Tipsheet: CDC Mask Reversal | Amazon Denies Bitcoin Report | Home Prices +16.6% May


CDC to reverse indoor mask policy to recommend them for fully vaccinated people in Covid hot spots at CNBC. Read more


Amazon denies report claiming imminent acceptance of Bitcoin payments at The Verge. “The denial came after London-based financial paper City AM reported on a specific series of plans sourced from a company insider. According to City AM, Amazon is ready to accept Bitcoin as payment this year, followed by other popular cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, and even Amazon’s own “native token.” Instructions for the cryptocurrency initiative were said to be coming from Jeff Bezos himself…” Read more


U.S. core capital goods orders and shipments rise solidly in June at Reuters. “Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, rose 0.5% last month, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday…Economists polled by Reuters had on average forecast core capital goods orders advancing 0.7%.” Read more


UPS beats profit estimates on online delivery momentum at Reuters. “Revenue in its core U.S. domestic unit rose 10.2%, while international segment jumped 30%, boosted by Europe…Total revenue jumped 14.5% to $23.42 billion, beating estimates of $23.24 billion.” Read more


Amazon leads $2.5B funding round in Rivian, maker of the tech giant’s future electric delivery vans at GeekWire. “Founded in 2009, Rivian has raised about $10.5 billion to date. The latest round was also led by D1 Capital Partners, Ford Motor Co. and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. Third Point, Fidelity Management and Research Co., Dragoneer Investment Group, and Coatue also participated.” Read more


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Home Depot Reduced Carbon Emissions by More Than 127,000 Metric Tons in 2020 “…reduced Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by more than 127,000 metric tons in 2020—a 22 percent reduction in carbon intensity—while at the same time growing the business nearly 20 percent. The company announced a goal to reach 100 percent renewable electricity for its facilities by 2030…” Press release


HappyFresh, the on-demand grocery app based in Indonesia, announced today it has raised a $65 million Series D at TechCrunch. Read more


Home prices soar 16.6% annually in May, most on record at Fox Business. “Phoenix (+25.9%), San Diego (+24.7%) and Seattle (+23.4%) continued to see the biggest increases, while Chicago (+11.1%) remained the laggard. Meanwhile, Charlotte (+16.9%), Cleveland (+13.6%), Dallas (+18.5%), Denver (+17.4%) and Seattle all joined the national index in reporting record annual gains.” Read more


Target Announces Fall Collaboration with Author, Illustrator and Animator Christian Robinson Press release


Bed Bath & Beyond and Ryder will develop and operate two DC’s that will reduce product replenishment times to Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy BABY stores to less than 10 days from the current 35 days Press release


Costco opens new warehouses in 3 states — with more to come at Fox Business. “On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the warehouse retailer opened new locations in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Moore, Oklahoma, respectively, according to local reports. More than 1,400 people visited the new Costco in Murfreesboro on its opening day, The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal reported Tuesday. In Little Rock, the mayor attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at his city’s new retailer on Wednesday, according to” Read more


Tipsheet Extra

Jeff Bezos offers NASA $2 billion to get Blue Origin back in the moon race

Why I decided to quit my retail job and join the Great Resignation

QuikTrip celebrates 900th store milestone

Dick’s Olympic ad has relevance beyond the Games

Circle K Forms Exclusive International Partnership with Bitcoin Depot

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Tipsheet: Costco Keeps Sr. Hours | Uber/Albertsons Partner | Costco/Tiffany Settle


Jeff Bezos carries out inaugural space voyage at Reuters. “Bezos gave a thumbs-up sign from inside the capsule after landing on the desert floor before stepping out, wearing a cowboy hat and blue flight suit, and giving company employees high fives.” Read more


US home construction jumps 6.3% in June at AP. “Home construction starts rose 12.6% in the West and 9.7% in the South, offsetting high single-digit declines in the Northeast and Midwest. Applications for building permits, which are used to forecast future activity, declined 5.1% in June to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.59 million units.” Read more


