said, “I did it myself.” Then later on the Today show, the “On My Own” songbird told Willie Geist and Tamron Hall that her pies were selling way before Wright came along with his video.” Read more


**A message from Black Flag® Brand: When the flag flies, pests die. The Black Flag® indoor/outdoor pest arsenal arms homeowners in the battle against invading bugs. Offering quick, decisive formulas that act fast and never back down, Black Flag insect and rodent controls get the job done, and take no prisoners. It’s time to Let It Fly. Check out our videos | Visit us on Facebook


Retailers, consumers hunt for hoverboards this holiday season by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Target started selling one model, the Swagway, on its website for $500 last week. The Minneapolis-based retailer likely won’t have them in stores until next year. “This is a hot item for the holiday season, and we needed to find a vendor that could provide us with adequate inventory,” said Joshua Thomas, a Target spokesman.” Read more


Watch Jeff Bezos Lay Out His Grand Vision for Amazon’s Future Dominance in This 1999 Video by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “If you’re an entrepreneur building a company, or simply interested in how one of the world’s most successful CEOs thinks about guiding a business, you should really just watch the whole 50-minute video. Bezos is alternately awkward and charming, but all in all, it’s a treat. If you want the CliffsNotes version of the CliffsNotes, though, I’ve dropped some of my favorite quotes.” See the video / Read more


Supermarket Operator Albertsons Names New CIO by Angus Loten at WSJ. “Mr. Dhanda, who comes from supermarket chain Giant Eagle Inc. where he is CIO and senior vice president, will be overseeing IT strategy…” Read more (Subscription)


Toys R Us ditches ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ categories online by Siofra Brennan at Daily Mail. “Meanwhile toy company Mattel has been praised this week for its advertisement for the new Moschino Barbie, which features an adorable boy with a mohawk…’Moschino Barbie is so fierce!’ he then says to the camera as he holds Barbie’s bag.” Read more


Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH Announces Three New Store Locations in Canada Read the release


Walmart names new SVP, president health and wellness by Michael Johnsen at Drug Store News. “Walmart on Friday named George Riedl as SVP, president Walmart health and wellness, reporting to Michelle Gloeckler, Walmart EVP consumables and health and wellness. Riedl starts Dec. 14.” Read more


This Amazon Exec Has One of the World’s Most Insane ‘Star Wars’ Collections by Jason Del Rey at Recode. Read more


Anyone who emits carbon will pay, Alberta says as it releases tough climate change policies by Geoffrey Morgan at Financial Post. “Anyone with a carbon footprint in Alberta — whether it’s consumers or businesses — will soon have to pay greenhouse gas taxes, under a sweeping new climate change policy Premier Rachel Notley announced Sunday.” Read more


Costco shopper who broke leg after shoving receipt checker loses lawsuit seeking $610,000 by Aimee Green at The Oregonian. “Walls became so upset when the employee stopped him that he picked up the worker by his shirt collar and shoved him against a pillar, store officials said.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Canada’s retail sales growth could take deep cut amid oil price slump

Michael Jordan reaches settlement with Jewel, Dominick’s

How Costco’s Digital Strategy Completely Misses The Point

Who’s buying property next to Kroger’s headquarters?

Water wicking smartphone snags $5,000 prize, finds sweet spot in H-E-B

Tim Hortons abruptly shutters some stores in New York and Maine

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Contact Jason Long,

Today’s Tipsheet: Cornell Q&A | Ellison Humbled | Dick’s Saves Team | Adele Won’t Stream


Chicago Tribune: Target’s Brian Cornell Talks Strategy in Q&A by Gregory Karp. “Q: Experimenting with the new flexible-format store in Chicago seems to have an element of innovation and risk-taking. Does it? A: It’s taking the right, measured risk. We like what we see with flexible formats, and this one is off to a very good start. But we’re not rolling out 100.” Read the full interview


Star Wars Movie Already has $50 Million in the Bank by Molly Brown at GeekWire. “Most movies would be lucky to open to $50 million. Four weeks before its debut, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has more than that in the bank,” WSJ reports today.” Read more  Wall Street Journal article (subscription)


