Tipsheet: Cyber Insurance 13% Cheaper | Macy’s CEO $1.1M Cut | 1K Suing J&J | N.Marcus Honors Herrera


AMAZON EXPANDS DASH BUTTON FROM 30 TO MORE THAN 100 BRANDS – Amazon Widens Its Push-Button E-Commerce Horizons by Nick Wingfield at NY Times. “The number of orders customers made with the devices jumped 75 percent during a week in mid-March compared with a week in mid-December, he said, without disclosing the underlying sales numbers. Dash Buttons are now pressed more than once a minute in total by Amazon customers, Mr. Rausch said.” Read more


Kroger sought partners to buy Fresh Market by Steve Watkins at Cincinnati Business Courier. “Fresh Market disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing how the deal came together and provided information on competing bids before it wound up selling to New York-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management.” Read more


Retailers Slow to Adopt EMV Terminal Upgrade by Arthur Zaczkiewicz at WWD. “…43 percent of “retailers that have experienced data breaches in the past 5 years have not updated their point of sale terminals.” For consumers, 62 percent “don’t understand the difference between major card security standards” while 41 percent “falsely believe debit cards protect them from fraud better than credit cards.” Read more


Macy’s CEO takes $1.1M pay cut by Alexander Coolidge at Cincinnati Enquirer. Read more


Women are scrimping on clothes, but splurging on upscale beauty products by Sarah Halzack at Washington Post. “We live in that selfie-ready age,” said Karen Grant, beauty industry analyst at NPD. “And makeup, we’re seeing, is allowing people to feel more confident.” Read more


A BETTER TOOTHPICK – Canada’s Dollarama raises top prices to $4, stresses quality over quantity by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail. “It’s not so much that we can offer 500 toothpicks,” he told analysts after the company reported strong fourth-quarter results. “But it’s more if we offer 200 very good toothpicks that the customer will be happy with, I think that’s what counts at the end. It’s a culture that we’re trying to instill in everyone. Again, it’s not quantity but quality that counts.” Read more


…Larry Rossy hands off CEO’s job at Dollarama to his son Neil by Damon Van Der Linde at Financial Post. “Neil Rossy, Dollarama Inc.’s 46-year-old chief merchandising officer, will succeed his father, Larry Rossy, 73, at a time when the Montreal-based company is flying high, posting higher than expected earnings Wednesday.” Read more


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Trader Joe’s settles cookie lawsuit with Pepperidge Farm via AP. “Ira Levy, a New York lawyer representing Pepperidge Farm, said on Wednesday that the two companies reached a “mutually satisfactory resolution” Read more


Neiman Marcus to Honor Carolina Herrera by Eddie Roche at Fashion Week Daily. “Fashion treasure Carolina Herrera will receive the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion at its flagship store in downtown Dallas on September 16.” Read more


People Are Spending Lots of Time, Not Money, on Their Phones by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “…there’s still a huge gap between how much time shoppers spend on mobile websites and apps, and the percentage of total e-commerce sales that happen on these mobile sites.” See the chart / Read more


Wayfair, Amazon and Nordstrom lead nominations for Internet Retailer annual awards by Don Davis at Internet Retailer. “In total there are 51 nominees for the 13 Internet Retailer Excellence Awards, which will be handed out at a banquet at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place hotel in Chicago on June 8.” See the finalists in all 13 categories


Brands Join Bezos Foundation’s Vroom Initiative to Help Childhood Brain Development by Lindsay Stein at Ad Age. “JL came up with the idea of altering packaging on relevant products to include brain-building activities for parents. “You don’t need any more time than the time you have,” said Ms. Bezos, president and co-founder of the Bezos Family Foundation. “You can build the brain in moments you already share with your child whether it’s doing laundry or making dinner.” Read more


Cyber insurance rates fall with lull in major hacks by Jim Finkle at Reuters. “The average price companies in high-risk industries paid for $1 million in cyber insurance coverage fell 13 percent to $18,756 in the first three months of 2016, according to broker Marsh, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc.” Read more


Jo-Ann Names Ex-Walgreen Exec CFO “Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores…is proud to announce Wade Miquelon as executive vice president and chief financial officer.” Read the release


MORE THAN 1,000 WOMEN SUING – Johnson & Johnson Has a Baby Powder Problem by Susan Berfield, Jef Feeley and Margaret Cronin Fish at Bloomberg. “The next trial is scheduled to begin on April 11 in a St. Louis circuit court. “Whether or not the science indicates that Baby Powder is a cause of ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson has a very significant breach of trust,” says Julie Hennessy, a marketing professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. “In trying to protect this one business, they’ve put the whole J&J brand at risk.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Fortune: Costco’s Generous New Credit Card Will Be a Boon for the Retailer

