Costco: Limits Cakes & Gold Bars | Oct. Shopping Up | lululemon/Peloton Partner


Costco is selling gold bars and they are selling out within a few hours at CNBC. “I’ve gotten a couple of calls that people have seen online that we’ve been selling 1 ounce gold bars,” (Galanti) said. “Yes, but when we load them on the site, they’re typically gone within a few hours, and we limit two per member…only available online, and only if you’re a Costco member…retailer also is limiting the purchases to two to a customer…” Read more


In Suing Amazon, FTC’s Lina Khan Turns Her Earlier Pricing Argument on Its Head at Wall Street Journal. “In her 2017 academic paper, Khan argued that Amazon sweet-talked customers by using predatory pricing, or slashed prices so low that it lost money but rivals couldn’t compete…Now the FTC accuses Amazon of hurting consumers with higher prices, mainly through punishing its marketplace sellers if they offer lower discounts anywhere else. It also says Amazon reaps the fruits of monopoly by requiring sellers to use its fulfillment service.” WSJ subs.


Costco exec says membership fee increase question of ‘when, not if’ at Fox Business. Read more


lululemon and Peloton Announce Partnership “Peloton will become the exclusive digital fitness content provider for lululemon, and lululemon will become the primary athletic apparel partner to Peloton.” Press release


Costco limits number of cakes Mexican members can buy over shoppers who slice them up to sell for $430-a-day profit: One woman uses cash to pay for chemo at Daily Mail. “Cakes from the wholesale store have rocketed in popularity after TikTok users posted about how delicious they are – creating a secondary market for resellers…Ana, is part of a group of 15 people who take turns standing in lines outside Costco storefronts.” Read more | Video


Walmart Inc. expands its metaverse presence at Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. NWA online subs. 


Nike Air Jordans are losing resale value. Is sneaker culture moving on? at Reuters. “Apptopia data from Barclays showed that during the fiscal first quarter, Nike app downloads were down 18% compared to last year…As shoppers shift toward running shoes, some investors are concerned that Nike’s innovation has not kept pace with newer brands gaining share in the U.S. market, according to Jessica Ramirez, a senior research analyst at Jane Hali & Associates.” Read more


JCPenney Releases All-New Collection Inspired by Hit Series “Abbott Elementary” Press release


Holiday shoppers are getting an early jump on the season at CNBC. “This year, half of shoppers plan to begin their holiday shopping by Halloween, according to a recent Bankrate report. A separate study, by RetailMeNot, found that more shoppers are starting even earlier than before — with as many as 64% kicking off the season in October, up from 53% in 2022.” Read more


GameStop names billionaire Ryan Cohen as CEO in turnaround push at Reuters. Read more


Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders urge FTC’s Khan to finalize controversial merger rules at MarketWatch. “The new form will require companies to provide much more information to antitrust enforcers before they seek to consummate a deal. Most controversially, that would include narrative information about the strategic rationale for a transaction as well as studies, surveys, analyses and reports which were prepared by the company as it considered the deal.” Read more


Costco CFO: Retail theft ‘not a big issue for us’ at Yahoo Finance. “In the past several years, our inventory shrink has increased by a couple of basis points, in part, we believe, due to the rollout of self-checkout,” (Galanti) said. “Over the past year, it has increased by less than 1 basis point.” One factor that may help to prevent theft — people are paying to go there.” Read more

NRF: 6 Shaping Retail | Costco: $29 Zoom Health | #1 Grocer: F.Market


Costco partners with Sesame to offer members $29 virtual health visits at USA Today. “Sesame and Costco do not plan to open clinics in Costco locations, according to Bloomberg News, who first reported the partnership.” Read more


NRF Foundation Announces The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future 2024

lululemon Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President Julie Averill
Crocs Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Heidi Cooley
The Kroger Co. Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Yael Cosset
Shopify President Harley Finkelstein
Snoopslimes Founder and CEO Jungmin Kang
Burlington Stores Inc. Senior Vice President of Leadership and Organizational Development

Press release


Walmart to Roll Out New Prepaid Phone Service From Boost Founder at Bloomberg. “Walmart Inc. is expanding its offerings of prepaid phone plans with MobileX, a wireless service launched earlier this year by Boost cofounder Peter Adderton. Walmart will be MobileX’s first and exclusive retail partner, the companies said in an announcement Tuesday.” Bloomberg subs. 


