Tipsheet: Target Tests Robot in San Fran | Wmart’s Tech “Open Call” | Ex-H.Dep. Pres. Tackles Next Challenge | Z Gallerie Fined $15M


Target’s New Robot Helper Is Busy At Work On Aisle 3 by Jonathan Vanian at Fortune. “Target is testing robots that track inventory on its store shelves including shampoo and laundry detergent. The retail giant is conducting a one-week trial at one of its department stores in downtown San Francisco, according to a source familiar with the matter and confirmed by three store clerks.” Read more / See the video


Walmart to hold ‘Open Call’ for technology suppliers as part of tech summit by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “The “Innovation Open Call” event gives selected startups from around the country the opportunity to pitch their technology solutions into Walmart’s ecosystem and millions of customers, said Bao Nguyen, corporate spokesman for Walmart. He said more than 100 technologists and executives from around the company will review the solutions in the areas of retail, logistics, big data, security and social media.” Read more


The Apple Watch did not change the Apple Store like we thought it would by Sarah Halzack at Washington Post. “I’m guessing that they just looked at it and said, ‘Are we really going to put a fixture like you’d find in a Macy’s? Or are we going to stick with what brought us here?’ Kirn said.” Read more


Former Home Depot head searches for a sustainable Canada by Tyler Hamilton at Globe & Mail. “Risk can take all sorts of forms – like starting a new company when you’re pushing 60, say. Or riding a mechanical bull in a room full of your peers. Annette Verschuren smiles devilishly when reminded of the latter, and then responds the way she is apt to do: “I am someone who gets things done. I talk about things I want to do, but I also do them. I’m a risk-taker.” Read more


Z Gallerie Pays $15 Million After Allegedly Misleading Customs Officials by Subrina Hudson at Los Angeles Business Journal. “The company allegedly violated the False Claims Act by importing bedroom furniture through the Port of Savannah and misclassifying the products as non-bedroom items to avoid paying antidumping duties.” Read more


Amazon absolutely crushes earnings expectations in first quarter by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Amazon recorded a profit of $1.07 per share in the quarter on revenue $29.1 billion, which was a 29 percent increase over the same period last year. Analysts had estimated a profit of 58 cents a share on about $28 billion in revenue.” Read more | Amazon press 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 New Exhibitors | These retailers are taste testers


Forever 21 is having problems paying the bills by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “The tardy payments are spooking vendors and lenders who were already edgy, having witnessed Forever 21 take the unusual step of closing two massive California stores.” Read more


Former Country Manager of Costco Canada honored with Retail Council of Canada’s Lifetime Achievement Award “Louise Wendling began her 38-year career in retailing with the Hudson Bay Company. In 1986, she and two other Hudson’s Bay colleagues founded Price Club, where she developed and implemented the warehouse club concept and culture.” Read the release


Samsung Checkout lets shoppers buy through their TVs by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. “It’s going to give retailers three months to develop something for back-to-school season and then the holidays,” says Michael Moeser, director of payments at Javelin Strategy & Research. “We should be seeing this in development (for retailers) this holiday season.” Read more


Etsy: “Gender lies on a spectrum” by Megan Rose Dickey at TechCrunch. “Employees had the option to self-report gender from a list of more than 60 options. Those that fall into other are the ones who did not identify as gender male/man or gender female/woman.” Read more


Parents hope brands choose their Instagram baby pictures to market products by Elizabeth Holmes at WSJ. “The mother of four snapped a picture and uploaded it to Instagram, tagging the brand’s handle and adding the hashtag #lovemypbk. Marketing executives at Pottery Barn Kids saw it and thought so, too. They re-shared the image on their Instagram feed, garnering more than 2,750 likes and 125 comments. “Our baby was a celebrity for 15 minutes,” Ms. Stowell says with a laugh.” Read more (subscription)


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Nearly 1 Million Sign Pledge to Boycott Target Over Bathroom Policy

Ezekiel Elliott stole the show at the NFL Draft red carpet with his wild crop-top suit shirt

Google Filed Patent For Injecting A Device Directly Into Your Eyeball To Improve Vision

Kroger takes over former Target distribution center in Phoenix

Macy’s launches line of clothing and accessories fronted by Lady Gaga and Elton John

PetSmart Charities Appoints Dr. David Haworth as President

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Tipsheet: Wmart Enforces Supplier Mandate | Cabela’s -3.8% | Neiman Guru Q&A | Menards Plays Nice w/NLRB


Cabela’s Q1: US Comp -3.8% / Retail Sales +7.6% “For the quarter, adjusted for certain items, net income increased 7.3% to $29.5 million compared to $27.5 million in the year ago quarter.” Read the release | Will open two new stores


