Tipsheet: GNC S.Bowl Ad Rejected | JCP CEO “Father of the Year” | Wmart Free 2-Day | S.Mart Hires H.Bay Vet


Walmart launches free, 2-day shipping without a membership on purchases of $35 or more by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “As a result of the move, Walmart says that ShippingPass customers will receive a refund on their membership, since the program is no longer required in order to take advantage of free shipping.” Read more


GNC Super Bowl Commercial Rejected by NFL by Judann Pollack & Nathan Skid at Ad Age. “Jeff Hennion, exec VP-chief marketing and e-commerce officer at GNC, said the NFL objected to its commercial because fewer than 3% of its products include two of the 162 substances banned by the league. According to Mr. Hennion, the NFL has approval rights over commercials in the big game.” Read more


H&M rolls back new store openings by Matthias Verbergt at MarketWatch. “H&M said it was abandoning its target of opening 10% to 15% more physical stores each year…and instead targeting local-market sales growth both online and off.” Read more


Walgreens extends deadline for Rite Aid merger after price cut by Josh Kosman at NY Post. “Walgreen announced the purchase price will be cut from $9 a share to $7 a share if it needs to sell 1,000 or fewer Rite Aid stores to gain approval. It said it will cut the price to $6.50 if regulators force a sale of up to 1,200 stores. In exchange, Walgreens extended the merger agreement to July 31.” Read more


Wal-Mart Stores approves Furner’s new contract as Sam’s Club CEO at Talk Business. “At the current share price of $65.66, the equity-based stock awards vesting in 2018 have a potential value of $4.658 million, the larger stock awards vesting in three years have a potential value of $6.501 million at the current share price.” Read more


Office Depot hires a new CEO by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. “Gerry Smith will take the reins of Office Depot on Feb. 27…Gerry Smith has spent the past decade in a variety of executive roles at electronics giant Lenovo Group Ltd. Prior to joining Lenovo in 2006, he spent nearly a decade working for computer manufacturer Dell Inc.” Read more


“STRESSED TO THE MAX” – Lowe’s cost-cutting moves hitting home with workers by Katherine Peralta at Charlotte Observer. “It’s pretty ugly in Lowe’s land right now,” said a department manager in an Atlanta store who contacted the Observer. The hourly employee was told Friday he would be keeping his job, though several of his coworkers were not as fortunate.” Read more


Stein Mart hires a Hudson’s Bay veteran as its new president by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. “MaryAnne Morin spent the past nearly eight years in executive roles at Hudson’s Bay, mostly with the retail group’s Lord & Taylor brand, rising to become Hudson’s Bay’s chief merchant in January 2015. She also worked two years as a merchandise manager for Macy’s Inc.” Read more


**A message from GlobalShopas a retail expert, you impact the customer experience and GlobalShop is the driving force behind that experience. Through education, peer networking and interaction with retail suppliers, you’ll return with results to build your brand and create a more effective retail environment. From mannequins and lighting to flooring and signage, GlobalShop has it all. Register now to join us in Las Vegas March 28-30, 2017! Qualified attendees use code GS17EOR for free expo hall admission. Sneak peek at who’s attending! | Website | Networking Events


Under Armour releases first line of American-made apparel by Ryan Sharrow at Baltimore Business Journal. Read more


…Under Armour Shares Slump on Earnings Miss – CFO Out at Fox Business. “Under Armour’s net sales in North America rose 5.9 percent in the quarter, but was well below the quarterly average growth of about 24 percent it has reported since 2013.” Read more


JCPenney Chairman & CEO, Marvin Ellison, to Be Honored as 2017 “Father of the Year” Press release


Crate & Barrel, CEO Stole Trade Secrets, Restoration Says by Suevon Lee at Law 360. “Restoration Hardware is accusing Crate & Barrel and its CEO, Douglas Diemoz, and manager in the food and beverage area, Kimberly Ahlheim, of unlawfully taking its proprietary information and violating contractual obligations to the brand.” Read more (subscription)


Pier 1’s interim CEO taking home $1 million by Korri Kezar at Dallas Business Journal. Read more


Macy’s sells Frango chocolates brand by Jim Hammerand at Puget Sound Business Journal. “The owner of Garrett Popcorn Shops has purchased the iconic Frango chocolate brand from Macy’s Inc.” Read more


P&G cracking down on media shenanigans, ad chief says by Barrett J. Brunsman at Cincinnati Business Courier. “…the media supply chain for placing digital ads “is murky at best and fraudulent at worst,” Pritchard said during the keynote address.” Read more


Fitbit will lay off 110 employees amid challenges in wearable market by Lauren Goode at The Verge. Read more


Peanuts, home of Snoopy and Charlie Brown, up for sale at Reuters. “The move comes three months after U.S. insurance company MetLife dropped the Peanuts characters it had been using as mascots for more than 30 years — a blow to debt-burdened Iconix.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Lady Gaga Will Star in Tiffany’s First Super Bowl Ad

Mom not impressed with Walmart’s response to metal found in cereal box

Flower delivery startup The Bouqs raises $24 million to grow past its many competitors

Mom disgusted to find fetus-like ‘vile object’ in a carton of Aldi tomato juice

FMI recognizes Wakefern CEO for Entrepreneurial Leadership

Walmart store throws surprise birthday party for 104-year-old customer

Sporting Goods exec takes CEO job at jewelry e-retailer

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Tipsheet: Sam’s Ecom Reorg | Costco Mtg Hlights | Wgreen Likes Cigs | G.Mtn Bankrupt?


