Tipsheet: Wmart Loses Gender Bias Case | Circuit City Resurrected? | Costco Featured in FX Comedy | Rite Aid -1.4%


Walmart Guilty Of Gender Bias? Woman Takes On Retail Giant And Wins $31M by Cristina Silva at International Business Times. “Before her firing, McPadden said she revealed that customers at a Walmart store in Seabrook, New Hampshire, where she worked were getting prescriptions filled improperly because of inadequate staff training. She said a male co-worker who also lost his pharmacy key was not fired.” Read more


Amazon: Q4 Sales Up 22% Read the release – Street not impressed – shares fall big Read more via CNBC


…Amazon adds another 8,400 employees, tops 230,000 worldwide by Todd Bishop at GeekWire Read more


Circuit City revisited? N.Y.C. retail pros said to be resurrecting chain by Teresa Novellino at New York Business Journal. “The retailers, Ronny Shmoel and Albert Liniado, are working under the name Circuit City Corp. after Shmoel acquired the brand, its domain name, and associated trademarks in October from IT supplier Systemax, which had previously bought the Richmond, Va.-based company out of bankruptcy.” Read more | See renderings via Twice


Rite Aid January Comp Sales Down 1.4% “January front-end same store sales decreased 1.9 percent…Total drugstore sales for the four-week period decreased 1.3 percent with sales of $2.000 billion compared to $2.026 billion for the same period last year. Prescription sales accounted for 70.5 percent of drugstore sales.” Read more


Jeff Bezos celebrates the opening of the new ‘modernized’ Washington Post headquarters by Clare McGrane at GeekWire. “Bezos considered buying their old building before settling on this new space. “A lot of history had happened there — a lot of nostalgia,” Bezos told the Post. “But it was a better idea to move. I’m a huge fan of leaning into the future.… Too much glamorizing of the past would certainly lead to paralysis.” Read more


...WashPost Style front, lower right corner, Reliable Source column, “John Kerry, Jeff Bezos toast Post’s new space,” by Emily Heil: “[O]wner Jeff Bezos and publisher and CEO Fred Ryan invited a VIP crowd to … the ‘digital ribbon cutting’ marking the official beginning of The Post’s tenure overlooking downtown’s Franklin Square. … Ryan noted that the new offices boasted digital-age tools, like video studios, audio booths and plenty of screens via Politico Playbook.


Walgreens Pulls Back From Theranos via Fox Business. “(Walgreens) said it would suspend sending patient blood samples to Theranos’s Newark lab. Theranos operates Wellness Centers at 41 Walgreens pharmacies, one in Palo Alto and the remainder in Arizona.” Read more


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Why FX’s Bizarre New Clown Comedy ‘Baskets’ Is Obsessed With Costco and Arby’s by Jason Lynch at Adweek. “The production designer said, ‘What if we clear Kirkland, the brand? It’s the most bland brand. You never care about it,'” Krisel said. When the show approached Costco, they said, “Really? You want this?’ We said, ‘Could we make up like Kirkland vodka? Or, like … ‘ ‘Yeah, whatever you want to do.'” Read more


Your food might be stuck on a barge as El Nino swells rivers by Heesun Wee at CNBC. “Plumped waterways are impacting some barge traffic in and around the Midwest down to the Gulf Coast, and involves such channels as the Mississippi River, Maltsbarger said. Crops and food impacted so far include corn, soybeans and fertilizer, which is used in nearly every pocket of food production.” Read more


DON’T CALL IT A POP-UP – Pepsi Turns Restaurateur, to Serve Up Some Buzz by Sydney Ember at NY Times. “Pepsi is now moving into the restaurant business. The 5,000-square-foot space — on the same block as Milk Studios in Chelsea (Pepsi insists it resides in the ultrahip meatpacking district) — will become Kola House, a restaurant-bar-event space that the company hopes will be both social hub and testing ground for new products.” Read more


WSJ: Kroger Plans to Upend How it Organizes Booze in Stores by Tripp Mickle & Ilan Brat. “…the plan, introduced late last year, calls for a privately held distributor, Southern Wine & Spirits, to oversee how much display brands get in the grocery aisles of the more than 2,600 Kroger stores in 29 states. It also asks the alcohol companies—not Kroger—to pay Southern for the service.” Read more (subscription)


Etsy opens a pop-up shop at NYC Macy’s by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. “The shop will give eight of the online marketplace’s designers a chance to showcase their wares, with shoppers being able to peruse from more than 50 offerings ranging from housewares to jewelry. Shoppers will be able to buy the items in store and take them home on the spot.” Read more


ONCE AN OLD SAM’S CLUB – 15 photos of Under Armour’s first Port Covington office building by Melody Simmons at Baltimore Business Journal. See the pics


Nordstrom will open a second Manhattan location by Teresa Novellino at New York Business Journal. “Nordstrom, which is opening its first department store in Manhattan — a massive flagship under construction on West 57th Street — has decided to double down on its N.Y.C. presence. Although timing was not disclosed, the company is planning to open a second, smaller Nordstrom store just half a block away at 3 Columbus Circle.” Read more