Salesforce projects retailers will pay $223 billion extra for goods in the second half at CNBC. “The amount represents a 62% increase from last year. It’s comprised of an additional $12 billion spent with suppliers, $48 billion more in wage expenses and $163 billion extra in logistics costs.” Read more


Costco reverses course and will keep senior hours at USA Today. “Starting the week of July 26, the reserved shopping time at most clubs for senior shoppers, members with disabilities or immunocompromised will be 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday.” Read more


Amazon will end onsite COVID-19 testing at its US warehouses at The Verge. “The company confirmed to The Verge that it will begin ramping down its testing operations in the US by July 30th.” Read more


Rent the Runway confidentially files for IPO at CNBC. Read more


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Tiffany and Costco settle ring lawsuit after 8 years at Fox Business. “Lawyers for both companies asked for the case to be dismissed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Monday, and David Bernstein, an attorney for Costco, said in an email that the parties have “amicably resolved their dispute.” Read more


Urban c-store chain Foxtrot to open 50 new stores in the next two years at CSP. “The brand is currently in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Dallas, and it will be adding New York; Austin, Texas; Boston; Miami; Los Angeles; Houston and others to the roster.” Read more


Uber partners with Albertsons at The Verge. “Uber has more than doubled the number of cities where it delivers groceries, marking the first major expansion of the new service since its launch last year. The company’s on-demand and scheduled grocery delivery is now available in 400 cities, including key markets like New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.” Read more


Israel PM warns Unilever of ‘severe consequences’ from Ben & Jerry’s decision at Reuters. “Israel warned consumer goods giant Unilever Plc on Tuesday of “severe consequences” from a decision by subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s to stop selling ice cream in Israeli-occupied territories, and urged U.S. states to invoke anti-boycott laws.” Read more


…Big Apple supermarket chain Morton Williams has decided to severely curb its sales and marketing of Ben & Jerry ice cream at NY Post. “Morton Williams Supermarkets resolved to reduce the Ben & Jerry’s products it sells in its 16 stores by 70 percent, The Post has learned. The supermarket’s board also agreed to stop promoting the ice cream in its weekly circulars, and to demote Ben & Jerry’s to the “least desirable locations” of its freeze aisles…” Read more


Nordstrom pivots as shopper habits change during pandemic at AP. “Q. Which trends from the pandemic will remain and how are you reacting? A. So casual, athleisure, denim. We are scrambling to get after what the new suit is. It may not be the same suit that it was. It’s a sport coat and it’s a pair of jeans. It’s an interesting time to try and react to very quickly changing customer needs.” President Q&A


Tractor Supply Q2 comp sales +10.5% Press release


Walmart, Ikea, and Amazon have a dirty shipping problem at The Verge. “The report looks at greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution caused by shipping piles of cargo around the world and ranks the top 15 biggest polluters by company. Walmart tops the list, generating more greenhouse gas emissions than a coal-fired power plant would in a year. Ashley Furniture, Target, Dole, and Home Depot round out the top five. Ikea and Amazon ranked 7 and 8, respectively.” List/Read more


Tipsheet Extra

Amazon endorsed legal weed. Will it now fight to make it happen?

Apple pushes back return to offices due to rising COVID cases

Victoria’s Secret vows to revive and revamp its infamous fashion show

Taco Bell is hit with nationwide ingredient shortages

Jeff Bezos says first spaceflight was ‘tiny little step’ in plan to build a road to space

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Tipsheet: Cornell @ $77.5M | Amazon’s Sleep Radar | V. Secret Scrubs Angels


Robot collision at Ocado warehouse near London sparks fire, delaying customer orders at BBC. “The online grocer said the blaze started when three of the robots that help pick its groceries collided at the Erith site. About 800 staff had to be evacuated and firefighters worked through the night to contain the incident. It is the second fire involving robots at Ocado. Its Andover facility burned down in 2019 after an electrical fault.” Read more


After concerns from Amazon, Apple removes product review analyzer Fakespot from App Store at The Verge. “Amazon also tells us that Fakespot injects code into its website, opening up an attack vector and putting customer data (including email, addresses, credit card info, and your browser history) at risk, though it says it doesn’t actually know if Fakespot is using this information.” Read more


