Tipsheet: Costco +7.3% | D.Gen +2.6% | Academy Sports Harvey Heroes


Costco August comp sales +7.3% “Costco reported net sales of $9.8 billion for the month of August, the four weeks ended August 27, 2017, an increase of 10.0 percent from $8.9 billion during the similar period last year.” Press release


Dollar General Q2 comp sales +2.6% “Net sales increased 8.1 percent to $5.83 billion in the 2017 second quarter compared to $5.39 billion in the 2016 second quarter…Same-store sales increases were driven by positive results in the consumables and seasonal categories, partially offset by negative results in the home products and apparel categories.” Press release


Five Below Q2 comp sales +9.3% “Net sales increased by 28.7% to $283.3 million…The Company opened 31 new stores and ended the quarter with 584 stores in 32 states…an increase in stores of 18.9% from the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2016.” Press release


Shoe Carnival Q2 comp sales +0.4% Press release


SAW IT COMING – Amazon targeted in class-action lawsuit claiming defective solar eclipse glasses by Alan Boyle at GeekWire. “In addition to compensation and damages, the plaintiffs are seeking a judgment that would force Amazon to fund a medical monitoring program for anyone who becomes part of the class-action suit.” Read more


Uber announces tie-up with Westfield’s US shopping malls that will feature taxi waiting lounges by David Reid at CNBC. “Uber is to have designated drop-off and pick-up areas at all of Westfield’s 33 shopping centers in the United States…The firms said the Westfield malls will each incorporate between one and 10 Uber pick-up and drop-off stations. Some locations will also include kiosks with Uber customer service employees.” Read more


Best Buy will expand same-day delivery to over a dozen cities by Dan DeBaun at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. “Starting Sept. 6, Best Buy’s same-day delivery will be offered in the following cities: Austin, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa.” Read more (registration)


How Academy Sports Became Home Base for Harvey First Responders by Lynn Cook at Wall Street Journal. “As of Wednesday morning, retail chain Academy Sports + Outdoors was hosting more than 400 rescue-team members at its corporate campus west of Houston, with people coming to work in 12-hour shifts from as close as Waco, Texas, and as far away as Connecticut. Academy employees who were flooded out of their homes have also started to take shelter at work. One of the first to do so: Chief Executive J.K. Symancyk, along with his wife, two children and dog Sammy.” Read more (subs.)


Wal-Mart eyes $316 million in Brazil store reforms through 2019 at Reuters. “…to refurbish about 120 stores, as larger rivals in Latin America’s biggest economy invest heavily to retain cash-strapped customers. “We’ve already done about 10 percent of it this year,” Flavio Cotini, Wal-Mart’s chief executive in Brazil, told reporters at the Latam Retail Show in Sao Paulo on Tuesday.” Read more


**Is your brand top-of-mind within the retail community? Get ready – it’s about to happen. Request Eye on Retail advertising information and success stories here.


Hy-Vee announces strategic partnerships with Wahlburgers restaurants and Orangetheory Fitness by John Ewoldt at Star Tribune. “Wahlburgers was founded by executive chef Paul Wahlberg, his actor brothers Mark and Donnie and other investors. There are currently 17 locations in nine states and Canada.” Read more (tiered subs.)


Wal-Mart exec tells suppliers why OTIF was needed, says bar is high but necessary by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “Kathryn McLay, senior vice president of logistics at Walmart U.S…was the speaker at the WalStreet Breakfast in Bentonville on Wednesday (Aug. 30)…Suppliers also wanted to know about the in-full requirement of the OTIF protocol saying if their order is a box short because it was dropped in the DC is Wal-Mart still going to penalize them. “We are not grabbling over one case.” (McLay said)” Read more


Amazon is actually the weakest of the big U.S. retailers, Moody’s says at MarketWatch. “Amazon’s stock has outperformed rivals, but it’s mostly based on the company’s growth story, and particularly the success of its cloud business, Amazon Web Services, O’Shea wrote in a new report. “That potential is overshadowing the superior real-time operating performance of Amazon’s key retail competitors,” O’Shea wrote.” Read more


Former Wal-Mart chairman unloads $62 million in shares by Jeff Cox at CNBC. “S. Robson “Rob” Walton, the eldest son of company founder Sam Walton, sold his shares in two installments Wednesday and Thursday, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.” Read more


Nordstrom warns shareholders of the risks of going private by Coral Garnick at Puget Sound Business Journal. “The exploration of a possible ‘going private transaction’ by the Nordstromfamily could impact our relationships with our customers, employees, suppliers and partners, operating results and business,” the company wrote in its quarterly filing with the SEC.” Read more (registration)


Aetna scoops up rising star from Wal-Mart’s health group to lead Apple Watch partnership by Christina Farr at CNBC. “Health insurer Aetna has hired Ben Wanamaker from Wal-Mart’s health division to lead its joint venture with Apple, according to sources familiar with the matter. At Wal-Mart, Wanamaker’s role involved leading business development and strategy for the company’s health, wellness and e-commerce businesses, with a focus on partnerships.” Read more


Fourteen former Marsh groceries to convert to Needler’s Fresh Market brand at Indianapolis Business Journal. Read more


Amazon slashes prices for its Music Unlimited service for students by Jonathan Shieber at TechCrunch. “For students who are eligible to be Prime Student members, Amazon is offering students the option to enroll for six months for $6.” Read more


Walmart Taps Nvidia for Massive Cloud to Take on Amazon by Barb Darrow at Fortune. “Over the next six months, Walmart will go “full steam” into deep neural networks, using clusters of Nvidia chips, Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdhry says in a note released Tuesday…Neural networks, a subset of artificial intelligence (AI), are sophisticated computing systems that mimic how the human brain learns. Chowdhry says that Walmart is building a “GPU farm” that will be about a tenth of the size of rival Amazon Web Services “GPU” cloud.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

This map shows how quickly Amazon has expanded in Europe

Target’s New Blood, Not New Brands or Stores, Will Bring New Life

If Unilever Can’t Make Feel-Good Capitalism Work, Who Can?

