Tipsheet: WM Personal-Shopper Service | Wayfair/HGTV Team | Finish Line +0.8%


Walmart is developing a personal-shopper service for rich moms — and a store with no cashiers by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “A new Walmart subsidiary, called Code Eight, has recently started testing a personal shopping service for “busy NYC moms,” according to multiple sources, with the goal of letting them get product recommendations and make purchases simply through text messaging…Multiple people familiar with the project tell Recode that one goal of the initiative is the creation of physical stores that would operate without checkout lines or cashiers.” Read more


HGTV Teamed With Wayfair to Create Its First Special Co-Produced With a Brand Partner by Jason Lynch at Adweek. “The show, which airs at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, will feature furnishings and décor from” Read more


Bed Bath & Beyond Q3 Comp Sales -0.3% Press release


Home Depot CEO Craig Menear Talks Retail with Marketplace Radio “Ryssdal: What is your, I guess, worst nightmare, right? But what’s the thing that keeps you up at night? Menear: Actually, the thing that keeps me up right now is the amount of change that’s happening in our business and being able to continue to make the change that we need to have happen, to stay ahead of where the customer is taking us and be able to continue to execute at the level we’ve been executing at.” Listen/Read Q&A


Finish Line Q3 Comp Sales +0.8% Press release


2018 could be a breakout year for Amazon’s private labels at CNBC. “A recent study by L2…has identified more than 40 private brands associated with Amazon…Twenty-nine of those labels are in the apparel space…Cooper Smith, an analyst at L2, has further noticed that Amazon is beginning to call out in search results which brands it owns, labeling items under “Our Brand.” Read more


Wal-Mart’s Last Remaining Bearish Analyst Upgrades Stock by Matthew Boyle at Bloomberg. Read more


**A message from Real Coconut Water: Taste the difference – Never from concentrate! Experts in coconut water production for 15+ years. Branded & PL supplier to leading grocers. Organic & Natural options available. Consumers love the sweeter taste – you’ll love our price! Sell sheet | Website | Request samples:


Amazon spins a giant roulette wheel every week, and whoever’s group it lands on needs to do a presentation by Matt Weinberger at Business Insider. “For years, the blog says, AWS has held a regular meeting between senior leadership and individual product groups, with every manager sharing metrics and other updates in a 15-minute slot. Yet as AWS has grown from two services to 120 “it has become a big meeting.” Wheel pic/Read more


Loblaw’s $25 price-fixing mea culpa won’t shield it from lawsuits by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. Read more


Sam’s Club gains city approval for 140,000-square-foot layout center in Bentonville by Paul Gatling at Talk Business. “The new building will replace the existing 130,000-square-foot layout center in Springdale, inside a former Sam’s Club store at 2008 S. Thompson St. Bringing the layout center closer to Sam’s Club headquarters will obviously be more efficient for merchants who do business with the retailer.” Read more


Amazon Brings Web Browsing to Fire TV Press release


Macy’s adds eBay exec to C-suite by Andy Brownfield at Cincinnati Business Courier. “In her new role, which is effective Jan. 8, (Jill) Ramsey will be in charge of product and revenue for Macy’s online store, and the Macy’s app…She will report to Macy’s president Hal Lawton.” Read more


Fate of Barneys New York flagship up to arbitrator by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “Ashkenazy and Barneys declined to comment, but sources said Barneys’ ability to stay on Madison is critical since the flagship accounts for at least one third of the 24-store chain’s total revenues.” Read more


Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Introduces 140 New Pieces at Target Next Week Read more


Amazon Among Companies Being Accused of Age Discrimination Over Ads Placed on Facebook via Fortune. “Several U.S. employers engaged in age discrimination by placing recruitment ads on targeting younger workers, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday by a communications industry labor union.” Read more


True Value finds value in social media ads to boost store sales by April Berthene at Internet Retailer. “Within the next year, True Value is moving its marketing budget to be 100% digital, from just 30% to 40% currently, says Dave Elliot, senior vice president of marketing for True Value Co.” Read more 


Feihe International Inc. is set to buy Vitamin World Inc. out of bankruptcy for $28 million by Anthony Noto at New York Business Journal. “Feihe, the largest domestic-brand baby formula supplier in China, plans to operate Vitamin World’s remaining 156 stores.” Read more


As millennials embrace renting over owning — even clothes — stores are taking notice by Alejandra Reyes-Velarde at LA Times. “A recent testimonial thanked Omni, which currently operates only in the Bay Area, for delivering an air purifier during the October fires that blanketed the region with smoke. “Going to a wedding, going out for date night, going kite surfing in Kauai — you don’t need to own everything in the interim period,” McLeod said.” Read more