Uber Wants to Be Your Express Delivery Service for Everything by Andrew J. Hawkins at The Verge via Recode. “By adding just a few lines of code, businesses such as Nordstrom and 1-800-Flowers can now integrate UberRush’s one-hour delivery service directly into their digital products.” Read more


Tesco drops 24-hour trading at some stores at Reuters via Yahoo. “The company…said 76 out of its 400 24-hour shops would be affected by the change. They will now close at midnight and reopen at 0600.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

CVS site on Las Vegas Strip available at a steep price

Lands’ End hires a former RadioShack executive

Jessica Alba, Kate Bosworth & Jaime King Celebrate the Launch of the Who What Wear Collection at Target

Home Hardware Appoints New Vice-President, Marketing and Sales

Lego introduces first-ever disabled figure

Mattel Launches Barbie In Curvy, Tall and Petite Body Types

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories

Tipsheet: Meijer Scouts Twin Cities | Bezos Targets Spotify | Wendy’s Breach | T.Supply -1.4% | Alibaba +32%


Bezos set to expand empire to take on Spotify: sources by Claire Atkinson at NY Post. “The e-commerce giant has held meetings in the past few weeks to discuss licensing tunes for a full-blown subscription music service that would ape streaming music market leaders Spotify and Apple Music, several sources confirmed.” Read more


MEIJER SCOUTS TWIN CITIES FOR MORE STORES – Meijer has looked at properties in at least four Twin Cities suburbs, according to Business Journal sources who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect business relationships. The sources said Meijer has looked at sites in Brooklyn Park, Lakeville, Vandnais Heights and Lake Elmo.


365 by Whole Foods Plans First Chicago Store by Ryan Ori at Chicago Crain’s. “In the first known Chicago-area deal for a 365 by Whole Foods Market, the Austin, Texas-based chain leased 30,000 square feet in the new Evergreen Plaza Mall that is under construction in Evergreen Park just outside Chicago, according to people familiar with the deal.” Read more


Super Bowl 50 Complete Ad Chart: Who’s Buying Commercials in the Big Game at Ad Age. See the list


Tractor Supply Q4 Comp Sales Down 1.4% “…net sales for the fourth quarter increased 3.9% to $1.65 billion from $1.58 billion in the prior year’s fourth quarter…comparable store transaction counts increased by 0.6%” Read the release


Forbes: America’s Best Small Companies (Bi-Rite Market, Radio Flyer…) See the list of 20


Under Armour’s stock soars after results beat expectations, upbeat outlook by Tomi Kilgore at MarketWatch. “Earnings for the latest quarter rose to $105.6 million, or 48 cents a share, from $87.7 million, or 40 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.” Read more


** New Product Spotlight: A message from SpinChill – Get beer cold in 60 seconds! Don’t wait half an hour to get the party started – get the party started fast: Just clip it on, stick your drink in the ice, and Spin it for a Minute! See how it works | See YouTube videos Retailers contact to request a sample.


The Top 100 Companies For Remote Jobs (Amazon #3, CVS Health #83) by Laura Chin at Forbes. See the top 100 list


Wendy’s Probes Reports of Credit Card Breach at Krebs on Security. “When KrebsOnSecurity initially began hearing from banking industry sources about a possible breach at Wendy’s, the reports were coming mainly from financial institutions in the midwest. However, this author has since heard similar reports from banks on the east coast on the United States.” Read more


eBay ends the year with Q4 declines in sales and revenue by Fareeha Ali at Internet Retailer. “The gross value of goods sold on eBay Inc.’s marketplace fell 1.0% to $20.68 billion in the fourth quarter that ended Dec. 31 compared with $20.88 billion in the same period a year ago.” Read more


Google patents secure rolling box to receive packages from drones by Greg Sandoval at GeekWire. “Once the drone flies in and drops a package into the receptacle, the receptacle can move on its own power to a “secure location, such as a garage,” the patent said.” Read more


Danger signs at the mall? More empty storefronts by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “According to research by Green Street Advisors, for the first time since the recession, occupancy at malls is declining…it now expects same-tenant sales will grow 1.2 percent between 2016 and 2019. That’s down from last year’s forecast for 2.6 percent gains over the same time frame, and represents a decline from last year’s 4 percent growth.” Read more


Facebook crushes Q4 earnings expectations with $5.8B in revenue and 1.59B users by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “Facebook continues to grow at an impressive clip and now counts 1.59 billion monthly active users, up 14 percent from last year. The company also said it is has 1.04 billion daily active users — up 17 percent — and 934 million daily active mobile users, which is up 25 percent from last year.” Read more


Alibaba reaches milestone of over 400 million annual active buyers / Revenue jumps 32%  Read the release


Caught on Video: Employees Extinguish Clothes Fire Set By Woman in Walmart via NBC 4 Southern California. See the video


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Wal-Mart stores offer free help before Sunday deadline to sign up for health insurance

A Scary E-Commerce Earnings Season for Companies Not Named ‘Amazon’

