Tipsheet: Viking Cruises Dumps Costco | Target 16.9% Higher | Best Buy Free Ship


Amazon slashes seller fees on items priced $15 or less to try to improve its grocery selection online by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Amazon previously charged 15 percent on all grocery items, but will now charge only 8 percent on the lower-priced goods… “To help you list more products and keep prices competitive, we are offering you a limited-time referral fee discount on Grocery products,” the email said, according to a copy forwarded to Recode. “This fee promotion starts at 12:00 a.m. October 15, 2017 (PST), and will run through 11:59 p.m. October 14, 2018 (PST).” Read more


Wal-Mart’s U.K. CEO Swap Can’t Cure a Sales Struggle by Andrea Felsted at Bloomberg. “The U.K. arm of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Monday appointed Roger Burnley as chief executive officer, taking over from Sean Clarke.” Read more


Profitero looks at 52,000 products across 13 categories to compare prices between Amazon, Walmart, and Target by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “Wal-Mart’s prices were 2.9% higher than Amazon’s…Target was 16.9% higher on average than Amazon for the same item, while Jet prices averaged 12.3% more expensive.” Read more


Best Buy launches free shipping on any size order during holidays by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Best Buy said it has now expanded same-day delivery to another 15 U.S. metro areas as it said it would do earlier this year. That brings the number of markets where it has it up and running to 40 cities.” List of cities/Read more (tiered subs.)


After years of cozying up to Democrats, Google faces reckoning in DC by John D. McKinnon & Brody Mullins at Wall Street Journal. “Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., made a big bet on Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 presidential election. Employees donated $1.6 million to her campaign, about 80% more than the amount given by workers at any other corporation…Since the elections, Google has tried to make more connections with the Republicans now in charge. It contributed $285,000 to Mr. Trump’s inauguration…” Read more (subs.)


Viking Cruises turns away Costco, agents grateful by Tom Stieghorst at Travel Weekly. “We walked away from millions of dollars of business,” (Viking’s Huffman) told about 800 travel agents at the CruiseOne/Dream Vacations and Cruises Inc. annual conference aboard the Harmony of the Seas. “We need your support to help make that up.” In an interview, Huffman confirmed that he was referring to Costco.” Read more


**A message from BK Resources – Restaurant owners, plumbers & GCs require food service equipment – are they in your assortment? BK Resources is a leading supplier of stainless steel: commercial faucets, sinks, work tables, bar equipment, ice bins and more. Grab your fair share of this business! Catalog | Website | Custom/Sample requests


Dollar General Names Rob Scruggs as Chief Digital and Customer Engagement Officer “Scruggs most recently served as global director of client experience for Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he had responsibility for the end-to-end client experience for global commercial clients.” Press release


GameStop is launching a game rental subscription called PowerPass by Jordan Crook at TechCrunch. “The $60 subscription, called PowerPass, lasts for six months at a time, and will include one free game to keep at the end of the subscription period.” Read more


Burlington updates guidance for Q3 2017 – Comp sales to increase approximately 3.1% vs. previous guidance of 2% to 3% Press release


Over 500 Target stores will show off Chip and Joanna Gaines line with 12-foot-tall display by Dan DeBaun at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. “It’s meant to help guests imagine what the pieces will look like in their homes and build affinity for the new brand by introducing it as a complete story,” Vice President of Visual Merchandising with Target, Erika De Salvatore, said in a blog post.” Read more A Bullseye View story


REI to close all stores on Black Friday for the third year – process no online sales Press release


Yes, Toys ‘R’ Us Is Still Open for Business by Suzanne Franica at Wall Street Journal. “MS. HASSAN: Children today are overscheduled. For too long we were a business that was focused on transactions, sales and deals. As we looked at our rebranding, we saw an opportunity to have a purpose that was much bigger than just the products that we sell.” Q&A w/Global Chief Mktg Officer (subs.)


Shopify posts a 72% increase in third-quarter revenue at Reuters. Read more


Brooks Running sees double-digit sales growth despite unpredictability of sports retail at CNBC . “Brooks’ third-quarter sales climbed 11 percent, while global footwear revenue was up 14 percent during the period, the company reported Monday. The retailer is also gaining traction in the “$100 and above” segment for adult running footwear, NPD data show.” Read more


Amazon Studios expanding to iconic Hollywood location by Nat Levy at GeekWire. “…moving into the historic Culver Studios, where classics like “Gone With the Wind” and “Citizen Kane” were shot…Amazon said it currently employs about 700 people in Santa Monica, Calif., and those folks will start moving in to Culver Studios toward the end of the year.” Read more


Rent-A-Center to Explore Strategic and Financial Alternatives “The Company also announced today that Steven L. Pepper resigned from his position as director and Chairman of the Board of Rent-A-Center, with his resignation taking effect on October 31, 2017.” Press release


Macy’s no longer makes much money as a retailer, Citi says, downgrades to sell at CNBC. “The core business is weak and (we believe) is getting weaker,” Lejuez said.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

21-year-old gives birth on the floor of the apparel section at Walmart

Burberry’s Christopher Bailey to Leave Before 2019

Under Armour slashes full-year outlook, sending shares tumbling

Sharper Image Times Square holiday pop-up shop marks physical store comeback

Walmart to dump iconic brand Danskin

Amazon baby apparel sales volume increased 67% to $50M in Q3

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Tipsheet: TGT +30%? | “Jerky Jihad” | Home Builders Oppose | Amazon Pickup in Chicago


Powerful storm lashes East Coast – More than 300,000 Bay Staters without power at Boston Herald. “Peak wind gusts overnight reached 78 mph – the equivalent of Category 1 hurricane force – according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.” Read more | Weather Channel video


Home Builders Will Oppose Republican Tax Bill by Richard Rubin at Wall Street Journal. “The plan nearly doubles the standard deduction, ends personal exemptions and likely repeals the deductions for state and local income and sales taxes. The combination would remove much of the incentive for the mortgage-interest deduction outside the highest-cost areas and could potentially hurt home prices.” Read more (subs.)


