Tipsheet: Costco +3% | Wmart’s Food Stamp ‘Moat’ (Leaking?) | D.Gen +2.2% | Burlington +4.3% | Seattle Power Outage


Costco Q3 Comp Sales +3.0% (ex. gas & f/x) “Net sales for the quarter increased two percent, to $26.15 billion from $25.52 billion last year. Net sales for the first thirty-six weeks increased two percent, to $80.34 billion from $78.67 billion last year.” Read the release


MarketWatch: Costco sales stall in third quarter “Over all for the quarter, Costco reported a profit of $545 million, or $1.24 a share, up from $516 million, or $1.17 a share, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected $1.22.” Read more


Dollar General Q1 Comp +2.2% “Net sales increased 7.0 percent to $5.27 billion in the 2016 first quarter compared to $4.92 billion in the 2015 first quarter…” Read the release


Dollar Tree Q1 Comp +2.3% “Gross profit increased 107.6%, to $1.55 billion in the first quarter compared to $748.9 million in the prior year’s first quarter.” Read the release


Sears Q1 Domestic Comp -7.1% Read the release


WALMART’S FOOD STAMP MOAT – Walmart’s Fleeting Advantage Over Amazon by Shelly Banjo at Bloomberg. “Nearly all of those funds are spent offline, as the government puts limits on people’s ability to redeem food stamps without being physically present…But Walmart’s food-stamp advantage over Amazon could be fleeting. There is a growing movement of people pushing for food stamps to be redeemable online.” Read more


Burlington Q1 Comp +4.3% Read the release


Hy-Vee’s scouting Twin Cities sites for convenience stores ‘on steroids’ by Nick Halter at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. “It’s unclear how many of the small stores the company may open. Hy-Vee’s broker, Tom Palmquist of Colliers International Minneapolis-St. Paul, put out a flier seeking 25 sites that are two or three acres for a “mini grocery with gas.” Read more


Williams-Sonoma tops Street 1Q forecasts via CNBC. “…posted revenue of $1.1 billion in the period, which also beat Street forecasts. Thirteen analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.08 billion.” Read more | Release


**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


Walmart is axing a popular ad-matching tool at 500 stores by Hayley Peterson at Business Insider. “The Savings Catcher app will continue to work at stores where the in-store ad-matching program has been axed.” Read more


Large power outage in downtown Seattle causes ‘Internet snow day’ by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “Seattle City Light said that an equipment failure was to blame for the outage, which hit just after 11:30 a.m. in neighborhoods ranging from Belltown to Pioneer Square. SCL said an estimated time of restoration was 12:40 p.m. but others noted longer delays.” Read more


Craving Growth, Walgreens Dismissed Its Doubts About Theranos by Christopher Weaver & John Carreyrou at WSJ. “A Hopkins scientist told her that his researchers needed to put the device in their Baltimore laboratory to verify the technology on Walgreens’ behalf, and Ms. Holmes agreed to provide one, say people familiar with the meeting. It never happened. Walgreens wound up making a deal that included plans to put Theranos blood-testing centers in thousands of its drugstores across the U.S. despite never fully validating the startup’s technology or thoroughly evaluating its capabilities, according to people familiar with the matter.” Read more (subscription)


SpartanNash Q1 Sales: Retail comp -3.4% / Distribution Sales Up / Military Sales Down Read the release


CHICAGO – CVS, pharmacists to resume bargaining by Alexia-Elejalde-Ruiz at Chicago Tribune. “Teamster Local 727, which represents 150 Chicago-area pharmacists, said it has received an outpouring of support from pharmacists and CVS customers nationwide since it made public what it calls mistreatment of workers without enough support to complete the tasks required of them. It “is about ensuring the ongoing safety and sanctity of the pharmacy profession,” John Coli Jr., president of Local 727, said in a Wednesday news release.” Read more


Smart Tampon? The Internet of Every Single Thing Must Be Stopped by Joanna Stern at WSJ. “Blame the falling price of parts, the popularity of crowdfunding sites or the flood of cash into the tech industry. But if an object has room for a chip and a battery, some entrepreneur is trying to shove them in—and replace common sense with an app alert. The high water mark was reached last week, when startup MyFlow announced the smart tampon.” Read more (subscription)


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Meet The Richest Person In Every State

Bathroom brawl in Walmart puts father in tough spot

Walmart Exec Cameron Geiger Joins GS1 US Board of Governors

This Is How Much It Costs To Shop Organic

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Eye on Retail will return after Memorial Day – Have a great Holiday!