Woman finds frog living in her Target salad

Amazon’s ad business may already be bigger than Snapchat’s

This Spanish Retailer Just Became The Richest Person In The World

Amazon delivery driver urinates customer’s garden after dropping off parcel

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Tipsheet: Target Plots AWS Move | W.Foods Cut Games | Wmart Fines


Whole Foods overall prices still high after selective cuts: Analyst via CNBC. “Amazon appears to be taking a page out of the old Wal-Mart playbook on the price action front that is, announcing a plethora of price actions that on the surface look deep, but in reality only reveal modest reductions,” Gordon Haskett Research Advisors analyst Charles Grom wrote in a client note.” Read more


Target is plotting a big move away from Amazon Web Services by Christina Farr & Ari Levy at CNBC. “(Target) is scaling back its use of Amazon Web Services, according to sources familiar with the matter…Microsoft Azure is among the rival cloud vendors vying to nab Target’s cloud business, said the sources, who asked not to be named because the plans are confidential.” Read more


Grocery stores on Cook County border see soda pop sales boom by Steve Sadin at Chicago Tribune. “There was other merchandise in Stephanie’s shopping cart as well. She said as long as she was there, it was time to do the rest of the grocery shopping…“The Target is up 300 percent,” Licastro said referring to Dr. Pepper sales only. “The Walmart across the street is (way) down.” Read more


FINES, FINES, EVERYWHERE FINES – Wal-Mart to impose stiff fines against suppliers around merchandising errors by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “…the second offense the fine is $5,000 and the penalty doubles with each repeated offense committed within a 52-week period. Three mistakes garners a $10,000 fine and the fourth time a mistake is made the cost is a whopping $20,000.” Read more


Bass Pro Shops donating 80 boats to aid Harvey rescue efforts via AJC. Read more


Best Buy rolls out consulting service at people’s homes by Anne D’Innocenzio at AP via ABC News. “The service, which was tested in five markets, will be expanded to more cities around the country. Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said Tuesday that the service is a way to unlock “latent” customer demand — the company has found that shoppers spend more at the home than they do at the stores.” Read more


…BAD BEST BUY EMPLOYEES – Best Buy Apologizes After a Houston Store Sold $42 Packs of Water During Hurricane Harvey by Kevin Lui at Fortune. “Best Buy spokesperson told CNBC. “As a company we are focused on helping, not hurting affected people. We’re sorry and it won’t happen again. Not as an excuse but as an explanation, we don’t typically sell cases of water.” Read more


Belk cuts hours of some store employees, increases hours for others by Katherine Peralta at Charlotte Observer. “Fewer hours for some roles means that some employees are being moved into part-time positions, and are thus losing benefits like dental and vision insurance. One affected Charlotte-area worker said “several others” at her store similarly lost their full-time benefits.” Read more squares off against Amazon by adding third-party sellers by Francine Kopun at Toronto Star. “Walmart is actively seeking more vendors and is hoping to quadruple its assortment by the end of the year.” Read more


**A message from Hot Shot – There’s no place like home. And when you rule the roost, you do it all… keep the peace, dry the tears, mop up the messes – even squash the spiders. When bugs cross your threshold, count on Hot Shot® brand for practical, easy-to-use, effective home insect solutions that take care of the creepy-crawlies for you – without breaking the bank. Save the Day. Facebook page


OpenTable began a revolution. Now it’s a power under siege. by Stephanie Strom at NY Times. Read more


“A SLUMBER PARTY ON STEROIDS” – Houston mattress chain opens up for those who need place to sleep by Christopher Brennan at NY Daily News. “The stores, which have water and food as well as their normal stock of mattresses, can accommodate hundreds each, and are also open to pets in kennels.” Read more


Amazon reveals 3 university finalists for $2.5M Alexa Prize by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “The finalists include Sounding Board, a team from the University of Washington…and Alquist, a team from Czech Technical University in Prague. Both bots garnered the highest average customer ratings during the semifinal period of competition. A “wildcard team” selected by Amazon — What’s up Bot from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland — was the third finalist.” Read more


Target uncorks private-label California Roots, a $5 wine line by Adam Campbell-Schmitt at Food and Wine. “(Target) announced that it will launch its own line of inexpensive bottles which will hit 1,100 of the chain’s stores beginning on September 3rd. The California Roots label will include five varieties—a red blend, Cabernet, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Moscato—each of which will retail for just five dollars per bottle.” Read more


Millennials have worries, but robots aren’t one of ’em at Fast Company. “Almost 80% of 31,000 millennials from across 31 countries believe technology is creating, rather than destroying, jobs.” Read more | Full study at Global Shapers Survey


Field Agent: Jet Fresh’s grocery delivery has room for improvement “Only 37% of first-time users in the study (n = 19) were more than moderately likely (i.e., extremely or very likely) to use Jet Fresh delivery again in the future.” Video/Read more


Brand Keys: Smarter Back-to-School Consumers Change Shopping Patterns “And where are consumers shopping, early and later in the season? Glad you asked.”

Wave 1: Early
Apple/Best Buy

Wave 2: Later
TJ Maxx/

Read more


Apple App Store’s Chinese Customers Get New Way to Pay for Purchases by Alyssa Abkowitz at Wall Street Journal. “Apple is now allowing Chinese customers to use popular local mobile-payment system WeChatPay for purchases in its App Store, underscoring the expanding reach of the service owned by technology titan Tencent Holdings.” Read more (subs.)