Sam’s Club restructures its e-commerce team, moves unit under Sam’s Club management by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “Furner announced that Jamie Iannone, CEO of, will also be the executive vice president of membership and technology for Sam’s Club and will begin reporting to him Feb. 1. Furner also created a new chief technology officer role for Sam’s Club which will be led by Hsiao Wang who will report to Iannone.” Read more


Why is Walgreens still selling cigarettes? Shareholders want to know by Lisa Schencker at Chicago Tribune. “Questions about why Deerfield-based Walgreens continues to sell tobacco products in its stores — more than two years after rival CVS Health stopped — dominated the question-and-answer portion of the meeting Thursday in New York…” Read more


Costco hopes to get Kirkland Signature golf balls back on shelves, shares stats on year by Janet I. Tu at Seattle Times. “The golf ball was a real coup for us,” Jelinek said Thursday at the company’s annual shareholders meeting. “We hope at some point we’ll get through the issues we have with the manufacturer and get it back in stock at some point.”…Among the interesting tidbits from the meeting, Jelinek said that 40 percent of new signups are of millennials. But “there’s only one problem with millennials and that’s that they don’t spend much money,” he said.” Read more


Wal-Mart revamps pay policy, speeds up training program at MarketWatch. “The retailer will abbreviate a training program that new employees must complete to earn $10 per hour. The six-month program introduced last year will now take three months to complete, said company executives.” Read more


Several retail chains on verge of bankruptcy after poor holiday sales by Lisa Fickenscher & Josh Kosman at NY Post.”…A fourth chain, outdoor retailer Gander Mountain — some of whose vendors stopped talking orders— just hired financial adviser Lazard, several sources told The Post.” Read more


…Wet Seal Will Close All 171 Stores in Latest Retail Bloodbath by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “The Wall Street Journal obtained a letter dated January 20, sent to staff at headquarters, saying Wet Seal had been unable to find a buyer or get a cash injection, forcing it to close down.” Read more


Former Lane Bryant exec has already landed another gig by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “The women’s apparel retailing executive has been hired as the CEO of HoneyBaked Ham, a 60-year-old Atlanta-area retailer of precooked hams, turkey breasts and desserts.” Read more


‘Drop Shipping’ Looks Set to Go Mainstream as More Retailers Get on Board by Jennifer Smith at Wall Street Journal. “Home goods seller Pier 1 Imports Inc. and footwear chain Shoe Carnival Inc. are among the retailers that in recent months said they would begin using drop shipping to expand their online offerings. In a retail industry survey by supply-chain software vendor SPS Commerce Inc., 40% of respondents said they expect more drop-ship vendors in 2017.” Read more (subs.)


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Tesco is buying UK’s largest wholesale food retailer in a £3.7 billion deal by Oscar Williams-Grut at Business Insider. “However, Monteyne and other analysts flag that the deal will likely face close scrutiny from the competition watchdog because of the overlap in the convenience store market. Booker owns the Budgens, Londis and Premier chains.” Read more


hhgregg Q3 Comp Sales -22.2% Press release


Smartphone orders clog Starbucks shops, forcing coffee giant to revamp store designs by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “Starbucks can’t specifically quantify how many customers it lost due to the congestion, but Johnson said it was the “most significant contributing factor” to the company’s 3 percent “comp”.” Read more


…Starbucks shares tumble on lowest same-store sales growth since 2009 by Sarah Whitten at CNBC. Read more


Amazon to close Kindle ‘Write On’ author community, pulling the plug on story lab by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “Write On was called “doomed from the start” by the e-book industry news site Good e-Reader when the service launched in beta in October 2014…” Read more


Metro reaffirms Air Miles tieup after comments from grocery chain’s CEO about loyalty program’s ‘rocky’ times by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “Metro has reaffirmed its commitment to the Air Miles program after a report implied the grocery chain might be looking to drop the loyalty program in Ontario.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Study Finds This Music Makes Dogs Happiest

Super Bowl glare fixes attention on Texas ‘bathroom bill’

Sherwin-Williams to sell part of business to make way for Valspar acquisition

Couple turns a crisis into a gifting platform to help people in turmoil

Little Girls Doubt That Women Can Be Brilliant, Study Shows

Smart baby monitors could put infants at risk, doctors say

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Tipsheet: Amazon Expands Into Ocean Freight | Costco Golf Balls Will Return | Target Pushes Suppliers | Sam’s Shares Memo


Amazon expands into ocean freight by Jillian Stampher at GeekWire. “Amazon has successfully begun shipping goods from Chinese merchants to U.S. warehouses by ocean, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday…Since October, Amazon has coordinated the shipment of at least 150 containers of goods from China, the Journal reports.” Read more | WSJ article (subs.)