Alibaba to list its logistics unit Cainiao as part of historic shakeup at CNBC. Read more


Texas Walmart shooter agrees to pay more than $5M to families over 2019 racist attack at CBS News. “There is no indication Crusius, 25, has significant assets. He was 21 years old and had dropped out of community college when police say he drove more than 700 miles from his home near Dallas to target Hispanics with an AK-style rifle inside and outside the store.” Read more


United Natural Foods Q4 net sales +2.0% Press release


Fast fashion is leaning into resale, but it may do little to reduce emissions at CNBC. “…fast-fashion retailers, which create about 11.5 kilograms (25.3 pounds) of carbon dioxide for every item they make, will only reduce their emissions by 0.7% with resale programs. In comparison, premium apparel brands like Tory Burch and Ralph Lauren create about 16 kilograms of CO2 for every item they make, and could reduce those emissions by 14.8% with resale programs, the analysis said.” Read more faces an array of US consumer, state antitrust lawsuits at Reuters. “U.S. regulators have been probing and other Big Tech companies for antitrust violations and the FTC has long been expected to take formal action against the online retailer.” Read more


USA Today readers name The Fresh Market #1 grocery store Top 10 list


Americans Finally Start to Feel the Sting From the Fed’s Rate Hikes at Wall Street Journal. “Buying a home or car right now is “completely unaffordable for the typical American household because you’re mixing the higher borrowing costs with the high prices,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.” WSJ subs. 


Cough syrup deaths overseas prompt US crackdown on toxic testing at Reuters. “Cough syrups made in India and Indonesia have been linked to deaths of more than 300 children globally. The medicines were found to contain high levels of DEG and EG, leading to acute kidney injury and death. The poisonings have sparked criminal probes, lawsuits and a surge in regulatory scrutiny worldwide.” Read more

Costco’s Porch Pirate Test | $200 Covid Shots | D.Gen Worst Job?


Walmart opens a pet center with veterinary care and grooming at CNBC. “On Wednesday, the retailer is opening a first-of-its-kind center in Dallas, Georgia, a suburb about 30 miles northwest of Atlanta…The Georgia location will serve as a pilot, but Walmart plans to open more locations, said Kaitlyn Shadiow, vice president of merchandising for pets for Walmart U.S. She declined to say how many pet shops it may ultimately have but said Walmart plans to open more next year, if not sooner.” Read more


Bay Area residents shocked over new COVID vaccine prices at NBC Bay Area. “Being healthy is important but paying $200 for a vaccine shot is too much,” said Lafayette resident Ryan Dougherty. CVS is one of the places passing along the cost to some customers. But the drugstore says things could change soon and suggest those who want the vaccine to reschedule if their insurance doesn’t currently cover the cost.” Read more


US weekly jobless claims, continuing claims at eight-month low at Reuters. “The U.S. labor market continues to outperform expectations,” said Eugenio Aleman, chief economist at Raymond James. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 201,000 for the week ended Sept. 16, the lowest level since January, the Labor Department said on Thursday.” Read more


Hy Vee inches closer to St. Louis with plan to purchase two stores in Central Illinois at St. Louis Business Journal. “News of Hy Vee’s planned acquisitions follow big-box retailer Meijer Inc. having previously announced it plans to build two stores concurrently in the St. Louis region.” Business Journal subs. 