Nascar driver among almost 60 people targeted by police in the biggest tobacco-smuggling bust in North American history

Minneapolis: Man arrested for allegedly threatening to ‘shoot up’ Walgreens

Man takes his own life in housewares section of Target store

Bentonville: Walton Family ready to transform former Kraft cheese factory

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories

Tipsheet: Wmart Partners w/Purdue on Data | N.Marcus CMO Out | Target OT Lawsuit | REI HQ Move


Neiman Marcus losing another exec – CMO Wanda Gierhart departs by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “She is the third longtime, key executive to leave the company in the last few months…“She has committed to staying with Neiman Marcus Group as we work through the transition,” Katz said, adding that no departure date has been set.” Read more


Lawsuit accuses Target of not paying overtime to some warehouse workers by Nandita Bose at Reuters. “Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said Target’s distribution center group leaders are properly classified as exempt, salaried team members and said these department leaders hire, manage and lead teams of up to 50 people. “They are competitively compensated and rewarded for their performance. We dispute the allegations in the suit,” she said.” Read more


Petco Adds New Leadership “Jodi Watson as senior vice president, Petco Direct; and Spencer Insolia as vice president, Petco and president, Doctors Foster & Smith….John Carcasi as senior vice president, Supply Chain & Merchandise Planning.” Read the release


Costco Canada warns consumers about pop-up ads on its site by Ellen Roseman at Toronto Star. “I never do this kind of thing, but because it was Costco, I thought it was okay,” she said about the offer. Her gift, a set of three face creams, showed up quickly. She forgot about it until a few weeks later, when she found a $179.95 charge on her credit card statement…” Read more


Walmart partners with Purdue for weekend data dive via Purdue University. “The Krannert-Walmart Data Dive…is believed to be the first data dive on a college campus…Upon completion of the challenge, each team will submit an idea to improve efficient shelf space usage or customer segmentation. Walmart executives will select the winning team and award two $5,000 prizes.” Read more


**A message from 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo – the Show Floor is Sold Out! The 2016 Expo will set an all-time record in volume of confectionery and snack products with more than 720 companies showcasing nearly four acres of product innovation. The Sweets & Snacks Expo is the one place more confectionery and snack retailers and manufacturers come together to get inspired, make connections and find new best sellers. See all of this year’s exhibitors | 2016’s New Exhibitors | Meet our retail taste testers


REI plans to move headquarters to Bellevue’s Spring District by Janet I. Tu at The Seattle Times. “REI said Tuesday it has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to develop eight acres in Bellevue’s Spring District, part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway between State Route 520 and Bel-Red Road.” Read more


Ross Stores Plans to Open 90 Locations This Year Read the release


Amazon bans the sale of rogue USB-C cables by Jon Russell at Techcrunch. Read more


Two Picked To Co-Host Wal-Mart Radio In Contest via All Access. “Woloszyn worked in radio for nearly 15 years before joining Walmart two years ago. Williams had no professional on-air experience, but during his seven years with the company was the DJ for office Christmas parties and was known around his stores for his entertaining personality.” Read more


Amazon says home services orders grew 20 pct per month since launch at Reuters via CNBC. “Home services are now available across the country in 30 metropolitan areas and customer orders have been particularly brisk in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., Amazon said.” Read more


Wall Street Journal: ‘Natural’ Product Claims Can Be Murky by Serena Ng. “There’s a wild, wild west situation going on with natural product claims because there is no set definition of natural,” says Nneka Leiba, deputy director of research at the Environmental Working Group.” Read more (subscription)


Restoration Hardware Q4 Comp Sales +9% Read the release


Laundry detergent caps are designed to waste so you buy more detergent, say experts via The Sun. “Jeff Liebel, who worked…for Tide parent company Procter & Gamble as it introduced liquid detergent in the 1980s and who now owns a management consulting firm, says that easy development is not likely going to happen… “The measurements are in the cup, so we’re doing our duty to help you as best we can…we’re good guys and all, but, quite frankly, we don’t care.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Kroger’s canned products targeted in toxic chemical report

NASCAR wives walk the runway

Cashier At Walmart Does Spot On Impression Of Shaggy And Scooby Doo

CVS Health Receives URAC Accreditation for Mail Service Pharmacy

America’s Most Reputable Companies, 2016: Amazon Tops The List

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Tipsheet: CVS CMO Q&A | No More ‘Walmart Tax’ | Army Chief: Send Me to Cabela’s


Walmart Gets Big Win Over Puerto Rico: No More ‘Walmart Tax’ by Kelly Phillips at Forbes. “Puerto Rico’s AMT, on its face, clearly discriminates against interstate commerce,” wrote U.S. District Court José Antonio Fusté finding in favor of retail giant Wal-Mart Puerto Rico, Inc. (Wal-Mart PR) in its legal battle over new tax laws in Puerto Rico.” Read more