Walmart enforces new ‘Supplier Online Assortment’ initiative by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “Suppliers who sell products in Walmart’s brick and mortar stores have been told to provide the retail giant with photographs, written descriptions and other content such as user comments for the site regardless of whether the supplier sells online…While many large suppliers already have complied, thousands of smaller suppliers have yet to do so.” Read more


Neiman fashion guru shares latest trends by Erica Corsano at Boston Herald. “Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director of Neiman Marcus: What are this season’s hottest trends? My favorite trends are certainly led by lace, which brings a romantic spirit to everything…Also, red … the color of a tulip or ripened tomato … red is a major color story that I’m talking about — wearing it head to toe or as an accent to all the white we are seeing this season.” Read the Q&A


Former Asda director takes helm of Amazon’s UK operations by Sarah Butler at The Guardian. “Amazon has brought in Doug Gurr, the boss of its Chinese business, to run its UK operations in a move that could signal an acceleration of the online firm’s plans to sell groceries in Britain. Gurr was development director at Asda for nearly five years before joining Amazon in 2011.” Read more


Menards agrees to change policies violating labor laws via Star Tribune. “The board found in April that the Eau Claire-based retailer has been improperly requiring employees to sign mandatory-arbitration agreements that bar them from engaging in class-action lawsuits. The board also found that Menards has withheld merit pay raises for workers engaged in protected union activities.” Read more


Amazon launches free two-hour delivery in Cincinnati by Jordan Kellogg at Cincinnati Enquirer. Read more


** Trade show spotlight – Don’t miss the 2016 National Stationery Show – The ONLY stationery market in North America!

“I travelled from Brazil for the first time to visit NSS. It’s the best place to source Greeting Cards, Stationery, Boxed Notecards and all kinds of unique gifts.” Retail chain owner. On May 15-18 at Javits Center, NYC come and discover new & unique products from 800 exhibitors. Show category listUpcoming trends you’ll see | Retailer stationery stories | Register


Sears Canada is trying to radically reinvent itself with new leadership, culture and technology by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “76% of Sears Canada’s executive leadership team has been with the retailer for less than two years…The turnover extends to the buying team, of which 59 per cent are new, while one-fifth of the company’s store general managers and more than a third of the e-commerce team is new.” Read more


Sam’s Club Giving Awards $8.8 Million in Grants to Help Small Business Owners Gain Access to Capital Read the release


‘Free’ Shipping Crowds Out Small Retailers by Laura Stevens at WSJ. “The Web’s biggest retailers—including Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Amazon—often get volume-driven discounts of 70% or more on certain shipments, while boutiques like Saratoga Olive Oil Co., in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., get breaks closer to 5%…after discounts, a megaretailer might pay about $14 to express-ship a 3-pound, 10-inch-square box from New York to a suburban Atlanta home. That same delivery could cost a small retailer about $74.” Read more (subscription)


Delhaize Q1 US Comp Sales +2.6% Read the release


Amazon Alexa is now available on first device not made by Amazon by Matt Burns at TechCrunch. “The $199 Triby launched in late 2015 and I’ve grown to love the little guy. It’s designed to be a modern kitchen appliance with buttons dedicated to VoIP calling and internet radio stations. Want to listen to NPR while you’re making coffee? The Triby makes it easy and now with Alexa, it can do much more.” Read more


Sneak peek: Inside Houston’s new Saks Fifth Avenue (Video) by Laura Furr at Houston Business Journal. See the video & pics


Walmart India launches development program for women entrepreneurs via New Kerala. “”(A total of) 32 women-owned businesses have been selected under the ‘Walmart Women Entrepreneurship Development Program’. The initiative is designed to help them achieve higher levels of business growth. We hope to create a pipeline of women suppliers for the industry as well as for us,” said Walmart India president and CEO Krish Iyer.” Read more


Fantastic Fakes: Busting a $70 Million Counterfeiting Ring by Del Quentin Wilber at Bloomberg. “The (Secret Service) estimated that the counterfeiter sold his initial run to his U.S. distributors for 10 percent of their face value. The distributors then dealt their haul to middlemen for 25¢ to 35¢ on the dollar. By the time they reached the person passing the bills at Walmart or Target, a bogus $100 note was being sold for as much as $65.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Alabama city targets Target with transgender bathroom law

DeWalt – yes, the drill maker – gets into the mobile business with rugged smartphone

Carolina Herrera honored for 35 years of fashion contributions

PetSmart and Arizona Diamondbacks Team Up to Set Guinness World Records Title for Most Dogs Attending a Sporting Event