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Tipsheet: Chief Merchant Salaries | Nordstrom Purging Kors | Lowe’s Eyes #1 in Canada | Publix/H-E-B #1


Lowe’s Canada CEO says growth, not consolidation after recent Rona acquisition by Damon Van Der Linde at Financial Post. “There’s no plan right now to bring in the Lowe’s banner,” said Prud’homme, adding that major changes to Rona will not likely be seen in Canada until early 2017. “The Rona brand will survive and will be a strong player for us. There’s a lot of power in that brand.” Read more


…We believe we can become the No. 1 choice for home improvement retail in Canada” Sylvain Prud’homme, chief executive officer of Lowe’s Canada by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail. Read more


Nordstrom quietly purging its stores of Michael Kors by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “Nordstrom, in a statement, insisted that its not discontinuing its “significant” relationship with Kors. A spokesman, though, declined to comment on the report’s assertion that some 54 stores had stopped carrying the bags in May and that another 60 would do so by June.” Read more


TOP 34 – Fortune 500 Proxy Statements – Which Marketing Execs make the Most (Tractor Supply Chief Merchant $1.79M, Dollar Tree Chief Merchant $2.7M, Kohl’s Chief Merchant $3.2M) via DiscoverOrg. See the list of 34


Temkin: Publix and H-E-B Earn Top Customer Experience Ratings for Supermarkets “…while Kroger and Save-a-Lot tied for third place, each with a score of 78% and a 3rd overall ranking.” See the full list


Kroger exec: Simple Truth ‘unlocks a mystery’ of private-label product sales by Steve Watkins at Cincinnati Business Courier. “Kroger CFO Mike Schlotman: “I never understand why people are OK drinking my milk, but they want Windex to clean their bathroom mirror instead of Kroger cleaner for their mirror. Our share of wallet in those categories is a lot lower. I think the Simple Truth brand starts to unlock that mystery a little bit…” Read more


Wooing Neiman Marcus: How Manhattan’s Hudson Yards Landed Its Luxury Anchor by David Moin at WWD. “How did I get Neiman’s to agree to go to the top — we literally designed a project to make sure the top penthouse levels were the most appealing,” Himmel said. “For a department store, that means very large floor plates, and very high floor-to-ceiling heights with no obstructions or impediments like structural columns and elevator banks.” Read more


**A message from Made in Italy – Fabe’s hand-crafted pillows prevent and relieve neck and back pain. Fabe’s Ergo Praxis pillow supports and aligns the head and neck to prevent cervical pain. Created in cooperation with Ludes University in Switzerland – it gets the body in the right position for a good night’s sleep. 100% Made in Italy. Ergo Praxis Specs | Fabe Website | How our Pillows are Made | Retailers request samples at Italy-America Chamber of Commerce


Walmart Foundation president Kathleen McLaughlin on how Walmart is empowering women via Fortune. See the 1:56 video


EX-WALMART PRES SIMON NOMINATED FOR CHICO’S BOARD via Reuters. “Chico’s FAS Inc is headed for a proxy fight with shareholder Barington Capital, as the women’s apparel retailer resists the activist hedge fund’s push to put two nominees on the company’s board…Simon and Chico’s CEO Shelley Broader both worked at Wal-Mart during the same period, starting in 2010.” Read more


Retailers Fuel a Warehouse Boom, Racing to Keep Up With Amazon by Patrick Clark & Kim Bhasin at Bloomberg. “Over the past year, prime warehouse rents are up 9.9 percent across the U.S. and up by double-digit amounts in some large urban areas, according to a recent report. In some cities, surging demand has helped set off a speculative-building boom unlike anything in recent memory.” Read more


…Amazon to Open Second Fulfillment Center in Joliet and Create 2,000 Full-Time Jobs Read the release


Why We Have Jimmy Kimmel to Thank for CVS’ Switch to Digital Receipts by Robert Klara at Adweek. “CVS’ subsequent press release touted Foulkes” “surprise appearance” on the show—but it was, of course, only a surprise for viewers. Foulkes camera moment had been carefully orchestrated behind the scenes. It was funny, effective, and a textbook example of how a brand can seize on the right media moment and turn it into a swell piece of marketing.” Read more


Amazon is going to launch its Fresh grocery delivery service in new markets including Boston and the U.K. by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “It has been 18 months since Amazon launched Fresh in a new city, though sources say the company originally planned to launch in the U.K. last year. It’s not clear what has held up that launch…The new launches appear to indicate that Amazon is going all in on the grocery delivery market.” Read more


New Crop of Companies Reaping Profits From Wasted Food by Stephanie Strom at NY Times. “I’m convinced there’s a business that’s a kind of Uber for refrigerated trucks,” said Jesse Fink, a founder of the travel site Priceline who now calls himself a food waste evangelist. The businesses have a lot to work with. As much as 40 percent of the American food supply goes in the trash.” Read more


Tiffany’s quarterly sales drop 7.4 percent via Reuters. “Sales at the jeweler’s stores open for more than a year fell 10 percent in the Americas region in the first quarter. Analysts on average had expected a 9.1 percent decline.” Read more


Walmart has hired 130,828 veterans since it announced its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment in May 2013 Read the release


Fast-growing online dollar store Hollar launches its own private label goods by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “Hollar– the brainchild of The Honest Company’s CEO Brian Lee, and run by a former Honest VP, David Yeom – is bringing the both spirit of discount shopping and merchandise quality you’d find in brick-and-mortar dollar stores online. Recently, Hollar had its first million dollar month, and raised another $12 million in Series A funding. Now, the company is moving to manufacture its own goods.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Union uses huge inflatable rat to protest Walmart construction in Great Falls