Army chief: You want a new pistol? Send me to Cabela’s with $17 million by Kyle Jahner at Army Times. “We’re not figuring out the next lunar landing. This is a pistol. Two years to test? At $17 million?” Milley said to an audience at a Washington, D.C., think tank on March 10. “You give me $17 million on a credit card, and I’ll call Cabela’s tonight, and I’ll outfit every soldier, sailor, airman and Marine with a pistol for $17 million. And I’ll get a discount on a bulk buy.” Read more


CVS Health’s Marketing Chief on Turning the Pharmacy Brand Into a Healthcare Player by Kristina Monllos at Adweek. “Given that a portion of CVS’ business is retail and the brand cut tobacco sales, where do you draw the line with unhealthy product sales? For example, will you stop selling products with lots of sugar?  You know, that’s something we evaluate all the time….the thing that is interesting about tobacco is it’s the thing that there is no degree of moderation that is good—there’s nothing good about it.” Read the Q&A


THIS SUMMER – Kroger will bring its ClickList online ordering and pickup service to Dallas and Houston by Marina Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “By the end of the year, about 20 local Kroger stores will be equipped to handle ClickList orders from 40,000 items in a store, (division president Dana) Zurcher said.” Read more


Staples closing in on Office Depot deal by Josh Kosman at NY Post. “When a judge agrees to hear such a move — a judgment as a matter of law — he or she believes the plaintiff or prosecutor has failed to make its case, a lawyer not involved in the case told The Post on Monday.” Read more


GameStop CEO: We Will be ‘Dominant Player’ in Virtual Reality at Fox Business. “We have not put that into our forecast in any significant way. Part of that is because we have to wait on our publishing partners to make their announcements at E3 coming up in June. But virtual reality will be a very significant part of the future,” Raines said.” Read more


Fortune: 50 Best Workplaces for Flexibility (#25 Build-A-Bear, #36 Clif Bar) See the top 50


Report: Amazon to offer two-hour delivery in Berlin by Greg Sandoval at Bloomberg. “Die Welt, a German newspaper, broke the story. Citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the plan, Die Welt said that Amazon plans to begin offering two-hour delivery sometime in May. Until now, Amazon’s German operations has relied on Deutsche Post’s DHL parcel service for deliveries.” Read more


**A message from PaintPincher – Never Waste Paint Again! The PaintPincher is an ingenious 8-in-1 paint can spatula that recovers paint, stain, adhesives and more from gallon and quart cans, leaving them 99.9% clean. The PaintPincher is great for Pro and DIY painters and can save up to a cup of paint per gallon! See the video | See the sell sheet | Packaging pic | Retailers request a sample at


Instacart says it is doing better than expected in Twin Cities by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “…questions about how well it is doing here began to surface last week when BuzzFeed reported that the company was planning to dismiss its Minneapolis-based delivery drivers. Instacart executives reached out to the Star Tribune to say a change in drivers’ responsibilities was being misinterpreted as a signal that it wasn’t doing well and might leave town.” Read more


Why Booming Demand Is Making Vanilla Taste Worse by Paul Richardson at Bloomberg. “The price of the bean used to flavor everything from ice cream and chocolate to cola and pastries more than tripled in the past year as output slipped and quality suffered.” Read more


Restoration Hardware joins trend of charging customers for loyalty program by John Ewoldt at Star Tribune. “Welcome to the future,” said Marshal Cohen, senior analyst at the NPD Group. “Retailers have figured out that if they give us additional value, we’re usually willing to pay for it.” Read more


Sears CEO Lampert buys some of company’s debt by Jessica Dinapoli & Kristen Haunss at Reuters. “The collateral backing the loan is such that Lampert and the other investors in it would be paid in full in the event of a liquidation, the people said.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

NY Post: CVS sued for telling store security to target black, Hispanic shoppers

How Two Entrepreneurs Got Turkey-Feather Bow Ties Into Neiman Marcus And Built A Real Business

Jessica Alba’s Honest Company hit with another lawsuit alleging false advertising after claims its laundry detergent contains forbidden ingredient

Revlon names new CEO hailing from Colgate-Palmolive

How Google’s AdWords facelift could help retailers

Walmart to donate up to $3 million to help feed America

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


Tipsheet: Amazon HQ Full of Ex-Target People | Costco Kickback Probe | Peak Athleisure? | Easter Egg Rampage


AMAZON BIG WINNER FROM TARGET LAYOFFS – A year after Target’s layoffs, workers reinvent their futures by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “…the Star Tribune found that about 90 Target headquarters employees took jobs at Amazon last year…In 2014, about 70 people left Target for Amazon…So many former Target employees are now at Amazon that some do double-takes in the hallways. “It’s like, ‘Hey, I didn’t realize you were here. Welcome!’ ” said one Target-turned-Amazon employee who spoke on the condition his name not be used.” Read more