Target’s new changes could boost stock – Barron’s at Fox Business. “Target’s growing focus on online sales and other changes at the U.S. retailer could reward investors, propelling its stock to $75-$80 during the next two years, returning 20 percent to 30 percent, Barron’s reported on Sunday.” Read more


Under Armour’s Stephen Curry Shoe Is Delayed, Dealing Fresh Setback by Matthew Townsend at Bloomberg. “The adult version of the shoe — known as the Curry 4 — was slated to hit stores on Friday. But Foot Locker Inc., Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. and Hibbett Sports Inc. are only allowing customers to order it with a shipping date of Nov. 18, according to Sam Poser, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group.” Read more


“The race for the $50 order is over, it’s been won by Amazon,” 1stdibs CEO David Rosenblatt said on the latest episode of Recode Decode. “The race for the $5,000 order has not been won.” by Eric Johnson at Recode. Read more/Podcast


Nordstrom’s new off-price store in New York offers a glimpse at what’s to come for the department store at CNBC. Pics/Read more


Stein Mart to eliminate 10% of corporate office headcount Press release


Amazon’s Instant Pickup quietly rolled out in Chicago by Lewis Lazare at Chicago Business Journal. “Three Chicago Instant Pickup sites include one near the University of Illinois at Chicago, another adjacent to DePaul University’s Lincoln Park campus and a third on North Clark Street near the intersection with West Diversey Parkway, also in Lincoln Park.” Read more


**A message from deVaca – Give coffee consumers what they want – a great tasting, non-GMO, all-natural coffee substitute grown & roasted in Colorado. Fill the natural caffeine free gap in your coffee assortment. Sell sheet & Package pic | Sample now:


Build-A-Bear chasing growth in tourist spots amid real estate overhaul by Lisa Brown at St.Louis Post-Dispatch. “The tourist Build-A-Bear stores have merchandise specific to its location. For example, at Bass Pro, camouflage bear clothing and items with Bass Pro logos will be available. At Busch Stadium, Build-A-Bear stocks Cardinals licensed gear.” Read more


Fewer smokes, more healthy food the future of convenience stores by Greg Trotter at Chicago Tribune via Toronto Star. “At the (NACS) trade show, protein seemed to be everywhere…“Protein is the new energy,” Lenard quipped. And the market for more upscale jerky products with modern attributes — cage-free, grass-fed and so on — in convenience stores is booming…“I call it a jerky jihad. It’s about as competitive as it gets.” Levin said.” Read more


Halloween isn’t just for humans anymore, as millions are getting their pets in on the action at CNBC. “This year’s spending is a nearly 5 percent jump from 2016’s $420 million and has doubled since 2010, when the NRF first began asking about pet costumes.” Top 10 pet costumes/Read more


Corona beer owner set to buy into world’s largest cannabis grower by David Reid at CNBC. “Constellation Brands has agreed to buy a near 10 percent stake in Canopy Growth Corporation, the world’s largest publicly traded cannabis company.” Read more | WSJ article (subs.)


Halloween Express’s COO Brad Butler is surprised that more seasonal retailers haven’t caught on to BOPUS by James Risley at Internet Retailer. “Amazon is set to lead Halloween shopping this year, but Halloween Express is experiencing success its in-store pickup options.” Top 10 online stores for Halloween purchases


CHICAGOLAND – ‘Amazon Stadium’ is the latest bait being dangled in front of Jeff Bezos by Elizabeth Crane at Recode. Pic


Foreign Companies in China Get a New Partner: The Communist Party by Chun Han Wong & Eva Dau at Wall Street Journal. “L’Oréal China placed signs featuring hammer-and-sickle emblems at its Shanghai staff cafeteria. In Chinese, the signs say that the cafeteria serves the party and other groups, while in English they call it an “employee service station.” Read more (subs.)


PetSmart gives Chicago pet lovers a new outlet to indulge their pets by Lewis Lazare at Chicago Business Journal. “The Groomery concept that PetSmart introduced earlier this week in west-suburban Oak Park, Illinois and in New York City is built on the premise that pet lovers want a place they can take their pooch — or other pet — for grooming that is in close proximity to where they live.” Read more


Amazon Lockers installed at Whole Foods in Fayetteville at Talk Business. Pic/Read more


Man got locked in a walk-in beer cooler at Kwik Trip – so he had a little party at The Washington Post via Pioneer Press. “Six hours, one 18-ounce Icehouse beer and three cans of Four Loko later, Van Ert was spotted by a Kwik Trip customer who told an employee that a man was trapped inside.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Samuel Adams Just Unleashed a $200 Beer That’s Illegal in Some States

Quebec fur company fined $22,500 for trafficking in polar bear skins

Amazon Alexa chief: SNL spoof of Echo speaker is actually ‘kind of spot on’

Facebook denies listening to user conversations via microphones

Apple Reportedly Fires Engineer After Daughter Posts iPhone X Video

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Tipsheet: JCP Chops Forecast | WM Can. Chops Waste | WM VP @ Breakfast | Barneys Likes Data