Grocery store frustration sparks condiment empire

Malls boasting a Tesla shop generate more sales than their peers

Why Victoria’s Secret Won’t Be Mailing Out Any More Catalogs

Best Buy’s CEO Has a Plan to Combat Amazon

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Tipsheet: How Sam’s CEO Overcame Death Threats | CVS Pres on Kimmel | B.Buy -0.1% | Wegmans 3rd Largest Open | D.Gen Leaves Nascar


Best Buy Q1 Comp Sales -0.1% “Although we are reporting better-than-expected results today, we are not raising our full year outlook as the first quarter represents less than 15% of full year earnings and at this stage we have no new material information as it relates to product launches throughout the year.” Read the release


Fox Business: Best Buy Forecasts Profit Miss, CFO to Step Down “Best Buy forecast an adjusted profit of 38-42 cents per share for the second quarter. Analysts on average were expecting 50 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.” Read more | CFO step down release


How Roz Brewer Plans To Beat Amazon and Costco by Beth Kowitt at Fortune. “It’s difficult when you are in the baby business in the big mothership,” Brewer said at the Fortune Most Powerful Women “Evening With…” dinner in New York City.” Read more / See the video


…Explains How She Overcame Death Threats “The lesson for me is to continue to use my voice.” See the 3:51 video


…says ‘Good Luck’ to Amazon on Private Label “That might be one of the hardest tasks they’ve ever done.” See the 1:55 video


Tweet from J.C.Penney CEO Marvin Ellison: Proud to speak at BEST Academy HS. JCP gifted each graduate with new suit, shirt & tie. All 45 accepted to college!


**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


THIRD LARGEST CROWD FOR WEGMANS STORE OPENING – 24,000 turn out for Richmond store debut by Tammie Smith at Richmond Times-Dispatch. “The Chesterfield location is the 89th for the chain…That compares to the estimated 26,000 people who came on opening day at the Alexandria store in June 2015, and 25,500 who came out for the opening of the Wegmans in Northborough, Mass., in October 2011.” Read more


Amazon stops giving refunds when an item’s price drops after you purchase it by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “The move may have something to do with the rise of startups that track prices for Amazon customers and automatically request refunds when appropriate…Earny scours a customer’s email inbox for digital receipts, and then continuously checks the price on a retailer’s website to see if it drops.” Read more


DOLLAR GENERAL SAYS GOODBYE TO NASCAR – Matt Kenseth losing Dollar General as main sponsor by Bob Pockrass at ESPN. “Dollar General had steadily increased its sponsorship of the No. 20 car as previous sponsor Home Depot gradually reduced its spending before ultimately leaving the sport after the 2014 season.” Read more


Abercrombie Taps Target, Victoria’s Secret Veterans as Brand Chiefs via Dow Jones. “(Stacia) Andersen will head up the company’s namesake and abercrombie kids brands. During her 20 years at Target, Ms. Andersen most recently had served as the discount retailer’s vice president of merchandising.” Read more


Supervalu makes $1.5B move toward Save-A-Lot spinoff by Diana Barr at St. Louis Business Journal. Read more


RADIO KING – Home Depot #1 in Radio Ads (again) at Radio Ink. “Home Depot held on to its number one position with 64,344 ads. GEICO was a distant second airing 38,904. Walgreens re-entered the top five, at number four with 26,307.” Read more


Walmart Faces a German Invasion by Shelly Banjo & Andrea Felsted via Bloomberg. “It’s quite a change from just a few years ago, when Asda — Walmart’s last remaining European outpost after its disastrous foray into Germany — was the jewel in its international crown.” Read more


Costco Founder Jim Sinegal Invests Millions in Bay Area Organic Fast Food Chain by Stefanie Tuder at San Francisco Eater. “Sinegal has signed on as the primary investor in The Organic Coup’s first round of funding, which raised $7 million…Costco CFO Richard Galanti has also invested in the restaurant.” Read more


**A message from 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo – It all starts today! Do more business in three days than you could all year. Find your next best-seller at the New Product Showcase with more new candy and snacks than ever before. Register now | Exhibitors | May 24-26, 2016 McCormick Place – Chicago.


Lands’ End chief marketing officer resigns by Melanie Lawder at Milwaukee Business Journal. Read more


CVS PRESIDENT HELENA FOULKES APPEARS ON JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE – “Customers will have the opportunity to opt-out of receiving paper receipts for all in-store purchases when completing their transactions in the front of the store. Once the one-time process is completed, customers will receive receipts digitally, along with their coupons and rewards, each time they shop at CVS Pharmacy.” Read the release


Cramer: Walgreens should walk away from Rite Aid deal via CNBC. “The government doesn’t seem to like this deal or it would have closed.” Read more


Ikea sees upside from cocooning Canadians as sales growth surges past rivals by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “Canadians are not travelling like they have done in the past,” Stefan Sjöstrand, president of Ikea Canada, said in an interview…“When the dollar is weak, they stay home.” Read more


Amazon Announces the Most Well-Read Cities in America (Seattle #1) See the top 20 list


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Thieves tunnel into Best Buy – at least $100K worth of merchandise stolen