Costco probed in alleged drug kickback scheme by Jesse McLean at Toronto Star. “Costco is under investigation for an alleged kickback scheme where it demanded a drug company pay more than a million dollars to get its medications stocked…At the heart of the complaint is a secretly recorded phone conversation of a Costco director explaining to a drug company sales rep how much the drug company would have to pay to “greatly reduce the likelihood of somebody eating your business.” Read more


FTC accused of asking Amazon to lie in merger case by Josh Kosman at NY Post. “While the disclosure that the FTC asked Amazon to lie doesn’t sink its chances, it certainly doesn’t help…“The judge is focused more on Amazon than the FTC would like him to be,” said a source closely following the case.” Read more


Red Meat, It’s What’s for Dinner Again as Beef Prices Tumble by Leslie Patton at Bloomberg. “Suddenly there is this extra supply of meat,” Kalo said. “You’re going to have to somehow consume all of it.” Read more


Thrive Market wants to build an online Whole Foods for people who aren’t rich by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “The online grocer is on track to register sales of $10 million this month, a 500 percent increase from last March, co-founder and co-CEO Nick Green told Re/code in an interview last week.” Read more


Flirtey makes first urban drone delivery in FAA test, beating Amazon to the punch by Alan Boyle at GeekWire. See the pics / 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


68% of teens say they prefer brands to reach them via email by Zak Stambor at Internet Retailer. “While that’s a slightly lower percentage than millennials (73%) and baby boomers (75%), email far outpaces every other channel.” Read more


Analyst: Macy’s stock will soar by summer, could face takeover by Andy Brownfield at Cincinnati Business Courier. Read more


PEAK ATHLEISURE – Products and Competition Stretch Market for ‘Athleisure’ Clothing by Hiroko Tabuchi at NY Times. “There’s a lot of wannabes out there creating noise,” said Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst at the NPD Group, a market research firm. “The shakedown’s started. A lot of these brands are going to go away.” Read more


Target joins Starbucks and 11 other businesses to achieve 80% voter turnout in the U.S. by the year 2020 via A Bullseye View. Read more


Ingles Markets Names New President by Mike Cronin at Citizen-Times. “Jim Lanning was promoted Friday to president and CEO of Ingles Markets Inc.” Read more


Boston: GE buys P&G property for new HQ via Cincinnati Business Courier. Read more


Marauding parents in Easter Egg hunt rampage: Out-of-control adults push children to the ground, steal their buckets and leave one four-year-old ‘bloody’ by Mia De Graaf at Daily Mail. “Children as young as four were trampled by adults in a rampage to steal buckets and grab as many of the 9,000 hidden eggs as possible from the third annual free event at the PEZ headquarters…’It was worse than being at Wal-Mart on Black Friday,’ parent Val McCormick wrote on the PEZ Facebook page on Saturday.” Read more / See the pics


Tipsheet Extra Stories

America’s Best Large Employers (Costco #3, Wegmans #4)

Cameron Diaz pampers her pooches with shopping spree to Petco

Home Depot CIO Matt Carey in Q&A with CIO Events Editor

Bloomberg: Cage-Free Eggs May Be Golden Goose for Retail Profits

Smart fridge may lead to the free fridge

GMO labeling: 5 questions with Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack

Massachusetts resident sues Target over Parmesan cheese

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Tipsheet: Greatest Leader: M.Ellison #19 | Costco/AmEx Ends June 19 | Hack Helper Hacked | Aldi’s Opens 8 in SoCal


Fortune: World’s Greatest Leaders (Bezos #1, Ellison #19) See the top 50 list


…Jeff Bezos: “I dance into the office every morning.” by Adam Lashinsky at Fortune. “Re: Washington Post purchase: “I would not have bought the Washington Post if it had been a financially upside-down salty-snack-food company,” he says…“This is the first company I’ve ever been involved with on a large scale that I didn’t build from scratch,” says Bezos. “I did no due diligence, and I did not negotiate with Don. I just accepted the number he proposed.” Read more


Discount grocery chain Aldi opens first eight Southern California stores by Shan Li at LA Times. “On Thursday, the Aldi store in Moreno Valley attracted a line of about 200 people eager to check out the newest grocer in town…Not everybody was impressed. Bent over the bagging area near checkout, Laurie Campbell, 63, said she didn’t like packing up her own groceries nor did she like the lack of name brands. “I won’t be back,” the Moreno Valley resident said. “They’re so disorganized.” Read more


Costco sets date for breakup with AmEx; Visa perks will be sweeter by John Ewoldt at Star Tribune. “…the warehouse club said Thursday that June 19 will be the last day that it will accept American Express credit cards.” Read more


**New Product Spotlight. A message from SpinChill – Get warm 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 | YouTube video channel Contact to request a sample.