‘The World’s Most Remote Pop-Up Shop’ Handed Out Gear 300 Feet Up a Sheer Cliff by T.L.Stanley at Adweek. “Climbers on the iconic Bastille in Eldorado Canyon deal with heavy winds, pouring rain and temperatures that can rise and fall by as much as 40 degrees in August. As prepped as they might be, they could likely use an extra layer or two on their way to the top of this picturesque mountain outside Boulder, Colorado.” Video/Pics/Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Kevin Durant bashes Under Armour, sends stocks crashing

Alexa-enabled Amazon drones could talk with customers when delivering packages

Ex-BJ’s Wholesale Chief joins port authority board

Rubik’s Cube creator sues maker of knockoff toy

Whole Foods’ staff designed those Prime meat logos on their own — Amazon didn’t tell them to (Pic)

You can now send Amazon gift cards via text message or messaging apps like WhatsApp or Snapchat

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey spotted at store near Amazon HQ in khaki shorts and running shoes

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Tipsheet: Late Night @ W.Foods | Amazon Portland Peek | Taylor on UPS Trucks


Whole Foods employees work late on eve of Amazon takeover, prepping to lower prices by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “Workers gathered in big groups and moved around the Whole Foods store in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood Sunday evening, assessing items across different aisles. One employee told the group, “it’s going to be a long night. ”There were also non-Whole Foods employees with the group wearing “visitor” stickers — perhaps Amazon employees helping manage the transition.” Read more


…Senator questions quick approval of Amazon’s Whole Foods purchase via CNBC. “Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said in a statement on Friday that she was concerned about the FTC’s decision to “not fully review” the deal, which was announced on June 16.” Read more


Shopify’s E-Commerce Empire is Growing in Amazon’s Shadow by Gerrit De Vynck at Bloomberg. “Over the years, an entire ecosystem has grown up around Shopify, much like the one enveloping Amazon. Groups and forums on Facebook and Reddit are dedicated to the arcana of search engine optimization and conversion rates. Developers around the world have built hundreds of applications that merchants can add to their stores, from shoe size converters to supply-chain management tools.” Read more


How Barneys Is Navigating Luxury’s Slowdown by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “It’s a really hard thing to fight,” says Daniella Vitale, a former chief merchant and operations chief before becoming CEO earlier this year of the retail industry’s addiction to markdowns. As for being both high-end and low-end, she says “you cannot do it well and it is absolutely not sustainable.” Read more


Why Amazon Isn’t Ready for Prime Time in China by Liza Lin & Laura Stevens at Wall Street Journal. “Retail analysts say it is largely Chinese competition, and not the ground rules of doing business, that has challenged Amazon’s efforts here. Membership programs aren’t popular in China, and consultants say Amazon’s app for mobile phones—the shopping cart of choice in China—lags behind its competitors in ease of use and appeal.” Read more (subs.)


Taylor Swift teams up with Target to launch glossy Reputation album magazines by Rebecca Stuart at The Drum. “…taking shape in the form of a 72-page collectable magazine, which will only be availbale for purchase through the retailer. There are two volumes of the glossy, which will feature personal poetry, photos and artwork by the Swift, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the making of her music videos.” Read more


**A message from the Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show – get ready for the nation’s largest souvenir show! Browse 1,300+ booths filled with the latest introductions from every major souvenir and resort supplier. New for 2017, the show welcomes even more made in America products, a new Boardwalk section and a special spotlight on Gourmet gifts. September 13-16, 2017. Register Now | Exhibitor List


How Hollister Came Back From The Dead by Kim Bhasin & Lindsey Rupp at Bloomberg. “The brand is emphasizing fashion over billboarding, but de-emphasizing the logo brings risks—it’s already impossible to tell if some shirts or dresses came from H&M , Zara, or Forever 21.” Read more


Inside Amazon’s new downtown Portland offices by Malia Spencer at Portland Business Journal. 21 pics


Here’s why there might be a back-to-school retail slump by Ed Zwirn at NY Post. “School is going to start this year, but where’s the big rush?” says Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief retail analyst. “It hasn’t come yet.” In all, Cohen says he expects the money spent on getting students ready for school to grow by 2.5 percent to 3 percent when the dust settles on the season, which he defines as lasting through the end of September.” Read more


Unilever samples a new type of pop-up shop by Angelica LaVito at CNBC.”St. Ives has sold more than 10,000 lotions and scrubs at the mixing bar, Palentchar said. The store has been so successful that Unilever decided to keep it open for longer than initially planned. The store opened June 16 and was supposed to close at the end of July. It will now be open until Sept. 30.” Read more


Home Depot CEO Craig Menear delivers lunch to a senior veteran Read more/Video


Amazon exec investigated over alleged sexual remarks at NY Post. “Roy Price, the head of Amazon’s TV and film studio, was the subject of a company investigation after a complaint was made that he made unwanted sexual remarks to the producer of “The Man in the High Castle”.” Read more


Hudson’s Bay will review its options after activist pressure, sources say via CNBC. “The review will consider all available options, from the possibility of the company going private to potential sales of retail assets and real estate, the sources said, cautioning that no transaction is certain.” Read more


U.S. Box Office Had its Worst Weekend in More Than 15 Years via Fortune. “Another factor under inspection is Saturday evening’s UFC match which saw Floyd Mayweather beat Conor McGregor with a 10th-round TKO.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

UPS adding Taylor Swift art to the side of its delivery vans

Target May Have Just Leaked The Existence Of Bethesda’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Video Game

Sears pulls funding from student drama festival

Austin visit ‘inspires’ Tim Cook – 4 entrepreneurs get to show off their apps to Apple CEO

Christian Group Sues SPLC and Amazon Over ‘Hate Group’ Designation

Majority of U.S. consumers still download zero apps per month

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Tipsheet: Harvey Havoc | Macy’s Picks BBDO | Bezos @ All Hands Mtg | O.B.’s No to Target


Hurricane Harvey poised to unleash flooding disaster on Texas into early next week at AccuWeather. “Harvey is projected to make landfall along the Texas coast on Friday night as a Category 3 hurricane. The storm strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane early Friday morning.” Read more