Albertsons hires Disney exec as new e-commerce chief by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. “Albertsons hired Narayan Iyengar as its new senior vice president of digital marketing and e-commerce, replacing Tamara Pattison, who left the grocery chain owner in June.” Read more


Costco says golf balls will return by Zosha Millman at Seattle pi. “Jeffrey Brotman, co-founder and chairman of the board at Costco, reached out to to clarify that though the golf balls are sold out for now, the Kirkland Signature brand balls aren’t gone forever.” Read more


Amazon is now worth more than America’s 8 largest retailers combined by JP Mangalindan at Yahoo Finance. “For the record, that roster includes Best Buy, Macy’s, Target, JCPenney, Nordstrom, Walmart, Kohl’s and Sears.” Read more


Target Pushes Suppliers to List Chemical Ingredients In Major Overhaul by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “By 2020, Target wants full ingredient disclosure on items including major categories like beauty, baby, personal care and cleaning goods on the way to including all products eventually. Some of Target’s new guidelines include the removal of perfluorinated chemicals and flame retardants from textiles in the next five years, and eventually, listing ingredients in all products.” Read more | A Bullseye View


EBay meets investor expectations for holiday quarter by Katie Roof at TechCrunch. “Gross merchandise volume…came in at $22.3 billion, when analysts were expecting $22.4 billion. Adjusted earnings per share were 54 cents, when Wall Street predicted 53 cents.” Read more


**A message from GlobalShop as a retail expert, you impact the customer experience and GlobalShop is the driving force behind that experience. Through education, peer networking and interaction with retail suppliers, you’ll return with results to build your brand and create a more effective retail environment. From mannequins and lighting to flooring and signage, GlobalShop has it all. Register now to join us in Las Vegas March 28-30, 2017! Qualified attendees use code GS17EOR for free expo hall admission. Check out this year’s exhibitors. Website | Networking Events


Defunct Sports Authority’s suit against 2 former execs alleges unpaid loans by Monica Mendoza at Denver Business Journal. “TSA WD, in the lawsuit, said they both elected to be taxed on the shares in 2009. Schumacher’s tax bill was $150,846 and MacGibbon’s was $64,109. TSA WD says, in the suit, said that the company gave them loans to pay their tax bills.” Read more


Sam’s Club shares reorg memo with Talk Business by Kim Souza. “Gisel Ruiz will transition to the role of executive vice president of operations for Sam’s Club as Don Frieson, who has held that role since 2012, exits the company…Ashley Buchanan will replace Furner as chief merchandising officer for Sam’s Club…Tracy Brown will transition into the senior vice president of operations and chief experience officer role.” Read more


Department stores need to close 800 locations to restore their 2006 productivity by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “That’s the equivalent of all anchor space at 200 malls, or 20 percent of U.S. mall anchor space, according to the report.” Read more


Experts urge Fremont residents to keep an eye on the water after Costco chicken plant arrives by Barbara Soderlin at Omaha World-Herald. “Don’t fall asleep at the switch,” said Alan Kolok, director of the Center for Environmental Health and Toxicology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.” Read more


Ex-Costco execs to speak at Organic Produce Summit Press release


The Memo that Walmart Sent to Suppliers by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “(Walmart) sent at least two documents to suppliers outlining the restructuring of replenishment functions. The memo sent to suppliers outlined Wal-Mart’s desire to transform the business for shoppers by first revamping how it operates internally. The memo was accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation with graphics illustrating the structural changes.” Read more


Meijer Brings On Style Expert Stacy London to Enhance Apparel Department Press release


SUPER BOWL SPEND DOWN – NRF Says Consumers Will Spend $14.1 Billion on 2017 Super Bowl “Viewership is about the same as last year’s 188.9 million but the spending is down from an average of $82 and a total of $15.5 billion.” Press release


Craftsman trademark change may confuse customers by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “In a rare retail occurrence, the popular tool brand will be manufactured by two unaffiliated and independent companies, each with its own marketing, pricing and design strategies.” Read more


Complaints force P&G to change Pampers ad claims by Alexander Coolidge at Cincinnati Enquirer. Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Congresswoman Adams expresses concerns to Lowe’s over layoffs

Top 10 misconceptions about Indian luxury consumers

Target to open its third small-format Long Island store this October

Self-sanitizing keyboard creator secures $5M — eyes escalator handrails and pens next

Chicago Welcomes Federal Help on Violence, But Balks at National Guard (WSJ subs.)