Woman with Down’s Syndrome awarded $125m by court after being fired by Walmart at The Independent. “She was awarded $125 million, which Walmart argued would be reduced to $300,000 because of a federal law that caps compensatory and punitive damages at that figure. It also called the EEOC lawsuit’s demands “unreasonable”.” Read more


Star Tribune: Pay among Minnesota’s top CEO’s:

  • #2 Target’s Cornell @ $77.5M in total compensation
  • #15 Best Buy’s Barry @ 8.4M in total compensation

List/Tiered subs.


Amazon is getting hauled into court for not recalling dangerous products the right way at The Verge. “CPSC’s move is also about finding the authority to force recalls on broad online seller marketplaces like Amazon to begin with, marketplaces which weren’t around at the time the laws were written — that way, it wouldn’t always need to rely on Amazon being willing to comply.” Read more


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Victoria’s Secret scrubs the Angels from its stores in revamp at NY Post. “Customers can also bid farewell to the videos that ran on a constant loop on television screens of its fashion shows and interviews with models, a spokesperson confirmed. Located in the heart of a busy shopping district on Fifth Avenue near Rockefeller Center, the flagship is currently among hundreds of Victoria’s Secret stores undergoing major makeovers as the lingerie seller scrambles to revamp its image from a company that objectifies women to one that empowers them.” Read more


Circle K has sold 4,700 home EV chargers in Norway making it the third-biggest supplier there at Financial Post. “The minimum amount of charging activity Circle K expects will happen at Norwegian EV owners’ homes is 55%, as opposed to at fuel stations. That figure could be as high as 75 per cent, said Høidahl, with another 20 per cent to 35 per cent of charging happening at the drivers’ destination. That leaves only about 10 per cent to 20 per cent of charging happening in transit.” Read more


After Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin sees a ‘robust pipeline’ of future paying space fliers at GeekWire. “We think we had 7,500 people in the auction from over 150 countries,” (CEO Smith) said. “Generally, there’s really high interest. So the question really gets down to what’s the price point. … Our early flights are going for a very good price. You saw the interest during the auction was quite high. We had people well into the twenties [$20 million], all very interested. Some of that was skewed, obviously, by the auction.” Read more


Amazon wants to use radar so Alexa can watch as you sleep at LA Times. “The company described its radar sensors as “capturing motion in a three-dimensional space.” This suggests that rather than logging all the tosses and turns of a restless night’s sleep, as wearables now do, the new device would project an electromagnetic bubble over users. It would then monitor all movement within that bubble throughout the night…” Read more


J&J exploring putting talc liabilities into bankruptcy at Reuters. Read more


Reports of forced labor are driving brands to abandon Chinese cotton at Fortune. “…few are willing to talk about it for fear of disrupting their operations in China…Fortune asked more than two dozen apparel companies how they’ve responded to reports of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Only Patagonia and Reformation—which earn little to no revenue in China—made representatives available for interviews.” Tiered subs.



Tipsheet Extra

Nike could run out of sneakers made in Vietnam as Covid crisis worsens

Panera adapts its catering business for the remote and hybrid workforce

Reliance Retail acquires a controlling stake in Indian search and discovery firm Just Dial

China is buying up American farms. Washington wants to crack down.

Harry Potter New York is the first official Harry Potter flagship store

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Tipsheet: Shoplifting @ San Fran ‘Basically Legal’ | Bloomie’s Store #1 | Schnucks Prez Leaving


Supermarkets are stockpiling inventory as food costs rise at Fox Business. “Some supermarkets said they are buying and storing supplies to keep their shelves full amid stronger demand…The move is a reversal from last year when consumers hoarded groceries because of concerns about food availability…” Read more


Target, Walgreens close early due to thefts in California stores at Fox 5 NY. “Target stores in San Francisco are now closing early, moving from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a Financial District store closing as early as 5 p.m. on Saturday…Target spokesperson: “For more than a month, we’ve been experiencing a significant and alarming rise in theft and security incidents at our San Francisco stores, similar to reports from other retailers in the area.” Read more