JC Penney chops 2017 comp sales, profit forecast; shares plummet at Reuters via CNBC. “Penney estimated it would post an adjusted loss of 40-45 cents per share in the quarter ending Oct. 28, much bigger than analysts average estimate of 18 cents…The company also said it now expects full-year comparable sales to be flat at best, while it had earlier forecast that sales could increase as much as 1 percent.” Read more


Wal-Mart is rolling out shelf-scanning robots in more than 50 U.S. stores by Nandita Bose at Reuters. “The approximately 2-foot (0.61-meter) robots come with a tower that is fitted with cameras that scan aisles to check stock and identify missing and misplaced items, incorrect prices and mislabeling. The robots pass that data to store employees, who then stock the shelves and fix errors.” Pic/Read more


Amazon beats street – sales rise 34% to $43.7B by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “Also thanks to the Whole Foods deal, Amazon’s headcount is now at 541,900, up from 382,400 last quarter.” Read more


…Amazon breaks out “physical stores” sales for first time ever – is getting almost no revenue from its bookstores at CNBC. “The segment generated $1.28 billion in the quarter — roughly the same as the $1.3 billion Whole Foods produced for Amazon in the period. That means revenue from its other stores, like the 12 booksellers and 50-plus pop-up stores run by Amazon, is almost non-existent.” Read more


Despite Some Reservations, Barneys Is Going All-In on Data by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “This has probably been the biggest point of tension in the company.” (CEO) Vitale said at WWD’s Apparel and Retail CEO Summit in New York on Wednesday. She continued that some at the company felt “we would be less creative, or we would be too rigid or we wouldn’t be as experimental as we once were if we became a more data-centric company.” Read more


Walmart VP of store layout David Scogin talks shop at breakfast by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “He (Foran) asked who was responsible for designing the sink for handwashing and the surrounding layout. He quickly pointed out that because the soap was mounted on the wall beside the sink there was an a stain on the floor from where the soap had leaked because the employee had to move their hands toward the sink in order to wash them. He suggested we move the soap directly above the sink to avoid the spills and wasted soap,” (David) Scogin explained.” Read more


Gallup: Americans in Best Holiday Shopping Mood in Years “The chief indicator is a sharp increase in the amount Americans say they plan to spend on Christmas gifts — now $906, up from $785 in October 2016. That represents one of the biggest year-over-year increases in Gallup’s trend.” Read more


CVS makes more than $66 billion bid for Aetna at Reuters. “U.S. pharmacy operator CVS Health Corp has made an offer to acquire No. 3 U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc for more than $200 per share, or over $66 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.” Read more | WSJ article (subs.)


Amazon gains wholesale pharmacy licenses in multiple states by Samantha Liss at St.Louis Post-Dispatch. “According to a review of records by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Amazon has received approval for wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least 12 states, including Nevada, Arizona, North Dakota, Louisiana, Alabama, New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut, Idaho, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee. An application is currently pending in the state of Maine.” Read more


**A message from Lock-it Block-it – Leave windows open AND secure at the same time. The Lock-it Block-it is a high-impact security bar that allows windows to stay open AND secure. Great for sliding doors/windows too! Video | Sell sheet | Retailers request samples:


Walmart says it has reduced food waste in Canada by 20% since CBC investigation at CBC News. “During one visit to a location in Pickering, Ont., there were 12 waist-high bins behind the store, full of bottles of water, frozen cherries that were still cold and packaged vegetables, still days away from their best-before date.” Read more


Nordstrom Doubles Down on Discount Format Amid Retail Woes by Lindsey Rupp at Bloomberg. “The job of shoring up Nordstrom Rack falls to longtime Nordstrom executive Karen McKibbin, who is debuting the chain’s latest store this week in New York City’s Herald Square neighborhood, just blocks from the iconic Macy’s Inc…“We’re doubled down on speed and experience,” McKibbin said in an interview. “We really see it as complementary.” Read more


Doug McMillon to Be Recognized by NRF as The Visionary 2018 “…an award given once a year to an outstanding retail industry leader, during the 2018 NRF Foundation Gala on January 14 in New York City.” Press release


Five Below opens store #600, and it’s also their new HQ by Suzette Parmley at Philly Enquirer. “The location (in Philly) will also be the retailer’s new corporate headquarters planned for early 2018 when 350 employees will move into 120,000 square feet on floors 2, 3, and 6 of the building.” Read more


Best Buy aims to slash carbon emissions 60% by 2020 Press release


Sears will reconnect with its oldest customers with holiday Wish Book, but won’t attract new ones by Tonya Garcia at MarketWatch. Read more


Shoppers will be able to buy FAO Schwarz signature toys at Bon-Ton Stores by Melanie Lawder at Milwaukee Business Journal. “…it’s rolling out FAO Schwarz-branded merchandise online and at 186 of its 260 department stores across the country. The retailer is holding a celebratory launch of the toy line on Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. at all participating stores.” Read more


GNC Q3 comp sales: Domestic company-owned stores +1.3%; domestic franchise locations -1.7% Press release


Tiffany bets NYC pop-up stores will renew sparkle by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “The storied jeweler will open two tourist-focused pop-up stores in Manhattan next month — one in Grand Central Terminal and the other in Rockefeller Center, The Post has learned. It is believed to be the first time Tiffany’s has turned to pop-up stores in the US.” Read more