Best Buy Expresses Caution for the Holiday Shopping Season by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Who cares what the industry is going to do?” Hubert Joly…said in an interview. “We’re going to take advantage of every customer opportunity and win and gain marketshare … This is the mind-set of a winning team — as opposed to being ‘Oh my god, the industry is down.’ Who cares? We can win and that’s what we’re doing.” Read more


JCPenney CEO Humbled in Return to Childhood Store by David Thomas as the Jackson Son. “The moment was called a little surreal, but for Marvin Ellison, the chief executive officer of JCPenney, it was more, when the national retailer held its grand re-opening in the Old Hickory Mall on Thursday. “Humbling,” Ellison said…“We did not come here a lot, because we did not have a lot of money,” said Ellison, who now calls Dallas home. “We didn’t shop at JCPenney very often.” Read more


51% of online shoppers expected to turn to Amazon for holiday buying by James Risley at GeekWire. “51 percent of respondents said they plan to use Amazon for “most of their online shopping” during the holidays. Walmart came in second place, but only 16 percent will use it for most of their online buying, with Target and Macy’s serving as the main online shopping destination for just 3 and 2 percent, respectively.” Read more


NY Times: Adele Is Said to Reject Streaming for ‘25’ by Ben Sisario. “This is a minor issue for Adele, but a major issue for the streaming services,” said Mark Mulligan, a digital media analyst with Midia Research. “For two years running they’ve not had the biggest album of the year.” Read more


**A message from Dig It Gloves–This is the last week for placing Spring ’16 orders. Why are Dig It garden gloves loved by women? It’s easy–interior pillow-top protectors are built into each fingertip. That’s right, no more broken or chipped nails when gardening! Call it manicure insurance, or just plain brilliant, but you have to see it to believe it. Cross-merchandise in the garden center during Spring ’16. Request samples at: |


Target Releases Seven Exclusive Adele Videos from New Album See them here


Dick’s Sporting Goods $200,000 donation will keep girls hockey alive in Anchorage high schools by Beth Bragg at Alaska Dispatch News. “Dick’s Sporting Goods doesn’t have any stores in Alaska, nor does it have a connection to Anchorage’s Scott Gomez, a two-time Stanley Cup winner. But it has an interest in ensuring that budget cuts don’t rob kids of athletic opportunities, Reale said.” See the players react / Read more


U.S. online sales increase 15% in Q3 by Tracy Maple at Internet Retail “E-commerce accounted for 7.4% of total retail sales, excluding foodservice.” Read more


Long live Black Friday! NRF expects bigger crowds by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “According to NRF, 22.3 percent of respondents plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day, compared to 18.3 percent last year.” Read more


Sales abound at retailers overloaded with merchandise by Gail MarksJarvis at Chicago Tribune. Read more


Bruce Dayton given simple, respectful farewell by Natalie Daher at Star Tribune. “Pressing his fingers to his palm four times, Mark (Dayton) said, “We /love /you /too,” in the same manner his father had always squeezed his children’s hands three times to say: “I /love /you.” Read more


P&G won’t rule out company breakup by Alexander Coolidge at Cincinnati Enquirer. Read more


Hasbro CEO: The Force Is Strong With Our Star Wars Holiday Inventory by David Z Morris at Fortune. “Over the past few weeks, we had seen some shortage of products that were selling exceedingly well,” he said in an interview with Fortune yesterday. But the company picked up the slack, and empty store shelves should soon be filled.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Transcript: Brian Cornell Speaks with CNBC’s Courtney Reagan on 11/18

Pepsi’s phone revealed: Budget $78 5.5-inch P1 Android handset has 13MP camera and fingerprint sensor

Bob Mariano’s payout after Kroger takeover? Up to $8 million

Wal-Mart greeter hangs up his rock ‘n’ roll shoes

Darth Vader Leads Google Ranking Of Most Searched Star Wars Characters

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Contact: Jason Long,

Today’s Tipsheet: B.Buy +0.5% | Bean Boot Backlog @ 50K | Target/Lowe’s Call Highlights