…’Crime is basically legal in San Francisco’ at Daily Mail. “A video posted to Instagram captures yet another brazen act of shoplifting in San Francisco, this time at the luxury department store Neiman Marcus…Shoplifting cases are all too common in San Francisco, where charges of property theft less than $950 in value was downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor in 2014 – meaning that store staff and security do not persue or stop thieves who have taken anything worth less than $1,000.” Video/Read more


Visa says crypto-linked card usage tops $1 billion in first half of 2021 at CNBC. “This summer, Mastercard will launch a card with crypto exchange Gemini, co-founded by billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The card will allow consumers to earn cryptocurrency as a reward. However, cardholders will not be allowed to access their digital wallet on the site.” Read more


A pandemic clothing purge is on as normal life resumes in US at AP. “A wardrobe purge is on for some as vaccinations have taken hold, restrictions have lifted, and offices reopen or finalize plans to do so. The primary beneficiaries: resale sites online and brick-and-mortar donation spots, continuing a trend that’s been building for the last several years.” Read more


Costco will drop COVID-19 senior hours at month’s end at Fox Business. Read more


Schnucks president Dave Peacock leaving for New York agribusiness firm at St. Louis Post- Dispatch. “(Schnucks) is promoting Ted Schnuck, the CEO’s nephew, to executive vice president in charge of store operations and merchandising. Ted Schnuck currently serves as a vice president overseeing meat, seafood, produce and other store departments. He’ll begin his new role full-time in October.” Read more


**2021 Sweets and Snacks Expo Most Innovative Products Named. See the list here. Save the 2022 date – May 24-26, 2022 at McCormick Place Chicago.


The Pizza Delivery Guy Will Be a Robot at Many Campuses This Fall at Wall Street Journal. “Grubhub will deploy the suitcase-size rovers built by Russian tech company Yandex NV to some of the 250 colleges across the U.S. that Grubhub already operates in, the companies said Tuesday.” WSJ subs. 


Pentagon cancels $10 billion JEDI cloud contract after long feud between Amazon and Microsoft at GeekWire. Read more


Home Depot, Lowe’s amp up focus on home pros at CNBC. “Lowe’s is gaining ground, but it’s still playing catch-up, D.A. Davidson retail analyst Michael Baker said. He said the entire difference in sales per store at the two home improvement retailers comes from the gap in the size of the pro businesses. Sales per average store at Home Depot and Lowe’s in 2020 were $57.6 million and $45.4 million, respectively, according to D.A. Davidson estimates.” Read more


Despite digital grocery growth, ‘stores are still king’ at Talk Business. “Field Agent recently surveyed its nationwide agent pool…showed that 98% of agents still shop inside stores despite 58% saying they also buy some grocery items online…Almost half of the agents said they used curbside pickup outside of local stores, and 31% said they used online apps to place the order, but picked up inside the store. Despite an abundance of delivery options, just 21% said they chose this option.” Read more


Bloomingdale’s is getting ready to open its first-ever Bloomie’s store. Here’s a look inside at CNBC. “…opening in Fairfax, Virginia, on Aug. 26…The roughly 22,000-square-foot space will be much smaller than a typical Bloomingdale’s location…The store will serve as a hub for experiences, with a focus on fashion, and feature Colada Shop, a restaurant serving coffee, Caribbean-inspired small bites and cocktails into the evening.” Pics/Read more


12-foot python escapes inside Louisiana’s largest mall at AP. “The Blue Zoo — which bills itself as “more than an aquarium, more than a zoo” — was closed Tuesday while search efforts continued, but the Mall of Louisiana remained open.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra

Amazon launches at-home COVID-19 test kit for $39.99

Fresh Thyme seeks 1,000 local products for St. Louis concept store

Target-themed Monopoly game launches August 1st

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Year-Round E15 Sales

Chick-fil-A rated America’s top fast-food restaurant, McDonald’s ranked last

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Tipsheet: NYT Hits Target | Wgreen US +6.4% | WM Trains Public @ Looted Store