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Tipsheet: Cornell Lobbies DC | Wmart Rejects Car Sales Report | Costco Win Slave Labor Suit | Roz @ Starbucks Board | B.Rep. Pres. Out


Banana Republic’s president is out as the Gap brand struggles to find footing by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “Andi Owen, global brand president of the wear-to-work brand, will exit the company in late February, after 25 years at Gap. CEO Art Peck will oversee the Banana Republic brand until a successor is named.” Read more | Press release


Target plans to introduce its own smartphone payment service in stores later this year by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Target plans to introduce mobile payment features to one or more of its own apps, the retailer’s Chief Information and Digital Officer Michael McNamara told Recode last week at a National Retail Federation conference in New York City. It’s not clear if Target will add the payment feature to its main Target app, its popular Cartwheel coupon app or both.” Read more


Costco Defeats Lawsuit Over Shrimp Linked to Thai Slave Labor by Joel Rosenblatt at Bloomberg. “A San Francisco federal judge threw out the case Tuesday, finding that the consumers who filed it failed to allege the company had a duty to disclose the information about labor abuses in its supply chain.” Read more cuts 200 from its California operations by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday (Jan. 24), Lore said, “We’re making changes on the inside so our customers can experience the benefits on the outside. Within the U.S. eCommerce team, we’re approaching this in a number of ways.” Read more | WSJ article (subs.)


Target Goes to Capitol Hill As Retailers Fret Over Trump’s Border Tax by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “Target CEO Brian Cornell recently visited lawmakers in Washington to lobby against the House Republican proposal. The visit by Cornell, first reported by Politico, was confirmed by a Target spokeswoman, who said the retailer was “monitoring closely” the potential impact of any legislation along those lines.” Read more


…Brian Cornell, on the Hill recently to lobby against the House GOP’s border-adjustment proposal, had every intention of skipping out on meeting Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), Pro Tax’s Brian Faler reports. Paulsen’s not just an increasingly senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee — he’s also roommates with Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), represents the same area of Minnesota where Target is based, received more donations from Target than anyone else … and, yes, was even employed there once. The two eventually chanced upon each other, but Cornell’s best-laid plan shows just how intense things are getting over the proposal.” by Bernie Becker at Politico. Read more


J.C. Penney hires head of its Bangalore tech center by Korri Kezar at Dallas Business Journal. “…appointed Snehil Gambhir to vice president and managing director of its global in-house center, which opened in August.” Read more


Amazon launches a subscription service for STEM toys by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “Amazon today unveiled a new subscription program aimed at parents called STEM Club, which delivers educational toys to your home for $19.99 per month.” Read more


PayPal users can now deposit cash at any 7-Eleven by Danny Parisi at Mobile Commerce Daily. Read more


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The Limited shutters its online operations by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. Read more


Wal-Mart rejects report that it will expand car-sales program by Marc Ramirez at Dallas Morning News. “A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokesperson said Tuesday that although Car Saver is a tenant in a Stuart, Fla., store, the company as yet has no plans to expand beyond that location. The Automotive News story said CarSaver is partnering with dealers in Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona to begin selling vehicles at various Wal-Mart Supercenters in the four markets on April 1.” Read more


Metro Inc makes modest first-quarter gains amid food price deflation by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “Sales rose to $2.97 million, a 0.3 per cent rise…Same-store sales nudged up 0.7 per cent.” Read more


…Metro grocery stores may drop Air Miles over backlash via Toronto Star. Read more


Kroger Announces Retirement of Joe Fey, Names Jerry Clontz President of Mid-Atlantic Division Press release


Panel to discuss possible effects of Costco’s proposed Fremont-area chicken plant on water quality by Barbara Soderlin at Omaha World-Herald. “Opponents of Costco’s proposed Fremont-area chicken operation are taking their concerns downstream. They say the project will foul sources of drinking water in Omaha and Lincoln with nitrates and other pollutants from chicken manure runoff.” Read more


Starbucks Nominates Rosalind Brewer to its Board of Directors Press release


Walgreens-Rite Aid Clock Runs Down With No Extension Set by Robert Langreth at Bloomberg. “Extending the deadline “is a matter for the boards,” Pessina said Tuesday in a meeting at Bloomberg’s New York office. “I cannot anticipate what they will do.” Read more


…Walgreens, Rite Aid to go on with merger if not approved by end of week by Josh Kosman at NY Post. Read more


Retailers Chasing Fast Fashion Stumble Under Heavy Buyout Debts by Emma Orr & Lauren Coleman-Lochner at Bloomberg. “Moody’s Investors Service lists 18 retail and apparel names as “very high credit risk.” That’s “the highest number I can remember since certainly the recession, and I don’t recall us getting to that level even then,” said Moody’s analyst Charles O’Shea.” Read more


Actually, it’s Generation X that spends the most time on social media by Polly Mosendz at Bloomberg. “Asked how many hours a week they spend on these networks, 35- to 49-year-olds averaged six hours and 58 minutes. Millennials, defined by the study as those aged 18 to 34, spent 39 fewer minutes per week.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Why Kroger is Wells Fargo’s top stock pick