Best Buy Q3 Comp Sales +0.5% “Online comparable sales increased 18% as our new mobile site and overall enhanced dotcom capabilities continued to drive higher conversion rates and increased traffic.” Read the release


Best Buy Shares Sink as Revenue Drops 2.3% by Ritika Shah at CNBC. Read more


Despite new staff, Bean Boots are backlogged again by Taryn Luna at Boston Globe. “Imagine 50,000 people, waiting. Not for a driver’s license renewal. Not for a reservation at a restaurant. Not for a doctor’s appointment. They’re waiting for a pair of L.L. Bean’s signature boots.” Read more


Google Express delivery service expands throughout Southern California by Tracey Lien at LA Times. Read more


Could Kroger exec help CVG land new airline? by Jason Williams at Cincinnati Enquirer. “Kroger executive vice president Mike Schlotman is expected to take over as chairman of the Kenton County Airport Board in January, The Enquirer has learned.” Read more


By next month, Ontario residents will be able to pick up a six-pack at Walmart via Financial Post. “The Liberal government announced 13 grocery stores and chains that were chosen to sell beer in the first round of grocery beer sales that will ultimately be expanded to up to 450 outlets.” Read more


PwC: 47% Attrition Rate in Brand Leadership Since 1999 “The number jumps even higher to 72 percent when the leader brand set is expanded to include product brands.” Read the release


This Coupon App’s Ambitious Holiday Campaign Uses Everything From Snapchat to Celebs by Lauren Johnson at Ad Week. “We’re trying to build awareness—not just as a coupon destination, but as an end-to-end customer shopping journey,” said Marissa Tarleton, CMO of RetailMeNot. Read more


**A message from Orchard Road Canning – Decorative Series lids bring innovation to the home canning category. Orchard Road’s Decorative Series delivers three distinct designs: Wild Daisy, Fruit and Gingham. See the designs here. Contact for program information.


Canadian Tire Corporation’s Eugene Roman Named Canada’s CIO of the Year via Yahoo Finance. Read the release


Two Dallas ugly Christmas sweater stores have a knit to pick with each other by Maria Halkias at The Dallas Morning News. “Everyone knows I’m the original store,” said Jeremy Turner, who owns the Ugly Christmas Sweater Shop. Read more


Kantar: Americans prefer to forgo the flu shot now and self-medicate later Read the release


How P&G Is Tying Snapchat Ads to In-Store Sales by Tim Peterson at Ad Age. “The reality there is it’s not as user-friendly in the sense it doesn’t have a dashboard you can log into with the ease of Google Analytics to understand the 15 metrics you want to understand,” said Eric Rose, a brand manager at Procter & Gamble.” Read more


Nordstrom’s New Board Member “Nordstrom announced the appointment of Gordon Smith, CEO of Consumer and Community Banking at JPMorgan Chase to the company’s Board of Directors.” Read the release


Temkin: H-E-B, Publix and Trader Joe’s Have Most Loyal Customers Read the release


Canadian miner Lucara finds 1,111-carat diamond — believed to be second-largest ever by Peter Coven at Financial Post. “The diamond measures 65 millimetres by 56 millimetres by 40 millimetres. It is so big that Vancouver-based Lucara could not do a proper analysis, because the stone won’t fit in its scanning machine.” See the pic / Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

New System Puts Video Ads on Store Cooler Doors

Sherwin-Williams Names Alabaster 2016 Color Of The Year

CVS Health Introduces New Digital Pharmacy Tools

Martha Stewart ditches eBay for Amazon

Wal-Mart execs provide update on the retailer’s 10-year sustainability milestones

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Target Q3 Earnings Call Highlights

Brian Cornell, Chairman & CEO

Third quarter comparable sales were up 1.9%, also near the high-end of our guidance, and driven primarily by growth in traffic.

In apparel, third quarter comp sales grew just under 3% compared with nearly 5% in the second quarter.

Electronics category – double-digit decline in the third quarter comp sales.

One standout in electronics was wearable devices…where we saw nearly 100% growth in comparable sales.

Toy category – matched its second quarter growth with another 12% comp sales increase this quarter.