D.C. Mayor won’t get a chance to confront Walmart at retail conference

Costco files paperwork asking city to annex land for proposed chicken plant

A clever tweak to how apples are sold is making everyone eat more of them

Neiman Marcus Announces Phone Charging Stations Nationwide

Shoppers Voice Their Opinions About The Amazon ‘Experience’

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Tipsheet: Kohl’s Likes ‘Chewbacca Woman’ | B.Buy Employee FBI Informant? | Kroger’s $4 Bil Expansion | Adweek Top 100


Kohl’s Sent a Star Wars Treasure Trove to the Woman Behind the Megaviral Chewbacca Video by David Griner at Adweek. “While Kohl’s hasn’t managed to keep the unexpectedly popular mask in stock, the company did handle its response with aplomb, sending the Payne family several more masks—and a veritable treasure trove of Star Wars merchandise.” Read more / See the videos


Why retailers should not give up on bricks and mortar: Former JC Penney CEO by Matthew J. Belvedere at CNBC. “Many of the stores today, there’s no reason I want to shop there,” he added. “All you see is … sale signs all over the place. That’s not the way for bricks and mortar to be successful going forward.” See the video / Read more


Kroger’s big $4 billion expansion plan by Alexander Coolidge at Cincinnati Enquirer. “The nation’s largest supermarket chain has upped its capital expenditure budget this spring by 24 to 33 percent, to between $4.1 billion and $4.4 billion…spending 70 percent of the money on its national store base, even as it faces a potential new digital threat from Amazon” Read more


Best Buy investigating claim that employee was a paid FBI informant by Jeremiah Dobruck via LA Times. “A Best Buy spokesman said Friday that the company is investigating whether one of its employees was paid by the FBI for information about illicit material found on customers’ computers during repairs” Read more


How TJX Crafted a Winning Marketing Playbook by Adrianne Pasquarelli at Ad Age. “Though TJX’s marketing isn’t particularly groundbreaking or innovative, it does a good job of resonating with the company’s target consumers. In the last six months, all but 10 of the marketer’s spots have scored above the norm in the discount store category.” Read more


**A message from 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo – It all starts tomorrow! The Expo has shown over 20% exhibitor growth this year. More exhibitors mean more new products for you! Do more business in three days at the Expo than you could all year. Find your next best-seller at the New Product Showcase with more new candy and snacks than ever before. Don’t miss out… register now to save over $200 on registration! May 24-26, 2016 McCormick Place – Chicago.


Adweek’s Power List 2016: The Top 100 Leaders in Marketing, Media and Tech (Bezos #7) See the list


Macy’s CEO promises comeback during shareholder meeting by Andy Brownfield at Cincinnati Business Journal. “Lundgren thinks department stores have a strong future: “If the department store was not around today, someone would be inventing it. Someone in Silicon Valley.” Read more


Bezos touts Amazon’s urban campus as environmental option by Rachel Nielsen at Puget Sound Business Journal. “We could have saved money, at least in the short term, by building a suburban campus,” Bezos said at the company’s annual shareholder meeting this week.” Read more


Kroger CFO: Overtime Pay Rule to Have Limited Impact by Tatyana Shumsky at WSJ. “When there’s a general cost increase out there that affects everyone in the same way, I’ll take my chances to be able to outperform my competitors,” he said.” Read more (subscription)


Bids due on J.C. Penney Co.’s campus, which has over 80 prospective buyers by Candace Carlisle at Dallas Morning Journal. Read more


Inside Bob Parsons’ new high-end golf equipment and retail store in Scottsdale by Haylee Ringle at Phoenix Business Journal. “GoDaddy founder, philanthropist and billionaire Bob Parsons opened his new high-end golf equipment and apparel store in Scottsdale to a crowd of pro football players, golfers and at least one comedian/golfer in attendance.” See the pics / Read more


This little device replaces the squeeze test to tell you which tomato or cucumber to pick by Ashlee Vance at Bloomberg. “We’ve all squeezed a fruit to see if it’s ripe. What if you could gauge its exact calorie count and sugar and fat content while you were at it? A startup in Israel called Consumer Physics has developed a keychain-size device called the SCiO that can shoot a beam of light at, say, an avocado and instantly tell you just that.” Read more


Anheuser-Busch wants non- and low-alcohol beer to make up 20% of its global beer volume by 2025 via Financial Post. “Strobel said the rise in the non-alcohol business is being driven by young people who are more socially responsible and avoid booze on certain occasions but still crave the taste of beer. Older folks who want to limit their alcohol intake are also behind the trend, he said.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

HBR: The Emotional Combinations That Make Stories Go Viral

Amazon managers charged with prostitution

Michelle Obama gets her way on nutrition labels

Lowe’s Completes Acquisition of RONA

O’Charley’s suffers data breach

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Tipsheet: Gap Shutters 75 | Nordstrom: 200 Cuts to Go | Blank at H.Dep Mtg | Target Tests Which Wich


Home Depot welcomed Arthur Blank at its 2016 annual meeting by Maria Saporta at Atlanta Business Chronicle. “It was only the second annual meeting Blank attended since he left the company in 2002…After the meeting, Blank was asked how the meeting compared to when he and Marcus were leading the company. “This is different,” Blank said. “We were kind of loud and ruckus.” Read more