Amazon gives Alexa an AI facelift as it launches new smart speakers at CNBC. “At its annual devices bonanza on Wednesday, Amazon introduced new hardware and software with generative artificial intelligence features…” Read more/Other new items


2 dead at Hiram Walmart in apparent murder-suicide at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “One of the victims appears to be a Walmart employee, officials confirmed to the news station. The identities of both victims were not released. Devani Lopez said he heard two pops inside the store, but the sounds did not register as gunshots until people started running for the exits.” Read more


Container Store CEO cuts salary by 10% to help give pay raises to employees at Dallas Morning News. Subscription required


How U.S. Households Got Turned Upside Down by Higher Interest Rates at Wall Street Journal. “More Americans have turned to payday and other short-term loans, which tend to carry superhigh interest rates. In the second quarter, upward of 1.6 million Americans took out at least one of these loans for the first time in a year or longer, according to LexisNexis Risk Solutions. That was a 35% increase from a year earlier.” WSJ subs. 


Walmart, Netflix & Target are Among the Top Brands for Hispanic Consumers at Ad Age. “The marketers were cited for offering value and for their understanding of Hispanic consumers, according to a Collage Group survey.” Subscription required


Why Dollar General Might Just Be the Worst Retail Job in America at Bloomberg. “Rat infestations, blocked fire exits, expired kids’ food, machete-wielding and watermelon-throwing shoppers and other nightmares at the biggest dollar chain in the US.” Subscription required


…Dollar General stock downgraded on low-income shopper ‘acting recessionary’ at Yahoo Finance. “Compounding matters, management sees excess saving for the middle-income cohort on pace to be depleted by the end of fall ’23,” wrote Matthew Boss and his team of analysts. Student loan repayments, elevated interest rates, and higher fuel prices could also worsen the picture for consumers, the note said.” Read more


AI is policing the package theft beat for UPS as ‘porch piracy’ surge continues across U.S. at CNBC. “UPS’s Delivery Defense analyzes address characteristics and generates a ‘Delivery Confidence Score’ for each address…The initial version was designed to integrate with the existing software of major retailers through the API —a beta test has been run with Costco Wholesale in Colorado. The company declined to provide information related to the Costco collaboration.” Read more

Amazon Unit Morale Down | Oakland Merchants Strike | S. Fix -22%


Amazon Develops Version of Cashierless Tech for Clothing Stores by Matt Day at Bloomberg. “Amazon has quietly piloted its RFID-enabled Just Walk Out technology at fan shops at two Seattle sports arenas: Lumen Field, home of the National Football League’s Seahawks, and Climate Pledge Arena, of the National Hockey League’s Kraken. Amazon Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy is a minority owner of the hockey team.” Read more


AutoZone 4th Quarter Domestic Same Store Sales Increase 1.7% Press release


….AutoZone Announces Organizational Changes “Tom Newbern…has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer…Jamere Jackson…has been promoted as Chief Financial Officer (CFO)…positioning Tom and Jamere as equivalents and the senior most leaders of (CEO-elects) leadership team.” Press release


Instacart Prices IPO at $30 a Share, at Top End of Expectations at Wall Street Journal. “At that price, the grocery-delivery company…would be valued at $9.9 billion on a fully diluted basis. The pricing sets the stage for the San Francisco-based company to start trading Tuesday on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol CART.” WSJ subs. 


Mastercard: U.S. Retail Sales Expected to Grow 3.7% This Holiday Season Press release


Amazon devices unit morale wanes amid cuts, weak development pipeline by Greg Bensinger at Reuters. “Reuters interviewed more than 15 current and former employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity…The news agency was able to identify five different new devices under development. These include a carbon monoxide detector and a household energy consumption monitor – both with Alexa built into them – as well as a home projector to make any surface a screen.” Read more


Stitch Fix Q4 net revenue down 22% year-over-year Press release


Texas hunters attract premier outdoor retailer Sitka to Dallas by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “Bozeman-based Sitka, a premier brand of outdoor gear and apparel owned by Gore-Tex, has picked Dallas to open its second store. The 3,026-square-foot store is open just south of Knox Street on McKinney Avenue.” Read more