Naughty Walmart ad accidentally printed in ‘Alvin Advertiser’ newspaper at ABC 13. “Instead of reading “Save money. Live better,” a Walmart ad read instead “Save money. Screw people over.” Video/Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Woman accused of trying to rob Target during ‘Shop with a Cop’ event

7-Eleven CEO Joseph DePinto Sees Amazon as ‘Co-Opetition’

Amazon delivery drivers a popular target for thieves

Mom Holds a Nurse-In at Walmart After She Was Asked to Leave for Breastfeeding

AT&T kicks off trial of its 5G wireless at Gaines’ retail playground in Waco

Amazon pulls ‘irresponsible’ infant circumcision training kits from sale

Ex-Lululemon employee claims ‘sexual predator’ boss raped her

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for 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



Tipsheet: Today Hacks Nordstrom | Costco’s “White Gold” | Sam’s G.Card Headache


TODAY SHOW: Cybersecurity expert hacks Nordstrom gift cards by Jeff Rossen & Conor Ferguson. “Stickley says that Nordstrom gift cards have shorter PIN numbers than most retailers’ cards, and initially had no protection from bots. He demonstrated the vulnerability by hacking a newly purchased Nordstrom gift card and draining all $50 from it.” Video/Read more


KREBS: Man finds that a bunch of Sam’s Club gift cards he pulled off the display rack at Wal-Mart showed signs of compromise Pics/Read more


…Man Caught up in Gift Card Scam at Fox 31 Denver. “Layton contacted Walmart but never got his money back. “I spent exactly 77 minutes on the phone, between 11 different phone calls to three different Walmarts,” Layton said. He now plans to dispute the charge with his credit card company.” Video/Read more


More than 75 percent of US online consumers shop on Amazon most of the time at CNBC. “Walmart comes in second, but far behind, with only 8 percent of Americans who shop online searching or checking prices there, with other retailers clumped close behind the discounter.” Charts/Read more


…Google Narrows Search Gap With Amazon, Retailers Left in Dust by Spencer Soper at Bloomberg. “About 49 percent of online shoppers visit Amazon first when searching for products…Google and other search engines followed at 36 percent, up from 28 percent. Consumers visited individual retailers’ websites first only 15 percent of the time.” Read more


COSTCO’S “WHITE GOLD” at Daily Mail. “Chinese professional shoppers have found a loophole enabling them to send large amounts of baby formula overseas (from Australia)…Woolworths and Coles were forced to limit their customers to a maximum of just two tins at a time…a photo provided to Daily Mail Australia by a shocked Costco shopper shows it is still possible to buy in bulk, with one woman checking out a large pallet of more than 100 tins.” Pics/Read more


** A message from Real Coconut Water: Taste the difference – Never from concentrate! Experts in coconut water production for 15+ years. Branded & PL supplier to leading grocers. Organic & Natural options available. Consumers love the sweeter taste – you’ll love our price! Sell sheet | Website | Request samples:


Lowe’s hires former Amazon exec as chief digital officer by Katherine Peralta at Charlotte Observer. “Vikram Singh starts his new position Jan. 4, Lowe’s said in a statement Tuesday. He will report to Michael McDermott, the company’s chief customer officer.” Read more | Press release


Loblaw gets immunity after alerting watchdog to decade-long bread price-fixing scheme by Aleksandra Sagan at Canadian Press via Toronto Star. “Loblaw is also offering eligible customers who register online at before May a $25 gift card…Loblaw expects three million to six million Canadians will receive the goodwill gesture and that it will book a $75 million to $150 million quarterly charge in relation to the program.” Read more


Amazon Puzzles Over the Perfect Fit—in Boxes by Laura Stevens & Erica E. Phillips at Wall Street Journal. “This year, Amazon added machines in its warehouses that create padded mailers on demand to fit smaller items, all of which used to go into the company’s smallest-sized box. Almost half of all of Amazon’s products fit into the new mailers and poly bags, says Kim Houchens, director of customer packaging experience.” Read more (subs.)


Canadian grocers are making millions of dollars thanks to price rounding on cash transactions by Randy Shore at Vancouver Sun. “Previous research and Cheung’s own observations of 18,000 grocery items show that grocers use prices ending in nine 60% of the time and convenience stores 82.5% of the time…her conservative estimate is that Canadian grocers are raking in about $3.27 million a year in penny-rounding revenue, what she calls a “rounding tax.”. Read more


Doug McMillon, Helena Foulkes & Tommy Hilfiger to Speak at Retail’s Big Show Press release


Bon-Ton Stores is doling out $1 million in gift cards today by Melanie Lawder at Milwaukee Business Journal. Read more


Stitch Fix shares plunge on first earnings report as public company at CNBC. “The company said its number of active clients in the first quarter mushroomed to 2.4 million users, up nearly 30 percent from a year ago…Total sales climbed 25 percent, to $296 million.” Read more