Hormel brand manager dishes on Hawaii’s Spam love

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Tipsheet: T.Joe’s 26% Less than W.Foods | Target Boycott ‘Out of Control’ | Cabela’s Fined $1M by SEC | 37K Retail Layoffs TY


BOWING TO CRITICISM – Amazon Prime Relents on Same-Day Delivery to Boston Neighborhood by Barb Darrow at Fortune. “Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, home to a high number of minority and low-income residents, was not covered by free same-day delivery unlike virtually every other enclave in and around Boston.” Read more


The Target boycott is spiraling out of control by Hayley Peterson at Business Insider. “In a third incident, a man brought his daughter to Target and confronted store management about the policy, saying it made his daughter uncomfortable, then posted about it on Facebook. The post has been “liked” more than 135,000 times.” Read more


More than 700,000 boycott Target over transgender bathroom policy by Hadley Malcolm at USA Today. “The boycott has more than 744,800 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, marking it as one of AFA’s most popular campaigns. “This is the best response we’ve ever had this quick,” says AFA President Tim Wildmon, attributing the protest’s viral nature to the fact that “everybody knows who Target is, and it’s an easy-to-understand issue.” Read more | AFA website


TRADER JOE’S 26% CHEAPER THAN WHOLE FOODS – Trader Joe’s Pinches Whole Foods on Price via Motley Fool. “…with the basket of goods at (Whole Foods) costing $303 and just $240 at (Trader Joe’s). The difference is reportedly wider than it was last time the analysts compared the chains’ prices, which led them to conclude that Trader Joe’s has been cutting prices again.” Read more


**A message from Man Dip – Sour cream is for sissies – Eat like a man! Sour cream is something you slap on a baked potato – it is not a dip! Man Dip uses real cream cheese loaded with chunks of meat and peppers to create dips that are rich and savory with just the right amount of kick. Protein rich – Gluten free – Served hot. See the five new flavors | Top 5 New Dairy Product | Website | Retailers request a sample pack at


Trek investigating how Sam’s Club got its bikes at Bicycle Retailer. “Trek’s Eric Bjorling told BRAIN, “(Sam’s Club) did not acquire them from Trek directly. Presently, we are looking into how the bikes were acquired and will make a decision on next steps based on our findings. Trek has no plans to sell bikes at Sam’s Club or any other big box retailer.” Read more


Cabela’s, CFO, Settle SEC Accounting Charges by Maxwell Murphy at WSJ. “Cabela’s Inc. agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty to settle Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that it and its long-time finance chief misled investors.” Read more (subscription)


HEADED TO AUCTION – Sports Authority Is Giving Up on Getting Out of Bankruptcy by Michal Addady at Fortune. “It has become apparent that the debtors will not reorganize under a plan but instead pursue a sale,” company lawyer Robert Klyman said to a judge on Tuesday at a hearing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.” Read more


Kroger workers, retirees sue failing pension fund, trustees by Fatima Hussein at Cincinnati Enquirer. Read more


Retailers are on track to lay off more than 37,000 people this year by Lauren Zumbach at Chicago Tribune. “What makes this cycle different is that much of the decline is due to a secular change in consumption, both due to new online competitors as well as the shift in sales to the lower margin e-commerce channel,” Exstein wrote.” Read more


Full-Time Hires Buck the Trend at Fast-Food, Retail Chains by Rachel Feintzeig at WSJ. “Sheetz, and others like beauty retailer Bluemercury Inc., acknowledge that full-timers might cost more at first, but say they are more reliable—27% of full-time hourly workers leave their jobs per year, versus 68.7% of part-timers, according to the Korn Ferry report.” Read more (subscription)


Target Teams Up With Tracy Anderson in New Wellness Push by Jade Scipioni at Fox Business. “There are people that are like ‘why do you want to be in a Target or a Walmart?’…You think I don’t want to be on the shelves when someone is in that store deciding that’s the moment they want to start showing up for their health?…Anderson, creator of The Tracy Anderson Method, tells” Read more / See the video


RadioShack names second CEO since scaled-down chain plucked from bankruptcy year ago by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “(Dean) Rogers has been a managing director of Target Australia, CEO of Sears Canada and executive vice president at Kmart.” Read more


Supervalu’s profit beats forecasts despite pressure on sales by Mike Hughlett at Star Tribune. “Sales fell 3 percent to $3.95 billion, below analysts’ estimates of $3.99 billion, and that’s where the trouble starts…” Read more


eBay shares rise 5% after beating earnings expectations by Katie Roof at TechCrunch. “The e-commerce giant brought in $2.1 billion in revenue, when analysts were expecting $2.08 billion.” Read more | Press release


Amazon to Open New Pickup Location at California State University, Long Beach Read the release