Re-Tooled: How Ray-Ban Brought Its Brand Back from the Brink

Inventor sues 3M over Post-it notes

Walmart has quietly become one of America’s leading health destinations

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories

Tipsheet: Zika Hits U.S. | Wmart Launches OneOps | Kohl’s Donates $2M


A night in Chicago with Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina by Shia Kapos at Chicago Crain’s. “His private plane uses Chicago Executive Airport north of O’Hare, which is a short drive to Walgreens’ headquarters in Deerfield. Good thing. He says when he’s in town, he spends most of his time in the office. He puts his head down at night at a hotel in Wheeling. And he only visits Chicago now and again for dinner. “I don’t like to be in traffic,” Pessina acknowledged.” Read more


Walmart Launches OneOps, An Open-Source Cloud And Application Lifecycle Management Platform by Frederic Lardinois at TechCrunch. “So what can OneOps actually do? According to Walmart, one of the key benefits of the platform is that it works with multiple public and private cloud platforms out of the box. These include Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, AWS and CenturyLink Cloud, as well as any OpenStack cloud.” Read more


Amazon leases building south of downtown Seattle for mystery project by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “One public document associated with the 6th & Holgate lease was signed by Amazon’s global real estate director, John Schoettler, not a lower-level manager, an indication that the initiative has the attention of people at the highest levels of the company.” Read more


NATURAL CONFUSION – More shoppers buying ‘natural’ food, yet most don’t know what it means by Hadley Malcolm at USA Today. “At least 60% of people believe a natural label means packaged and processed foods have no genetically modified organisms, no artificial ingredients or colors, no chemicals and no pesticides, according to the study by Consumer Reports. And 45% think that natural is a verified claim. It’s not.” Read more


How Walmart and P&G Are Trying to Reach Female Fans With Super Bowl Social Effort by Robert Klara at Adweek. “The centerpiece of the Walmart/P&G effort is a video produced by SheSpeaks, a media platform for female influencers that reaches 100 million consumers. The three-and-a-half-minute effort stars Mama McCourty, who knows a thing or two about Sunday football gatherings. McCourty’s twin sons, Devin and Jason, both play in the NFL.” Read more


**A message from ASD Market Week – ASD is the trade show with the highest ROI! On February 28 – March 2, 2016, we open the doors of the Las Vegas Convention Center to 45,000+ attendees looking to shop the world’s widest variety of wholesale lifestyle accessories and general merchandise at the lowest price points available. Discover hot new products and stylish finds from over 2,600 vendors in categories including: fashion & accessories, beauty & fragrance, gift & home, toys & novelties and many more. Learn more about ASD / See category list | See the show floor video | Register now


ZIKA HITS U.S. – Residents of Virginia, Arkansas test positive for Zika virus via Fox News. “In addition, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that a young girl who traveled to El Salvador in late November had been infected with the illness, but had since recovered.” Read more


…Obama briefed on rapidly spreading Zika disease by Sarah Ferris at The Hill. “President Obama on Tuesday directed his top health officials to step up public outreach on the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne infection that is now expected to spread across the U.S.” Read more


WSJ: As Wal-Mart Closes, Town Looks to the Future by Sarah Nassauer. “Some locals say they hope Wal-Mart’s exit will leave room for smaller businesses to thrive again…“Winnsboro survived before the big box came,” she said, “and Winnsboro will survive without the big box.” Read more (subscription)


Warby Parker to open first Brooklyn store by Teresa Novellino at New York Business Journal. “This will be Warby Parker’s first brick-and-mortar store in New York City that is outside of Manhattan, where it operates four locations. Nationwide, the the onetime e-commerce-only company has about 20 stores.” Read more


Under Armour inks long-term deal with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson by Ryan Sharrow at Baltimore Business Journal. “Under Armour will also develop product capsules inspired by the films Johnson is working on. The first product capsule will feature a Rock-inspired backpack and duffle bag in the next few weeks.” Read more


Belleville schools will miss Target’s money by Mary Cooley at Belleville News-Democrat. “This has been a stable funding source for that (fund), so I’d be remiss if I didn’t say it’s money we certainly appreciate” he said.” Read more


New Look GE Has Little Room for Consumers by Rick Clough at Bloomberg. “After agreeing to jettison its century-old home-appliances division this month, General Electric Co. may now shed its legacy business that sells lighting to retail customers.” Read more


Woolworths, Lowe’s fail to agree on a valuation for failed hardware JV by Eli Greenblat at The Australian. “Under the terms of the joint venture, both Woolworths and Lowe’s will now seek their own independent valuation for the Masters business over the next 15 days.” Read more


Walmart, Beverage-Makers Announce Water Donations for Flint via ABC News. “The retail giant, along with Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestle, announced Tuesday the collective donation will include up to 6.5 million bottles of water through December for at least 10,000 schoolchildren. Walmart says that since July, it has donated 14 truckloads of water and nearly 1,800 water filters.” Read more


Kohl’s Donates $2 Million to Discovery World “…for continued support of Kohl’s Design It!, an educational program that encourages kids to use technology to turn imagination into reality.” Read the release


Staples reportedly laying off hundreds, but stays mum by Megan Woolhouse at Boston Globe. “The job cuts were confirmed by a current employee and a former employee, both of whom asked for anonymity due to job and severance concerns.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Walmart recommends shareholders reject “mini-tender” offer

Is Costco Being Overcautious About Going Online?