Amazon registers lobbyist in Georgia, sparking rumors about Atlanta’s HQ2 chances – Amazon says nothing to see here by Monica Nickelsburg at GeekWire. Read more


Target could be the biggest winner if Toys R Us closes more stores at CNBC. “We believe [Target] should be well positioned to pick up some lost sales, especially when considering that 93% of TRU stores are within a 15 min. drive of a TGT,” Lasser wrote in a note to clients. Also, “TRU and Target are exposed to [a] similar consumer demographic.” Read more


Fortune’s Blue Ribbon Companies 2017 (Amazon, Walmart, Publix) List


Northern Tool, with $1 billion in sales, opens 100th store by Neal St. Anthony at Star Tribune. “That makes 19 states for the retailer-manufacturer rooted in selling log splitters out of a garage in 1981. The Kotula-family owned company has sales of more than $1 billion and employs about 2,500.” Read more (tiered subs.)


Target’s biggest hurdle to Blaine liquor license was the store across the street — so Target bought it by Dan DeBaun at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. Read more (subs.)


Tipsheet Extra Stories

“Amazontube” might be about to take on YouTube

The Biggest Housing Bubble of Them All Might Be Norwegian

AutoZone SVP of store operations and customer satisfaction to retire

Google will turn on native ad-blocking in Chrome on February 15

WashPo: Why are women losing retail jobs while men are gaining them?

Squatty Potty has a problem, and it involves pain

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for 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




Tipsheet: Today Hits Amazon Key | Toys R Us -200?


Flaw in Amazon Key delivery tech could leave your home vulnerable to thieves by Jeff Rossen & Lindsey Bomnin at NBC Today. “…hackers have figured out a loophole in the system that could allow the delivery person full access to your home without you knowing. Amazon knows about the flaw and says they’ve issued a software update. But cybersecurity experts says the vulnerability is still there.” Video/Read more


…TOMORROW: NBC Today reveals the major retailer with a gift card flaw that allows thieves to “drain the money on your card down to zero before you even use it.” 


Holiday spending on track to be highest in at least 12 years: CNBC survey “The CNBC All-America Survey found that average holiday spending intentions will top $900 for the first time in the 12-year history of the poll, eclipsing last year’s estimate of $702 by a wide margin.” Read more


Bankrupt Toys ‘R’ Us Weighs Closing up to 200 Stores by Lauren Coleman-Lochner & Matthew Townsend at Bloomberg. “U.S. sales have declined about 15 percent this Christmas-shopping season from a year earlier, according to people recently briefed on the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.” Read more


Wal-Mart’s global governance director to retire Jan. 31 at Talk Business. “(Jeff) Gearhart has logged 14 years with Wal-Mart capping off a 29-year legal career, McMillon noted in the email. He said the decision to retire was Gearhart’s, noting his intent to “spend more time cheering on the Razorbacks, giving to important causes and enjoying a few hobbies.” Read more


Apple Sells Out Of AirPods Before Christmas by Jonathan Vanian at Fortune. “Shoppers who order the popular wireless earbuds from Apple’s online store today will get them on Jan. 5, at the earliest, and only if they pay extra for express shipping.” Read more


Santa protesters say Walmart is a Grinch by Ron Maxey at USA Today. “Monday’s coordinated event outside the Cordova Walmart Super Center was part of 13-city, 11-state effort to highlight the retail giant’s policy regarding holiday compensation.” Read more


CVS CIO Stephen Gold Exits Ahead of Planned Aetna Acquisition by Steven Norton at Wall Street Journal. “Mr. Gold “resigned on Tuesday to ‘pursue professional opportunities outside CVS Health,’” the spokesman said in an email.” Read more (subs.)


**A message from i-on – This handsink offers 99% reduction of E-coli & Staph! Infused with Silver Ions to inhibit growth of millions of germs. Install in restaurants, hospitality, schools, hospitals, home & utility to create a Handwashing Only Zone. Sell sheet | Request sample @


Bon-Ton Stores unit delays payment on loan by Paul Gores at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Bon-Ton, which has dual headquarters in Milwaukee and York, Pa., announced in November it plans to close at least 40 storesby the end of 2018.” Read more


This Huge, Prosperous Mall Has a Hole to Fill—and Not With More Stores by Sarah Mulholland at Bloomberg. “It’s a sign of the times that even King of Prussia — which ranks in the top 3 percent of malls in the country, according to Green Street Advisors — is turning what was once retail space into other uses.” Read more


Ikea Is Stepping Into Virtual Reality by Creating a Game for New Store Openings by Marty Swant at Adweek.”…immersing visitors in an Ikea world where they could play a “pillow toss” game with a coffee table or hang out with a panda inside a bamboo lamp. Nearly 300 people tried out the popular Swedish brand’s VR for the first time.” Video/Read more


Too Much Caffeine? Coffee Shops Face a Shakeout by Julie Jargon at Wall Street Journal. “There are now nearly 33,000 coffee shops in the U.S., including those run by big chains such as Starbucks, up 16% from five years ago, according to market research firm Mintel.” Read more (subs.)