Company that gets called in to help Fortune 500’s respond to some of the world’s largest data breaches, is reeling from its own data breach via Krebs on Security. “Earlier this week, a prominent member of a closely guarded underground cybercrime forum posted a new thread advertising the sale of a database containing the contact information on some 1.5 million customers of Verizon Enterprise.” Read more


High Cost of Keeping Chocolate Cool Tempers Online Sales by Robbie Whelan at WSJ. “Hershey charges $6.95 to ship a $4.25 bag of Kisses ordered on its website. In a notice on the site, the Pennsylvania-based maker of Kit Kat and Reese’s also “strongly suggests” that customers buy liquid ice packs and a foam cooler for an additional $4.99. That, plus the recommended expedited shipping, would bring the cost to $20.20, before taxes.” Read more (subscription)


GameStop earnings show importance of electronics, collectibles sales by Korri Kezar at Dallas Business Journal. “Comparable store sales grew 3.1 percent for the quarter and 4.3 percent for the year.” Read more


Glucose Health pitched at Open Call – now heads to 1,800 Walmart stores by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “Fleming said the one stickler area that took the most work was getting the price down to Walmart’s level. “I wasn’t sure that we could do it. But we went back to our suppliers three times and we finally got the cost down to the range Walmart wanted.” Read more


Australia: Expert’s plan to combine Masters and Home Timber & Hardware gains steam by Catie Low at Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s believed Mr (Geoff) Dart has reached out to a number of investment banks to explore funding options for the acquisition and he’s already sounded out key management personnel.” Read more


Staples Judge Slams FTC on Amazon Testimony in Merger Case by David McLaughlin and Andrew M Harris at Bloomberg. “That’s why we were unwilling to say that,” the Amazon executive answered. “We weren’t sure if that was going to be true or not.” “Were you surprised that the government was telling you what to say and not say?” Sullivan said. “Yes,” Wilson replied, subsequently adding, “I was signing this thing, it was going to be factual.” Read more


10 LONG DAYS – Man forced to wear “I am a Thief” sign in front of Walmart to avoid jail time by The Columbus Dispatch. “A Girard Municipal Court judge found Davenport guilty. But he gave him the sentencing option of wearing a sign saying, “I am a thief. I stole from WalMart” or serving 30 days in jail. Davenport has to wear the sign in front of the store eight hours a day for 10 days of his choosing.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Kroger fined after worker cuts off fingertip

Burning Man 2016 Sells Out 30,000 Tickets in 30 Minutes

Target’s website loads quicker than the average retailer

Executive recruiter helps retailers keep up with industry changes

Google reportedly working on Amazon Echo competitor amid slowdown in Nest division

Amazon to Open Fulfillment Center near Kansas City, Will Hire 1,000

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories

D.Gen +1K in ’17 | Cabela’s Opens Books | AmEx Teams w/Boxed | LL Bean #1 | 500 Startups Like Target


Cabela’s hunts for potential buyer in Bass Pro Shops by Josh Kosman at NY Post. “The 27-store chain — a destination for hunting, fishing and camping enthusiasts — in the past two weeks opened its financial books to rival Bass Pro Shops and other potential suitors, The Post has learned.” Read more


Forbes: America’s Best Midsize Employers (LL Bean #1, The Container Store #2, Wayfair #15) See the list of 250


Dollar General Plans to Accelerate New Store Openings to 1,000 in 2017 “Dollar General will outline its strategic plans at its 2016 Investor Conference today at 8:00 AM CT” Read the release | Today’s webcast


Target accelerator gets applications from more than 500 startups by Katharine Grayson at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. “The accelerator will name 10 winning companies that will move into 8,000 square feet of space at Target Corp.’s Minneapolis headquarters this summer.” Read more | Read A Bullseye View blog post


Chip-Card Payment System Delays Frustrate Retailers by Rachel Abrams at NY Times via CNBC. “Avi Kaner, a co-owner of the Morton Williams supermarket chain in New York, has spent about $700,000 to update the payment terminals at his stores. Trouble is, he cannot turn them on…before the payment systems can work, they must be certified…In the case of Morton Williams, the holdup has lasted several months.” Read more


Toys ‘R’ Us Employee Accused by U.S. of $2 Million Card Theft via NY Times. “According to a criminal complaint made public on Wednesday, Daniel Chon, a director of inbound and outbound transportation, withdrew $1.92 million of “eCash” by logging into Toys “R” Us’ secure “Fleet Card” system without permission on 117 occasions from May 2013 until this month.” Read more