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Neiman Marcus holds tight to top standing in luxury retailing

Customer bitten by dog sues Whole Foods for providing ‘tie-up’ area outside store

Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. sued over synthetic baby food ingredients

Washington Post: A majority of millennials now reject capitalism, poll shows

Here’s Dyson’s Latest Invention: A $400 Hairdryer Called Supersonic

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Tipsheet: Wmart: S.Africa Madness / Pulls Wild Oats | NY: Sears Cuts 100+ Designers | Cornell +$16.9M | Cont. Store +0.2% | Pink Tax +43%


South Africa Goes Berserk for New Walmart Store by Brian Sozzi at The Street. “Lines snaked around the 237,000-square-foot store, and along the street, as people clamored for cheap food and other discounted merchandise. McMillon said the store sold an astounding 1,000 TVs, 400 laptops, 35,663 gallons of milk, and 144,000 rolls of toilet paper on opening day alone.” See the line pic / Read more


Target CEO’s 2015 Pay Package Totals $16.9 Million via Dow Jones Business News. “…a decline from his $28.2 million in 2014 compensation that included a make-whole incentive package to leave his previous post at PepsiCo Inc.” Read more


Amazon India chief joins Jeff Bezos’ leadership team by Angel Gonzalez at Seattle Times. “The Times of India report quotes Bezos writing that “Amit and our India team are doing remarkable things.” The newspaper also said Agarwal would teleconference into the S team conclaves.” Read more


Where Wal-Mart and Philanthropy Mix by Sarah Nassauer. “Late last month the hottest $50 ticket in town got you a seat at a lunch supporting scholarships for single parents featuring a speech by Wal-Mart Chief Executive Doug McMillon…Before the lunch Mr. McMillon mingled in the VIP room, shaking hands and snapping pictures with a handful of supporters, most of whom had donated at least $5,000, including employees from the Bank of Arkansas, Colgate-Palmolive Inc. and McCormick& Co.” Read more (subscription)


Sears bids adieu to New York design office by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “The hedge fund mogul…is shutting the department store’s 154-employee New York apparel design office. The office is slated to close in July, a Department of Labor filing revealed. Sears will move roughly 40 positions to an existing site in San Francisco — the remainder will be cut.” Read more


Former Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine resigns from Dollar Tree board by Jennifer Thomas at Charlotte Business Journal. “Dollar Tree’s SEC filing notes “there are no disagreements between Mr. Levine and the Company.” Read more


Report: Wal-Mart to Drop Wild Oats Organic Food Brand by John Kell at Fortune. “This pivot is important for a few reasons. Walmart is the nation’s largest grocery chain, but a move away from Wild Oats after just a few years of backing this initiative indicates it hasn’t yet figured out how best to sell organic products to consumers.” Read more


**A message from 2016 Sweet & Snacks Expo – When you hit the upscale wood flooring you’ve gone Gourmet! Gourmet, premium, free-from and organic products take center-stage this year with more than 120 specialty exhibitors – an increase of 20% in just the past two years. See the list of gourmet exhibitors | See the 2015 most innovative new product winners | Website | Chicago’s McCormick Place May 24-26


Amazon director of engineering Robert Parker departs for Samsung’s smart home arm by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. Read more


Maurices’ new $80M HQ opens in Duluth by Nicole Norfleet at Star Tribune. “The 200,000 square feet of office space at 425 W. Superior St. spans an entire block and includes many modern touches such as a fitness center, large glass windows and an outdoor plaza that overlooks Lake Superior…Maurices, which has more than 950 stores throughout the United States and Canada, is a brand of Ascena Retail Group.” Read more


Walmart Snags eBay Vet as It Seeks Marketplace Sellers by Ina Steiner at eCommerceBytes. “Jordan Sweetnam was most recently Vice President of Seller Experience for eBay, where he oversaw the development, strategy and delivery of tools and experiences to sellers. He joined Walmart this month as Vice President of Global Product at Walmart eCommerce.” Read more


Analyst: Costco expected to raise membership fees by early 2017 by Coral Garnick at Puget Sound Business Journal. “The expected price for Costco’s basic Gold Star Membership will rise $5, up from $55, and the Executive Membership is $120, up from $110, analysts Michael Lasser, wrote in a research note following a meeting with Costco executives that included CFO Richard Galanti.” Read more


Container Store taps into KonMari de-cluttering mania by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “The Container Store now sells Kondo’s books, and last weekend employees for the first time demonstrated the KonMari method of folding clothes as part of the “declutter, donate and do life organized” national campaign co-branded with Goodwill. The idea to have Goodwill collection points in stores during the store’s weekend event came after a brainstorming session…” Read more