Citi: We messed up on Walmart, buy it because it can compete with Amazon at CNBC. “We sat on the sideline with this name in ’17, which proved to be a big mistake. Despite the stock’s run-up, we think there is even more to come, particularly considering HD and COST are trading at a premium to WMT,” analyst Kate McShane wrote in a note to clients Monday.” Read more


Amazon Prime Video Announces Rose Parade Float Featuring The Grand Tour Press release


Team USA is opening a pop-up store in Rockefeller Center by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “The store, which will sell gear from Olympic sponsors including Nike, Swatch and Oakley, is the first Team USA retail outlet outside of the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, according to Fanatics.” Read more


Hasbro & Brown University want to enhance robo-cat so it can help seniors by Michelle R. Smith at AP via Boston Globe. “‘It’s not going to iron and wash dishes,’’ said Bertram Malle, a professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown. ‘‘Nobody expects them to have a conversation. Nobody expects them to move around and fetch a newspaper. They’re really good at providing comfort.’’ Pic/Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Former Saks CEO Steve Sadove Q&A

Boxed bulks up its technology offerings with three new features

Sam’s Club CEO aims to grow sales ahead of retailer’s 35th birthday

Wahlburgers is teaming up with Meijer

Marvel’s editor-in-chief apologizes for pretending to be a Japanese man

HBR: Great Storytelling Connects Employees to Their Work

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for 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



Tipsheet: Cornell Q&A | B.Buy’s Big Heart | 2 Chainz Mad @ Wmart


Best Buy reopens store in Puerto Rico after months of helping employees recover by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Best Buy spent about $750,000 to charter planes that made seven trips to take employees to the mainland and 14 trips sending much-needed supplies of diapers, water and food in the disaster’s immediate aftermath…Best Buy gave about 190 employees who had the most need $200 in cash in the first few days after the hurricane. In addition to continuing to pay workers their regular paychecks, the company also deposited an extra $1,000 in each employee’s account to help them buy emergency supplies.” Read more (tiered subs.)


Target CEO Brian Cornell Q&A by Matthew Boyle at Bloomberg. “Cornell: We’re expanding the beauty category, and in wine and craft beer. We just unveiled a new line of wines, California Roots, all sold at $5 a bottle. We’ve added dedicated team members who only work in the food department. And we have an opportunity to grow our own-brand food business. In apparel, 90 percent of everything we sell is our own brand. In food, it’s just in the low teens.” Read Q&A


Patrick Byrne, who runs, is launching a $250 million Initial Coin Offering today by Aaron Smith at CNN Money. “The company is one of the first retailers to accept bitcoin and will make the coin offering through its exchange, tZero. Its stock has tracked closely to bitcoin’s wild rise — Overstock’s stock rose 4-fold between July and December as bitcoin grew more than 7-fold.” Read more/Video


Dillard’s CEO says family’s retail chain is a survivor by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “He told the students Dillard’s online sales are roughly 10 times that of its second-highest performing store. When asked if retailers or investors planned to build more stores in urban areas, Dillard said he doesn’t foresee it.” Read more


Rapper 2 Chainz mad at Walmart over dabbing sweater by Charles Holmes at MTV. “The Atlanta rapper took the multinational retail corporation to task via Instagram for allegedly selling a sweater that is very similar to the one he popularized.” Pics/Read more


Walgreens joins pilot program to help youth find, keep jobs by Lisa Bertagnoli at Chicago Business. “Walgreens Boots Alliance is one of four employers that will participate in a pilot program designed to help high school students and graduates from (Chicago’s) poorer areas find jobs, keep them and get on a path to economic stability.” Read more (tiered subs.)


Hershey in $1.6 billion deal to acquire SkinnyPop parent Amplify at CNBC. Read more


**A message from ReadyStrainer – Sink full of dirty dishes and need to drain noodles? The ReadyStrainer sits at the side of the sink and directs water into the sink. Dirty dishes are cumbersome to move and can contaminate other food with unhealthy bacteria. Problem solved! Product Overview | Website | Sample:


Tencent and invest $863M into e-commerce firm Vipshop to battle Alibaba by Jon Russell at TechCrunch. “Vipshop is best-known as an online discount retailer for brands, with a particular focus on the fashion space. It went public in a lackluster 2012 listing, but it is seen as a strategic ally for Tencent and in their ongoing battle to rival Alibaba.” Read more


Campbell Soup to buy snacks maker Snyder’s-Lance for $4.87 billion Read more


Cabela’s Sale Sends Ripples of Anxiety Through Rural Nebraska Town by Kirk Siegler at NPR. “In recent years, Sidney has built a new state-of-the-art hospital, an aquatic center, parks, bike paths that snake through cul-de-sacs of luxury homes: things you wouldn’t always see in a town of 6,000 people on the remote plains. That’s why the sale of Cabela’s stings. There have been three waves of mass layoffs already.” Read more


Target teams up with Dayton brothers’ Askov Finlayson on ‘North’ collection by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Eric Dayton, the great-great grandson of the founder of the company that became Target, has been a prominent voice pushing for the rebranding of this part of the country as the “North,” and celebrating the cold as an asset instead of a liability.” Read more (tiered subs.)