…Ugly scenes as customers fight over water and grocery stores sell out of supplies before Hurricane Harvey at Daily Mail. “Photos show people waiting in long lines to check out with pallets of water bottles in their carts and cars lined up around blocks to get gas. One user wrote on Twitter: ‘People grabbing cases of water like it’s a Black Friday sale. Hurricane Harvey is real.'” Pics/Video/Read more


…”It’s kind of hectic, chaotic” Louis Tellez, beer and wine specialist for the H-E-B off San Felipe St., said. at Houston Chronicle. Read more


Big Lots Q2 comp sales +1.8% Press release


Ulta Q2 comp sales +11.7% “Retail comparable sales increased 8.3%, including salon comparable sales growth of 7.7%. Salon sales increased 15.3% to $68.0 million from $59.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.” Press release


GameStop Q2 global comp sales +1.9% (-1.4% in the U.S. and +9.8% internationally) Press release


Amazon to cut Whole Foods prices, escalating grocery turf war at Reuters. “Shares of Kroger closed down 8 percent…Starting on Monday (Amazon) will cut prices on organic grocery staples such as bananas, avocados, brown eggs, farmed salmon and tilapia, baby kale and lettuce, some apples, butter and other products.” Read more


…Whole Foods’s generic 365 brands as well as its store branded pet foods Whole Paws and seafood Whole Catch will now be available at, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now. Fortune article


…Customers can have products shipped from to their local Whole Foods store (not available at all stores) for pick up or send returns back to Amazon during a trip to the store. Fortune article


Macy’s Picks BBDO New York as Creative Agency of Record for Its $700 Million Account by Patrick Coffee at Adweek. “According to multiple parties with direct knowledge of the matter, BBDO participated in a closed pitch that included Ogilvy and Publicis to win the business this summer…The agency also has a direct connection to the Macy’s marketing team. In May, Jim Reath, who served as evp, head of retail at BBDO New York and ran the Lowe’s and Toys R Us accounts, moved to Macy’s as its svp of marketing.” Read more


China’s Grocery Trolls Make Giant Piggy Banks of Wal-Mart and Carrefour at Bloomberg. “They are the No. 1 problem supermarkets in China are facing now,” says Chu Dong, vice chairman of the China Chainstore & Franchise Association, an industry group. “They are harming not just the retail industry but placing a heavy burden on regulatory and judicial authorities in China and betraying the spirit of the law.” Read more


**A message from the Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show – get ready for the nation’s largest souvenir show! Browse 1,300+ booths filled with the latest introductions from every major souvenir and resort supplier. New for 2017, the show welcomes even more made in America products, a new Boardwalk section and a special spotlight on Gourmet gifts. September 13-16, 2017. Register Now | Exhibitor List


Thousands of Amazonians packs Seattle arena for ‘all hands’ meeting by Nat Levy at GeekWire. Pics/Tweets/Read more


Without Insurance, Some Vendors Are Balking at Stocking Sears’ Shelves via Fortune. “It’s too expensive,” Michael Fellner, owner of Montreal-based women’s wear company Lori Michaels Apparel & Manufacturing Inc, said of the specialized vendor insurance…Two other small vendors told Reuters they stopped supplying Sears this year because they could not afford the insurance.” Read more


Walmart CTO Jeremy King will be a keynote speaker at the NW Arkansas Technology Summit on Oct. 17 at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers. by Jennifer Joyner at Talk Business. Read more


Hudson’s Bay says its president of international business is leaving via Financial Post. “The news of his move comes after U.S. activist investor Jonathan Litt warned he would consider a push to remove some of the company’s directors unless it took steps to make more money off its assets…Former J.C. Penney Co Inc executive Edward Record will start as chief financial officer of Hudson’s Bay on Monday.” Read more


Amazon’s social media ‘Influencers’ program opens up to YouTube stars by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. Read more


Walmart Just Opened An Organic Fast Food Joint In Florida by Candace Brown Davison at Delish. “The Wally World off of Narcoosee Road in Orlando, FL, is bucking that trend, putting a unique — and unexpected — restaurant featured front and center. It’s called grown, an organic restaurant founded by former NBA player Ray Allen and his wife, Shannon.” Read more


Fashion line owned by Prada pulls clothes that feature yellow star patches some critics say resemble the Stars of David Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust via Toronto Star. Read more


Amazon brings its cash deposit service for the underbanked to the UK by Natasha Lomas at TechCrunch. Read more


Ocean Beach residents push back against plan for TargetExpress by John Wilkens at San Diego Union-Tribune. “At an occasionally raucous meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council Wednesday night, a crowd of about 100 people made it clear that they don’t want a large, profit-driven corporation in their backyard. A show of hands at the end of the 80-minute discussion at the Masonic Lodge saw only three go up in support of the proposal.” Read more


Amazon’s new ‘Hub’ delivery locker system is already a hit in San Francisco apartment building by Kurt Schlosser at GeekWire. “In the first few days, 90 of the 180 lockers were being used.” Read more/Pics


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Hurricane Harvey likely to boost gas prices for US drivers

Apple CEO visits Cincinnati manufacturer to say thank you

This T-Shirt Sewing Robot Could Radically Shift The Apparel Industry

Powerball winner’s ex-husband was recently killed in freak accident

Amazon building fashionable AI that can quickly spot and reproduce the latest trends

Outdoor Voices clinches $9 million in round led by former J. Crew CEO

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Tipsheet: D.Tree +2.4% | Lowe’s Cut Too Deep | Star Wars Treasure Hunt | Walton’s Donate $120M


Dollar Tree Q2 comp sales: Dollar Tree banner increased 3.9%. Family Dollar banner increased 1.0% Press release


Sears Q2 comp sales -11.5% Press release


…CNBC: Sears to shutter another 28 locations “This is in addition to the 180 Sears and Kmart stores that have already been shuttered this year, and the 150 stores that are slated to be closed by the end of the third quarter.” Read more