…Container Store Q4 Comp Sales +0.2% Read the release


J. Crew CEO invites customers to email him by Teresa Novellino at New York Business Journal. “If there’s something you think we can do better, I want to hear it — just e-mail me:,” according to Women’s Wear Daily.” Read more


Canada: ‘Pink tax’ has women paying 43% more for their toiletries than men by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “…a new study from Toronto-based ParseHub reveals price tags on 3,191 personal care products for women are substantially higher than the corresponding products for men.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Target CEO named co-chair of gender parity fund

Amazon sues ‘Buy Amazon Reviews’ in new crackdown on bogus reviews

Prince George robe sells out in 7 minutes

Immigrant Whole Foods workers get schooled on English in the context of the supermarket

Walton Family Foundation helps four nonprofits with innovation funding

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Tipsheet: Target: Old vs. New Berries | H.Depot Closes Oil Patch Store | W.Foods Accuser Disappears


Target tests food transparency ideas at Edina store by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “In the produce department, a small research team has put up handwritten signs above strawberries and raspberries, noting which arrived in the store that day and which arrived a week ago. There’s a 50-cent price difference between the two. Nearby are two “smart scales,” on which customers can place a piece of fruit and answer questions on a screen about features they would be most interested in learning about…” Read more


…TEST PICS – Target’s food transparency test via Minnapolis/St.Paul Business Journal See the seven pictures


Department Stores Need to Cull Hundreds of Sites, Study Says by Suzanne Kapner at WSJ. “Green Street estimates that Penney would need to close a total of 320 locations, or 31% of its stores to return to its 2006 productivity levels, while Nordstrom Inc. would need to shutter 30 stores, or a quarter of its footprint. By comparison, Macy’s, which closed 40 stores last year, would only need to eliminate a further 70 locations, or 9% of its base, Green Street estimates.” Read more (subscription)


Experts: Whole Foods was right to counterattack on cake claims by Claudia Grisales at American-Statesman. “Whole Foods “would have benefited from this sort of activist and straightforward response to earlier controversies,” Irwin said. “People will think twice now before accusing the brand of something, especially when — as it appears in this case — the accusation is untrue.” Read more


…Pastor in Whole Foods cake controversy absent for Sunday service by Claudia Grisales at America-Statesman. “Brown hasn’t spoken publicly since Tuesday and hasn’t responded to multiple interview requests from the American-Statesman. Late Friday, his Twitter account appeared to be temporarily deleted, but was back online by Saturday.” Read more


Boycott over Target bathroom policy nets more than 400,000 pledges by Maegan Smith at Charlotte Observer. “As a company that firmly stands behind what it means to offer our team an inclusive place to work – and our guests an inclusive place to shop – we continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target” (Target) spokeswoman Molly Snyder told (Reuters).” Read more


** Trade show spotlight – 2016 National Stationery Show – The ONLY stationery market in North America!

“I want to keep hearing customers say “you have the best cards in the city”, and the Stationery show is a very efficient way for me to assure that.” Retail chain owner. On May 15-18 at Javits Center, NYC join 10,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors from around the globe for the only stationery show in North America. Last year’s photo gallery | Show categories | Upcoming trends you’ll see | Register


Amazon’s giant Seattle biospheres come into focus with installation of first glass panels by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “GeekWire has been tracking the progress of the biosphere construction from foundation to exoskeleton. Now the westernmost sphere has been painted white, and the glass has started to go up. These new photos were taken this weekend by GeekWire contributor Kevin Lisota.” See the pics / Read more


JC Penney and Pinterest Team Up to Target Moms at a Mall Near You by Adrianne Pasquarelli at Ad Age. “JC Penney is targeting Pinterest-pinning moms in a new effort ahead of Mother’s Day on May 8…(JC Penney) will host its own Pinterest boards in 10 malls around the country. The 10′-by-9′-by-2′ digital boards will showcase apparel, beauty and hair inspiration. JC Penney also operates Sephora shops and salons within its stores.” Read more


Ex-Family Dollar & Giant Eagle Exec Joins Supervalu Board “Supervalu announced that experienced financial executive and corporate board member Mary Winston has been appointed to its Board of Directors effective April 27, 2016.” Read the release


Home Depot closing in heart of N.D. oil patch via Argus Leader. “It’s the most prudent business decision at this point,” Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes told the Williston Herald. The company opened the store in 2013 in Williston, the biggest city in North Dakota’s oil patch. At 6,000 square feet, the store was meant to complement Home Depot’s full-size store in Minot, about 120 miles east of Williston.” Read more