How Sephora is Helping Female Founders Launch New Beauty Companies

Real Housewives actress is not apologizing for Kmart rant

Polaris lays off 100 workers, half in Twin Cities

As sales of purses plummet, lingerie on the rise

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories

Tipsheet: Wgreen CEO “Not a Retailer” | Amazon: Half have Prime / In-Store Test | WinCo #105


Nearly half of U.S. households have a Prime membership by Elizabeth Weise at USA Today. “Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated that there were 54 million Prime members in the United States at the end of 2015. That’s 21% of the U.S. adult population of 246 million.” Read more


…BUT GROWTH SLOWS – Is Amazon Prime nearing its peak? by Greg Bensinger at MarketWatch. “…the rate of growth in signups slowed to 35% from 54% in 2014, according to CIRP’s estimates.” Read more


Fortune: The Billionaire Behind Walgreens’ Quest for Global Dominance by Jennifer Reingold & Marty Jones. “One bottle of San Pellegrino water. It’s the closest thing to a personal item visible in Pessina’s office…There are no photographs with luminaries, no mementos of product launches or even stacks of files. Perhaps that’s because Pessina actually lives in Monaco and spends so much time on the road. It may also be because he isn’t interested in typical CEO activities. He doesn’t visit many stores or pose for selfies with the employee of the month. He doesn’t obsess over a particular SKU. “I am not a retailer,” he readily admits. “I am not a wholesaler anymore. I am a team builder and a company builder.” Read more


Walmart Canada Eliminates Free Plastic Bags “Customers will be encouraged to use reusable bags, which will be sold at a discounted rate of 25 cents. Walmart will continue to offer plastic bags at a fee of five cents per bag to those customers who request them.” Read the release


WSJ: How Bad Is Retail? Look at the Bonds by Matt Jarzemsky. “Investors have sent the price of bonds in J. Crew Group Inc. and Nine West Holdings Inc. down to 27 cents and 23 cents on the dollar as of Friday…That’s more than 70% below where they started 2015. Bonds issued by Claire’s Stores Inc. have lost nearly 39% to about 60 cents, Gymboree Corp. bonds have plunged by 32% to 26 cents. Some Toys “R” Us Inc. bonds fell to 69 cents in mid-December before rising again to about 82 cents.” Read more (subscription)


Walmart and the U.S. Conference of Mayors donate $2.84 million to five schools related to textile manufacturing  Oregon State | Clemson | Cornell


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Office Depot earns a perfect buy online, pickup in store score by Tracy Maple at Internet Retailer. “Best Buy Co., The Home Depot Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. tied at 97% order fulfillment, followed by Staples Inc. at 91%. The index average was 82%.” Read more


Amazon’s other physical retail test: A mini bookstore for Kindle ebooks by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “It only takes up a couple square feet, a small fraction of the size of Amazon’s first real bookstore in Seattle, but the company has been quietly making another foray into physical retail — offering individual ebook gift cards for sale under a pilot program at Bartell Drugs in Washington state…” Read more


Murphy USA shifts away from Walmart parking lots, will seek new ‘growth opportunities’ by Wesley Brown at The City Wire. “Murphy USA Inc. announced Monday that its board of directors has authorized a strategic allocation of $500 million to pursue new “growth opportunities” not tied to the company’s relationship with the Bentonville retailer.” Read more


Amazon Is Taking a Different Approach With Its Next Smartphone by Jason Cipriani at Fortune. “(Amazon) is approaching Android smart phone manufacturers to put retailing apps on its smartphones at a “factory” level, the report said. Translation: Instead of simply pre-installing some of Amazon’s mobile applications on a device, Amazon wants to have its core services—such as its Firefly product scanning technology—integrated directly into the device’s operating system.” Read more


WinCo to Open Store #105 “The store is located at 231 NE Terry Lane in Grants Pass, Oregon. The store is somewhat smaller than most traditionally sized WinCo Foods stores, measuring approximately 72,000 square feet.” Read the release


P&G Tests Tide Pickup Laundry Service in Chicago by Jack Neff at Ad Age. “With the slogan “Life over laundry,” the service offers wash-and-fold service for everyday laundry at $1.59 a pound.” Read more


Dick’s will Donate Patriots AFC Championship apparel to ‘countries in need’ by Mina Corpuz at Boston Globe. “Dick’s Sporting Goods says it’s donating the goods to nonprofit World Vision…“We don’t sell the product if the team loses, because they’re not the champion,” he said.” Read more


Chase to introduce new ATM machines that only need an app to withdraw cash by Kalhan Rosenblatt at Daily Mail. “The machines have already been tested in states like Washington, but a wider roll out in the thousands is planned for later this year. The upgrade to eATMs will allow customers to ditch the magnetic strip and instead log into an account using an app.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

How Amazon’s Customer Service Could Open You Up to Identity Theft

WashPo: How “House Hunters” became the most unstoppable juggernaut on TV

Australia: Costco ham recalled over listeria concerns

Hudson’s Bay CEO to Be Honored as 2016 “Father of the Year”

German Amazon withdraws children’s refugee costumes in case they offend migrants

Aldi ham packet promises ‘110 per cent British pork’, becomes online sensation

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Tipsheet: Snow Collapses Safeway Roof | Sears Canada Races to Close More | Nob Hill No to W.Foods