Target tests in-store Which Wich shops by Nick Halter at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. “(Target) has installed Which Wich in nine California stores as part of its LA25 program. Target is using 25 Los Angeles stores to test concepts ranging from online order pickup counters to new grocery displays.” Read more


…Target Using California Stores As Retail Labs To Test “Enhancements” by Ashlee Kieler at Consumerist. “Each location features 35 enhancements that include, among other things, stylish apparel fixtures, better-lit fresh produce sections, an emphasis on organic products, service stations expedited online order pick ups, and department specialists.” See the pics / Read more


Gap closes 75 stores outside North America via USA Today. “The closures include 53 Old Navy stores in Japan, Gap said.” Read more


…Gap Q1 Comp Sales -5.0% Read the release


Nordstrom has cut about 200 jobs and there’s another 200 cuts coming by Coral Garnick at Puget Sound Business Journal. “During Nordstrom’s annual shareholder meeting Thursday the company said it has cut “just about half” of the roughly 400 positions it plans to cut in Seattle by the end of July.” Read more


Nordstrom Expands Loyalty Program Read the release


Inside the New Apple Retail Store Design by Alex Webb at Bloomberg. “The flagship location, opening Saturday on San Francisco’s Union Square, boasts 40-foot-tall doors opening onto the square and comprises five departments, or what Apple prefers to call “features.”.” See the pics / Read more


**A message from 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo – Last Chance to Register! The Expo has shown over 20% exhibitor growth this year. More exhibitors mean more new products for you! Do more business in three days at the Expo than you could all year. Find your next best-seller at the New Product Showcase with more new candy and snacks than ever before. Don’t miss out… register now to save over $200 on registration! May 24-26, 2016 McCormick Place – Chicago.


Macy’s workers prepare to strike over pay, health benefits by Kerry Burke & Reuven Blau at NY Daily News. “Midtown, Queens, Bronx and White Plains store employees authorized a strike if a contract is not negotiated by June 15. Their contract expired May 1.” Read more


Shoe Carnival Q1 Comp Sales +2.7% Read the release


HOW DID THE BIKES GET INTO COSTCO MYSTERY – ASI investigating how Costco got some SE Bikes via Bicycle Retailer. “Unfortunately this is a pretty common occurrence with this particular retailer and many brands have shown up there,” said Simone. ” This type of sale violates the SE dealer/distributor agreement and will lead to the termination of this dealer or distributor.” Read more


Former Saks CEO on CNBC: Big retailers must ‘fundamentally transform’ by Emily Balan at CNBC. “I think the big stores — like the Macy’s 34th Street, the Saks on Fifth Ave — they will be fine. They’re going to be fundamental to the idea of providing the experience, but they’ve got to change.” See the video / Read more


Sleep Number Opens 500th U.S. Store Read the release


Wal-Mart’s CEO calls e-commerce growth too slow by Sandra Guy at Internet Retailer. “The retailer’s global e-commerce sales grew 7% in fiscal Q1 2017.” Read more


Ross Stores Q1 Comp Sales +2.0% Read the release


The average age for a child getting their first smartphone is now 10.3 years by Jay Donovan at TechCrunch. “Tablets have surged from 26% to 55% usage as kids’ device of choice during car rides. Smartphones trail at 45%…64% of kids have access to the Internet via their own laptop or tablet, compared to just 42% in 2012.” Read more


Hibbett Sports Q1 Comp Sales +1.1% Read the release


Just when you thought the ‘Frozen’ craze was over… by Michael Riedel at NY Post. “Break out your tap shoes, Elsa, you’re coming to Broadway!…The Walt Disney Co. held a top-secret reading of the stage version of “Frozen” last week — and word around the Magic Kingdom is that the show has the potential to be a “Lion King”-size blockbuster.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

P&G employee was on missing EgyptAir flight

This Wal-Mart tactic should send shivers across retail

Kroger employees at 41 stores vote to go on strike

Retailers Win Big in Idaho Potato Commission Contest

‘Today’ staff at war over Natalie Morales’ dressing room

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Tipsheet: Wmart Q1 Beats Street | Dick’s Warns on Q2 | Satellites See Fewer Cars at Target


Walmart US Q1 Comp Sales +1.0% “…driven by the sixth consecutive quarter of positive traffic, up 1.5%. Neighborhood Market comp sales increased approximately 7.1%. Sam’s Club comp (ex.fuel) +0.1%…
‘We expect (Q2) comp sales for Walmart U.S. to be about +1.0 percent, and Sam’s Club, without fuel, to be slightly positive for the 13-week period ending July 29, 2016’ added Biggs.” Read the release


…CNBC Headline: Wal-Mart profit, revenue beat expectations; US sales up more than expected Read more


Dick’s Sporting Goods Q1 Comp Sales +0.5% “eCommerce penetration for the first quarter of 2016 was 9.2% of total net sales, compared to 8.5% during the first quarter of 2015…Consolidated same store sales are currently expected to be in the range of negative 4.0% to negative 1.0% in the second quarter of 2016, as compared to a 1.2% increase in the second quarter of 2015.” Read the release


…Fox Business Headline: Dick’s Sporting Goods Shares Drop After Downbeat Guidance Read more