Olive oil prices surge over 100% to record highs, sparking cooking oil thefts at CNBC. “Mintec’s Holland cautioned that if stocks of olive oil continue to be depleted by the drought, supplies could be exhausted before October, where the fresh harvests usually arrive.” Read more


Amazon Considering New Subscription Programs in Grocery, Healthcare at PYMNTS. “The company is also considering integrating One Medical’s primary care service with Amazon’s Prime subscription program, according to the report…One Medical, which is owned by Amazon, is a national hybrid in-office and virtual primary care organization. Amazon acquired One Medical in July 2022, saying that it aims to reinvent healthcare.” Read more


OOPS – San Francisco gets $17 million to fight retail theft, Oakland misses grant deadline at Fox KTVU. “Oakland said it was in the process of hiring a person responsible for managing grants across all city departments. “I think it’s a disgrace that they didn’t,” said Piedmont Grocery manager Luis Hernandez in Oakland. “This fencing, we had to put it up just to keep them from getting our liquor which was a big, big problem.” Read more


…Oakland merchants plan to strike SF Chronicle subs. 


Pringles just unveiled a $140 collab with The Caviar Co. at CNBC. “Unlike a regular tube of Pringles, which retails for less than $3 at most stores, the Pringles x Caviar collab is going to cost you quite a bit more. Customers will have three options to choose from, priced at $49, $110 and $140, respectively.” Read more


A Mother’s Love—a Bargain at $450 a Year, Plus Applicable Fees at Wall Street Journal. “A young client called Horwitz on a recent night in a panic. He needed a sport coat for early the next morning. Target was the only store open but nothing there fit his 6-foot-3 frame. With Horwitz’s help, the student walked into his presentation wearing a coat borrowed from one of her sons.” WSJ subs. 

Carrefour Shames Suppliers | McMillon @ White House | A.Eagle Machete Threat


Carrefour sticks price warnings on food to shame suppliers at Reuters. “Carrefour is putting stickers on products that have shrunk in size but cost more even after raw materials prices have eased…Since Monday, Carrefour has marked 26 products in its stores in France with labels reading, “This product has seen its volume or weight fall and the effective price by the supplier rise.” Read more


CEOs from Alphabet, Walmart, Pfizer meet White House officials on refugees at Reuters. “Chief executives from a wide array of U.S. companies will meet White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients on Thursday to discuss refugee resettlement and sponsorship programs, a White House official said.” Read more


Retailers are losing $100 billion a year from return fraud, bots and coupon stacking at CNBC. “In one example analyzed by Riskified, a company identified 137,000 fake accounts created by just 4,000 abusive customers looking to take advantage of a steep 35% discount promotion for first-time customers. It cost the company more than $14 million annually.” Read more


Retail sales pick up steam at Yahoo. “Retail sales rose 0.6% in August from the previous month, above Wall Street’s estimates for 0.1% growth. Sales excluding auto and gas increased 0.2%, above estimates for a 0.1% decline compiled by Bloomberg.” Read more


Dollarama raises annual sales forecast as demand for essentials thrives at Reuters/Yahoo. “The discount store operator said it now expects comparable store-sales growth of between 10% and 11% for fiscal 2024, compared with between 5% and 6% estimated previously” Read more | Q2 comp sales +15.5% Press release


American Eagle staff were threatened with guns and a machete while working in San Francisco mall, new lawsuit says by Eleanor Pringle at Fortune via Yahoo. “The brand is suing shopping centre chain Westfield for allowing its San Francisco site to “deteriorate into disarray”…The suit claims that in more than 100 instances between May 2022 and May 2023 staff were subject to “significant security incidents.” Read more


‘Linchpin’ in Amazon marketplace bribery scheme sentenced at Seattle Times/Merced Sun Star. “…ran a consulting business to help merchants who sold their goods on Amazon’s digital marketplace. They and four others were accused of participating in a three-year scheme to manipulate Amazon’s digital store by bribing Amazon employees to access confidential information they then used to help clients gain an unfair advantage over other sellers, according to court records.” Read more