Sears Canada races to close more stores amid cost-cutting efforts by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail. “The struggling Sears has instructed real estate firm CBRE to look for alternative uses for Sears’s weakest stores, such as its clearance outlets, Brandon Stranzl, executive chairman of Sears Canada, said in an interview this week…He said “everything and anything” is on the table…” Read more


As REI thrives, does it have members or merely shoppers? by Angel Gonzalez at Seattle Times. “Now, as members number in the millions, “It’s more about getting the discount than a relationship to the co-op. What’s the difference between an REI membership and the Safeway Club card or other preferred shopper cards they’re carrying in their wallets?” Read more


Gap Hires ‘Innovative’ Abercrombie & Fitch Veteran as Its New CMO by David Gianatasio at Adweek. Read more


Bezo’s Company is First to Land a Used Rocket by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “In a video that Bezos tweeted on Friday evening, the company says that its New Shepard rocket became the first used rocket to travel past the the Karman Line — which is about 62 miles above sea level and the de facto crossing into outer space — and land vertically.” See the video / Read more


Neighbors rally to stop Whole Foods proposed in Nob Hill by Laura Dudnick at San Francisco Examiner. “[Nob Hill] is a classic, unique San Francisco neighborhood,” Trennert said. “We call it a village in The City … There are a few smatterings of some corporate stores, but very few. We really watch out for that.” Read more


Inside Macy’s efforts to better measure online branding ads by Zak Stambor at Internet Retailer. “Consider the “Wish Writer” branding ad campaign the retailer ran during the 2015 holiday season…On Instagram alone, Macy’s presented the 15-second version of the ad to more than 20 million shoppers—a mix of its existing customers and consumers with similar demographics to that customer base—and it received nearly 3 million views—far more than Macy’s anticipated, (Serena) Potter says.” Read more


** Trade Show Spotlight – ASD Market Week is 9 Shows in 1 Location. The Widest Variety of Goods Anywhere! 

“I go to five different markets – if I had to give up a market this is the last one I’d give up” Retail chain owner. See retail buyer testimonial video. On February 28 – March 2, 2016, discover hot new products and stylish finds from over 2,600 vendors in categories including: fashion & accessories, beauty & fragrance, gift & home, toys & novelties and many more. See show category list | Register Now


Baltimore: Safeway Roof Collapses Under Weight of Snow at CBS 13 WJZ via MSN. See the video


Retail experts: Costco may take over Masters sites by Olivia Lambert at “Each store is an average of 13,000sq m in size. Its unfinished store in Nowra, NSW, for example, is worth an estimated $14 million.” Read more


Amazon wins bidding war, pays $10 million for Matt Damon-produced film by Tatiana Siegel at The Hollywood Reporter. “Manchester by the Sea made its world premiere at Sundance on Saturday night, drawing some of the strongest reviews yet of the festival. In his review for The Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy called Manchester, “a wrenching family tragedy [that] is dramatized with the depth of a high-quality American stage piece.” Read more


Theranos Is Facing Yet Another Problem at One of Its Labs by Claire Zillman at Fortune. “The Wall Street Journal said that the CMS inspection results could prompt Walgreens to further reexamine its Theranos partnership. Walgreens did not immediately return Fortune‘s request for comment.” Read more | Wall Street Journal article (subscription)


The Insanely Complicated Logistics of Cage-Free Eggs for All by Jennifer Chaussee at Wired. “For starters, birds that live in cages can’t be transferred to a cage-free environment halfway through their lives. Farmers have to start with a new generation of chickens. “The chicken itself has to learn how to be in the environment and deal with things that they may not be used to in a caged environment,” says Jonathan Spurway of Rembrandt Foods, the third-largest egg supplier in the US.” Read more


Harvard is trying to build an AI as fast as the human brain by Emily Reynolds at Wired. “This is a moonshot challenge,” said project leader David Cox, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology and computer science. “The scientific value of recording the activity of so many neurons and mapping their connections alone is enormous, but that is only the first half of the project.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

NY Times: A Drug to Cure Fear

Jeff Bezos Brought Freed Journalist Home on Private Jet

Closing Walmart stores slash prices by 50%

Man gets year in prison for stealing $72K for Target stores

The 20 Happiest Cities To Work In Right Now

Canadian Tire announces recall of more than 87,000 booster seats

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


Tipsheet: Target Canada’s ‘Untold Tale’ | Sports Auth. Close 200? | Amazon Lobbying +91% | Cabela’s Sale May Not Happen


THE TALE OF TARGET CANADA – The Last Days of Target by Joe Castaldo at Canadian Business. “(Tony Fisher), 38 years old at the time, was regarded as a wunderkind who had quickly risen through the ranks at Target’s American command post in Minneapolis, from a lowly business analyst to leader of a team of 400 people across multiple divisions. Launching the Target brand in a new country was his biggest task to date. The news he received from his group that February afternoon should have been worrying, but if he was unnerved, Fisher didn’t let on…” Read more


#SNOWMAGGEDON2016 – Empty Store Shelves as Panicked Shoppers Ransack Grocery Stores See the pics