Forbes: Inside Tractor Supply Co.’s $6 Billion Amazon-Proof Business by Kathryn Dill. “Steve Barbarick, Tractor Supply’s chief merchant is rummaging through a bin of weighty grade-5 hexagonal head bolts… Sure, you could buy similar bolts at Lowe’s or Home Depot and pay for them individually, but at the Tractor Supply in Thompson’s Station, Tenn. they are sold in bulk and cost only $3.69 a pound. And at those other stores you couldn’t pick up a four-pack of Diamond Classic Heeled Horseshoes on the same trip…” Read more


REI CEO Elected to Williams-Sonoma Board “Prior to REI, Mr. Stritzke served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Coach, Inc. from 2008 to 2013. From 1997-2007, Mr. Stritzke held several executive positions with Limited Brands, Inc.” Read the release


**A message from 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo – the Show Floor is Sold Out! The 2016 Expo will set an all-time record in volume of confectionery and snack products with more than 720 companies showcasing nearly four acres of product innovation. The Sweets & Snacks Expo is the one place more confectionery and snack retailers and manufacturers come together to get inspired, make connections and find new best sellers. See all of this year’s exhibitors | 2016’s New Exhibitors | Meet our retail taste testers


At This Supermarket, The Produce Section Grows Its Own Produce by Adele Peters at Fast Company. “At the end of the produce aisle in the Metro supermarket in Berlin, an indoor farming company is testing the ultimate in local food: Greens and herbs are growing inside the store itself. The greens grow inside glowing modular boxes, in a design that the company behind the project, Infarm, says is so efficient that it can finally make vertical farming affordable on a micro scale.” See the in-store picture / Read more


Nordstrom Names Kumar Srinivasan Chief Technology Officer “He was previously co-founder and CEO of Evocalize; chief product & technology officer for Bazaarvoice; and vice president, general manager at Amazon, where he led Amazon Payments Merchant Solutions.” Read the release


AmEx Teams Up With Boxed by Spencer Soper & Jennifer Surane at Bloomberg. “They see Boxed like they saw Costco 20 years ago,” Boxed CEO Chieh Huang said of American Express.” Read more


Consumers set to ramp up home improvement spending by Jeff Daniels at CNBC. “Some investors have started to sour on the home improvement sector with the view that we may be approaching the ‘end of the cycle,’ …RBC Capital Markets analyst Scot Ciccarelli said in a note to clients this week. “This is not our view. Rather, we believe ‘home-related’ investment spending today is only reaching levels where the industry has historically ‘bottomed out’ during prior downturns/recession (at approximately 3.5 percent of total GDP).” Read more


NRF: New Union Organizing Rules Will Have a ‘Chilling’ Effect on Free Speech “Once again, the Obama administration is bowing to labor unions and eliminating a well-established, clear test in favor of an ambiguous and open-ended standard that will lead to confusion for America’s employers,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said.” Read the release


Kohl’s CEO Mansell honored for retailer’s work with Penfield Children’s Center by Mark Kass at Milwaukee Business Journal. “Since the early 1980s, Kohl’s has committed more than $8.4 million to Penfield. In addition, the retailer created the Kohl’s Building Blocks Program, which helps give children access to early educational and developmental programs.” Read more


Ace Hardware CEO Talks to The Street “The big box players are doing very well at the ‘stack it high, watch it fly’ low price style of selling, but then the specialty, convenience, high-touch retailers are also doing very well, and we are fortunate to be in that latter space,” said (John) Venhuizen.” See the video interview / Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Man climbs 80-foot tall Macy’s Christmas tree – hurls apples and pine cones at rescuers

Retired Walmart exec named to USA Truck Board

Instacart Fires Its Delivery Drivers In Minneapolis

Amazon Hosted A Secretive Robotics Conference In Florida

Forbes: Target Preps Launch, But ‘Won’t Apologize’ For Potential ‘Sold Out’ Signs

Harvard Business Review: Women and Minorities Are Penalized for Promoting Diversity

Under Armour’s Portland HQ will be 60% larger than original design

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories

Tipsheet: Target Drawn to Spectroscopy | H.Dep Picks Google | Mr.Michael Loses Domain to Michaels


Five Below Q4 Comp Sales +3.6% “For fiscal 2016, net sales are expected to be in the range of $995 million to $1,005 million based on opening 85 new stores for the full year and assuming an approximate 3% increase in comparable store sales.” Read the release


Kroger names presidents for Roundy’s Wisconsin, Mariano’s by Melanie Lawder at Milwaukee Business Journal. “Michael Marx, Kroger’s vice president of people operations, will become president of Roundy’s Supermarkets, Wisconsin, starting April 1. Don Rosanova, Roundy’s executive vice president of operations, has been named president of Mariano’s, effective immediately.” Read more