Pharmacist acquitted of murder in meningitis outbreak by Dave Canton at The Republican via Boston Business Journal. “Federal inspectors said injectable medical steroids were shipped from the center laced with mold, causing a 2012 outbreak of meningitis that killed 76 people and sickened hundreds more.” Read more


PriceSmart Q4 net sales +3.6% “The Company had 39 warehouse clubs in operation as of August 2017 compared to 38 warehouse clubs in operation as of August 2016.” Press release


Toxic Java? California Law Carries Big Fines, Little Evidence by Edvard Pettersonn at Bloomberg. “The burden of showing there’s no significant risk falls to the companies. 7-Eleven agreed this month to a settlement in which it will pay $900,000 and post warnings. The chemical in question is acrylamide, which forms when certain plant-based foods are baked, fried or roasted.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Wal-Mart grows its private-label grocery offerings — and this one is Italian

Haribo accused of using slave labor to make candy

Walmart currently manages 7,000 Mac computers – “probably” 100,000 this time next year

UPS Ramps Up Spending to Keep Up With Online Shoppers (WSJ subs.)

California turns to kitchen grease in battle against climate change

Apple iPhone X shipping times quickly lengthened to as much as five weeks in the U.S

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Tipsheet: F.Dollar Secret Stealer | B.Buy +60 Tech Centers | Wgreen -600


Amazon’s Dream of Drone Deliveries Get Closer With Trump’s Executive Order by Alan Levin at Bloomberg. “Trump’s order, a response to calls from companies making and using drones, will allow local governments to apply to the Federal Aviation Administration for waivers allowing them to conduct tests of deliveries, drone air-traffic systems, long-range flights and other uses generally prohibited under current rules, Kratsios said.” Read more


Family Dollar worker stole secrets for her Dollar Express boyfriend, lawsuit alleges by Katherine Peralta at Charlotte Observer. “In her affidavit, Frailey admits to sharing a thumb drive containing the list with Siliakus, but she says she did not believe the information to be confidential. Frailey says that when she left Family Dollar, no one told her that any materials she had were confidential and should be returned.” Read more


Walgreens to Shutter Almost 600 Rite Aid Stores as Part of Megadeal by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “The locations being closed were chosen because of overlap with another Rite Aid or Walgreens location, executives said. “The vast majority being closed are within one mile of another drugstore that we own going forward,” Alexander Gourlay, WBA’s co-chief operating officer, told Wall Street analysts.” Read more


Best Buy expanding teen-tech program by Anne d’Innocenzio at AP. “Best Buy is expanding an after-school tech program for underprivileged teens….(Best Buy) said Wednesday the number of tech centers will grow to 60 from 11 over the next three years. The centers, hosted by nonprofit organizations with strong financial support from Best Buy, let teens explore technology such as robotics and 3-D printing.” Read more


Nike to re-focus efforts from 30,000 retail partners to just 40 by Clare Duffy at Portland Business Journal. “Nike officials said the company won’t necessarily remove Nike products from those other retailers, but over the next several years will focus its resources, marketing efforts and exclusive product offerings on 40 key partners, including Foot Locker and Nordstrom. The company did not release the full roster of the 40 select retail partners.” Read more | WSJ article (subs.)


…Nike CEO Mark Parker on CNBC in interview Wednesday afternoon “The whole speed to market, the connection to consumers, the direct connections we have to consumers powered by digital and membership is enormous,” Parker told CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” Video/Read more


Build-A-Bear Q3 comp sales -7.4% Press release


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A Record Amount of Brick and Mortar Stores Will Close in 2017 by Keshia Hannam at Fortune. “Retailers have announced plans to shutter more than 6,700 stores across the U.S. this year, CNN cited retail think-tank Fung Global Retail & Technology as saying. That beats the previous all-time high of 6,163 store closings that occurred during the 2008 financial meltdown (according to estimates by Credit Suisse).” Read more


Supervalu Inc. Faces Push From Activist Investor Blackwells Capital by Heather Haddon & David Benoit at Wall Street Journal. “Blackwells Capital LLC, an alternative-investment fund that is one of the company’s 10 biggest shareholders, wants the grocery company to sell dozens of its stores and bring in new leadership, among other demands, according to a letter viewed by The Wall Street Journal.” Read more (subs.)


Dell vendor loses control of key support domain after forgetting to renew it – vendor also names Best Buy as a client at Krebs on Security. “A Web site set up by PC maker Dell Inc. to help customers recover from malicious software and other computer maladies may have been hijacked for a few weeks this summer by people who specialize in deploying said malware, KrebsOnSecurity has learned.” Read more


Meijer Home Surpasses Half Million Deliveries Press release


IRI: Sentiment from millennials, Generation X, baby boomers, seniors on private label:

Buy private label brands to save money: 90%, 87%, 81%, 81%
Private label products are just as good in quality as national brands: 83%, 79%, 72%, 71%
Private label products are a better value than national brands: 75%, 71%, 65%, 64%   Press release


Millennials in $1,400 Gucci Shades Lead Luxury-Goods Revival by Robert Williams at Bloomberg. “As millennials catch the luxury bug, Bain has raised its spending forecast for the industry twice this year from an original range of 1 percent to 2 percent.” Read more


Martha Stewart Thanksgiving meal kits return, and this time they’re cheaper at CNBC. Read more


Majority of white Americans feel discriminated against: poll by Charles Ventura at USA Today. “The poll, conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that 55% of whites surveyed believe that “discrimination against white people exists in the U.S. today.” Read more