BMO: Buy Costco shares because it’s in the ‘early stages’ of an online sales surge at CNBC. “We believe an acceleration in Costco’s online business is in early stages and could continue to support a strong comp outlook and higher valuation as the company widens its competitive moat,” analyst Kelly Bania wrote in a note to clients Monday.” Read more


Ikea Is the Latest Multinational Being Investigated for Avoiding EU Taxes at Fortune. Read more


Small e-retailers could be hurt by the end of net neutrality by James Melton at Internet Retailer. “The reason, Hill says, is that, while Amazon has the financial might to forge relationships with ISPs, many smaller or mid-size merchants won’t be able to match it.” Read more


Costco discloses pay for CEO Craig Jelinek and his top executives by Coral Garnick at Puget Sound Business Journal. “Costco reported $6.6 million in total compensation to President and CEO Craig Jelinek for fiscal 2017, an increase of almost 2 percent” Read more | Disclosure


Chick-fil-A opens Sunday to feed stranded at Atlanta airport at WWLTV. Video/Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Utah Republican to Patagonia CEO: Come testify before Congress

Vince McMahon bringing back the XFL?

Toys R Us shoplifting suspects leave loot when getaway car won’t start

Solar Companies Go Door-to-Door in Battle With Tesla

France says Amazon is abusing its dominant position against suppliers

There seems to be a barbershop at every shopping center in Miami. Here’s why.

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for 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



Tipsheet: Prime Membership Stagnates | Costco +7.9% | Wmart’s “T.J.” Robot


Costco Q1 Comp Sales +7.9% (w/o gas inflation & FX), E-commerce +42.1% “Net sales for the first quarter were $31.12 billion, an increase of 13.3 percent from $27.47 billion during the first quarter last year.” Press release


…CNBC: Costco quarterly profit beats on online sales strength Read more


Walmart’s inventory robot “T.J.” works up to 90 minutes a day at Springdale store – spends the rest of time in employee lounge by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “Wal-Mart is testing the robots in about 25 stores with the number increasing to around 50 by year end…The bot was named after the employee who used to do the scanning manually. “Travis is happy to have Travis Junior helping him with the daily scan tasks…Todd explained.” Read more


Amazon Prime membership finally starts to stagnate by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “The report, from Morgan Stanley, showed that 40 percent of individuals questioned in a survey said they were Prime members — exactly the same percentage response as in a fourth quarter 2016 survey.” Read more CEO aims to sell or reorganize e-commerce biz so he can focus on blockchain by Evelyn Cheng at CNBC. “My goal is [within] 60 to 90 days we walk away from this,” Byrne told CNBC Wednesday in reference to the plan. He said he has an “ethical obligation” to focus for the next five years on his newly announced De Soto joint venture for a blockchain-based global property registry. “We think we can change the world for 5 billion people.” Read more


Get a look inside Kroger’s first restaurant by Steve Watkins at Cincinnati Business Courier. “It’s been well-received so far. I walked in Wednesday during the lunch rush and almost all 94 seats were filled. There have been waits on weekends for brunch and at other times.” 20 pics/Read more


**A message from Black Flag® – We take no prisoners. In the battle against indoor and outdoor pests, it’s every man for himself. Arm yourself with Black Flag insect and rodent controls. Whether you’re battling crawling, flying or stinging insects or fending off mice, when the flag flies, pests die. Let it Fly. Facebook page


Ivanka Trump debuted her own store on Thursday in Trump Tower by Abha Bhattarai at Washington Post via Toronto Star. “The store in Midtown Manhattan — currently the company’s only bricks-and-mortar location — comes after a number of high-profile retailers, including Nordstrom and Sears, stopped carrying the presidential daughter’s line earlier this year.” Read more


H&M to close more stores via Fortune. “…there have been imbalances in parts of the H&M brand’s assortment composition,” it added, suggesting issues with the product ranges. H&M has seen inventories pile up over the past two years. Fourth quarter sales shrank 4% year-on-year.” Read more


Inside America’s Growing Bulletproof Clothing Industry by Chelsea Greenwood at Racked. “In the United States, body armor manufacturing is a $465 million-a-year industry, according to an August report from Market Research. And the global market for such wares is expected to be worth $5.7 billion by 2024, according to a 2016 study by Grandview Research.” Read more scores $910,000 in incentives to build new shipping hub, create 700 jobs by Mike Sunnucks at Phoenix Business Journal. Read more