Michael’s Q2 comp sales +0.6% Press release


U.S. retailers hit as immigration worries weigh on Hispanic spending by Richa Haidu at Reuters. “Not all consumer categories, however, are experiencing a significant decline in Hispanic spending. The purchase of essentials such as food and basic household goods is still on the rise, but at a much slower rate than in recent years, according to research firm Nielsen.” Read more


Williams-Sonoma Q2 comp brand revenue +2.8% Press release


Tiffany Q2 comp sales -2.0% Press release


Burlington Q2 comp sales +3.5% Press release


J. Crew Q2 comp sales -5.0% Press release


American Eagle Q2 comp sales +2.0% Press release


Abercrombie Q2 comp sales -1.0% Press release


Target Names Minsok Pak as Company’s Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer “Most recently, Pak was Senior Vice President, LEGO Retail at The LEGO Group. In this role, Pak was responsible for leading LEGO’s branded retail channel, including more than 250 stores and e-commerce sites across 24 markets.” Press release


Lowe’s Fix for Its Home Depot Problem? Increase Hours for Customer-Facing Workers by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “This is one category in retail where service really matters,” Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Brian Nagel told CNBC on Wednesday morning.” Read more


…Where will workers come from? “The effort is to continue to retain our seasonal labor from our spring hires.” See Lowe’s Q2 Call Highlights Below


Whole Foods shareholders vote in approval of Amazon deal at CNBC. “Now, completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals…Though, a source familiar with the matter has told CNBC the deal could happen sooner rather than later.” Read more


Star Wars creates in-store treasure hunt by Anousha Sakoui at Bloomberg. “Starting Sept. 1, which Disney again dubs Force Friday, fans of the sci-fi films can use smartphones to take part in an augmented-reality treasure hunt, like the Pokemon Go craze that gripped video-game fans last year. The worldwide Find the Force hunt will take place over three days, starting in Sydney, and will involve more than 20,000 stores in 30 countries.” Read more


If the Fed doesn’t meet deal’s Oct. 3 deadline, Bass Pro could demand a lower price — or walk away by Paige Yowell at Omaha World-Herald. “Industry analysts say Cabela’s probably is in a hurry to be acquired by Bass Pro, as its sales and stock price fall. Bass, on the other hand, could be wanting to pump the brakes on a deal that some analysts say looks increasingly not so good.” Read more


**A message from Hot Shot – There’s no place like home. And when you rule the roost, you do it all… keep the peace, dry the tears, mop up the messes – even squash the spiders. When bugs cross your threshold, count on Hot Shot® brand for practical, easy-to-use, effective home insect solutions that take care of the creepy-crawlies for you – without breaking the bank. Save the Day. Facebook page


Calvin Klein & Tommy Hilfiger North America Q2 Comps -2.0% Press release


For Some Craft Brewers, Sales Are Tapping Out by Jennifer Maloney at Wall Street Journal. “They used to say a rising tide lifts all boats. And it is definitely not that now,” Mr. Steinman said. His firm estimates that shipment volumes declined for 16 of the top 36 craft-style U.S. brewers last year.” Read more (subs.)


Amazon opens its grocery delivery service to Amazon Business customers by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “Like the consumer version of the AmazonFresh service, Amazon Business customers will need to have a Prime membership to take advantage of grocery delivery.” Read more


2017 Disability Equality Index Best Places to Work (Walgreens, Walmart, Meijer) Full list


New Balance wins the largest award ever for a U.S. company in a trademark infringement case in China at Boston Herald. “The ruling requires three shoemakers behind the New Boom brand — Zheng Chaozhong, Xin Ping Heng Sporting Goods Ltd. Co. and Bo Si Da Ke Trading Ltd. — to pay nearly $1.5 million in damages for infringing on the company’s signature slanting N logo.” Read more


AutoZone set to open store No. 6,000 this Friday by Meagan Nichols at Memphis Business Journal. Read more


Home Depot Data Breach Attys Seek $18M Fees On $27M Deal by Kat Greene at Law 360. “Attorneys who scored just more than $27 million in settlements from The Home Depot Inc. for banks suing over the 2014 data breach asked a Georgia federal court Wednesday to approve $18 million in fees, arguing their work spurred other payouts for would-be class members out of court.” Read more (subs.)


Amazon expands to 10 bookstores with openings in Seattle area and San Jose this week by Monica Nickelsburg at GeekWire. Read more


The top 7 startups from Y Combinator S’17 Demo Day 2 by John Mannes at TechCrunch.Standard Cognition is using machine vision to build the checkout of the future. Called autonomous checkout, the technology will allow shoppers to grab what they want and walk out of a store without having to go to a cashier.” Read more


Walton group donates $120 million to University of Arkansas to create a school of art by Jennifer Joyner at Talk Business. “The gift, announced Wednesday (Aug. 23), is the largest outright donation ever made to a U.S. university to establish a school of art, university officials said.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Forever 21 removes ‘Wild Feminist’ shirt from its website

Taylor Swift first single from new album out today

Burglars drive stolen Jeep into Cabela’s, steal 50+ guns

L.A. startup raises $13 million to keep your coffee hot

Canadian e‑commerce surges more than 43% in June

How Amazon’s Nonstop Growth Is Creating A Brand-New Seattle

Tommy John to debut its first underwear store at Philly-area mall

Victoria’s Secret Is Bucking the Bra Trend

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


Heard on the Call:

Lowe’s Q2 Earnings Call Highlights


Robert Niblock

Comparable sales growth of 4.5% (U.S. +4.6%) driven by improved transaction growth of 0.9% and a 3.6% increase in average ticket.

Comp sales of 7.9% in July.

We achieved positive comps in 13 of 14 regions and in all product categories.

Appliances-led product category growth was high single digit comps.