Wal-Mart brings hope to desolate corner in Hollywood, FL by Miriam Valverde at Sun Sentinel. “When we bought this property there was nothing here. There was a dead mall,” said Alberto Micha of Dania Beach-based Dacar Management’s acquisition in 2009. “But we saw the potential in the location. We thought it was a good investment, and that’s what happened. We were very lucky to get Wal-Mart involved.” Read more


Lowe’s Enlists Snapchat, Facebook Mobile Video in New Push to Reach Millennials by Nathalie Tadena at WSJ. “The home improvement retailer and Omnicom agency BBDO created the new series of social videos, which launch this month…For Facebook, Lowe’s will be the first marketer to take advantage of a flip video application on Facebook’s mobile feed that allows viewers to change the orientation of the video. The retailer’s “FlipSide” videos are short two-sided live action videos…” Read more (subscription)


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Warby Parker was too cool for malls … except for one in Dallas

NBC: Employees Stole Almost $300K of Home Depot Merchandise

Apollo Announces Successful Tender Offer for The Fresh Market

New Tide Pods pack has child-proof zipper

Retail giant Central Group is buying Zalora’s businesses in Thailand and Vietnam

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Tipsheet: Wmart’s $10.5B IT Spend | Boycotting Target | Lowe’s Avoids Surgeries | CVS #29 Citizen


A Marriage Gone Bad: Walgreens Struggles to Shake Off Theranos by James B. Stewart. “In every case, Walgreens was blindsided, the insider told me, learning the bad news from media reports or from regulators rather than Theranos itself. This has hardly endeared Theranos to its ostensible partner’s directors and executives.” Read more


Conservative group boycotts Target after big-box store announces transgender bathroom policy by Christopher Brennan at NY Daily News. “The American Family Association released a statement urging its members to boycott the big-box store and support a petition that had more than 129,000 signatures as of Thursday night. AFA President Wildmon said that the policy “poses a danger to our wives and daughters” and “ is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims.” Read more


…GOP lawmaker threatens Target boycott over LGBT bathroom policy by Cristina Marcos at The Hill. “If they’re going to be having women come to men’s restrooms, I won’t be going to Target to shop, unless and until that changes,” Gohmert said.” Read more


Wal-Mart Spent $10.5 Billion on Information Technology in 2015 by Kim S. Nash at WSJ. “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. again tops the list of the biggest technology spenders worldwide.” Read more (subscription)


America’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens In 2016 (CVS #29, TJX #90, Best Buy #100) at Corporate Responsibility Magazine via Forbes. See the top 100 list


** Trade show spotlight – Don’t miss the 2016 National Stationery Show – The ONLY stationery market in North America!

“I travelled from Brazil for the first time to visit NSS. It’s the best place to source Greeting Cards, Stationery, Boxed Notecards and all kinds of unique gifts.” Retail chain owner. On May 15-18 at Javits Center, NYC come and discover new & unique products from 800 exhibitors. About the show/category list | Upcoming trends you’ll see | Retailer stationery stories | Register


Amazon is shutting down its Gilt Groupe competitor MyHabit by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Amazon launched the website five years ago near the height of the flash-sale craze, but MyHabit has struggled in recent years as the one-time popular fashion niche has become less popular and Amazon has prioritized other fashion initiatives.” Read more


First CVS Pharmacy locations in Target stores are now open in Utah  Read the release


Lowe’s discovers that negotiating directly with hospitals is cheaper than going through insurance companies by Michael Tomsic at NPR. “Another lesson was startling, Ross says. In addition to cutting the cost of procedures, another chunk of savings to the companies came from avoiding surgeries that probably shouldn’t happen in the first place. “We’re seeing up to 30 percent — close to 30 percent of cases — who should not be moving forward with the joint replacement,” Ross says.” Read more


Shoppers flock to new Tulsa Costco store on opening day by Samantha Vicent at Tulsa World. “I’ve been waiting for this since I moved here in 2008,” Young said…Jones, who arrived at 5:30 a.m., led the pack of about 150 people who waited in line — with oversize red-and-gray grocery carts in tow.” See the video / Read more


Sears and Kmart Are Closing 78 More Stores by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “The closings will leave Sears with fewer than 700 department stores, compared to 860 in 2008, while Kmart’s store count will below 900, compared to almost 1,400 that same year.” Read more


You Can Already Shop Target’s Latest Designer Pair-Up by Ana Colon at Refinery 29. “Usually, when a certain designer lands at Target, it’s preceded with monthsof anticipation…However, the big-box retailer’s latest pair-up is a little different — for starters, you don’t have to wait for it.” Read more


AutoNation CEO: ‘Biblical hail’ pounded profits by Matthew J. Belvedere at CNBC. “AutoNation chief Mike Jackson said Friday the company missed estimates on first-quarter earnings because of “epic, biblical hail storms” last month in Texas.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories CEO raises $40M round for luxury site