Target investors file lawsuit over failed Canadian expansion by Jim Hammerand at St.Paul/Minneapolis Business Journal. “The Police Retirement System of St. Louis filed a federal securities lawsuit in Minnesota’s U.S. District Court Tuesday against Target, Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan and former CEO Gregg Steinhafel. Read more / See the complaint


Customers say Walmart-brand prepaid debit cards aren’t working, cutting off access to funds by James Rufus Koren at LA Times. “Takisa Watkins, a Detroit security guard, said her card was declined at stores and ATMs on Monday and Tuesday. She was able to make a small purchase at a 7-Eleven on Wednesday, but she still can’t get cash from an ATM….”I can’t get cash off the card, and I can’t verify how much cash is on the card,” she said. “The late fees are adding up. It’s not the landlord’s fault I can’t pay, but it’s not my fault either.” Read more


**A message from 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo – Last Chance to Register! The Expo has shown over 20% exhibitor growth this year. More exhibitors mean more new products for you! Do more business in three days at the Expo than you could all year. Find your next best-seller at the New Product Showcase with more new candy and snacks than ever before.  Don’t miss out… register now to save over $200 on registration! May 24-26, 2016 McCormick Place – Chicago.


The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2016 (Amit Agarwal at Amazon #10…) at Fast Company. See the list


Target struggles to attract quick-trip shoppers by Nick Halter at St.Paul/Minneapolis Business Journal. “While guests generally maintained their level of larger, pantry-stocking visits, we saw a slowdown in the growth of smaller, convenience trips,” Cornell told investors…“That’s the big wild card and we don’t know what’s causing it,” said Brian Yarbrough, an analyst for Edward Jones.” Read more


Luxury home retailer Pirch debuts this Saturday in Manhattan by Teresa Novellino at New York Business Journal. “The store sells brands such as Sub-Zero, Wolf, Miele, La Cornue, Thermador, Samsung, Bertazzoni, Gessi, ROHL, Kalamazoo Outdoor, Lynx Grills, Viking and more…For French luxury appliance brand La Cornue, which makes ranges and ovens by hand in a Paris atelier, starting prices for single and double-cavity ovens are $21,000 and $35,000, respectively. Cooktops begin at $8,000.” See the 21 store pics / Read more


Bezos slams Trump after anti-trust criticism by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. Bezos: “If someone wants to come and look at how we pay taxes … people are probably doing that all the time. It’s our job to do that right so that we can pass with flying colors that kind of scrutiny.” Read more


SHUTTERED – Sports Authority going-out-of-business sales will start before Memorial Day by Mark Harden at Denver Business Journal. “Sports Authority now plans to close all its 450 remaining stores…Going-out-of-business sales at stores where selloffs are not already underway will start about May 25 and end about Aug. 31.” Read more


Lowe’s CEO discusses company’s ‘core values’ of diversity & inclusion by Katherine Peralta at Charlotte Observer. “(CEO Robert) Niblock added that the (HB2) law hasn’t affected recruiting efforts at its Mooresville headquarters or at its North Carolina stores. “There’s nothing we’ve seen that has been a discernible impact coming from the media attention around HB2,” he said.” Read more


CLAIM – Target’s stance on bathroom debate drives business to Walmart by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “We observed a noticeable fall off in traffic at Target during the last week in April and a meaningful pickup at Walmart during that same time,” said Richard Chmiel, chief executive of RS Metrics, which uses satellites to monitor thousands of retail parking lots across the country in order to identify changing business trends.” Read more


Amazon’s fulfillment services will command premium prices in Q4 by Allison Enright at Internet Retailer. “For October Amazon will charge merchants who use its fulfillment services 54 cents per cubic foot to store standard-size products…But in November and December, the corresponding fee will be $2.25 per cubic foot for standard size products.” Read more


Seeking Alpha: Q1 Earnings Call Transcripts Target | Lowe’s


Kroger Spokesman Named CEO of Indiana Foodbank by Maureen Gilmer at Indy Star. Read more


Home Depot worker wears ‘America Was Never Great’ hat, drawing outrage and death threats by Reuven Blau at NY Daily News. “Lake, a Bernie Sanders backer, said she plans to wear the hat again, despite getting death threats and other nasty missives.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Menorah meltdowns prompt Target to recall 2,600 of the acrylic items

Jelly Belly family sued after CEO’s WWII tank fatally crushes 54-year-old employee at family reunion

Driver of NFL player says he was tossed from Neiman Marcus because he’s black

Supplier points at Costco for earnings miss

Gen Z Panel at Shoptalk Likes Brick & Mortar Stores

NY comptroller: Best Buy, Nordstrom to pursue renewables

Investigation: Fertilizer violations at Home Depot, Lowe’s stores

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Tipsheet: Target +1.2% | Lowe’s US +7.5% | Krebs: “Target didn’t have the butts in the seats” | Bay Area Amazon Drive-Up


Target Q1 Comp Sales +1.2% “Comparable digital channel sales increased 23 percent…First quarter comparable sales in signature categories (Style, Baby, Kids and Wellness) grew more than three times as fast as the company average. The first quarter marked Target’s sixth consecutive quarter of traffic growth, reflecting increases in both stores and digital channels.” Read the release