Other third quarter standouts within signature included baby and kids’ apparel, women’s ready to wear and wellness items and food.

Food overall – for the first time this year, third quarter comp sales growth outpaced comp sales overall.

In key categories like yogurt where we added premium and better-for-you brands, we saw high single digit comps.

We saw similar comp increases in craft beer and wine.

Following the holiday season, we will begin testing changes to food shopping environment in a set of 25 remodels scheduled for the LA market along with a set of SuperTarget remodels scheduled for next year.

Digital sales increased 20% in the third quarter…well below our expectation of 30%.

We’re approaching $1 billion of annual sales in our home category, making us one of the leading digital retailers in the states.

We also expect drones to be a big hit this season. So, we’re featuring nearly 20 in-store, and about four times as many online.

Guests who spend $75 or more on Friday, November 27th, will receive a voucher for 20% off on future purchases, redeemable from December 4th through the 13th.

We are still very focused on testing localization in Chicago…we are going to take the learning from Chicago and apply it to the 25 stores we’re remodeling in Los Angeles.


John Mulligan, COO

In high-volume stores, the team has implemented adjustments to planograms to enhance holding capacity on fast turning SKUs

This increase in safety stock is one of the drivers of the 4% inventory growth we reported at the end of the quarter.

In household, personal, baby, we’ve been able to reduce overall out of stock measures by approximately 50% in about eight weeks.

In centers for grocery, in less than a month, the team was able to reduce out of stock measures by about 25%.

The team has a number of key priorities, including work to optimize case packs, which will better accommodate variability in store sales volume across our network.

Included in these efforts will be a test of RFID technology in a few of our apparel categories to gauge the effectiveness of the technology relative to the cost of implementation.

Stores have already shipped more than 10 million items directly to guests so far this year.

For next year’s LA25 remodels, we will feature all of latest merchandising enhancements. We will test changes to the frontend that will make order pickup even more convenient.


Cathy Smith, CFO

Digital contributed about 40 basis points to our third quarter comp.

Third quarter REDcard penetration was 22.3%, up about 130 basis points from a year ago.

We’ve already reissued chip cards to about half of our Target branded debit and credit card holders. And we expect to complete the rollout early next year.

We continue to work closely with the CVS team to obtain regulatory approval for the transaction.

We expect to deliver a fourth quarter comparable sales increase of 1% to 2%.

Read the full transcript via Seeking Alpha


Lowe’s Q3 Earnings Call Highlights

Robert Niblock, President & CEO

Comparable sales growth of 4.6%…with a 2.5% increase in comp transactions and a 2% increase in average ticket.

U.S. achieved 5% comps for the quarter, with all 14 regions generating positive comps.

Canada and Mexico delivered high-single digit comps in local currency, our consolidated comp was negatively impacted by foreign currency translation.

We generated positive comps in 12 of 13 product categories, with outdoor power equipment delivering flat comps on top of double-digit comps last year.

We had strength in seasonal living…tools and hardware also performed well… our strong brand and service advantages in appliances continue to drive double-digit comps.

We expanded our project specialist interiors program to an additional 475 stores, and now offer the program in 1,365 stores across the country.

The number of homeowners indicating that their home improvement spending increase has almost doubled since 2012.


Rick Damron, COO

We recently completed the reset of our pneumatics destination, featuring the three strongest brands in the category, Hitachi, Bostitch and Paslode.

Our paint performance was in line with the industry with a low-single digit comp.

We also continue to see strength in our portfolio of Pro-focused brands…including Goldblatt masonry tools, GAF Roofing, Owens Corning Insulation and Lenox HVAC.

We are proud to introduce Masonite entry and interior doors.


Robert Hull, CFO

The monthly comps were 5.1% in August, 4.8% in September and 3.7% in October.

Tickets above $500, comps at 7.2%

I can say that the categories that you asked about (kitchen, flooring, appliance, millwork) did comp into 3% to 4% range.


Michael Jones, Chief Customer Officer

Our paint performance is about in line with the industry. I’d say, we’re not satisfied with that. We want our paint performance to be above the industry…we’ve leaned pretty heavy into some promotions around paint.