This $18 H&M dress won Coachella

Forbes: The 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned Businesses

2016 Harris Poll: Top retailers ranked

Cheerios Angers Fans With Tweet About Prince’s Death

Today: Z Gallerie opens new TX store

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Tipsheet: NY Fines Wgreen 500K | Ulta CEO +$18.5M | Wmart CEO +$19.8M


Walgreens, Duane Reade to pay New York $500G fine after probe found chain overcharged customers by Kenneth Lovett at NY Daily News. “Walgreens also referred to some products as “Smart Buy” or “Great Buy” even when the advertised price was the same as the original retail prices charges. The probe also found Walgreens and Duane Reade offered up “Last Chance” or “Clearance” items but in reality some of the products remained at a reduced price for as much as eight to 10 months.” Read more


Ulta CEO’s 2015 pay package nearly triples to $18.5 million by Lauren Zumbach at Chicago Tribune. “That’s triple the roughly $6.2 million (CEO Mary Dillon) earned in 2014. Dillon” Read more


Jim Walton, Mike Duke to exit Wal-Mart Stores board of directors, board shrinks from 15 to 12 by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “…as part of the board’s succession planning, it has nominated Helen and Sam Walton’s grandson, Steuart Walton, for election to the Walmart board.” Read more | Press release


LL Bean Takes a Jab at Fast Fashion in First Work Under New CEO by Adrianne Pasquarellli at Ad Age. “When did we stop valuing things to get better over time? When did disposable become our default?” a voice-over asks in the commercial. “At LL Bean, we didn’t stop and we never will.” See the TV spot / Read more


NY Times: ‘Whole Foods Effect’: When Small Food Makers Get the Call to Go Big by Amy Haimerl. “…the first batch they delivered to Whole Foods grew mold…possibly reputation-destroying black mold. “It was awful,” said Sue Conley, who started the company with her partner, Peggy Smith. “We hadn’t primed our new aging rooms, so other bacteria were competing with the fluffy white mold. It was a big mess.” But Whole Foods was patient…” Read more


SimilarWeb: Most Popular Retail Apps (Amazon #1, Walmart #7) See the top 10 list via Internet Retailer


Hudson’s Bay Company invests in new comms team amid international expansion by Sean Czarnecki at PR Week. “It promoted Andrew Blecher to SVP of corporate communications and PR to lead the unit…Blecher started his career in PR at Saks Fifth Avenue about 15 years ago.” Read more


Amazon to add 1,000 jobs in sixth Texas fulfillment center by Maria Halkias a Dallas Morning News. Read more | Press Release


What is Seamless Shopping? Q&A with CEO Doug McMillon via Walmart Blog. See the video / Read the Q&A


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Amazon Doesn’t Consider the Race of Its Customers. Should It? by David Ingold & Spencer Soper at Bloomberg. “The most striking gap in Amazon’s same-day service is in Boston, where three ZIP codes encompassing the primarily black neighborhood of Roxbury are excluded from same-day service, while the neighborhoods that surround it on all sides are eligible.” Read more


Wal-Mart CEO pay rises slightly to $19.8 million via Street Insider. “Greg Foran, head of the U.S. business, saw his total compensation fall to $11.5 million from $19.5 million, as his stock awards were cut by more than half.” Read more


BJ’s Wholesale Club Introduces New Pick Up & Pay Service via Yahoo Finance. Read the release


Upscale Shopping Centers Nudge Out Down-Market Malls by Suzanne Kapner at WSJ. “Almost all of the 40 stores that Macy’s closed last year were in “B” or “C” malls, according to Green Street…” Read more (subscription)


Report: 75% of the baby products purchased online occur on Amazon, Walmart and Target by Stefany Zorban at Internet Retailer. See the sales breakout / Read more Inc is making its own version of best-selling items and companies aren’t happy by Spencer Soper at Bloomberg via Financial Post. “…Rain Design’s experience shows how Amazon is using insights gleaned from its vast Web store to build a private-label juggernaut that now includes more than 3,000 products — from women’s blouses and men’s khakis to fire pits and camera tripods. The strategy is a digital twist on one used for years by department stores and big-box chains to edge out middlemen and go direct to consumers.” Read more


At Neptune Home Depot, inspiration in aisle 16 by Jerry Carino at Asbury Park Press. “He’s extremely impressive,” Gonzalez said. “He’s awesome with customers. They love him. Every other customer who comes in here shakes hands with him.” As they should. Kevin Woolley is a walking, talking reminder that life deals us the cards but we choose how to play them. A brief encounter with him offers a major dose of perspective.” See the video / Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Mom’s Open Letter to Woman Who Shamed Her for Buying Baby Formula in Target Has Been Shared 30K Times