Pair Eyewear, the Warby Parker for kids, launches today by Jordan Crook at TechCrunch. Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Woman thanks Home Depot employee who bought Halloween costume supplies for son in wheelchair

Private Missouri College Creates Mandatory Patriotism Class

Kellogg’s to replace racially insensitive Corn Pops boxes following Twitter call out

Report: Macy’s has buyer for Chicago flagship

Home Depot Is Removing Formaldehyde as Part of Push to Go Green

Toys ‘R’ Us vendors are shipping again, lawyer says

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Tipsheet: Wgreens Beats | Lowe’s Gets Craftsman | Target Adds AR | CVS CEO Iview


Walgreens profit falls 22% in 4th quarter at Fox Business. “…hurt mainly by a more than $300 million fee it paid Rite Aid Corp after their failed attempt to merge.” Read more


…Walgreens Q4 Retail Pharmacy USA comp sales +3.1% Press release


Lowe’s to Sell Craftsman Tools at CNBC. “Tuesday’s announcement validates the fact that Stanley Black & Decker is now strategically seeking other outlets for growth. According to Craftsman’s website, the brand is currently sold at Ace Hardware, Orchard Supply Hardware, Blain’s Farm and Fleet, and Atwoods Ranch and Home, in addition to Sears and Kmart.” Read more


Amazon to sell smart locks so it can slip packages into your home by Jeffrey Dastin at Reuters. “Members of Amazon’s Prime shopping club can pay $249.99 and up for a cloud-controlled camera and lock that the company offers to install. Delivery associates are told to ring a doorbell or knock when they arrive at someone’s house…” Read more | Press release


Target adds AR shopping to its mobile website by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “The option is currently only available with 200 “Project 62” brand home products from Target, but the retailer says it will roll out to hundreds more products by year-end, then thousands more in 2018.” Read more


CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo talks to Fortune “What’s next for CVS? Merlo says, “You’ll continue to see what we refer to as the front of our store evolve. It will certainly have a focus on health.” Video/Read more


Clocks made by visually impaired Chicago workers hit Target shelves by Ally Marotti at Chicago Tribune. Read more (tiered subs.)


Peapod picks downtown Chicago HQ by Danny Ecker at Crain’s Chicago. “Peapod has about 300 corporate workers in the Chicago area between its headquarters at 9933 Woods Drive in Skokie and 20 N. Wacker Drive.” Read more


Lumber Liquidators Near Settlement in Class-Action Suit by Imani Moise at Wall Street Journal. “Under the terms of the proposed agreement the company will pay out $22 million in case and offer $14 million in store credit to customers who bought the relevant flooring.” Read more (subs.)


**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


ELECTRONICS FRIDAY – Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday by Chris Medenwalk at Field Agent. “Consumer electronics may be the real beneficiaries of these two all-important days…Of those completely or very likely to shop on Black Friday (n = 1,031), 35% said they’ll devote more attention to electronics like TVs and smartphones than any other category. Indeed, electronics eclipsed the second place category, toys (19%), by a full 16 percentage points.” Read more


Food Lion launches grocery pickup service via Instacart by Katherine Peralta at Charlotte Observer. “It is available (for now) only at the Dilworth store…” Read more


FAKE NEWS? – Apple’s Angela Ahrendts calls reports that she could be the next CEO “fake news,” and “silly” at Buzzfeed via Jefferson Graham at USA Today. Read more


Walmart’s Marc Lore Q&A with Wall Street Journal Q&A (subs.)


LAST NEW MALL EVER? – Big Mall Operator Does the Unthinkable—Builds a Mall by Suzanne Kapner at Wall Street Journal. “We’re not building any more,” said GGP Chief Executive Sandeep Mathrani. “This could be it for a long period of time.”…Norwalk is part of Connecticut’s Gold Coast…One-third of the households within a 15-mile radius of the project have a net worth of $500,000 or more.” Read more (subs.)


Amazon video push aims to keep shoppers from YouTube search by Spencer Soper at Bloomberg via Boston Globe. “Amazon this year began inviting some of its 2 million merchant partners to join a test program in which the online retailer coordinates these short product videos. The plan is to post many of them to the site by mid-December, when the holiday shopping season is in full swing, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg.” Read more


Hun Quach, retail lobbyist, is part of ‘army’ visiting Capitol Hill to preserve Nafta by Ana Swanson & Natalie Kitroeff at NY Times. Read more (tiered subs.)


Home Depot releases 2017 Responsibility Report See report


Amazon debuts a new Appstore app with better discovery, focus on Amazon Coins by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Halloween display depicting a fake car crash scene with blood-splattered bodies causes outrage (pics)

Exclusive First Look at Chip and Joanna Gaines’s New Target Line (pics)

A Reuters journalist bought human body parts, then learned a donor’s heart-wrenching story

Inside Apple’s Struggle to Get the iPhone X to Market on Time

HBR: Selling Products Is Good. Selling Projects Can Be Even Better

Inside Reebok’s new flagship store beneath new Boston HQ (21 pics)

‘Drinkable sunscreen’ maker with ‘radio waves’ settles consumer fraud case

Off-duty NYPD cop flips out over Godiva chocolate store closing

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Tipsheet: HBR Top CEOs (Nordstrom #44, Bezos #71) | H.Dep Solider Signs | WM VP’s Speak


Amazon rivals turn to legal fine print to stem Whole Foods strategy by Jeffrey Dastin at Reuters. “A Reuters examination of real estate agreements and interviews with 20 retail landlords, lawyers and brokers show that the strings attached to operating in malls like City Center present an emerging and little-scrutinized challenge to Amazon’s quest to re-shape Whole Foods.” Read more