Read the full transcript via Seeking Alpha


Contact: Jason Long,



Today’s Tipsheet: Cornell on CNBC @ 12:15 | Lowe’s US +5.0% | Call Highlights WMT/HD/DKS | Tome to Fix Reporting


Today: Target CEO Brian Cornell to Speak with CNBC’s Courtney Reagan Today at 12:15pm ET  Read the release


Lowe’s Q3 Comp Sales +4.6%, US Comp +5.0% “Sales for the third quarter increased 5.0 percent to $14.4 billion from $13.7 billion in the third quarter of 2014.” Read the release


Fortune 2016 Predictions: Hudson’s Bay Will Buy Macy’s  See all of the predictions


Home Depot’s Carol Tome to Fix Interline’s Reporting by Maxwell Murphy at WSJ. “Home Depot closed the deal in late August, but could only include one month of Interline’s results in its earnings for the fiscal third quarter ended Nov. 1…“It takes [Interline] three weeks to close the books,” Ms. Tomé told CFO Journal. “I’m going to fix that.” It takes Home Depot significantly less time to close its books.” Read more (Subscription)


Amazon to roll out deals every five minutes by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “That compares to last season, when it launched a new promotion every 10 minutes.” Read more


The Big Cloud Hanging Over Walmart’s Improving Sales? Soft E-commerce Growth by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “Global e-commerce, the bulk of which is in the U.S., grew by only 10%, a much smaller rate than in any preceding quarter this fiscal year. And, perhaps of greatest concern, that clip is well below’s 23% growth last quarter.” Read more


Saks president betting on brand resonance for Canadian launch by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail. “The downtown Toronto store, Saks’s first in Canada, will launch in February – followed a week later with another one in the city’s west end…“We believe Canada is ready for Saks,” president Marc Metrick, 42, a seasoned U.S. retail executive, said during a visit Tuesday to Toronto from his usual office in New York. “I think this consumer is ready.” Read more


**A message from Pro Chlor chlorine tabs – Does a gap exist in your septic assortment? Aerobic septic systems require chlorine tablets – not Rid-X® – to disinfect water. Aerobic systems are more environmentally friendly and mandated for use in certain communities in the lower-half of the US. Chlorine tablets are expensive to ship making them ideal to drive in-store traffic (at high margins). See why Pro Chlor is the choice of retailers’ nationwide. Contact for program information.


Apple Readies Long-Rumored Store on Chicago River by Blair Kamin & Robert Channick at Chicago Tribune. “It will be more like a high-tech version of Frank Lloyd Wright’s quintessentially Midwestern Prairie Style homes…Soon-to-be-unveiled plans for the store call for a glass-sheathed temple of computing near the historic Michigan Avenue bridge…These details are outlined in a report from the city’s Department of Planning and Development, a draft copy of which was obtained by the Tribune.” Read more


Walmart’s EVP US Food Speaks at Northwest Arkansas Event at The City Wire. “Redfield told the audience of more than 700 at the eighth annual breakfast, that CASA is an organization that gives children a voice in the court system by providing quality volunteer representation (advocates) for abused and neglected children in the court system.” Read more


Target’s $10M Deal Over Data Breach Gets Final Approval by Y.Peter Kang at Law 360. “A Minnesota federal judge on Tuesday signed off on a $10 million settlement to resolve multidistrict litigation over Target’s notorious 2013 data breach that compromised up to 110 million consumers’ personal information, saying the early settlement of the suit is a big win for class members.” Read more (Subscription)


True Value Retail Store Comp Sales +3.4% Read the release


Converse Claims Win Against Wal-Mart Over Chuck Taylors by Bill Donahue at Law 360. “A U.S. International Trade Commission judge has sided with Converse in a case claiming Wal-Mart, Skechers and others violated its trademark rights by selling knockoff versions of the Chuck Taylor sneaker, the shoe company announced late Tuesday.” Read more (Subscription)


Kohl’s Nabs Ex-Walgreens Exec for Ecom Role by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “(Sona) Chawla will oversee the integration of Kohls’ stores and digital business, an appointment that instantly makes her one of two leading candidates to be the retailer’s next chief executive officer.” Read more