Study: Stores employing beautiful staff may be hampering sales

Walmart Exec Wins 2016 North Pole Marathon

Sales of Mosquito Repellent Soar Ahead of U.S. Zika Outbreak Threat

Bentonville Film Festival organizers hope it becomes Arkansas’ South by Southwest

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Tipsheet: Target Clarifies Transgender Policy | Costco Eyes Masters Sites | Bass Pro Circles Cabela’s | W.Foods Countersues Gay Pastor


Target says transgender people can use bathroom that aligns with their identity by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Target’s position also extends to its fitting rooms…Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said it is not a new policy, but the retailer wanted to clarify its position…“It’s a restatement of a policy,” she said. “It’s just us being very overt in stating it.” Read more


Wal-Mart, Visa move to speed up chip card transactions by Kim Janssen at Chicago Tribune. “Visa says a software update called “Quick Chip” will strip as many as 18 seconds from a typical checkout process using a chip card, while Wal-Mart says it has cut the time of chip card transactions in its stores by as much as 11 seconds.” Read more


Bass Pro Teams Up With Goldman for Cabela’s Bid via Fox Business. “The move gives Bass Pro the equity financing necessary to pursue Cabela’s and makes such a deal more likely.” Read more


Costco Canada is offering free Hepatitis A vaccine to anyone who bought recalled frozen berries via Financial Post. “The frozen berry mix is sold exclusively at Costco stores in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.” Read more


Orchard Supply secures first location in new market by Brian Bandell at South Florida Business Journal. “A site for the first of three planned Orchard Supply Co. stores, a subsidiary of Mooresville-based Lowe’s Cos. Inc., has been obtained in south Florida. The Deerfield Beach location will be Orchard Supply’s first venture into Florida.” Read more


**A message from 2016 Sweet & Snacks Expo – When you hit the upscale wood flooring you have arrived at the Specialty Market! Gourmet, premium, free-from and organic products take center-stage this year with more than 120 exhibitors – an increase of 20% in just the past two years. See the list of gourmet exhibitors. See the 2015 most innovative new gourmet product Chicago’s McCormick Place May 24-26.


Why your Amazon delivery sometimes comes in a Walmart box by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “I feel a bit cheated, which I don’t love,” Lelong, who places several Amazon orders a week, told Re/code in an interview. “Now that I know, I have my eyes more open.” Read more


IRI Announces Most Successful Consumer Packaged Goods Brands of 2015 See the top 10 new brands


Costco in consortium eyeing assets of Woolworths’ hardware chain by Matthew Taylor at CNBC. “The Australian newspaper reported on Wednesday that listed Australian property group Charter Hall and the Wesfarmers-owned hardware chain, Bunnings, had teamed up to bid for 43 Masters sites. A source told CNBC that Costco was also part of the bid group.” Read more


Porch teams with home decor retailer Wayfair to integrate buying and installation by James Risley at GeekWire. “The partnership initially extends to 15 markets across the U.S., including Seattle, Atlanta and Chicago. Customers are visited by local professionals, already vetted by Porch, for the installation and assembly tasks.” Read more


Whole Foods countersuing gay pastor accusing staff of writing homophobic slur on cake for $100k after producing surveillance footage proves he tampered with label by Chris Spargo at Daily Mail. “Whole Foods released their own video soon after however of surveillance footage from inside the store that showed the sticker on the box had been moved after Brown left the store.” See the pics / Read more


Staples-Office Depot Fate Falls to Judge Critical of U.S. Case by David McLaughlin at Bloomberg. “During final arguments Tuesday…District Judge Emmet Sullivan needled the government about why its economic expert completed his analysis about the scope of the market only after the agency filed its complaint…”I’m still kind of troubled by that,” he said.” Read more


The Real Story of How Amazon Built the Echo by Joshua Brustein at Bloomberg. “Telling Jeff Bezos he’s wrong is always a frightening proposition. In the fall of 2014, though, a small group of the men and women building Amazon’s new voice-controlled speaker felt they needed to confront the CEO…The device looked good, its voice recognition software was improving quickly, and even the boxes it would ship in had been designed and assembled. But there was a lingering issue with the name printed on those boxes: the Amazon Flash…” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Macy’s pulls employee guide praising Donald Trump

Ex-CEO of Sam’s Club to speak at Tech Summit

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos charms AWS staff in Sydney

Teamsters recommends members approve new Costco contract

Chinese retailer creates a showcase for imported home furnishings

Alibaba’s Rugby Deal and China’s Sports Streaming Gold Rush

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