Harvard Business Review Ranks the World’s Best-Performing CEOs (Blake Nordstrom #44, Jeff Bezos #71, John Mackey #91) Top 100 list


Walmart CTO Jeremy King speaks at VB Summit 2017 in Berkeley, California at Venture Beat. “The secret to the expansion in inventory, said King, is artificial intelligence…“How do you determine [with] an automated fee coming from a vendor, whether the price is right or not?” King said, by way of example.” Read more


Amazon is shutting down its Amazon Wine business by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “The decision to shut down the business appears to stem from so-called tied house laws, which prohibit retailers that sell alcohol from accepting payments from suppliers to advertise their goods…Amazon had been lobbying to alter these laws, but it looks like they’ve realized it wasn’t going to happen. And it is quite likely that Whole Foods’ wine-selling business dwarfs that of Amazon Wine.” Read more


Wal-Mart asks suppliers to further reduce chemical footprint by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “The 10% chemical reduction over the next five years puts Wal-Mart in elite company as the first retailer in the U.S. to set time and percentage reduction goals. Wal-Mart has defined which chemicals it is targeting for reduction.” Chemical list/Read more


Reaper: Calm Before the IoT Security Storm? at Krebs on Security. “Now, experts are sounding the alarm about the emergence of what appears to be a far more powerful strain of IoT attack malware — variously named “Reaper” and “IoTroop” — that spreads via security holes in IoT software and hardware. And there are indications that over a million organizations may be affected already.” Read more


Meet the 10 people at Amazon who report directly to CEO Jeff Bezos by Eugene Kim at CNBC. List of 10


Kroger Names Executive Leadership Team to Support Restock Kroger Plan “Fred Morganthall, Kroger’s executive vice president of retail operations, will retire after 31 years…Mike Donnelly, currently Kroger’s executive vice president of merchandising, will assume responsibility for both operations and merchandising as executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective November 1.” Press release


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Under Armour to exit several categories; top exec takes sabbatical by Carley Milligan at Baltimore Business Journal. “Categories such as tennis, outdoor gear and fishing are among those reported to be cut. The Journal also reports Under Armour co-founder and strategic adviser, Kip Fulks, will take a sabbatical from the company.” Read more | WSJ article (subs.)


Amazon gets 238 proposals for its second headquarters by Mike Snider at USA Today. Read more


Walmart VP Maggie Sans speaks at Adrian women’s conference by Lonnie Huhman at Daily Telegram. “She said women make up more the 50 percent of Walmart’s associate workforce and 31 percent of its corporate officers, which is twice that of other Fortune 500 companies…The store chain now has 1,500 women-owned suppliers.” Read more


Amazon launches Handmade Gift Shop, offering more artisan items in latest blow to Etsy by Kurt Schlosser at GeekWire. “Amazon Handmade originally launched in 2015, and now offers almost 90,000 products in categories including for her, for him, for kids, for baby, for the couple and more. Items range from jewelry to tie clips to cutting boards, clocks and baby bibs.” Read more


rue21 adds Under Armour president to its board by Stacey Federoff at Pittsburgh Business Times. Read more


Sears will no longer sell Whirlpool appliances after pricing dispute by Suzanne Kapner & Andrew Tangel at Wall Street Journal. “Whirlpool will continue to make products for Sears’s Kenmore brand, a person familiar with the matter said. And Sears will continue to sell appliances from LG, Samsung, GE, Frigidaire,Electrolux , and Bosch, some of which also make Kenmore products.” Read more (subs.)


Camping World buys another RV dealership Press release


Former Yahoo executive will lead Hayneedle through expansion by Cole Epley at Omaha World-Herald. “Scott Doughman, who most recently was vice president of global partnerships at Yahoo, is now the web-based home furnishings retailer’s president.  Doughman replaces Jon Barker, Hayneedle’s last president (and chief executive), who left in March for an executive position at Sportsman’s Warehouse.” Read more


Eby-Brown purchases assets of AJ Silberman Press release


At Plated, The Future Of Meal-Kit Services Is Grocery Stores by Amy Farley at Fast Company. “By the end of 2020, any standalone meal-kit company will be dead,” said Nick Taranto, chief strategy officer and cofounder of Plated, speaking at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City, “and we’re going to put them out of business.” Read more


Drug Makers Find New Profit Formula: Take Generics, Add Marketing by Denise Roland at Wall Street Journal. Read more (subs.)


Amazon will soon let you order from restaurants using the Amazon app on your phone by Deirdre Bosa & Sara Salinas at CNBC. Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Home Depot unveils parking signs dedicated to fallen soldiers

Inside Jeff Bezos’ exclusive dinner last year at an artsy Boston restaurant

WeWork employees caught spying on competition

Amazon Takes Secrecy to a Comic Extreme

Owner of iconic Soggy Dollar Bar leads Virgin Islands relief effort

Snap has ‘hundreds of thousands’ of unsold Spectacles sitting in warehouses

In Washington Clash of Industries, King Corn Trounces Big Oil

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for 20,000+ retail execs every weekday morning. Tipsheet stories are carefully curated bright and early every morning to ensure fresh and unique content.


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Tipsheet: Target’s Risky Holiday Bet | H.Dep CFO Speech | WM Can. Self-Checkout


Target plans fewer promotions it hopes will pack bigger holiday punch by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Target’s bevy of promotions and up-and-down prices confused shoppers last year, Mark Tritton, Target’s chief merchandising officer said at a media briefing. So this year, it is simplifying the approach to have fewer sales events that it hopes will have a bigger impact.” Read more (tiered subs.)