Toy Industry Unveils Finalists for 2016 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards Read the release


Facebook plans epic rooftop park, with walking trails and giant fire pit, at new Seattle office by Jacob Demmitt at GeekWire. “Facebook confirmed the plans, but declined to share photos or renderings of the outdoor spaces. A Facebook spokesman did confirm the amenities and said there will be a total of three rooftop areas full of local trees and plants.” See the blueprints / Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Activists petition Walmart to stop selling livestock truck toy

Forbes: Why Warren Buffett Wants Children To Be Entrepreneurs (Interview)

Inside Tesla’s $5 Billion Gigafactory

NY Times: How Amazon’s Long Game Yielded a Retail Juggernaut

Campbell’s Is Doing Something Pretty Amazing With Leftover Peaches

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


Walmart Q3 Earnings Call Highlights

Doug McMillon, President & CEO

On a constant currency basis, our total revenue would have been $122.4 billion. That’s growth of $3.4 billion or 2.8%.

  • I call this out because I don’t want the currency impacts to obscure the strength of our business. We are a growth company and we’re growing.

We’ve seen that customers who start using online grocery spent nearly 50% more than similar customers who shop only in stores.

  • This is the customer we’re going after. The shopper in our sweet spot who accesses Wal-Mart in multiple ways.

We expect more than 210 million visits to our app in November and December up from 18 million in 2012.

I was pleased that continued to deliver strong growth.

Sam’s Club: We were pleased with the growth of membership income but we can do better with our overall results.


Greg Foran, President & CEO US

All formats in our portfolio had positive comps this quarter.

Supercenters: continued traffic growth and positive comps across all areas except entertainment.

We accelerated our online grocery pickup offering to 85 additional locations. We now have almost 140 locations across 25 markets.

E-commerce sales and traffic were softer than we would like.

E-commerce sales contributed approximately 15 basis points to our comp.

We saw growth across most of the store, particularly in our apparel, hardlines, home and seasonal businesses.

Mid-single-digit comps in Health and Wellness.

In Food, we saw our best top line results of the year despite minimal inflation.

While warmer weather somewhat slowed performance in October, solid back to school and Halloween seasons, along with new launchers such as Pioneer Woman and STAR WARS drove mid-single-digit comps across each of these departments.

Entertainment: it will take time to get this department where it needs to be.

For the 13-week period ending January 29, 2016, we expect the comp sales increase of around 1%.


Rosalind Brewer, President & CEO Sam’s Club

Unless otherwise noted, today’s financial discussion will exclude fuel for purposes of comparability…

Health and Wellness and Consumables: comp sales increased 0.4%.

We were pleased with the growth in membership income during the quarter, which increased 5.4%.

Our Fresh, Freezer, Cooler business faced significant headwinds as deflation in key areas, including fresh meat and dairy weighed on our comps.

We were pleased with our performance in produce.

We believe comp sales without fuel for the 13 week period ending January 29, 2016, will be flat to up 1%.

Read the full transcript via Seeking Alpha


Home Depot Q3 Earnings Call Highlights

Craig Menear, President & CEO

Every region posted positive comps in the quarter as did all of our top 40 markets.

Canada: 16 consecutive quarters of positive comps.

Mexico: 48 quarters in a row or 12 years of positive comp growth for our Mexican business.

All of our merchandising departments posted positive comps.

Online sales grew approximately 25% in the third quarter and represent approximately 5.1% of overall sales.

About 42% of all online orders are picked up in our conveniently located stores.

We now have the capability to reach 90% of US customers in two business days or less with parcel shipping.


Ted Decker, EVP Merchandising


  • double-digit: power tools, commercial lighting, HVAC, fencing, power tool accessories, watering, water heaters, ceiling fans, air circulation, hand tools and generators
  • above company average: appliances, tools, plumbing, decor, lighting, hardware, building materials, indoor garden, flooring tools and materials, siding, concrete, fasteners, roofing, builders hardware, compressors, wet drive VACs, wiring devices, pipe and fittings, ladders, special order window coverings, vanities, in-stock kitchens, fixtures, grills, soils and mulches, pressure washers and cleaning
  • positive but below company average: outdoor garden, kitchen and bath, electrical, millwork, flooring, lumber and paint

Transactions for tickets under $50 representing approximately 20% of our US sales were up 3.6%.