…we are disappointed with some aspects of our performance during the first half of the year.

  • Q2 comp growth was constrained as a result of disruption caused by changes to our store staffing model earlier in the year.
  • …we recognize an opportunity to invest in incremental customer-facing hours to ensure that we’re providing an excellent customer experience…We’re taking these decisive actions.

43% comp growth on this quarter.


Rick Damron

Double digit comps in patio.

(Pro) comps above the Company average.

Comp growth improved sequentially through the quarter but was concerning as a result of the disruption caused by our changes to our store leadership model earlier in the year.

  • Those changes streamlined management to provide better leadership and accountability.
  • Specifically, we reduced the number of assistant store managers and eliminated the department manager role and created the service and support managers.
  • We’re investing in hours at the customer service associate level.
    • We are primarily focused on adding the incremental labor to the weekend timeframes, as well as high traffic area timelines during the week.
    • The effort is to continue to retain our seasonal labor from our spring hires.


Marshall Croom

Comps grew 0.6% in May, 5.3% in June and 7.9% in July.

We’re seeing incremental pressure from our private label credit card program due to increase in program costs driven by higher losses, as well as casualty claims due to increased workers’ compensation costs.

We plan to open 25 stores (less than originally planned)

  • Analyst: So, were those big box stores Canada, or just supply, just curious what — which ones are sliding.

    Richard Maltsbarger: It was a relative mix, primarily within the Canadian market in our Orchard operation.

Full transcript via Seeking Alpha



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Tipsheet: Lowe’s +4.5% | Ex-Target Jones to H&R | Buc-ee’s Throne | Saks Salt Rooms


Lowe’s Q2 earnings & sales miss Street estimates – Comp sales +4.5% (vs. 4.3% expected) at CNBC. “We are pleased with our improved comparable sales performance relative to last quarter, and the strong momentum we built throughout the second quarter culminating in a 7.9% comparable sales increase for the month of July.” Read more | Press release


Express Inc. Q2 Comp Sales -4.0% Press release


DSW Q2 Comp Sales +0.6% Press release


Former Target and Uber exec Jeff Jones named CEO of H&R Block by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “I’m not walking into a troubled situation. It’s good to not walk into a problem.” Jones continued to keep the Twin Cities as home while working for San Francisco-based Uber. Now, he’ll move to Kansas City.” Read more (tiered subs.)


Wal-Mart, Google Partner on Voice-Based Shopping to Catch Amazon by Matthew Boyle & Spencer Soper at Bloomberg. “By the end of September, Wal-Mart customers can link their store accounts to Google’s Express shopping service and use voice-activated Google Home speakers to buy hundreds of thousands of items for delivery. Shopping recommendations will be based on previous purchases. Beginning next year, the assortment will expand to include fresh groceries and allow for in-store pickup of orders.” Read more


Walmart and 9 Food Giants Team Up on IBM Blockchain Plans by Robert Hackett at Fortune. “The industry group also includes members Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Driscoll’s, Tyson Foods ) and Golden State Foods. Howard Popoola, Kroger’s VP of corporate food technology and regulatory compliance, said that Walmart’s experience with the software gave the tech “legitimacy.” “The food industry is ripe for a solution like that,” he said.” Read more


Best Buy profits improving due to strong Nintendo Switch console sales: Analyst by Tae Kim at CNBC. “Based on our field checks and other research, we believe Best Buy should be able to grow domestic SSS [same-store sales] at the high end or better than mgmt.’s plan,” analyst Daniel Binder wrote in a note to clients.” Read more


**A message from Alma Italy – Enjoy the innovative, yet simple elegance of Alma Cookware. Made in Italy, professional grade non-stick aluminum cookware products. Featuring La Sughiera – the thick-tempered glass lid with upper hole allows for spice-adding and stirring without removing the lid. Featuring Egizia – this warm color pottery connects modern technology with a traditional rural aesthetic. Website | Italy-America new product inquiries | Retailers request samples at


Wal-Mart Nears a Pilot Deal to Offer Customers Installment Loans by AnnaMaria Andriotis at Wall Street Journal. “Affirm’s loans will be largely geared to costlier Wal-Mart items like tires and other purchases over $200, a person familiar with the matter said.” Read more (subs.)


Sears employees argue last-minute bid for Winnipeg store should be allowed via Globe & Mail. “My employee group is owed millions in severance and termination payments,” Susan Ursel, the lawyer representing the employees told the court. “There’s money on the table and they don’t want to leave it there.” Read more


YOUR BUC-EE’S THRONE AWAITS – How Two Texans Made Buc-ee’s Convenience Stores a Phenomenon by Peter Carbonara at Forbes. “The latest is now under construction…half an hour west of Houston. It will have more than 100 gas pumps and 52,000 square feet of retail space…The men’s room will have 30 urinals and 12 toilets, the women’s room 28 toilets. Each stall will have walls, not thin dividers, and a surprisingly heavy metal door. And they will be patrolled 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by uniformed employees whose only job is to keep them pristine.” Read more


Amazon’s $13.7B acquisition of Whole Foods set for key shareholder vote today by Nat Levy at GeekWire. Read more


…BRIDGE TOO FAR? – With Whole Foods, Amazon enters an overcrowded supermarket space by Lauren Thomas at CNBC. “If Amazon isn’t careful, Whole Foods will become Amazon’s bridge too far,” Brittain Ladd, who worked on the global expansion of AmazonFresh, told CNBC in an interview.” Read more


SMALLER – 300 Kohl’s stores have been optimized with new interior layouts – By the end of 2017, nearly half of Kohl’s stores will be operationally smaller Press release


“WELLERY” – This is why you’ll see salt rooms and golf simulators on the second floor of Saks Fifth Avenue by Courtney Reagan at CNBC. “The high-end department store is undergoing a hefty renovation to give the Fifth Avenue store a facelift. Since some departments were being moved to different floors during the work, the second floor was going to be vacant for some time. The area will eventually be connected to the first floor by a glass elevator and be home to the beauty department and some jewelry.” Video/Read more