Fox Business: Target Delivers Mixed 1Q Results “Earnings stood at $1.29 per share in the first quarter ended on April 30. Analysts on average were expecting $1.20 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Sales at stores open for at least a year rose 1.2 percent, less than the market consensus of 1.6 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.” Read more


Lowe’s Q1 Comp Sales +7.3% / US +7.5% “Lowe’s reported net earnings of $884 million for the quarter ended April 29, 2016, a 31.4 percent increase over the same period a year ago.” Read the release


CNBC: Lowe’s Earnings & Revenue Beat Analysts’ Expectations “Lowe’s posted first-quarter earnings per share of 98 cents…Analysts had expected Lowe’s to report earnings of about 85 cents a share on $14.87 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters. Sales at stores open more than 13 months rose 7.3 percent, well above the 4.3 percent growth expected by analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix.” Read more


Target names Nordstrom executive Mark Tritton as chief merchandising officer by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “He starts June 5…Target also said Tuesday that Jason Goldberger, president of, will join the retailer’s C-Suite in the newly created position of chief digital officer.” Read more


… Q&A with Mark Tritton via A Bullseye View. “My family and I (Mark and his wife have three kids) have always loved adventures. We’ve lived in different cities, in different states, in different countries. We like to consider ourselves journey takers. For us, the Midwest was a bit unknown, and there’s an excitement to that – a curiosity that we get to explore.” Read more


…Kathee Tesija Departs by Evan Ramstad at Star Tribune. Read more


Bay Area: Amazon planning drive-up grocery store (Next to a new Orchard Supply Hardware) by Nathan Donato-Weinstein at Silicon Valley Business Journal. “…architects are working on an identical concept in San Carlos, at a site at 380 Industrial Road. Notably, public records also directly connect Amazon to the site where the project is planned, providing the first direct proof that it is, in fact, Amazon that is behind the effort.” Read more


**A message from 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo – The Expo is Sold Out and Debuts Next Week! 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. Don’t miss the one place where more confectionery and snack retailers and manufacturers come together every year. May 24-26, McCormick Place – Chicago. Exhibitor List | 2016 New Exhibitors | Retail execs on the taste panel | Website


Alibaba’s Jack Ma drops out of IACC conference in spat over anti-counterfeiting efforts by Haze Fan at CNBC. “The Chinese e-commerce giant also embarked on a media campaign in China, in which it trumpeted its fakes-busting success and accused the IACC of being “kidnapped by the personal interests” of some of its members.” Read more


Liquidators win at Sports Authority bankruptcy auction by Mark Harden at Denver Business Journal. “The Wall Street Journal reports that the winning liquidation team includes Tiger Capital Group, Hilco Global and Gordon Brothers.” Read more | WSJ article (subs.)


Retailers swap ideas on coping with behemoth Amazon by Angel Gonzalez at Seattle Times. “You’re crazy if you compete against Amazon and you don’t recognize they are bigger, stronger, faster,” said Scott Thompson, the CEO at online shopping service ShopRunner and former head of Yahoo. “They’re playing their sport on their field with their referees and their fans.” Read more


Krebs: Target “Didn’t Have the Butts in the Seats” to Stop Cyberthieves by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Brian Krebs, the cybercrime journalist who first broke the story of Target Corp.’s 2013 data breach, stressed the importance of security professionals when he delivered the keynote lecture Tuesday at the Secure360 Twin Cities Conference. “There’s no substitute for the human,” he said.” Read more


Amazon’s Shareholder Meeting…

Jeff Bezos: Amazon’s goal is to make it ‘irresponsible’ to not be a Prime member by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “You still need a beginner’s mind,” Bezos said. “So, you need all of that domain knowledge and expertise, but you still need to be able to step back and look at something as if it’s your first day on the job. That is so hard and some people are good at it, so you can select for that.” Read more


Home Depot’s Q1 Earnings Call Transcript via Seeking Alpha


Millions more Americans to be eligible for overtime pay by Paul Davidson at USA Today. “Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said the salary threshold was originally intended to exempt high-paid executives but instead has denied overtime to low-level retail supervisors and entry-level office workers who often toil 50 to 70 hours a week.” Read more


San Francisco: First U.S. city to require health warnings on advertisements for soda and other sugar-added drinks by Mike Esterl at WSJ. Read more (subscription)


Tipsheet Extra Stories

How Target’s digital chief plans to partner with startups and bring Target into the internet age

‘Make a grocery list’: Feds teach people how to shop for food

Gap’s CEO says Amazon could be a channel to reach customers

Office Depot CEO: ‘It’s been a long and difficult 15 months’

Burberry Wants to Cut Its Operating Costs by 10%

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Tipsheet: Ex-JCP CEO Says His Plan Was Better | H.Depot US +7.4% | TJX +7%


Home Depot Q1 Comp Sales +6.5% / US Comp +7.4% “Home Depot reported sales of $22.8 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2016, a 9.0 percent increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2015.” Read the release


BEATS STREET – Home Depot’s Q1 Earnings Top Expectations via Fox Business. “Net income rose to $1.80 billion, or $1.44 per share in the quarter…Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.36 per share and revenue of $22.39 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.” Read more