Albertsons Companies Launches 30-Minute Grocery Pickup and Delivery Press release


How Gen Z is putting their spin on personal finances by Claire Thornton at USA Today. “A vast majority (89%) of Gen Z — or people born between 1997 and 2012 — said they have saved money on something in 2023, more than any other generation, according to a Harris Poll…Yet they’re also not shy about splurging on items. Seventy-five percent of Gen Z said they spent a lot on something in 2023, also more than other age groups.” Read more


Chicago Mayor explores city-owned grocery store “The City of Chicago is reimagining the role government can play in our lives by exploring a public option for grocery stores via a municipally owned grocery store and market,” said Ameya Pawar, Senior Advisor at Economic Security Project. “Not dissimilar from the way a library or the postal service operates…” Press release


Walmart faces disability violations by Serenah McCay at Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “The U.S. Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission claims Walmart’s Pathways Training Program, created in 2015, included a test at the end called the Pathways Graduation Assessment…”Walmart terminated employees with disabilities across the U.S., including two in Arkansas, who failed the test after three attempts even though the employees satisfactorily performed their jobs,” the agency said.” Read more


Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison Presents at Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Global Retailing Conference at Seeking Alpha. Transcript/Subs. required


Home Depot Management Presents at Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Global Retailing Conference at Seeking Alpha. Transcript/Subs. required


At Johnson & Johnson, a New Look but Old Hurdles by Peter Loftus at WSJ. “The rebranding is designed to reflect the focus on innovation in medicine and surgery, and put some distance between J&J and the consumer brands that most people have associated with the company. Its new logo uses plain red print letters to spell out Johnson & Johnson and drops the memorable cursive penmanship that was modeled after the signature of a co-founder.” WSJ subs.

TikTok Shop Launches | Amazon’s New Manhattan Office | Holiday +3%


TikTok Shop officially launches in the U.S. at TechCrunch. “As part of the rollout, the company is bringing features such as a dedicated shop tab on the home screen, live video shopping, shoppable ads, and affiliate programs for creators. TikTok has been testing its e-commerce initative in the U.S. since last November.” Read more


A Mall Owner’s About-Face: Bet on America’s High-End Malls at Kate King at Wall Street Journal. “The European owner of Westfield malls is pulling back from its aggressive plan to sell nearly all its properties and exit from the U.S. market this year…will hold some of its top-performing malls but still plans a ‘radical reduction’ of its U.S. exposure.” WSJ subs. 


Macy’s-owned Bloomingdale’s taps Olivier Bron as its next CEO at CNBC. “Bron, 46, is a French national who was most recently CEO of Central and Robinson department stores in Thailand. Prior to that, he was chief operating officer and director of strategy for Galeries Lafayette, a French retail group in Paris. He also spent more than a decade at Bain & Company as a retail consultant.” Read more | Press release


Amazon Announces Supply Chain by Amazon, Offering Sellers End-to-End Supply Chain Management Across All Sales Channels Press release


Britain’s biggest retailers are teaming up to invest $750K in a new police project to stop shoplifters at Fortune. Fortune subs. required


Amazon follows Microsoft, investing big in carbon capture at CNBC. “The carbon that is removed through the air capture systems will then be stored underground in saline aquifers…A quarter of a million metric tons of carbon dioxide is equivalent to the emissions in one year from 55,633 gasoline-powered cars, according to the EPA.” Read more


Bain & Company forecasts US retail sales to grow by 3% this holiday season, the lowest holiday growth rate since 2018 Press release


Amazon’s Makeover of Lord & Taylor Building Shows Challenge of Office Conversions by Konrad Putzier at Wall Street Journal. “Amazon had to add bathrooms, kitchens, new elevators and stairs wide enough for a rush of office workers. And then there is the lack of daylight. Floors span around 55,000 square feet on average, meaning large parts of the building are far away from windows. So the company decided to build a staircase with plants and daylight-mimicking lamps, giving the illusion of a courtyard.” WSJ subs. 