Walgreens’ mobile site slows while Amazon maintains its speed (Home Depot #6) by April Berthene at Internet Retailer. Top 10 list


Blue Apron implements a partial hiring freeze and lays off 14 recruiters by Megan Rose Dickey at TechCrunch. Read more


Sears deal will put Kenmore vacuums, DieHard batteries, flashlights on more shelves by Lauren Zumbach at Chicago Tribune. “Sears began selling 61 more products on Amazon earlier this month. They are currently available only to customers in California, but Sears eventually plans to offer the full line of Kenmore appliances to Amazon shoppers nationwide. “ Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Vice: We toured the tech-food startup that Target just stopped carrying

Nordstrom adds Nike Exec to C-Suite

Trump: We’ll ‘probably’ end up terminating NAFTA

U.S. Warns Citizens About Traveling to Cancun

Hollywood Studios Could Launch $30 Movie Rental Service Early Next Year

Krebs: Dumping Data from Deep-Insert Skimmers

Thieves Rush Sneaker Stores, Steal Thousands in Merchandise in Just Seconds: NYPD

Walmart’s streaming service Vudu hits Apple TV

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Tipsheet: Kroger CEO Q&A | Macy’s Poaches Lawton | Gander Moves | Homesense Peek


Macy’s Poaches EBay Exec Hal Lawton for President Role by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “Hal Lawton, 43, is leaving his role as eBay’s senior vice president for North America to take on what is essentially the No. 2 job at Macy’s. He will oversee all aspects of the Macy’s brand, taking on responsibility for functions like merchandising, marketing, stores, operations, tech, and consumer insights, and analytics.” Read more


…100 JOB CUTS – Macy’s has consolidated its merchandising, planning and private-label functions into a single department at CNBC. Read more | Press release


Kroger CEO Talks Amazon and Ugly Tomatoes by Heather Haddon at Wall Street Journal. “The Wall Street Journal: Where were you when you got news of the Amazon-Whole Foods deal? Mr. McMullen: I was with our internal audit team. The average age is in their low 20s. One of our interns who is 20 years old, the very first question to the group is, ‘I thought bricks and mortar was dead? If it’s dead, why is Amazon buying Whole Foods?’ It didn’t surprise me at all.” Read more (subs.)


TJX just opened its first Homesense store – Take a peek inside by Lauren Thomas at CNBC. “Big crowds gathered outside the first Homesense store to open in the U.S. this past week in Framingham, Massachusetts…Homesense locations will include a “General Store” that sells cleaning supplies and home improvement essentials like hardware, outdoor fixtures and mailboxes — more reminiscent of a Home Depot or Lowe’s.” Read more


Apple and Nike Top the List of Millennials Favorite Brands by Megan Graham at Ad Age. “One company doing that well came as a surprise for Moosylvania: Wal-Mart. Cohen said the company is a staple in many areas, and has done a good job of making itself “part of social consciousness” with efforts like the “Greenlight a Vet” campaign.” Read more


Kroger begins home delivery in Cincinnati by Alexander Coolidge at Cincinnati Enquirer. “Kroger is testing delivery from two area stores: Whitewater Township and Sharonville. Customers living within eight miles of either store may use the service. For $11.95 paid online, shoppers can stay at home and have their groceries dropped off. The service is provided by a vendor, West Chester The Grocery Runners.” Read more


Can Anyone, Even Walmart, Stem The Heat-Trapping Flood Of Nitrogen On Farms? by Dan Charles at NPR. “If you add it all up, fertilizer is the biggest part of the global warming price tag of a loaf of bread or a box of corn flakes. According to one study, carried out by the consulting group Deloitte, greenhouse emissions from fertilizer are the biggest single piece of the global warming price tag for almost half of the top-selling items on the shelves at Walmart.” Read more


Millennial Americans Are Moving to the ‘Burbs, Buying Big SUVs by Keith Naughton at Bloomberg. “Millennials ranked having children, buying a suburban home and driving a big family vehicle higher in terms of importance than living in a major city or relying on alternate forms of transportation in a survey that Ford conducted in June.” Read more


**A message from Pirola – Italian made, designer-inspired ironing boards add spice to any home. Exclusively made in Italy for 45 years, these high-quality boards bring design and excitement to the category. Featuring the Arco board from the Design Line and the Luna board from the Plus Line. Custom colors and designs available. Website | Request samples at Italy to U.S. product connection


Bloomingdale’s encourages beauty experimentation with Glowhaus boutiques by Danny Parisi at Luxury Daily. “The retailer is opening five boutiques at various Bloomingdale’s locations in New York and California. “Glowhaus is a new beauty space for our customer to browse and play in a low pressure environment,” said Stacie Borteck, vice president and DMM of cosmetics at Bloomingdale’s, New York.” Read more


All 50 startups from Y Combinator’s Summer 2017 Demo Day 1 at TechCrunch. Read more


Urban retailer DTLR and Sneaker Villa merge by Holden Wilen at Baltimore Business Journal. “DTLR has 110 stores in 12 states and D.C….Philadelphia-based Sneaker Villa has 120 stores in 10 states.” Read more


Blue Apron hit with multiple class action lawsuits by Katie Roof at TechCrunch. “…law firms are coming after the company with proposed class-action lawsuits, alleging that Blue Apron failed to adequately disclose material information. There are allegations that Blue Apron misrepresented its challenges with customer retention, delayed orders and reduced ad spend.” Read more


Target’s Downtown Minneapolis Store Just Got a Major Makeover—Get a First Look Inside at a Bullseye View. Video/Read more


Costco set to open ‘huge’ new Sydney warehouse next Wednesday at 9 News. Video/Read more