…Target executives also saw room for improvement with its marketing. While its holiday campaign last year…reach(ed) its target audience of families and Latinos, they realized it didn’t do much to inspire young adults without children or empty nesters.


Target’s holiday sales could get a boost from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ new collection by Courtney Reagan at CNBC. “The initial response has been exponential,” Tritton said. He characterized site visits to the web page built to announce the collection as “off the charts. Two to three times traffic for anything else we have done.” Read more


Walmart ramps up self-checkout by letting customers ring in items while shopping by Sophia Harris at CBC News. “When I go up to the checkout, it’s just bing, bang, boom, I’m done,” Schnurr said. “I am addicted.” Starting Monday, Walmart will roll out scan and go in 20 more Canadian stores.” Read more


Home Depot won’t carry pumpkins this year in some hurricane-affected areas by Jeff Daniels at CNBC. “When you have a natural disaster, it changes everybody’s priorities,” said C. Britt Beemer, a retail analyst…”We had a lot of stuff that was going to South Florida, and the orders got canceled on us because of the storms,” said James Hayes, a pumpkin farmer in Meadowview, Virginia.” Read more


Costco Has A Looming Cardboard Problem by Michael Rogus at Seeking Alpha. “I currently serve as the COO of a company that exports to Sam’s, Lowe’s, Home Depot and other smaller retailers…I have firsthand knowledge of production issues involved with corrugated cardboard packaging. The news isn’t good.” Read more


**A question from BK Resources – When a Restaurant owner, plumber or GC shops your assortment do they find the food service equipment required for their business? BK Resources is a leading supplier of stainless steel: commercial faucets, sinks, work tables, bar equipment, ice bins and more. Your customers – including homeowners – buy food service grade products. Grab your fair share of this business! Catalog | Website | Custom/Sample requests


Hudson’s Bay CEO Gerald Storch leaving company; executive chairman assuming role via Toronto Star. Read more


Home Depot CFO Carol Tome speaks at Women Who Mean Business awards dinner by Jessica Saunders at Atlanta Business Chronicle. “I have seen so much change happen. Now I long for the day when women are no longer a special interest group. But today, we still are we are a sisterhood, and we need to stay together.” Read more/Pics


…Tome met her husband at a toga party: “I am grateful for this Lifetime Achievement Award but I dedicate it to you, Ramon, the man I want to spend my lifetime with,” she said to applause.”


Kroger begins hiring for its first restaurant by Erin Caproni at Cincinnati Business Courier. “Kroger will open Kitchen 1883 adjacent to its Union Marketplace store on U.S. Highway 42 in Union, Ky. It plans to hire 50 employees to staff the restaurant, which will serve “new American comfort food.” Read more/Pic


President/CEO of Murphy USA not losing sleep over electric cars by Kaitlyn Rigdon at El Dorado News-Times. “Clyde said he hired a consultant who put together a presentation concerning electric vehicles, which he presented to the Kiwanis Club members…“You don’t have to worry. We’re not going to be going away any time soon in terms of Murphy USA or selling gasoline,” Clyde said. “I feel pretty good about fuel demand. Especially in the Murphy USA states.” Read more


Top 10 Authentic Brands Study: Amazon, PayPal, Burt’s Bees, Crayola, M&M’s, Lego, Hershey’s, Newman’s Own, AAA and UPS by Tanya Gazdik at MediaPost. Read more


Walmart/Jet unwraps latest weapon in Amazon war by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “The brand, called Uniquely J, launched on Friday with more than 50 items ranging from 1 lb. of organic fair trade coffee for $9.99, a 146 oz. jug of liquid fragrance-free detergent for $18.99 and a 25 oz. jar of tomato basil sauce for $3.99.” Read more


Retail credit cards increasingly come with perks — and a 25 percent interest rate by Abha Bhattarai at Washington Post. Read more (tiered subs.)


Amazon backs German artificial intelligence research hub at Reuters. “ will open an artificial intelligence research center in the German university city of Tuebingen, creating 100 jobs over the next five years.” Read more


Apple Pay now in 20 markets, nabs 90% of all mobile contactless transactions where active by Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch. Read more


hhgregg emerges from a bankruptcy sale as an online-only brand, with stores possible by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. “When? “That’s a little bit up in the air,” he says. “Sooner rather than later is the best answer I can give you.” Read more


Discounted Apple Watches will be available to millions of life insurance customers by Christina Farr at CNBC. Read more


Take a look at Apple’s first ‘Town Square,’ its most beautiful retail store yet by Lucas Matney at TechCrunch. 26 pics


Police investigate after 65 pounds of weed included with couple’s Amazon order at WFTV 9 ABC. “We were still pretty fearful our home would be broken into, and we didn’t sleep there for a few days,” said the customer. The couple said that after going back and forth with Amazon mostly by email for more than a month, they never spoke to a supervisor.” Read more/Pics


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Target’s new “GiftNow” button is for the picky

It’s 2017 and Amazon only has one woman among its 18 most powerful executives

Joanna Gaines Regains Lead on Top TV Personalities Social Media Ranking

Plus-size retailer to close as mall traffic declines

Unboxing Stitch Fix’s S-1

Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between

Even Puerto Rico is making a bid for Amazon HQ2

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Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for 20,000+ retail execs every weekday morning. Tipsheet stories are carefully curated bright and early every morning to ensure fresh and unique content.