WASHINGTON POST TALKS RFID: The tiny chip that could power big changes in how you shop by Sarah Halzack. “Levi’s has been an early adopter of this technology in its stores…Anurag Nagpal, director of RFID solutions at software-maker Checkpoint Systems, said recent innovation has made it more feasible to use RFID on products beyond clothing. (In earlier days, Nagpal said, RFID tags did not work well on metal or packages containing liquids.)” Read more


comScore: Top 50 U.S. Digital Media Properties for December 2015 (Amazon #4, Walmart #16, Target #31) See the top 50 list


Amazon’s lobbying spending skyrockets 91% by David McCabe at The Hill. “The Internet giant’s primary corporate arm spent around $9 million on lobbying in 2015, a 91 percent increase over the $4.74 million it spent the year before. Notably, the company’s spending during the last three months of the year — $2,990,000 — was almost a million dollars higher than in the previous quarter.” Read more


Walmart found to have fired striking workers unlawfully by Jose Pagliery at CNN. “An administrative law judge ordered Walmart to give 16 workers their jobs back and pay them for the time they went without work. Walmart must also hold a company meeting at 29 stores to inform workers of their right to strike.” Read more


JCPENNEY CEO MARVIN ELLISON SPEAKS TO DALLAS GROUP – New JC Penney CEO sees company turning corner after hardship by Jason Wheeler at WFAA 8 ABC. “We don’t anticipate any significant store closures, but we will allow the business and customers dictate that,” Ellison said. “At the end of the day we want one thing, and that is to create shareholder value.” Read more


Cabela’s wants to sell credit card biz before it puts up entire company by Josh Kosman at NY Post. “And since Cabela’s is seeking special conditions to the sale of its credit card operation — the company wants to retain the profit stream from the business — some close to the process think an eventual sale of the brick-and-mortar chain may never occur…Meanwhile, Bass Pro Shops, a rival that in the past has expressed interest in buying Cabela’s, is stuck on the sidelines as banks kick the tires of the credit card operation, sources said.” Read more


Dick’s Sporting Goods potential $238M windfall by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “Amid speculation that Sports Authority could be preparing to close up to 200 of its roughly 450 stores, Sterne Agee CRT analyst Sam Poser told investors that 23 percent of Dick’s 600-plus locations are located in the “immediate” vicinity of a Sports Authority shop, “which should provide for rapid same-store sales acceleration once the Sports Authority stores are closed.” Read more


Walgreens CEO at Davos: Consumer Drug Prices Should Be Lower “Stefano Pessina, chief executive officer at Walgreen Boots Alliance, discusses the mix of cultures behind Walgreens and the need for lower drug prices for consumers.” See the video


** Trade Show Spotlight – ASD Market Week is 9 Shows in 1 Location. The Widest Variety of Goods Anywhere! 

“I go to five different markets – if I had to give up a market this is the last one I’d give up” Retail chain owner. See retail buyer testimonial video. On February 28 – March 2, 2016, discover hot new products and stylish finds from over 2,600 vendors in categories including: fashion & accessories, beauty & fragrance, gift & home, toys & novelties and many more. See show category list | Register Now


CVS reaches $450k settlement over alleged sale of expired items by Steve Mocarsky at Times Leader. “Agents allegedly reported finding expired products, including infant formula and drugs made for children, at five of the six CVS stores they visited. CVS employees in two cases also allegedly bypassed a register prompt that was designed to prohibit the sale of expired products.” Read more


Billionaire VC says that most companies will eventually pay an Amazon ‘tax’ by Eugene Kim at Business Insider via Yahoo. “I don’t see any cleaner monopoly available to buy in the public markets right now,” he said.” Read more


A first look at Nike’s $380M-plus HQ expansion by Eric Siemers at Portland Business Journal. “Nike Inc. on Wednesday said its newly expanded Washington County headquarters will feature buildings that “take inspiration from human movement.” See the two renderings / Read more


Dollar General Names Michael Calbert as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board  Read the release


Google Paid Apple $1 Billion to Keep Search Bar on IPhone by Joel Rosenblutt & Adam Satariano at Bloomberg. “Apple received $1 billion from its rival in 2014, according to a transcript of court proceedings from Oracle Corp.’s copyright lawsuit against Google. The search engine giant has an agreement with Apple that gives the iPhone maker a percentage of the revenue Google generates through the Apple device.” Read more’s New Owners Raise $2 Million To Bring Fair Pricing To The Jewelry Industry by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “The online part of jewelry is still in its infancy,” (Proctor) says…”the U.S. jewelry market today is over $80 billion (for fine jewelry and watches combined), the e-commerce portion is…between 5 and 7 percent…” Read more


First of its kind Publix project to open on Univ. of South Florida campus by Margie Manning at Tampa Bay Business Journal. “The 29,000-square-foot store will be at the southeast corner of Fletcher Avenue and North Palm Drive, a press release said. It will be fully integrated into a $133 million Student Housing Village.” Read more


AmEx’s Chenault Braces for ‘New Reality’ as Profit Declines 38% by Elizabeth Dexheimer at Bloomberg. Read more


Postal Service Wants to Grow Experimental Delivery Business by Kenneth Corbin at EcommerceBytes. “Postmaster General Megan Brennan and other senior government officials appeared before a Senate committee on Thursday…it is also actively courting new delivery partners and exploring an expanded menu of services. One is the grocery delivery trial that the agency began a couple years ago in San Francisco, and has since expanded. Brennan said that the agency is in active discussions with prospective new partners in the grocery arena.” Read more


Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin Might be Planning Another Rocket Launch this Weekend by Sarah Fecht at Popular Science. “The restriction is to take place between 8 am and 4 pm Eastern on Friday and Saturday this week.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Consumers’ 20 favorite restaurant chains

Uber will pay extra to scoop up thousands of laid-off Walmart workers

Lonely Camarillo kindergartner prompts Home Depot to donate ‘friendship bench’

This Is Why Costco’s Slavery Lawsuit Was Dismissed

JCPenney security officer says he had to resign to avoid firing after stopping thief

New Delhi: Metro poaches Walmart’s Arvind Mediratta as the new India head

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Tipsheet: Target to Add 1K IT Jobs | Boxed Nabs $100M | Cornell Channels Springsteen | HD Supply Hire 800 in Cobb?


Target to Add 1,000 IT Jobs by Jackie Crosby at Star Tribune. “It’s not just about Mom anymore,” Cornell said Wednesday, as he laid out a vision for the retailer’s future in a speech to about 300 business leaders in downtown Minneapolis…Evoking the still-strong popularity of Bruce Springsteen, who is 66, Cornell said the Boss understood that “to make great music, he had to evolve with the times.” Read more


Amazon’s Clothing Selection Is Now Bigger Than 250 Walmart Supercenters Combined by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “The number of items listed on Amazon in apparel and accessories categories has soared 91 percent over the last year to 30 million items as of the 2015 holiday season, according to analysts at the investment bank R.W. Baird.” Read more


Target Commits To Cage-Free Eggs by 2025 by Beth Kowitt at Fortune. “Despite the flurry of cage-free commitments in the food sector, Target is still one of the first retailers to commit. Whole Foods was the first national chain to say it would go cage-free in 2005.” Read more | List of co’s going cage-free


Walmart’s E-Commerce Push: It’s Among Top Companies Posting Jobs For Software Developers by Joshua Wright at Forbes. “Oracle, Amazon, Robert Half International, and Microsoft made up four of the top five companies advertising for app developers, according to Emsi’s job posting analytics. IBM and Wal-Mart weren’t far behind in unique job postings.” See the job post rankings


Boxed, The E-commerce Startup For Costco-Sized Orders, Nabs $100M From Investors by Miguel Helft at Forbes. “(CEO Chieh Huang) would not discuss the company’s valuation but said Boxed was not a unicorn…“The funding environment has turned,” he said. “Luckily, we didn’t go out asking for a pie-in-the-sky valuation.”…In November, reports said Boxed was close to receiving an $80 million investment from Alibaba. Huang says that Boxed is “close” to Alibaba, but dismissed those reports.” Read more


Macy’s CEO Loves the Chicago State Street Store (and Frances) by Gail MarksJarvis at Chicago Tribune “(It) could be used as a testing ground for “new ideas” as the retailer struggles…”I love the State Street store,” he said in an interview. “It is one of the most beautiful stores in the world. I love the manager. I love Frances, who serves me chicken potpies in the Walnut Room.” Read more


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Target CEO Visits Homes of Customers by Nick Halter at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. “No one knows I am the CEO of Target when I do that,” Cornell said during a question-and-answer session with reporters. “They don’t even know we’re from Target. We will interview them. I have sat with Hispanic moms with 5-year-old little girls, talking about their needs as they think about their baby, where they shop, what they shop for.” Read more


Home Depot hammers away at online growth by Mark Brohan at Internet Retailer. “The percentage of e-commerce sales that involve a Home Depot store increased to about 40% by the end of September, (Kevin) Hofmann says. “We have 300,000 store associates, and that’s an incredible asset to utilize,” he says.” Read more


Walmart Hikes Hourly Pay To $10 Minimum For Most Workers by Clare O’Connor at Forbes. “The company is billing this wage boost as “one of the largest single-day, private-sector pay increases ever.” In addition to raising its minimum pay, Walmart is increasing the starting rate of its pay bands for experienced workers.” Read more | Read the release


Marsh says it will upgrade nearly half its stores in 2016 by Greg Andrews at Indianapolis Business Journal. “Marsh has retrenched repeatedly since Florida-based Sun Capital Partners acquired it in 2006, reducing its store count from 116 to 73.” Read more


Bloomingdale’s Store to Open in Kuwait in 2017 “This will be Bloomingdale’s second international location (the first opened in Dubai in 2010) and ahead of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores scheduled to open in Abu Dhabi in 2018.” Read more


Amazon’s post-holiday party will feature Fall Out Boy by Kurt Schlosser at GeekWire. “This year’s event will be held at the CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle, as in the past. Blue-badgers (a.k.a. Amazon employees) can bring one guest (18 or over) and light appetizers and drinks will be provided.” Read more


South Carolina family takes recipe to Walmart shelves by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “The face-to-face at Walmart was a direct result of her meeting a senior seafood buyer at a New York City food show last year. “I saw the Walmart senior buyer and I literally flagged him down and led him over to our booth where he tried our fresh crab dips. He was very helpful.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

HD Supply wants to expand HQ in Cobb; New tower could add 800 workers

Steve Howard, Ikea Exec, Says The World Has Hit ‘Peak Stuff’