Amazon Throws Speakeasy Events to Market Its New Prohibition Era Series

H-E-B consolidating Austin regional offices with 6-acre land buy

CVC, Leonard Green stand to triple 2011 investment in BJ’s

Amazon patents technology for drones with retractable in-flight wings

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Tipsheet: Target Tests ‘Foot Pong’ | L.Bryant CEO Out | Wmart Replen Cuts Concern | W.Foods Hires MediaCom


Target testing ‘Foot Pong’ game in select stores by Dan DeBaun at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. “The game, made possible by a ceiling projector, is found near the children’s shoes and clothing sections. Target spokeswoman Kristy Welker said the game debuted at the Quarry Target last year after a store remodel. “The reason behind it was to bring a little fun to the kids area,” she said.” Video/Pics/Read more


Wal-Mart’s recent corporate downsizing raises questions among suppliers by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “Insiders said about 200 replenishment-related positions were eliminated last week around replenishment and Order Management Systems with men’s apparel and produce being two of the categories seeing potentially the most disruption. The cutbacks are believed to be directly related to the retailer’s Global Replenishment System, an expensive investment in just-in-time inventory management that replaced Inforem, the system used by Wal-Mart for decades.” Read more


Lane Bryant CEO out just four months after getting promoted by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post “(Linda) Heasley’s departure “was seemingly abrupt,” Marotta said. “We don’t know if she was asked to leave or left for another opportunity.” Read more


Walmart to sell cars by Hannah Lutz at Automotive News. “CarSaver, an online auto retail platform, will launch the program April 1 at about 25 Wal-Mart Supercenters in four markets: Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Oklahoma City…CarSaver’s digital platform allows car shoppers to select, finance and insure a vehicle through its website or on a touch-screen kiosk.” Read more


Pier 1 activist investor halves stake in company, makes big profit by Korri Kezar at Dallas Business Journal. Read more


Auto parts stock prices drop in wake of Amazon plan by Josh Kosman at NY Post. “Amazon could grow its auto part business by 60 percent, to $5 billion, in 2017, one analyst forecast.” Read more


Alibaba smashes estimates as revenue jumps 54% to $7.67 billion by Jon Russell at TechCrunch. “The primary source of revenue remains Alibaba core commerce businesses — in particular its Taobao marketplace and T-Mall service for brands — and that unit accounted for RMB 46,58 billion ($6.71 billion), up 45 percent year-on-year.” Read more


Whole Foods Market Hires MediaCom for Media Planning, Buying by Lindsay Stein at Ad Age. “At least six agencies competed for the account, which is worth about $60 million-plus…Last fall, Whole Foods appointed Sam’s Club’s Marketing VP Sonya Gafsi Oblisk as global VP-marketing.” Read more


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Tracy Morgan ordered to hand over financial documents in Walmart crash settlement by Nancy Dillon at NY Daily News. “Tracy Morgan must hand over six years of tax returns and other highly personal information…A federal magistrate judge in New Jersey gave the comedian 20 days to cough up the documents…” Read more


Mall Owners Rush To Get Out of the Mall Business by Esther Fung at Wall Street Journal. “We’re seeing a boatload of these kinds of properties coming to market,” said James Hull, managing principal of Augusta, Ga.-based Hull Property Group.” Read more (subs.)


Consumers Trust Amazon & Walmart Most For Drone Deliveries (Target #3, Walgreens #4) by Alan Wolf at Twice. “As to which types of products they’d be inclined to have delivered by air, most (57 percent) said gifts delivered to others, followed closely by hot, ready-to-eat meals (56 percent).” Read more


Luxury stores face a triple threat, as potential store closures loom by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “We are living right now the first slowdown [in the luxury market],” Olivier Abtan, a partner at The Boston Consulting Group, told CNBC.” Read more


Warby Parker debuts first Philly store on Saturday by Suzette Parmley at Philly Inquirer. Read more


There’s something brewing in the Walmart beer aisle, but you can’t call it ‘craft’ by Fritz Hahn at Washington Post. “I convened a team of Washington Post staffers for a blind tasting of beers purchased at Walmart and Trader Joe’s and asked them to write down their thoughts. The results were not that positive…” Read more


Johnson & Johnson 4Q Sales Rise 1.7% at Fox Business. Read more


Amazon’s U.S. Echo sales top 8 million by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. “That’s up 173% from an estimated 3 million shoppers this time last year. CIRP estimates that Amazon sold 3.1 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2016 alone.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Burglar botches his own heist at Bloomingdale’s

Gov. Mark Dayton recovering after collapsing during speech

iPhone 8 Report Claims Biggest Feature Removed

A Canadian furniture e-retailer zooms toward $100 million in annual sales

Best Buy CEO swats down rumors he’s leaving

Man on bail attempts to kidnap ex-wife at Walmart in shooting

Amazon Prime’s GM joins a nutritional products manufacturer

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Tipsheet: Lowe’s New CMO | Amazon Eyes Auto Parts | Kroger Tests Sensors | Wmart +$150K for Trump Inaug.