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Tipsheet: Ahrendts Q&A | Spam Heists | S.Diego Hep A Outbreak | Target +325 Remodel


Apple’s Angela Ahrendts in Chicago to open the company’s new glass-walled flagship store along the Chicago River on Friday by Corilyn Shropshire at Chicago Tribune. “Q: What are some of the details in the new store? A: It was designed in partnership with Jony Ive and Foster + Partners — the same team that did Apple Park (in Cupertino, Calif.). We totally redid the entire plaza, putting stairs on the inside and outside. We’ve never done this before. The pavilion is totally glass, all the way around.” Full Q&A


Target will remodel more stores to compete with Amazon and Walmart by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “CEO Brian Cornell told reporters on Thursday that the initial 70 or so remodels already completed this year, including its top-to-bottom overhaul of the Nicollet Mall store next to its headquarters, have been showing positive results, so the company will remodel another 325 stores in 2020. That means 1,000 of its 1,800 stores eventually will see makeovers.” Read more (tiered subs.) | Press release


…A look inside Target’s Herald Square store shows why the retailer is thinking small by Courtney Reagan at CNBC. Video/Read more


Stitch Fix has filed for an IPO, and the numbers look good by Matthew Lynley at TechCrunch. “…aside from the last two quarters, Stitch Fix posted a six-quarter streak of positive net income. We talk a lot about companies that are planning to go public that show pretty consistent (or even increasing) losses, but Stitch Fix looks like a company that has actually managed to build a healthy business.” Read more


Abercrombie & Fitch Puts Its Clothes Back On by Kim Bhasin & Lindsey Rupp at Bloomberg. “It’s definitely not the traditional Abercrombie,” Simeon Siegel, an analyst at Instinet LLC said of Abercrombie’s new look. The ad, he said, tells a good story, but he’s unsure it will win over shoppers. “The question is, does it resonate?” Read more


P&G’s profit beats Wall Street on higher sales of beauty, home care at Fox Business. Read more


Office Depot’s Chief Administrative Officer Michael Allison resigns – will take home a severance package totaling about $2.5 million by Keith Larsen at South Florida Business Journal. Read more


Shoppers find deals at Sears Canada liquidation sales underwhelming via Globe & Mail. “Sears Canada began its liquidation sales at its remaining stores across the country Thursday…While signs suggest discounts of 20 to 50 per cent off — with a note that exceptions apply — relatively few items at a Toronto store appeared to be offered at half off.” Read more


Walmart looks to see if digital shopping is better than the real thing at Washington Post. Read more (tiered subs.)


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Carhartt Turns to 3-D Models to Speed Product Development by Steven Norton at Wall Street Journal. “Digital designs could also help Carhartt spot potential problems with clothes before they hit a physical store. In the past, issues with a piece of clothing, such as too much color in a particular area, wouldn’t be seen until it’s on the floor.” Read more (subs.)


Consumer report warns over safety of kids’ smartwatches by Natasha Lomas at TechCrunch. Read more


San Diego’s Hepatitis A outbreak has now killed 19 people – search is on for “patient zero” by Paul Sisson & Jeanette Steele at San Diego Union-Tribune. “A cookie convention slated to hold its event at the San Diego Convention Center in September chose to withdraw until the outbreak is deemed over…”It’s definitely on everyone’s mind,” he said. “I’m sure there are some people who just won’t come downtown because of hep A.” Read more


Backyard chicken trend causes spike in infections, 1 fatal by David Pitt at AP via ABC. “For a week, Dan and DeAnna Gabriele thought their son was dying until tests identified the cause: not cancer, but chickens — the ones he cared for at home. They had apparently infected him with salmonella that produced a severe abscess.” Read more


Amazon and Techstars host first-ever Alexa Accelerator Demo Day — here are the top pitches by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. Read more


Sign your receipt? MasterCard customers can skip it via CNBC. Read more


La Croix CEO Frustration Bubbles Over in Short Seller Blame Game by Kristy Westgard at Bloomberg. “A 23 percent slump in National Beverage Corp. shares from their Sept. 11 peak incited a tirade by its chief executive officer, Nick Caporella, in comments that are more often seen on Twitter than in a corporate press release.” Read more


Low pay, no bonus: U.S. retailers struggle with hiring at Reuters. Read more


The Limited returns as an online-only brand by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. Read more


Spam is being kept locked in plastic cases in stores after several heists in Hawaii by Jessica Finn at Daily Mail. “The Honolulu Civil Beat found cans of Spam locked up in a case at a Walgreens this week, with a sign that says ‘Items electronically monitored for theft.’ There have been at least three reported major Spam thefts in recent months, with one of the heists thwarted and another ending in a $1,000 reward to capture the suspects.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Babe Ruth will be a bad boy in new MLB TV series

Food Lion exec resigns amid child sex investigation

NYC mayor submits bid for Amazon but doesn’t want you shopping there

Elon Musk’s latest business venture: ‘The world’s most boring hat’ – 6,400 sold so far

Nike makes a shoe out of two NE Patriot Super Bowl footballs

Germans are going wild for a show set during the dawn of the Nazis

The super-secret Google X lab has hired its own lobbyists in the nation’s capital

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for 20,000+ retail execs every weekday morning. Tipsheet stories are carefully curated bright and early every morning to ensure fresh and unique content.


Subscribe to Eye on Retail Tipsheet here


Contact us: Send story tips, press releases and advertising inquiries to