Instacart promotes Sarah Mastrorocco to new position of VP of Business Development by Jordan Crook at TechCrunch. “Mastrorocco has been instrumental in signing deals with retailers like Kroger, Albertsons, Price Chopper, Lowes Feeds, BevNo, Superior Grocers, Homeland and more. Before Instacart, she was on Frito-Lay NA’s Strategy and M&A team.” Read more


Google adds one-time cloud-holdout Etsy, months after Amazon rolled out its own craft shop by Tom Krazit at GeekWire. Read more


Bloomingdale’s director of windows Leigh Ann Tischler draws back the curtains by Brooke Perry at “Asked if there’s a window theme she’d love to do, Tischler smiles. ‘I can’t give it away’…Given her track record, it’s hard to imagine Tischler at a loss for creative inspiration but “getting people to look up from their cellphones,” she says, “now that can be a challenge.” Read more


Walmart,, IBM and Tsinghua University Launch a Blockchain Food Safety Alliance in China Press release


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Sarah Jessica Parker lends a helping hand to customers on the last day of her NYC pop-up shop

76ers’ Ben Simmons takes families on a Target shopping spree

$15 minimum wage to cost California 400K jobs

Walmart, Book Distributor Suspend Ties With Tavis Smiley

Tesla largely responsible for slide in U.S. home solar sales

Chicken wing company CEO: NFL player protests have hurt sales

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for 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



Tipsheet: Inside Kroger’s Kitchen | 7-11 Tests Deliv | Pier 1 -0.7%


Retail sales unexpectedly surge in November, +0.8% in Nov, vs +0.3% increase expected at CNBC. Read more


Pier 1 Imports Q3 Comp Sales -0.7% “CEO: ‘Our third quarter financial performance was impacted by the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, as well as deeper than expected promotional activity in October and November. We saw improved sales in November…However, overall trends dropped considerably during the first two weeks of December.’ Press release


…William Savage joins Pier 1 Imports as Head of Global Sourcing. Most recently, Mr. Savage spent two years as President of the Home Division for Sears Holdings. Press release


Target Pulls Mario Batali Products Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations by Tim Kenneally at The Wrap via SF Gate. Read more


Amazon expands same-day delivery and one-day shipping to thousands more cities by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “Before, these services were available to Prime members in 5,000 cities and towns, the retailer tells us. Now, they’re available in over 8,000.” Read more


Walmart workers can request to get paid earlier on special app Press release


Home Depot’s Massive Investment Makes Use of 1.7 Trillion Data Points by Jamie Grill-Goodman at RIS. “(Kevin) Hofmann noted the retailer has even gone as far as putting geo-fences around brick-and-mortar stores to “surgically target customers with the right ads, allowing us to spend marketing dollars in both offensive and defensive ways based off customer mobility patterns.” Read more


‘The Greatest Showman’ Takes Over Bloomingdale’s for the Holidays by Stephanie Chan at Hollywood Reporter. “Bloomingdale’s has partnered with 20th Century Fox to enlist several brands and designers to create Greatest Showman-inspired fashion and beauty products, including a leather camera bag with sparkly red stripes ($395) by Marc Jacobs…” Read more | Merch list


Target is acquiring Shipt for $550 million by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Target plans to join the Shipt online marketplace, while Shipt intends to keep serving its other retail partners. Eventually, Target will offer the Shipt same-day delivery service on and the Target app.” Read more | Press release


**A message from deVaca – Give decaf coffee drinkers what they want – a natural product. Great tasting caffeine free, non-GMO coffee substitute. Grown & roasted in Colorado – Fill the natural caffeine free gap in your coffee assortment. Sell sheet | Sample:


UK retailers enjoy bumper Black Friday sales at Reuters. Read more


Inside Kroger’s Kitchen 1883 restaurant that debuted to 1-hour wait times by Dan Monk at WCPO 9 Cincinnati. “After watching Kitchen 1883 operate for a month, (General Manager) Denham is convinced the concept has the potential to grow far beyond its current confines in a Kroger Marketplace store on U.S. 42 in Union. “We could put one of these in any community and it would feel just like a neighborhood restaurant,” he said. “I think this could go anywhere.” Inside video/Read more


53 retailers’ deadlines for Christmas delivery (Today is last day for USPS retail ground!) at USA Today. List


Empire plans to convert up to a quarter of its 255 Safeway and Sobeys stores in Western Canada to FreshCo, its discount store brand by Joanne Lee-Young at Vancouver Sun. Read more


7-Eleven testing mobile ordering, delivery and in-store pickup in some Dallas stores by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “The price of delivery will vary based on what the courier service charges. Postmates charges $3.99 to $5.99. 7-Eleven’s chief digital officer Gurmeet Singh said the proprietary app “is redefining convenience.” Read more (tiered subs.)