Walgreens Q3 US overall comp sales +6.4% / Pharmacy +8.4% / Retail +1.7% Press release


…Walgreens raises forecast as it looks to accelerate growth under new CEO at CNBC. “The drugstore chain said it now anticipates about 10% growth in adjusted earnings per share for the year, due to its rebounding sales and the boost it has gotten from Covid-19 shots. It had previously forecast growth in the mid-to-high single digits.” Read more


Tropical Storm Elsa shatters record, eyes US at AccuWeather. “AccuWeather meteorologists are concerned that Elsa could strengthen quickly into a hurricane as it approaches the Windward Islands. If it develops into a hurricane, Elsa would become the first of the 2021 Atlantic season.” Read more


US jobless claims fall to 364,000, a new pandemic low at AP. “Last week’s drop in jobless claims was steeper than economists had expected. Applications for unemployment benefits have now fallen in 10 of the past 12 weeks.” Read more


Amazon adds two new leadership principles just days before Jeff Bezos steps down as CEO at GeekWire. “The additions are a big deal given how the existing 14 leadership principles guide Amazon’s day-to-day operations. It’s the first time Amazon has added to the list since 2015…Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer…Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility…” Read more


Gap’s Yeezy brand with Kanye West could tally nearly $1 billion in sales in first year, Wells Fargo says at CNBC. “Among the Gap customers, 64% indicated they planned to buy items from the collaboration. On average, they expected to spend an incremental $178 on Yeezy products in the first year of the line’s debut. Of the people who currently don’t shop at Gap, 23% said they intended to buy the merchandise and expected to shell out an incremental $126 at Gap.” Read more


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Target Store Closings Show Limits of Pledge to Black Communities at NY Times. “To open a store like Target in an African American neighborhood gave this area legitimacy,” said the Rev. Frank Lance, pastor of Mount Lebanon Baptist Church in Mondawmin. “When the store closed, it was like saying, ‘You are not worthy after all.’”…a Target spokeswoman said closing a store was a “last resort” and happened only after “it’s had a consistent history of underperformance, following several years of investments to help it succeed.” Read more


Amazon offering new $170 monthly benefit to employees who commute to work by bike at GeekWire. Read more


Gap to close all UK, Ireland stores; shifts business online at AP. “The closures will take place in a phased manner by the end of September and includes the company’s outlets in Ireland. In total, 81 stores will close.” Read more


At Chicago Walmart store, job training isn’t just for employees. Retailer to offer free courses for the public at store damaged in last year’s civil unrest at Chicago Tribune. “In addition to hosting training for employees, the 15,000-square-foot facility will have space for community members to train for jobs as medical assistants and HVAC technicians or take classes on financial literacy and job interview preparedness.” Read more


Amazon wants FTC Chairwoman Lina Kahn removed from antitrust cases against company at Fox Business. “In a petition filed to the FTC on Wednesday, Amazon’s attorneys wrote that Khan “has made numerous and highly detailed public pronouncements regarding Amazon,” and “has on numerous occasions argued that Amazon is guilty of antitrust violations and should be broken up.” Read more


Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Announces Jason Edelman as SVP of Williams Sonoma Home Brand “Most recently Jason was SVP, Merchandising – Furniture for Restoration Hardware…” Press release


Chief Economist Says NRF Revised Forecast Because ‘Great Uncertainty’ Has Transformed Into Clear Recovery “It has become clear that the U.S. economy and retail sales are growing far faster and more steadily than anyone could have expected just a few months ago,” Kleinhenz said. “We are seeing not just unprecedented growth from months of pent-up demand as the economy reopens but momentum as well.” Press release


Tipsheet Extra

Jeff Bezos picks female aerospace pioneer to launch with him

Inflation expected to ratchet up back-to-school costs, survey says

Biden wants to pay farmers to grow carbon-capturing crops. It’s complicated.

7-Eleven, Yum! Brands franchisee acquires Au Bon Pain

Wish announces Chief Financial Officer transition

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