Disabled Arkansans an ‘untapped talent pipeline’ of workers, Walmart exec tells group by Doug Thompson at Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “the unemployment rate among Arkansans with a disability is 19%, said Victor Calise, director of global belonging, diversity, equity and inclusion at Walmart…Calise worked as a plumber before an accident put him in a wheelchair, he told the audience. He then attained a college degree in sports management.” Read more


Kohl’s Reveals the Top 20 Toys of the 2023 Holiday Season Press release


Disaster relief delivered by Amazon by Monica Nickelsburg at KUOW. “Hawaii — as they should for remote islands — they don’t want to have single-use plastic,” (Diaz) said in an interview at Amazon’s headquarters. “So for me to send food clamshells, they need to be compostable. They need to be biodegradable. We’re able to tap into not just our selection, but the expertise of many of our people in the company, like vendor managers, to say, ‘What is the right product for us to send to that location?’” Read more


Casey’s Q1 inside same-store sales +5.4% Press release


China considering ban on clothing that ‘hurts feelings’ of nation at CNN. “It follows a series of clampdowns on personal style in recent years, including broadcast regulations aimed at banishing artists with “effeminate styles” from shows and an ongoing crackdown on tattoos.” Read more


BJ’s Wholesale Club Names Anjana Harve Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer Press release

TX Retail Appointee List | Laxative Shortage | CA Retail Bill Vote Nears


US jobless claims hit lowest level since February; productivity strongest in years at Reuters. “The report also showed labor costs, a key focus of the Federal Reserve as it battles to bring inflation back down to its 2% target, rose at a 2.2% annualized rate, a somewhat faster pace than the 1.6% rate initially reported. Nonetheless, the advance was still the slowest since the fourth quarter of 2021.” Read more


Appointees of new Texas task force to work on how to prevent organized retail theft at KXAN. “The task force will meet quarterly and make legislative suggestions to prevent organized retail theft, manage the crime’s long-term economic impact and improve consumer protections. “The mob attacks on retail outlets are only part of the problem,” Hegar said.” Read more / Appointee list


Kroger, Albertsons plan to offload over 400 stores at Reuters/Yahoo. “…to C&S Wholesale Grocers for nearly $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal would give privately held C&S, primarily a supplier rather than an operator of grocery stores, a much more significant footprint. It currently operates about two dozen stores under the Grand Union and Piggly Wiggly brands.” Read more


California Bill To Protect Workers From Violence in Wake of Crime Surge Faces Key Vote at Newsweek. “A bill in California that would legally mandate employers to implement a workplace violence prevention plan is just one vote away from becoming law, amid increasing concern about the safety of workers.” Read more


78% of consumers say they use debit cards for the majority of their purchases by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “The (J.D. Power) report found consumers on average tend to use at least four different methods of payment at varying times. The report found that 74% said they use cash, 66% use credit cards, 36% that use gift cards, and 28% said they use buy-now-pay-later.” Read more


How The HeyDude Guy Became A Billionaire Selling Ugly Shoes by Amy Feldman at Forbes. “HeyDude founder Alessandro Rosano…had tried his hand at other businesses before. But with HeyDude, which makes comfortable slip-on loafers with a so-ugly-they’re-cute look, he hit the jackpot…revenue took off, reaching $581 million in 2021…That December, Rosano agreed to sell the brand to Crocs…for $2.5 billion in cash and stock.” Read more


Target children’s clothing section turns into flaming inferno in terrifying scene at NY Post. “Witness Guillermo Santander was with his daughter at the store. He told ABC 7 that he thought it was just a Halloween prop at first, but as he got closer, “we heard a pop which was the sprinkler going off.” “All of a sudden, the flame got bigger,” he told the outlet.” Pics/Video/Read more


Texas power grid enters emergency mode Wednesday evening to avoid rolling blackouts by Houston Public Media. “The state’s power grid operator triggered its emergency operations on Wednesday evening, allowing it to call on all available power generation to stay ahead of demand — and bringing it a step closer to a worst-case scenario of ordering rotating power outages.” Read more