EBay acquires Terapeak to provide more analytics to marketplace sellers by Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch. Read more


Video showing Amazon Prime Now app being used to help homeless people goes viral on YouTube by Kurt Schlosser at GeekWire. “The video, published by user Rob Bliss on Tuesday, is called “How to Hijack Amazon Prime Now for Good” and as of Wednesday had more than 650,000 views.” Video/Read more


Family claims Target potty training seat nearly ripped off tot’s genitals by Jackie Salo at NY Post. “The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, claims that the Target and Prince Lionheart, maker of the weePOD Basix potty trainer, were negligent when they did not recall the product or warn customers about its dangers.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Struggling Subway is now facing a franchisee revolt

Walmart is selling a marijuana Christmas tree that will ‘light up’ the room

Another craft fair hit with counterfeit cash

Costco opponents sue to stop store in Pleasanton

Nearly one-quarter of teens are using pot

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for 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



Tipsheet: Petition Targets Target | Florida Georgia Line Store | Overstock Cryptocurrency


Lidl’s US growth spurt is losing steam by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “When you are shrinking the size of the store by 50 percent that’s a pretty big shift,” said Dan Glickberg, with food consultancy Rodeo CPG. “It looks like they are retrenching from their initial strategy.” Read more


Online Petition Calls for Target to Drop Mario Batali’s Product Line Amid Sexual Harassment Claims by Stephanie Chan at Hollywood Reporter. “The petition on Care2 is calling on Target CEO Brian Cornell “to disavow Batali’s behavior by vowing to stop selling his cookbooks and branded products.” (Target’s website currently sells Batali pasta sauce and cookbooks.) “ Read more


MoviePass and Fandor Partner with Costco “…both companies are partnering with Costco to offer a one-year subscription plan for a flat fee of $89.99.” Press release


Target adds an e-gifting option to its website by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “The recipient can choose to accept the gift by providing their shipping address, or they can change the size, or even use the money you spent to buy themselves something else entirely.” Read more


New Stand, the Boutique C-store Popping Up Across the U.S., Wants to Improve Your Day by Sami Main at Adweek. “Other companies like Hudson News or Wawa are also out there to be helpful for people,” said Deitchman. “What we’re trying to do is change the idea of routines and how we can fit into your everyday life.” Pics/Read more


Sports Direct shareholders veto payment to brother of founder Mike Ashley at Reuters. Read more


Wal-Mart Turns to Virtual Reality for the Future of Shopping by Lindsey Rupp & Jennifer Kaplan at Bloomberg. Podcast


**A message from ReadyStrainer – Sink full of dirty dishes and need to drain noodles? The ReadyStrainer sits at the side of the sink and directs water into the sink. Dirty dishes are cumbersome to move and can contaminate other food with unhealthy bacteria. Problem solved! Product Overview | Website | Sample:


Kroger builds-out its advertising business by Yuyu Chen at Digiday. “You can say that we borrowed the Triad model, but the differentiation is our ability to personalize the experience,” said Pratt. “We can connect 96 percent of Kroger transactions to a customer, which allows us to serve very targeted product placement and drive better conversion.” Read more


Bass Pro Shops extends Richard Childress Racing deal at Sports Pro. Read more


Kroger and Chase Pay Announce Mobile Payment Partnership “Through the partnership, Chase’s 65 million customers will have an opportunity to use Chase Pay at Kroger for online and in-lane purchases.” Press release


Macon Brock, co-founder of Dollar Tree, passes away at CBS 19 News. Read more


Kellogg Is Going All In on Cereal Cafes by Craig Giammona at Bloomberg. “The cafe will be about fives times larger (than Times Square store) and feature an Instagram station with props and professional lighting, designed to help customers perfect their social-media posts. There’s a full cereal bar, giant murals of Kellogg characters like Tony the Tiger, a station to heat up Pop-Tarts and a special iron to cook fresh Eggo waffles.” Read more


Morgan Stanley buys stake in Overstock cryptocurrency by Kevin Dugan at NY Post. “The disclosure, in a regulatory filing by the bank, sent the retailer’s shares soaring on Monday 22 percent, to $55 — putting them up 270 percent since June 12.” Read more


Sephora Mastered In-Store Sales By Investing in Data and Cutting-Edge Technology by Lauren Johnson at Adweek. Read more


The next generation of Walmart’s giant pickup towers could be coming to a Zara store near you by Hayley Peterson at Business Insider. Pics/Read more


Florida Georgia Line to Open New Retail, Event Space in Nashville at Rolling Stone. “The space will include three main components: the Tribe Kelley Trading Post (home to Kelley and his wife Brittney’s signature clothing line), the headquarters of Tree Vibez Music (a publishing company founded by the country duo in 2015) and a private gathering-place concept.” Read more