Why Target Is Fast-Tracking Food Innovation by Elizabeth Segran at Fast Company. “Here’s a dirty little secret about the food business: An apple you pick up at your local supermarket is, on average, 14 months old. By the time you sink your teeth into it, it has lost most of its nutritional value. The thing is, most consumers are not aware of this. “People think they’re buying a healthy snack,” says Greg Shewmaker, an entrepreneur-in-residence at Target …”But year-old apples are the nutritional equivalent of a sugary ball of fiber; all the nutrients have already leached out.” Read more


Home Depot picks Google for cloud business by Sarah McBride at Reuters. “The deal, flagged Tuesday by Google executive Greg DeMichillie in a briefing and expected to be announced formally on Wednesday.” Read more


DON’T WORRY ABOUT US – Amazon Executive Undercuts Staples Claim of Competitive Threat by Andrew M. Harris at Bloomberg. “Prentis Wilson, a vice president with Amazon Business, testified Tuesday in federal court in Washington that the company has made only limited efforts to obtain such contracts from companies with more than $250 million in revenue and has won only one bid.” Read more


Costco Teams Up with Chevrolet for Special-Edition Silverado by Craig Cole at Auto Guide. “Hugh Milne, the Chevrolet Silverado marketing and advertising manager said, “This was literally Costco’s idea they came to us and said, ‘Hey, we would like to do something special with Silverado.’…Delivery of your shiny new Silverado could take up to 16 weeks” Read more


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Whole Foods executive Christina Minardi on innovating in N.Y.C., and a big risk in Brooklyn by Melissa Wylie at New York Business Journal. “What was the biggest risk of your career: About 11 years ago, Whole Foods Market purchased property in Brooklyn…we became the developers…It took us 10 years to get that store open…Our big investment in that store paid off. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t be talking to me right now.” Read the Q&A


Bloomberg: The German Chain That’s Beating Wal-Mart at Its Own Game by Shannon Pettypiece. “In a suburb of Detroit, Aldi’s in-house brand of pasta sauce was 50 percent less than Wal-Mart’s store brand, its pancake syrup was 20 percent less, and its black beans sold for 18 percent of Wal-Mart’s. Some fresh foods also sold for less, with avocados and ground sirloin about half the price of Wal-Mart’s — though Wal-Mart had better prices on onions and chicken breasts.” Read more


Why Online Retailers Are Flocking to Nordstrom by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “We think that Nordstrom’s high exposure to ‘MVP’ malls makes it the most attractive wholesale distribution partner for both emerging traditional and online-born brands that wish to expand their distribution to new markets,” Credit Suisse analyst Michael Exstein wrote in the note.” Read more


Canada: Low loonie among reasons retailers slow moving into Canada by Murray McNeill at Winnipeg Free Press. “However, Ken Yee, senior vice-president of the Winnipeg office of Cushman & Wakefield, said he knows of at least four U.S.-based retail chains — Marshall’s, Dollar Tree, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Blaze (a quick-service pizza restaurant chain) — that are still pursuing expansion opportunities north of the border.” Read more


Brioni Announces Its Own Unconventional Hire by Elizabeth Paton at NY Times. “Justin O’Shea, former fashion director of the German e-commerce giant MyTheresa, has been appointed creative director at Brioni, the latest unorthodox hiring by a luxury brand as the sector strains for innovative approaches in an ever more competitive environment…He had joined MyTheresa, owned by Neiman Marcus, in 2011.” Read more


General Mills Profit Beats on Cost Cutting via Fox Business. “The company’s net sales fell 8 percent to $4 billion, falling for the third quarter in a row.” Read more


Guy whose last name is Michaels loses to retailer by Andrew Allemann at Domain Name Wire. “After retaining the lawyer, he says that the retailer offered him $100,000 to drop everything and transfer the domain. He declined because the site received more than one million visitors per year.” Read more


MONEY TALKS – This Is Why Shares of Lumber Liquidators Are Surging by Lucinda Shen at Fortune. “Shares of Lumber Liquidators rose nearly 16% Tuesday after the company said it paid $2.5 million to settle a claim that it had sold laminate flooring containing formaldehyde that exceeded California state limits.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Here is the full text of Amazon’s complaint against exec leaving for Target

Minneapolis puts brakes on ‘suburban-style’ Uptown Walgreens

Women’s group petitions Amazon to dump Donald Trump products

Tractor Supply store alarm keeps neighborhood awake at night

Chipotle hit with 115 employee lawsuits over past five years

Shopify Doubles Down on ‘Buy’ Buttons Despite Sluggish Start

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Tipsheet: Amazon Sues Exec Leaving for Target | Inside H.Depot’s Product Walk | Wmart Names Commun. Officer


Amazon sues longtime exec over new job at Target, says retail rival will be able to steal its secrets by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “While interviewing with Target’s most senior executives, Mr. Valdez referenced not only core aspects of Amazon’s confidential information, training and expertise, but also the title and topics of a key analysis and strategy meeting Mr. Valdez was contributing to and participating in at Amazon,” the company says in its suit.” Read more