Amazon’s next frontier to conquer? Auto parts by Josh Kosman & James Covert at NY Post. “In recent months, Amazon has struck contracts with the largest parts makers in the country — including Robert Bosch, Federal-Mogul, Dorman Products and Cardone Industries, sources told The Post…it’s possible that Amazon may even snatch up some of the regional parts distributors…” Read more


Lowe’s Appoints Jocelyn Wong As Chief Marketing Officer “Wong joined Lowe’s in September 2015 and has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, merchandising, brand management and product innovation with well-known brands such as Family Dollar, Safeway and Procter & Gamble. Prior to joining Lowe’s, she served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Family Dollar.” Press release


Walmart began handing out pink slips Friday morning (Jan. 20). Most of the cuts were in Bentonville. Kim Souza at The City Wire. Read more


San Antonio suspect captured in deadly mall robbery at My San Antonio. “One person is dead and three others injured from gunshot wounds following an attempted jewelry store robbery Sunday afternoon at Rolling Oaks Mall. Two other people were also transported to area hospitals with non-gun related injuries, police say. San Antonio Police Chief William McManus called it “a robbery gone really, really bad.” Read more


…One Good Samaritan is killed as he takes on two armed robbers – before another witness shoots one suspect at Daily Mail. Pics/Read more


Kroger Tests Sensors, Analytics In Interactive Grocery Shelves by Kim S. Nash at Wall Street Journal. “The system, which detects individual shoppers through their mobile devices, can offer tailored pricing on specific items and, through 4-inch color display screens, highlight products on the customer’s mobile shopping list. Tests began late last year and are expected to expand in the coming months.” Read more (subscription)


**A message from Fabe – Italian hand-crafted pillows help prevent 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 | Retailers request samples at Italy to America product connection


How Amazon parties: Inside the tech giant’s massive post-holiday celebration and concert by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “Amazon turned Seattle’s largest event center into its own wonderland on Friday night as a way to say “thank you” to thousands of employees. The tech giant hosted 22,000 people at its annual post-holiday party inside CenturyLink Field and Event Center, and GeekWire had a chance to experience the massive celebration among a throng of Seattle-area Amazon workers.” Pics/Read more


At HSN, smartphones are the flagship store by Sarah Halzack at Washington Post. “What I’ve been saying to people is, you need to think about mobile as your new flagship. It’s the place everybody goes to first,” Grossman said. “So when somebody wakes up, they’re going to check the weather, they’re going to check their email. What is going to make them check with you? And it can’t just be, ‘I’m going to give you 30 [percent] off.’” Read more


Walgreens to pay $50M to settle claims that it violated anti-kickback law by Lisa Schencker at Chicago Tribune. “…to settle allegations that it illegally gave discounts to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to encourage them to fill their prescriptions at Walgreens.” Read more


Kroger to fill 10,000 permanent posts via Reuters. Read more


FTC not sold on Walgreens’ plan to win nod for Rite Aid deal via Reuters. “The FTC is also unlikely to complete its review of the deal before the deadline of Jan. 27 to close the transaction, the Bloomberg report said…”We still believe Walgreens will work as hard as possible towards completing the acquisition. WBA has already extended the acquisition date once and we believe will do so again if necessary,” Barclays analysts wrote in a note.” Read more


Buyers, Lowe’s Settle Flooring Formaldehyde Class Action by Carolina Bolado at Law 360. Read more (subscription)


Amazon’s latest attempt to build a friendlier workplace is a new program for employees in trouble by Monica Nickelsburg at GeekWire. “The initiative, called “Pivot,” connects under-performing employees with a team of “subject matter experts,” called Career Ambassadors. Based on a Career Ambassador job listing spotted by BI, PIP employees who opt-in to Pivot receive coaching and “specialist advice regarding HR, performance, and employment issues.” Read more


Coca-Cola, Walmart and Other Big Brands That Bankrolled Trump’s Inauguration by Simon Dumenco at Ad Age. “Walmart: “has given $150,000 to the inaugural committee, as well as sponsoring a ball,” according to a spokesman, per The Wall Street Journal.” Read more


Home Depot Escapes Whirlpool Energy Star Label Row by Kat Sieniuc at Law 360. Read more (subscription)


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Delaware Supreme Court revives derivative suit over Wal-Mart’s Mexican payments

Look at Amazon’s most ambitious, astonishing delivery patents

Retail space per capita in steep decline

81% of luxury buyers name digital channels as preferred means of researching a product

Retail Malaise Puts Pressure on Chains to Shutter More Stores

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Tipsheet: Carrefour Poach B.Buy CEO? | Target Names CMO | HEB’s Burger Drive-Thru | Loblaw New Pres.