Google AdWords advertisers can use phone numbers & addresses for customer match targeting at Search Engine Land. Read more


Front-yard vegetable gardens banned in Florida town by Linda Robertson at Miami-Herald. “They may park a boat or jet ski in their driveway. They may place statues, fountains, gnomes, pink flamingoes or Santa in a Speedo on their property. Vegetables, however, are not allowed.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

H-E-B goes to great lengths to reunite boy with beloved stuffed ‘Rabby’

Woman rescued at Dick’s store after mouthing ‘help me’ to strangers

Wawa seeks permit for massive store near Independence Hall

Disney’s acquisition of Fox could be a boon for Amazon

Jack Link’s to open a lounge for theater-goers in downtown Minneapolis

Five Busy Beaver home improvement centers to open in 2018

Nordstrom plans pop-ups and pick-ups to woo holiday shoppers

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for 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



Tipsheet: Joly Serves Waffles | McMillon 1/14 @ NRF | 1st Gander Rebrand


Best Buy CEO Serves Waffles to Employees by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “In addition to Joly, other top executives who greeted employees and took turns serving employees waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage and coffee were finance chief Corie Barry, chief merchant Mike Mohan, human resources chief Kamy Scarlett, as well as other officers.” Read more (tiered subs.)


Unibail Buys Westfield for $16 Billion as Mall Owners Merge at Bloomberg. “The Paris-based company offered a combination of cash and stock that values Westfield at A$10.01 per share, or about 18 percent more than Monday’s closing price, according to a statement Tuesday.” Read more


Apple and Wal-Mart Are Helping China Crack Down on Polluters by Lulu Yilun Chen at Bloomberg. “Ma’s strategy — backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. — is to scrape real-time data off government websites that compile readings from effluent monitoring equipment at some 13,000 of the worst water polluters. The data is then aggregated on an app called Blue Map.” Read more


The Retail Apocalypse Is Fueled by No-Name Clothes by Matthew Boyle at Bloomberg. “A few months ago, Inc. representatives met with fashion designer Jackie Wilson as part of the expansion of Amazon’s surging apparel business. They wanted her to make a knit top for women that would be sold under an Amazon-owned private label. And they wanted the fabric to feel heavy and high-quality…”They are not concerned at all about how many units they sell, and they’re not focused on margins,” says Wilson, whose company in Syracuse, N.Y., makes clothing for Kohl’s, American Eagle Outfitters, and J.C. Penney Co. “They’re concerned about customer satisfaction. They want five-star reviews.” Read more


Casey’s Q2 Grocery/Other Merch Comp Sales +2.5% Press release


**A message from BK Resources – Restaurant owners, plumbers & GCs need 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


First rebranded Gander Outdoors store opens this week by Dan DeBaun at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. “Gander Outdoors locations intend to have larger water sport and active sports departments (biking and skiing, for example) compared with Gander Mountain.” Read more


As the Fed Deliberates, Amazon Is Making Its Job More Difficult by Harriet Torry & Laura Stevens at Wall Street Journal. “If the Amazon effect is big, or more broadly if structural forces pushing down on inflation are big, then at the margin that means an easier monetary policy” going forward, said Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius.” Read more (subs.)


Doug McMillon to speak at NRF’s Big Show on January 14th at 3:00 pm Details


Retailers brace for surge in online orders by drawing shipping deadlines earlier at CNBC. “Early results from a study by customer analytics firm StellaService show that Dec. 19 is the most common deadline posted by retailers promising standard or free shipping for delivery by Dec. 25. That compares with Dec. 21 last year, and a common cutoff date of Dec. 20 in 2015.” Read more


One month after denying it will exit China, AWS opens its second region there by Catherine Shu at TechCrunch. Read more


Food Lion Celebrates 60 Years Today “…the company will randomly select customers to win 60 percent off their purchase at each of its more than 1,000 locations.” Press release


How a Canadian company came up with Fingerlings, this year’s hottest Christmas toy by Morgan Lowrie at The Canadian Press via Toronto Star. “Fingerlings began with a simple idea from brand manager Sydney Wiseman, who’d been watching videos of a South American breed of monkeys called pygmy marmosets, who are small enough to wrap their arms and legs around a human finger.” Read more


Mattel warns holiday sales will be lower than projected by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Will 2018 Be the Year of the Bank of Amazon? Experts Weigh In

The startup that was supposed to help Best Buy offer gadget rentals has shut down

Twin NBA stars pay off customers’ layaway orders at Walmart store

The silent treatment: Walgreens cashier stares down robber until he leaves

Man convinces armed captor to drop him off at work before robbing store

Starbucks customer laptops hacked to mine cryptocurrency

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for 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