Wal-Mart names Disney’s Brian Besanceney as chief communications officer by Frank Washkuch at PR Week. “He will report to Dan Bartlett, EVP of corporate affairs at the retailer. Besanceney will have four direct reports: VP of global internal communications Tracy Harlow; VP of shows and events Mark Henneberger; VP of global corporate communications Greg Hitt; and senior director of executive communications Nathan Barr.” Read more


comScore: Top 50 U.S. Digital Media Properties for February 2016 (Amazon #5, Walmart #22) See the top 50 list


Here’s how Macy’s decides which stores to close by Andy Brownfield at Cincinnati Business Courier. “Hoguet also noted that when a retail location closes, Macy’s sees a corresponding drop in sales on and She speculated that part of the dip in online sales could come from consumers not having a convenient way to return merchandise that doesn’t fit or that they don’t like.” Read more


Meet Ad Age’s 2016 40 Under 40 (Deisha Barnett – Walmart, Olivia Kim – Nordstrom…) See the full list


Target Begins Testing Concepts from the Food + Future coLab at a Bullseye View. “First, at the Fenway Target store in Boston, the team tested a concept known as Good & Gather that flips the traditional food label on its head by boldly and clearly displaying ingredients on the front of packaging rather than in fine print on the back. A second concept, aimed at providing real time nutritional information, allows people to scan fruits and vegetables, learn the exact nutritional value and then pay based on freshness.” Read more


Reporter Gets Sneak Peek Inside Home Depot’s Product Walk by Marni Jameson at Orlando Sentinel. “Blue has been rising for a while but is big, big, big, in every sector, and isn’t going away…feeding a growing appetite for grey, the company’s Behr paint line is adding 69 new shades of gray, almost doubling the number it currently offers…in kitchens: Tone on tone in shades of white, taupe and grey are what consumers will crave, predicts Sarah Fishburne, director of trend and design for the Home Depot.” Read more


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Cuba: Michelle Obama’s Sundress Sells Out Online at Bergdorf Goodman by Jeanette Settembre at NY Daily News. “She choose a perfect dress for her visit to Cuba, the print is decidedly warm friendly upbeat and the shape is classic, sophisticated and appropriate,” stylist Gretta Monahan tells the Daily News.” See the dress / Read more


CREDIT CARD FRAUD BAZAAR – Carders Park Piles of Cash at Joker’s Stash at Krebs on Security. “Unlike so many carding sites that mainly resell cards stolen by other hackers, Joker’s Stash claims that all of its cards are “exclusive, self-hacked dumps.” “This means – in our shop you can buy only our own stuff, and our stuff you can buy only in our shop – nowhere else,” Joker’s Stash explained on an introductory post.” Read more


CNBC: When $1 can be much more: The dollar-store divide by Krystina Gustafson. “Thanks to a round of minimum wage hikes and a lower unemployment rate, dollar stores are poised to benefit from a healthier low-income consumer. But in analysts’ eyes, there’s one chain in particular (Dollar General) that’s likely to reap the biggest reward.” Read more


Staples’ merger with Office Depot hangs in balance at court hearing by Diane Bartz & Clarece Polk at Reuters via Yahoo. “Reinhart argued that Amazon is not a true competitor to Staples or Office Depot…Staples’ lawyer, Diane Sullivan, argued that her client was “like penguins on a melting iceberg,” referring to Amazon’s 2015 announcement that it planned to enter the office supplies market in a serious way.” Read more


…Lawyers for the two sides in Monday’s proceedings at times expressed something akin to disbelief at their opponents’ arguments by Brent Kendall at WSJ. Read more (subscription)


Ralph Nader: Amazon would make highways more dangerous ‘to get you your toothpaste faster’ by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “The New York Times reported that Nader said he wrote to Bezos, asking the company to stop supporting the proposal, but never heard back from the Amazon CEO. “Drones and longer trucks, what are all these efforts for?” Nader told the New York Times. “To get you your toothpaste faster?” Read more


Coke Tweaks Its Business Model Again by Mike Esterl at WSJ. “Coke management knows it has to get moving to avoid becoming an acquisition target. “The clock is ticking,’’ said Carlos Laboy, a beverage analyst at HSBC.” Read more (subscription)


Tipsheet Extra Stories

NFL partners with Amazon for exclusive new ‘All or Nothing’ behind-the-scenes series

Forbes: Why I Don’t Buy Organic, And Why You Might Not Want To Either

Lowe’s will ditch its ‘Ditch the Ethanol’ signs

NY Post: Millennials need to put away the juice boxes and grow up

NRF: Consumers to spend $17.3 billion on 2016 Easter sales – up 5% from last year

Amazon employees hold strike over pay in Germany

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