Gen Z and Millennials Twice as Likely to be Omnichannel Shoppers “51.6% of Gen Z and 47.7% of Millennials plan to spend more for the rest of the year, including the holidays, versus just 29.3% of Gen X and 20.6% of Boomers.” Press release


Tesla plans to install 20,000 electric vehicle charging stations across 2,000 Hilton properties in the U.S., Mexico and Canada beginning next year at CNBC. Read more


Walmart issues gift cards in Alabama after sales tax overcharge at Fox Business. “The retail chain made the mistake on Sept. 1 after a new law lowered the state’s tax on groceries from 4% to 3%. Attempting to adjust their systems to the new rate, Walmart accidentally charged customers both the old tax rate and the new tax rate at the same time.” Read more


People Rely on Laxatives So Much, There Aren’t Enough to Go Around by Rachel Wolfe at Wall Street Journal. “Some people are treating laxatives like a budget Ozempic to feel skinnier, psychologists say. And social media, including TikTok’s popular #GutTok, spreads misinformation around what healthy bathroom behavior looks like, doctors say. Searches for laxative pills on Amazon have more than tripled in the past year, according to analytics company Pattern.” WSJ subs.

#1 Cust. Service (Costco/Publix/Wawa) | Recession 15% | lulu Margin 58%


America’s Best Customer Service 2024 (#1 = Publix, Costco, Wawa…) at Newsweek. “Newsweek and…Statista are proud to announce our sixth edition of America’s Best Customer Service 2024. This award recognizes 724 brands in 166 categories that go above and beyond to make their customers feel special.” Rankings


Goldman Sachs cuts chances of US recession in next one year to 15% from an earlier 20% at Reuters. Read more


Amazon is reportedly getting into legal fights with landlords as ‘zombie’ Amazon Fresh stores pile up by Alex Bitter at Business Insider. “In New Jersey, another landlord is suing Amazon for $10 million after it invested in readying one of its properties for an Amazon Fresh store, the Post reported. Amazon has also faced lawsuits from landlords in Philadelphia and Seattle, according to the Post.” Read more


lululemon Q2 comparable sales +11% “Gross profit increased 23% to $1.3 billion and gross margin increased 230 basis points to 58.8%.” Press release


Dollar General promotes Rod West to EVP of Global Supply Chain Press release


Tyson Foods Couldn’t Produce Enough Chicken. Now It Has Too Much. by Patrick Thomas at Wall Street Journal. “You had a supercycle for chicken that played out in 2021 and 2022,” said Ben Bienvenu, a food and agribusiness analyst at Stephens. “I get why they [Tyson] wanted to increase production after feeling like they missed out.” WSJ subs. 


Walgreens CEO steps down at CNN. “…its board and Brewer…mutually agreed for her to step down. Brewer also immediately stepped down as a member of the company’s board. Walgreens’ board named Ginger Graham, a member of the board, as interim CEO.” Read more


Former Walmart executives find new career challenges by Kim Souza at Talk Business. Read more


B&M buys up to 51 stores from collapsed rival Wilko at BBC. “Wilko was founded in 1930 and by the 1990s became one of Britain’s fastest-growing retailers. But the discount chain has faced strong competition from rivals including B&M, Poundland and Home Bargains, as the high cost of living has pushed shoppers to seek out bargains.” Read more


The Costco logo sweatshirt is being sold online for $12.97 as shoppers call it ‘hysterical,’ ‘glorious’ and ‘comfy’ at Fox Business. Pics/Read more


Teen dies after taking part in social media’s spicy ‘One Chip Challenge’ by David Propper at NY Post. “Tufts Medical Center chief of pediatric emergency medicine Dr. Lauren Rice told the outlet that when someone eats spicy food, the results can range from mouth or lip burning to heart issues. “Sometimes, we see people with a lot of chest pain, or they’ll experience palpitations, as well,” Rice said.” Read more