Price Chopper goes outside the family for new CEO

What Trader Joe’s can teach us about treating workers well

How to Erase Everything You’ve Asked Amazon Echo

Forbes: Chipotle Vs. Costco: A Tale Of Two E. Coli Outbreaks

Aldi launches wine by the case home delivery service in England/Scottland/Wales

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Tipsheet: H.Depot Head of Stores Out | McMillon Talks Carbon on CNBC | Wegmans ‘Hearing Loop’


Home Depot Replaces Leader Of US Stores by Paul Ziobro at Dow Jones Business News. “Home Depot Inc. is replacing the head of its U.S. stores, Marc Powers, with another company veteran, becoming the latest major retailer to change the leader of its store operations.” Read more


…Ann-Marie Campbell, one of Mr. Power’s deputies, will take over his position. Mr. Powers, 54, will leave the company effective Feb. 1 via Wall Street Journal (subscription)


…2015 Interview: Campbell learned much of what she knows about business from her grandmother in Jamaica, who didn’t finish high school but turned a roadside business into a multimillion-dollar company by Henry Unger at Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Read the Q&A


Doug McMillon Talks Carbon Footprints on CNBC panel: “Making a difference in the world is actually good business” See the 3:21 video / Read more


…Wal-Mart CEO: Responding to Climate Issues Boosts Profitability by Saabira Chaudhuri at Dow Jones Business News. “He said Wal-Mart can make any number of decisions to reduce its environmental footprint, such as reducing the size of a Band-Aid package from Johnson & Johnson. While customers won’t notice and the move doesn’t affect sales, it is better for the environment, he said.” Read more


“Make things right,” local little league asks Walmart to rebuild lost field by Adam Snider at KFOR-4. “Moore couldn’t believe her ears when she learned that the Walmart was closing shop after less than a year. “It’s like adding insult to injury,” said Moore. “We lost our field, but now it feels like we lost it for no reason.” See the video / Read more


J.C. Penney testing the sale of major appliances in 22 stores by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “The stores are in San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa, Fla…Hundreds of Penney stores could have appliance departments this fall, CEO Marvin Ellison said in an interview Tuesday. “We see the pilot being very accretive,” he said. “I’ve got a history with this, and I’m confident we can achieve profitable sales.” Read more


Canada: Star Wars toys help boost holiday toy sales by 22% by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “Over the year, Star Wars (accounted for) about 20 per cent of the total increase in the toy industry,” Michelle Liem, director of NPD Group’s toy business, said in an interview.” Read more


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Gilt Groupe Is a Cautionary Tale for Startup Employees Banking on Stock Options by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Re/code spoke to a half dozen former employees of flash sale site Gilt Groupe in the two weeks since its $250 million acquisition by Hudson’s Bay Company was announced. And at least three of them lost more than $10,000 as a result of the deal.” Read more


Doug McMillon Funds Retail Innovation and Technology Lab on Univ. of Arkansas Campus “The lab is believed to be the first interactive, open-to-the-public university retail lab created to test technologies expected to change the future of retail. Its first series of experiments are expected to launch by March.” Read more


The 25 Best Jobs in America, According to Glassdoor by Julie Verhage at Bloomberg. See the list


Shoppers with hearing loss can choose the “hearing loop” lane at Wegmans by Lorraine Mirabella at Baltimore Sun. “The grocer now plans to install the stations in all 88 stores in six states by the end of the year. Besides checkout lanes, loops are available at the pharmacy and customer service department.” Read more


Ex-Walgreens Exec/RadioShack CEO Takes Reins at Massage Envy  Read the release


Wegmans confirms plans to expand into North Carolina by Amanda Hoyle at Triangle Business Journal. “Yes, Wegmans wants to open a store in Cary, N.C.,” Natale says in a statement…Real estate sources say that Wegmans is also negotiating to buy or lease land for new grocery store locations in south Durham and in Raleigh. Read more


Top 50 U.S. Patent Holders for 2015 (Amazon #26 with 1,136 grants) See the top 50 list


These printers will automatically order their own ink from Amazon by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “Amazon says a GE washer and a Gmate SMART blood glucose monitor will be the next devices to work with the service, by the end of the month. The blood glucose monitor will automatically reorder testing strips and lancets.” Read more


Apple seeks nod to open India stores by Himank Sharma at Reuters. “Apple representatives held talks with Indian government officials about a relaxation of the 30 percent local-sourcing norms before filing the application, said a source familiar with the company’s plans.” Read more


Apple Doesn’t Let Widow Get Late Husband’s Password by Don Reisinger at Fortune. “I finally got someone who said, ‘You need a court order,’” Peggy Bush’s daughter Donna told CBC in an interview.” Read more


Sam’s Club to Accept Visa Credit Cards Read the release


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Mel Gibson Makes Fool of Himself at Whole Foods

Black student wins $45G settlement over alleged Barneys profiling

Tiffany to cut jobs after holiday sales fall 8%

American Express prepares for plastic’s inevitable demise

New Skincare and Beauty Lines Marlowe, Mayfair & You Are Amazing Arrive at Target

Einhorn’s Greenlight Buys Macy’s as Possible Takeover Target

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