TJX Q1 Comp Sales +7% “Net sales for the first quarter of Fiscal 2017 increased 10% to $7.5 billion and consolidated comparable store sales increased 7% over last year’s 5% increase. Net income for the first quarter was $508 million.” Read the release


ShopTalk BIG TALK – Ex-CEO Ron Johnson Says J.C. Penney Should Have Stuck With His Plan by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “I still think if we had continued on, the company would have been a lot better than this painful u-turn where they’re trying to find growth from a new baseline” (Ron) Johnson said.” Read more


Hudson’s Bay to open up to 20 new stores in the Netherlands via The Globe & Mail. “The company said it is in the process of finalizing long-term leases and expected to open the first locations in the summer of 2017 under the Hudson’s Bay and Saks Off 5th banners.” Read more


DE-LAY-OFF: MCX – big retail’s answer to Apple Pay – announces layoffs and yet another product delay by Noah Kulwin & Jason Del Rey at Recode. “MCX will postpone a nationwide rollout of its CurrentC application…As a result, MCX will need fewer resources. This change has resulted in staff reduction of approximately 30 employees.” 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 | Rated a Top 5 New Product | Website | Retailers request a sample pack at


Pastor to drop lawsuit against Whole Foods over anti-gay slur on cake by Claudia Grisales & Phillip Jankowski at American-Statesman. “After receiving news that Brown was ending his lawsuit Monday, Whole Foods released a statement saying the company was ending its counter suit and that it was “very pleased that the truth has come to light.” Read more


Walmart Introduces Walmart Pay in Texas and Arkansas


…early customer reviews mixed by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “Checking out a small purchase at a Neighborhood Market and a Supercenter in Bentonville the cashiers in both cases did not know how it worked. We wanted to activate the gift card first, and pay the residual with the debit card, but when trying to scan the Walmart Pay code at the register the service would not connect.” Read more


Walmart Is Trying to Make Generic Drugs Cheaper via Fortune.” Read more | Press release


The Future Of Shopping Just Opened In This Tiny Midwestern Town by Jesse Hirsch & Alicia Kennedy at Good. “For real disruption, look no farther than Farmhouse Market, posted up in humble New Prague, Minnesota (population 7,800.)…You might picture something like this launching in San Francisco, with ample stock of KIND bars and goji berries. But this is rural Americana. Members are given keycards that allow them to shop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Read more


Ex-Walmart CIO Joins Kimberly-Clark by Steven Norton at WSJ. “Suja Chandrasekaran, former global chief technology officer and chief data officer at Wal-Mart Stores, has joined Kimberly-Clark as chief information officer.” Read more (subscription)


Amazon Brings Free Food Delivery To Manhattan & Dallas by Leena Rao at Fortune. “Prime Now (members) will be able to get meals from over 350 Manhattan restaurants delivered to their doorsteps within an hour, the company said on Tuesday.” Read more | Manhattan list of restaurants | Dallas list of restaurants


Tyga is selling a $1,200 jacket at Saks, says people will buy it because it’s ‘art’ by Nicole Bitette at NY Daily News. “It’s like, ‘Yo, do you love me that much? Do you understand my art that much that you’re willing to pay?'” Read more


BIG VOICE – Amazon Wants Alexa to Take Control of Your Smart Home by Greg Bensinger at WSJ. “Voice is just so natural, it’s much quicker than typing,” said Howard Morgan, a partner at venture firm First Round Capital, whose investments include Uber Technologies Inc. and food-delivery startup BlueApron Inc. “We’re encouraging our portfolio companies to consider using Alexa; simply, it removes one barrier to getting people to use your service.” Read more (subscription)


**A message from The 2016 National Stationery Show – We’re open for business today and tomorrow! The ONLY stationery market in North America! May 15-18 at Javits Center. More than 800 exhibitors. Show categories | Website | Register now


A sneak peek at Warby Parker’s soon-to-open Brooklyn store by Teresa Novellino at New York Business Journal. See the pics / Read more


The Post Office Almost Delivered Your First E-Mail by Devin Leonard at Bloomberg. “There’s a reason few people remember E-COM. The Postal Rate Commission, which had to approve it, subjected Johnson’s proposal to a contentious 15-month review. “I spent 20 days on the witness stand,” Johnson says…” Read more


Safeway shopper slips in laundry determent; lawyers allege corporate cover-up; Portland jury awards $1.6 million by Aimee Green at The Oregonian. “Jurors said they were taken aback by discrepancies in the case presented by Safeway, and that the company didn’t appear to learn from Armstrong-Stevenson’s fall: It didn’t develop a coordinated spill-response policy to quickly cordon off and clean up spills…” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Woman wins lottery – decides to be Walmart greeter

Walmart truck driver wins $10 million lottery jackpot – decides to go to Hawaii

Target conducting food experiments in Boston, San Fran and Edina

Coca-Cola’s Dream – Have a Bottle the Consumer Can Eat

4.5 foot Copperhead snake bites person in Lowe’s store

Giant Eagle President/COO to Retire Head Exits to Join Digital Agency

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