Transactions for tickets over $900 also representing approximately 20% of our US sales were up 7.8%.

Market share: on a rolling 12 through September was 56 basis points up.


Carol Tome, CFO

comps: 2.6% in August, 7.6% in September and 5.2% in October.

US comp: 4.6% in August, 10.1% in September and 7.1% in October.

In the US if you assume Labor Day fell in the same fiscal month as last year our comps were 6.9% in August, 7.8% in September and 7.1% in October.

During the third quarter we opened three new stores in Mexico for an ending store count of 2,273.

Read the full transcript via The Street


Dick’s Sporting Goods Q3 Earnings Call Highlights

Edward Stack, CEO

Same store sales increased 0.4%, below our guidance range largely due to performance in a couple of key categories.

At the conclusion of back-to-school, our comps were running at the higher end of our guidance; however, as the quarter progressed, record warm weather across the majority of our markets negatively impacted sales and traffic.

The outdoor category comped relatively flat in the quarter.

We saw strength in lifestyle camping, paddle sports, and sport games offset by a decline in hunting.

With Nike, we opened up six Brand Jordan shops during the third quarter and have opened an additional four this quarter.

Under Armour, we’re working to create a next-generation shop concept that we plan to roll out next year.

Opening 75 Polo shops this year.

Calia remains well positioned to become our number three women’s athletic apparel brand by the end of 2016.

Ecommerce penetration grew to 8% of net sales in the third quarter compared to 7.3% in the third quarter of 2014.

Turning to the fourth quarter, we’re off to a slow start.

To address this situation, we are working with key vendors to return slow-moving product as well as cancelling some orders.

A new store that we opened in Las Vegas and another one that we opened in an L.A. suburb, we built a footwear deck in conjunction with Nike …it does for the footwear business what the Pinnacle shops did for the apparel business. It’s only been open for a few weeks.

Footwear business was good and it comped positively in the quarter.

We’re cautiously optimistic about the golf business but it’s still not going to be a big growth area for us, Robbie. It’s just we think we’ve stopped the bleeding, so to speak.


Teri List-Stoll, CFO

Q4: We expect same store sales to be in the range of negative 2% to positive 1%.

Read the full transcript via Seeking Alpha


Contact: Jason Long,

Today’s Tipsheet: Comps: WMT +1.5%, HD +7.3%, DKS +0.4% | Wmart Needs 2M lbs of Sweet Potatoes | Lowe’s “Rebrand”


Home Depot Q3 Comp +5.1%, US Stores +7.3% “The Home Depot today reported sales of $21.8 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2015, a 6.4 percent increase from the third quarter of fiscal 2014.” Read the release


Home Depot posts earning beat by Fred Imbert at CNBC. “The home improvement retailer posted third-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.36 per share…Revenue rose to $21.82 billion from $20.52 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by Reuters expected the company to post earnings per share of $1.32 on revenue of $21.82 billion.” Read more


Walmart Q3 US Comp +1.5% “Traffic increased 1.7%…Neighborhood Market comps increased approximately 8%…E-commerce sales and GMV globally increased approximately 10% on a constant currency basis.” Read the release


Wal-Mart Earnings Beat Expectations; Shares Up by Nathan Layne at Reuters via Fox Business. “Net profit attributable to Wal-Mart fell to $3.304 billion, or $1.03 per share…Analysts on average had expected 98 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.” Read more


Dick’s Q3 Comp +0.4% “Net sales for the third quarter of 2015 increased 7.6% to approximately $1.6 billion…Same store sales for DICK’S Sporting Goods increased 0.7%, while Golf Galaxy decreased 2.9%.” Read the release