Carrefour weighs Best Buy executive to replace CEO at Reuters. “Carrefour SA shareholders could appoint a new chief executive this year and have identified Best Buy SA CEO Hubert Joly as one of their favorites for the post, Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported on Friday.” Read more


Rick Gomez will become Target’s new chief marketer by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Gomez — who previously worked at MillerCoors, Quaker Oats and PepsiCo — will become part of the senior executive leadership team that reports directly to Cornell.” Read more


Procter & Gamble’s 2Q Results Top Expectations at Fox Business. “Net sales of $16.85 billion came in ahead of Wall Street estimates of $16.77 billion…P&G said it expects organic sales to grow 2 to 3 percent, up from its previous forecast of about 2 percent.” Read more


Sarah Davis named Loblaw president amid Galen Weston executive shift by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “Davis was most recently chief administrative officer at Loblaw, with responsibility for supply chain and IT, including overseeing the final stages of the retailer’s arduous SAP point-of-sale software rollout.” Read more


Central Texas H-E-B store getting Whataburger drive-through by Gary Dinges at Austin American-Statesman. “This will be the first Central Texas H-E-B location to feature a Whataburger drive-through and the second in Texas. The first was in Lytle, southwest of San Antonio, a spokeswoman said.” Read more


Amazon job posting suggests plan to bring shopping experiences into VR by Lucas Matney at TechCrunch. “The job is with the company’s A9 division, which oversees product search and advertising technologies. The posting claims that the division is “building Amazon’s VR shopping experience for use by millions of customers on a wide variety of VR devices.” Read more


Whole Foods to Open a Lower-Priced ‘365’ Store in Brooklyn by Keiko Morris at Wall Street Journal. “The first 365 store in the tri-state area will sit at the base of 300 Ashland Place, a new 35-story tower next to the Brooklyn Academy of Music and not far from the Barclays Center, the company said.” Read more (subs.)


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Amazon just launched virtual ‘Dash’ buttons for one-click buying from the homepage by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “The new virtual Dash buttons started appearing on the homepage and the Amazon app home screen on Thursday night…An Amazon spokesperson said Prime members can create a virtual one-click button for tens of millions of products available for Prime delivery. “Add to your Dash buttons” is now an option on the product page of all eligible products.” Read more


Costco agrees to pay $12M to resolve federal painkiller investigation by Coral Garnick at Puget Sound Business Journal. “The Issaquah-based retailer acknowledged that certain Costco pharmacies improperly filled prescriptions for controlled substances and kept poor records between 2012 and 2015, according to the settlement announced Thursday.” Read more


Amazon is creating an apprenticeship program to train veterans for tech jobs by Megan Rose Dickey at TechCrunch. “Amazon and the U.S. Department of Labor have signed an agreement to create a registered apprenticeship program…Through ApprenticeshipUSA, people can earn a salary while learning the skills needed for the job.” Read more


Ads for Google products topped Google search results 91 percent of the time by Tess Townsend at Recode. “According to a data analysis in the Wall Street Journal, the search giant has been buying millions of its own ads and displaying its products such as Google Home and Nest thermostats atop search results, over those of ad-buying customers.” Read more | WSJ article (subs.)


ShopRite Supermarkets Names Brett Wing New President “Prior to joining SRS, Wing served as VP of FoodMaxx, a division of Save Mart Supermarkets in Northern California. He also spent 25 years with Cub Foods, a division of Supervalu.” Press release


Nordstrom spurs tangible shows of affection with personal love stories at Luxury Daily. “One video features jewelry designer Arpana Rayamajhi and her tattoo artist beau Bruno Levy. The pair talk about their stubborn tendencies, characterized by the frequency of their arguments decreasing from daily to every other day. At the end of the 30-second film, Nordstrom includes the tagline of the campaign, “Love is a gift. Give freely.” Read more


Target CIO Mike McNamara Talks Tech Transformation at A Bullseye View. “I’ve been attending the annual NRF show long enough to remember when there were as many vendors showing off the latest in shelves and fixtures on the expo floor as there were vendors selling technology…” Read more


Mall Closures Ripple Through Small Town America by Esther Fung & Kris Maher at Wall Street Journal. “It’s very, very sad,” said Jamie McCallister, a Macy’s jewelry associate who stood behind a glass case of gold and silver chains and earrings as a liquidator earlier this month walked through the store adding discounts to individual products. “I’m just heartbroken.” Read more (subs.)