Amazon’s ambitions big boost to Vancouver’s burgeoning tech sector by Derrick Penner at Vancouver Sun. “Amazon has been coy about its ambitions for growth in Vancouver, but the careers section of its Canadian website tells part of the story — more than 300 employment postings for skilled tech-sector jobs in the city.” Read more


eBay opens U.S. platform to Africa with partnership by Jake Bright at TechCrunch. “Starting this week, products from select vendors in six African countries are available on eBay’s U.S. shopping site. The collaboration starts in style, with opening merchandise categories of fashion, art, jewelry, and clothing.” Read more


Gander Mountain to leave St. Paul for Bloomington by Nick Woltman at Pioneer Press. “Gander Mountain’s parent company, Camping World, has leased 25,000 square feet in Normandale Lake Office Park, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.” Read more


$1.6M VFW raffle drawing hits legal snag, halted amid ‘ordinance issue’ by Robert McCoppin at Chicago Tribune. “Having gone without a winner for nearly a year, the Queen of Hearts’ prize pot has grown to an almost unheard of $1.6 million, drawing tickets buyers from far beyond the community about 60 miles southwest of Chicago.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Target and Best Buy execs among speakers at annual cybersecurity summit

This Salad-Making Machine Will Make You The Perfect Salad In 60 Seconds

Coca-Cola, PespiCo and others agree to cap sugar in drinks in Singapore

J&J ordered to pay $417 million in trial over talc cancer risks

HBR: The Dark Side of Resilience

Pre-owned jewelry marketplace TrueFacet now sells brand-new bling

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Tipsheet: Target Done w/Hampton Creek | Fastest Retail Apps | Chinese Ecom Founder Arrested


Target Ends Relationship With Troubled Startup Hampton Creek by Olivia Zaleski at Bloomberg. “There were multiple reasons we terminated our relationship with Hampton Creek and all of the reasons were clearly communicated to Hampton Creek,” Reck said by phone. She declined to elaborate, saying Target doesn’t discuss details of its business relationships.” Read more


Chinese online retailer selling luxury goods reportedly arrested on smuggling charges at CNBC. “Ji Wenhong, the founder of, an online e-commerce website that specializes in imported luxury goods, was captured in Indonesia and returned to China, where he will face trial, the newspaper said.” Read more


Target’s Nicollet Mall store makeover gives glimpse into plan to retool stores by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “This is the most ambitious redesign in my 22 years at Target,” said Joe Perdew, who leads Target’s store design team that includes 170 architects, engineers, interior design and fixtures specialists.” Read more


Facebook’s Craigslist competitor will soon feature a lot more than just your neighbor’s old junk by Kurt Wagner at Recode. “It’s just not sure what those big plans should look like. So to figure that out, Facebook is throwing a bunch of products inside Marketplace to see what people want, including more professional products and services offered by actual retailers, not just regular Facebook users.” Read more


Target debuts apparel line for kids with disabilities by Lauren Thomas at CNBC. “Stemming from the success of Target’s private label, Cat & Jack, the retailer has rolled out a sensory-friendly selection for kids with processing sensitivities. The pieces include heat-transferred labels in place of tags, flat seams, and one-dimensional graphic tees, all designed to minimize discomfort when in contact with the skin.” Read more


New luxury wing at Philly-area Mall a hit by Suzette Parmley at Philly Inquirer. “Maybe it’s the year-round $7 valet parking service. Or the concierge service with complimentary coffee, sparkling or filtered water, and cookies on weekends. Or the charging stations for one’s mobile device or electric car…“Especially in the winter, it’s been fantastic,” Pinzon said.” Read more


**A message from the Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show – get ready for the nation’s largest souvenir show! Browse 1,300+ booths filled with the latest introductions from every major souvenir and resort supplier. New for 2017, the show welcomes even more made in America products, a new Boardwalk section and a special spotlight on Gourmet gifts. September 13-16, 2017. Register Now | Exhibitor List


Retail execs to speak at Code Commerce in September 13/14 in Manhattan (Williams-Sonoma CEO, Boxed CEO, Amazon Prime Now GM & more) List of speakers


Tourism Saved Iceland, but Now It’s a Headache by Nina Adam at Wall Street Journal. “…about 2.2 million tourists are expected to flow into the country of 330,000 people this year, almost five times as many as in 2010…“We wanted more tourism and we worked hard to make it happen….But this immense growth was not something that anyone could foresee,” said Sigrun Brynja Einarsdottir, a top Department of Tourism official.” Read more (subs.)


The fastest apps for back-to-school shopping (Target #2, Amazon #3, Walmart #8) by April Berthene at Internet Retailer. Top 11 list


Walmart Wants to Take on Amazon With Flying Warehouses via Fortune. “The blimp-style machine would fly at heights between 500 feet and 1,000 feet (as much as 305 meters), contain multiple launching bays, and be operated autonomously or by a remote human pilot. Amazon was granted a patent for a similar vessel in April 2016.” Read more


REI CEO, 350 outdoor business leaders urge secretary of the interior to protect national monuments Press release


Build-A-Bear Adopts Share Repurchase Program of up to $20 Million Press release


That drill you returned to the hardware store? It’s now half price at a liquidator by John Ewoldt at Star Tribune. “Even entrepreneurs with no retail experience are getting in on the action. Any hobbyist intent on making “beer” money can buy a pallet of returns from a website such as” Read more


Google brings six-second video previews to mobile search at TechCrunch. Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Jeff Immelt has emerged as the front-runner to become Uber’s CEO

Guess how old the average Amazon customer is

Nasty Gal founder raises $1.2M for her new company, Girlboss

Foot Locker may want to invite WWE star to all its events

Even Amazon Didn’t Think You’d Waste So Much Money On Prime Day

It’s free to visit the site of Dragonstone from ‘Game of Thrones’—but there’s a catch

U.S. farmers confused by Monsanto weed killer’s complex instructions

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