Viral Review Triggers Run on Patti LaBelle Pies at Wal-Mart by J.M.Hirsch at AP via ABC. “Two million pounds of sweet potatoes. That’s what it’s going to take to get Patti LaBelle’s suddenly famous sweet potato pie back onto shelves at Wal-Mart. Which means the pie that became a viral sensation during the weekend — selling roughly one every second — after a customer sang its praise in a YouTube video may not be back in time to grace your Thanksgiving table. Not that Wal-Mart isn’t trying. “There’s a lot of moving parts. The suppliers have been working all weekend,” Kerry Robinson, vice president for bakery and deli at Wal-Mart, said Monday.” Read more


Jerry Stritzke of REI: If You Can’t Be Outside, Bring the Outside In by Patricia R. Olsen at NY Times. “My conference table is a vertical cut from a tree native to Washington. I commissioned it from Urban Hardwoods in Seattle, which makes furniture from salvaged trees. There’s a large crack on one side, so anyone sitting on that side has to be careful not to lose something down the fissure.” See the pics / Read more


Lowe’s Has Big Plans for its New Home Smart Hub by Stacey Higginbotham at Fortune. “The chain store also wants to rebrand “from a home improvement retailer to a home improvement company,” says Mick Koster, who leads Lowe’s Iris home systems. That means the company plans to focus more on installing connected home products, as well as focus on providing recommendations to consumers related to home services like electricians and plumbers.” Read more


Ex-Home Depot SVP of Merchandising Named Chervon CEO “Chervon, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of power tools and related products and parent company of EGO POWER+ lawn & garden equipment, has appointed Bill Boltz, formerly Senior Vice President of Merchandising for The Home Depot, as the new CEO of their North American division.” Read the release


Chip Credit Cards Give Retailers Another Grievance Against Banks by Rachel Abrams at NY Times. “The timing, retailers say, could not be worse. The new terminals are often slower, meaning that the long lines during the busy year-end holiday season will grow longer.“If they couldn’t get it done before 10/1, I doubt many are going to have the appetite to turn it on between now and the end of the year,” said Mark Horwedel, chief executive of the Merchant Advisory Group.” Read more


Orchard Supply Hardware Hosts Customer Celebrations Statewide To Commemorate “Orchard Supply Hardware today announced it will host in-store celebrations for customers at all 73 California locations on Nov. 21-22 to recognize its significant growth in the last year.” Read the release


**A message from Black Flag® Brand: When the flag flies, pests die. The Black Flag® indoor/outdoor pest arsenal arms homeowners in the battle against invading bugs. Offering quick, decisive formulas that act fast and never back down, Black Flag insect and rodent controls get the job done, and take no prisoners. It’s time to Let It Fly. Check out our videos | Visit us on Facebook


Dollar General Building New Distribution Center in Janesville, Wisconsin Read the release


Tech talent is a priority for Wal-Mart by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “(Jacqui) Canney, executive vice president of Global People (human resources) at Wal-Mart, said during the recent Northwest Arkansas Tech Summit that the fast-paced and ever-changing business world places a premium on talent. “The war for talent is over, and the talent won,” she said.” Read more


Supervalu Executive Vice President Janel Haugarth Announces Plan to Retire in December 2015 Read the release


Wal-Mart’s Asia CEO: China will drive retail growth by Saheli Roy Choudhury at CNBC. “Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Manila, (Scott) Price said he expected China to drive more than half of the retail sector’s growth over the next decade.” Read more


This Holiday Ad for Dick’s Sporting Goods May Be the Season’s Sweetest Yet by Gabriel Beltrone at Ad Week. “This time, that small-town mythology comes with an especially touching twist ending…” See the spot / Read more


BDO: Retail CMOs Plan Less Aggressive Discounts this Holiday Season “Seventy percent of retail chief marketing officers anticipate retailers across the industry to offer more discounts and promotions this holiday season versus 2014.” Read the release


Tipsheet Extra

Urban Outfitters buys pizzerias in a desperate comeback move

Kantar report says ‘pivot points’ needed by retailers amid industry changes

Best Buy re-opened 800 stores last night for Star Wars Battlefront video game

Forget salt and pepper: Study finds quiet breathing can make your food taste better

Canadian Tire Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


Contact: Jason Long,