How Kraft Heinz Plans to Build a New Global Food Giant by Geoff Colvin at Fortune. “In Madison, they still struggle to accept that it’s really happening. On a not-yet-specified day before the end of March, a Kraft Heinz employee will turn off the lights in the sprawling Oscar Mayer plant, and for the first time in 98 years, no one will be coming back to work…” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Heartless crooks caught on video robbing 9-year-old boy shopping at Brooklyn Target

This under-the-radar retail chain will be a big beneficiary from Macy’s store closures

Amazon isn’t the only retailer trying to get rid of the checkout line. Here’s what others are doing

Ferguson Shop ‘n Save to close

Heineken in Discussions With Kirin to Double Down in Brazil

Walgreens to pay $200K, change opioid procedures

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Tipsheet: Target’s Soccer Push | Nstrom CIO Retires | Dament Svalu SVP | WSJ Talks Costco G.Balls


Target makes big push into soccer marketing by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “(Target) is embarking on its biggest push ever into team sports…it has signed a three-year deal to be an official partner of Major League Soccer; will be a major sponsor of the local team, whose players will soon sport the company’s trademark bullseye on its jerseys, and will be the official retailer for U.S. Youth Soccer…“Soccer merchandise — think soccer balls and shin guards — were up 10 percent [in sales] in 2016 versus the previous year,” he said. “That is growing faster than any other sports category at Target.” Read more


Nordstrom CIO Dan Little announces plans to retire as retailer looks to fill several roles on tech team by Kurt Schlosser at GeekWire. “He said the company is searching for a new CTO who will have accountability for all aspects of technology at Nordstrom and absorb responsibilities that previously were part of the traditional CIO role.” Read more


Meet the One Retailer That Didn’t Get Killed During the Holidays by Brian Sozzi at The Street. “If you read the tea leaves, Best Buy not only won the holiday season because of its improved shopping experience in stores and online — not to mention the insatiable consumer interest for gadgets — but entered the new year with some form of sales momentum and a decent story to pitch to investors on the first-quarter earnings call (unlike everyone else in retail).” Read more


Ex-Target Grocery Head Anne Dament Named Supervalu SVP “Dament will lead the Company’s retail banner operations, oversee the retail merchandising and marketing functions, and report to Mark Gross, Supervalu’s President and Chief Executive Officer.” Press release


Robots, on-demand knitting and smart shelves: Welcome to the future of shopping by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “One of the buzziest technologies shown looks to satisfy customers’ craving for more unique merchandise. The partnership between Intel and Shima Seiki, a company that makes knitting machines for factories, allows consumers to customize their own apparel and have it created on the spot.” Read more/Pics


American Consumers’ Economic Expectations Are The Highest Since 2002 by Austin Weinstein at Bloomberg. “Comfort picked up last week among consumers in the Midwest, the most optimistic of all four regions, and in the West.” Read more


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Amazon captures a third of online visits by holiday shoppers by Don Davis at Internet Retailer. “The next-highest retailer was Wal-Mart Stores Inc. at 6.69%, followed by Target Corp. at 3.25%, Best Buy Co. Inc. at 2.93% and The Home Depot Inc. at 2.1%.” Read more


OPEN TODAY – Nike opens “future of sports retailer” – two-story, multi-sport store at more than 31,000 sq. ft. Press release


Wall Street Journal: The Most Coveted Ball in Golf Is From Costco by Brian Costa. “Clinton Svoboda, a 43-year-old electrician in Iowa City, Iowa, said he bought 44 dozen balls through multiple orders on Costco’s website and has since sold 40 dozen of them on eBay. He sells them for up to $40 per dozen, including the cost of shipping, which leaves him with around a $10 profit per box.” Read more (subscription)


Ex-Advance Auto Parts/Best Buy/Home Depot exec George Sherman named CEO of A Wireless Press release


Legoland starts construction on castle hotel by Lori Weisberg at San Diego Union-Tribune. “Instead of a mix of standard and premium rooms as in the first hotel, the new one will all have upgraded rooms with more detailed and colorful decor tied to the castle experience. From the moment young guests arrive, they’ll be greeted by staff costumed as princesses and wizards and made to feel as though they’re preparing for a grand tournament.” Read more


Walmart sued for firing of employee with Down syndrome by Alisa M. Schafer at Herald Times Recorder via USA Today. “The manager I talked to, she said ‘Well, we have to treat her just like everyone else,’ and I was done talking to her at that point because that is the farthest from the truth,” said Stevenson.” Read more


Shannon Johnson joins Pilot Flying J as Vice President of Food Innovation Press release


Target blamed after customer attacked by Demond Fernandez at WFAA. “Dallas police released surveillance images of the suspects who they believe attacked Whitener after he alerted store staff. “He asked Target for help,” Hamilton said. “Instead of giving the help that Derek needed, the help that any customer would need, Target turned Derek into a target.” Video/Read more


Small-town department store defying the odds by Beccy Tanner at The Wichita Eagle. “Her only competition, Eaton joked, is the obituary page. Her shoppers come from Oklahoma, Texas and all over Kansas. Longtime multigenerational customers talk about cherished bathrobes, dresses and other merchandise bought at Jetts decades ago – and still in use.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Beloved Walmart cart man pushes aside autism – community starts donation page for 21st birthday

Here’s why Cramer calls Target the ‘Donner Party’

Obese woman humiliated after pic of her falling off a Walmart scooter goes viral

Kids can play-shop at new Trader Joe’s exhibit at Irvine’s Pretend City

Man, 28, dies after being shot at Kroger over door ding

Amazon inspires ‘oh shit’ moment in the retail world

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