WM AI In-Store | D.Tree DC Hit | WM Closes Health Clinics


Walmart Takes On Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods With New Premium Brand at WSJ. “…introducing a line of premium food called Bettergoods this year, aiming to attract new, often higher income shoppers more frequently…The new brand took years to develop and will include foods such as cardamom rose raspberry jam for $5.24 and curry chicken empanadas. Walmart plans to add more than 300 Bettergoods items to shelves this year—many of which will cost $5 or less.” WSJ subs.


…products will fit within one of three major areas…items with more of a culinary flair…items that are plant-based…or items that exclude certain ingredients, such as gluten- and antibiotic-free chicken nuggets at CNBC | Press release


Walmart closing all 51 of its health clinics at CNBC. “…said it would also shutter its telehealth provider, which it acquired for an undisclosed amount in 2021…won’t affect the company’s 4,600 pharmacies and more than 3,000 vision centers…The clinic will close over the next 45 to 90 days, two people familiar with the matter told CNBC.” Read more


America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity 2024 (Costco, Target, Walmart, Schnucks & many more) at Newsweek


CANADA – Documents reveal feds’ efforts to get Loblaw, Walmart on board with grocery code at Toronto Sun


A new Walmart in-store AI is giving employees advice on how to sell products before it’s too late at CNBC. “The internally developed AI technology allows Walmart employees to scan produce like bananas to see how ripe the product is. Then, using generative AI, a digital dashboard will make a suggestion on what to do with the product, eliminating the need for human decision making in the absence of informed advice.” Read more


FTC Accuses Amazon’s Jeff Bezos of Using Signal’s Disappearing Messages to Discuss Competitors at Inc.


CANADA – Grocery shoppers plan Loblaw boycott in May at Financial Post. “Johnson and others started organizing the boycott after a Reddit group she created gained thousands of followers looking for a place to complain about Loblaw and other grocers. The page, r/loblawsisoutofcontrol, now has about 56,000 members.” Read more


Dollar Tree DC in Oklahoma hit by tornado “…none of the 456 associates…were injured…pivoted its network to deliver product to the approximately 600 Marietta-serviced Dollar Tree stores…expects that these efforts will limit disruption to the Dollar Tree shopping experience.” Press release


London Drugs closes its 80 stores until further notice due to cyberattack at CBC


Walmart opens childcare center on new home office campus “Generously supported by the Walton family, this 73,000-square-foot facility will provide a safe and enriching environment for infants through pre-K…capacity to accommodate more than 500 children…will be the largest childcare offering in the Northwest Arkansas region.” Press release


…There is also a parent courtyard, allowing parents working on campus to check their children out and have a meal or time together at NWA Online


An $850 million retail giant is giving candidates their questions before a job interview because ‘nerves can seriously impact performance’ at Fortune/Yahoo Finance. “Those applying for a job at John Lewis Partnership, the U.K.’s largest employee-owned business, now won’t have to panic about which dreaded questions could arise during the interview because the $850 million retail giant has just published them all online.” Read more

Furner @ GMA | ABC Tracks WM/Target Bags | Skelly’s Big Day


Tractor Supply Q1 comp sales +1.1% Press release


Amazon aggregator Thrasio loses CEO, other top execs as company works through bankruptcy at CNBC


Home Depot and Walmart US CEOs say ’employers should value skills above degrees’ in WSJ op-ed at Fox Business. “The American dream isn’t dead, but the path to reach it might look different for job seekers today than it did for their parents,” Decker and Furner wrote. “While a college degree is a worthwhile path to prosperity, it isn’t the only one.” Read more


…WSJ op-ed Subs.


…President and CEO of Walmart US, John Furner, appears on Good Morning America at ABC. “ABC News’ Alexis Christoforous interviews (Furner) on hiring people without college degrees, self-checkout process and keeping prices low.” Video


O’Reilly Automotive Q1 comp sales +3.4% Press release


Plastic bags from Walmart US recycling bins tracked to controversial plastic facilities in Southeast Asia at ABC News. “The investigation began more than 18 months ago, when ABC News and nine of its affiliated and owned stations secured 46 digital tracking devices to plastic bags and deployed them at Walmart and Target store drop-off recycling bins across 10 states…” Read more


Detroit Kroger employee recognized for brightening everybody’s day at CBS. 2:20 video


***A message from Su Salsa: Put the lime in the dip – not the chip! Su Salsa Mild salsa has a hint of lime and cilantro flavor with a kick of jalapeno at the end. Presentation/Lime Green Label | Request sample: jlong@eyeonretail.net


Supermarkets and urban grocery concepts are swarming NYC at NY Post. “CBRE group is marketing 42,009 square feet of retail on two levels in the base of Taconic’s new 330-unit apartment building on West 42nd Street…Lon Rubackin of CBRE (said) “If you asked if we would have a supermarket on the site a few years ago, I would not have believed it. They are all fighting for the same spot…” Read more


Foot Locker unveils its new retail concept at its Willowbrook Mall location in Wayne, N.J Press release


Home Depot (and Skelly) already celebrating Halloween at Better Homes & Garden. “On April 25, the start of the six-month countdown, you’ll be able to shop three decor items…Skelly…still retails for $300…5-foot Skeleton Dog, available for $200…Frankenstein’s Monster. Available as a 7-foot-tall animatronic…” Read more


DoorDash/Walgreens team – first platform that enables SNAP customers to make purchases directly from Walgreens using their SNAP/EBT cards Press release


Walgreens to help bring cell and gene therapies to patients as it expands specialty pharmacy services at CNBC. “…will open a newly licensed facility in Pittsburgh dedicated to services for cell and gene therapies. The 18,000-square-foot center will help drugmakers and health-care providers navigate the complex supply chain for those treatments…” Read more


Walmart+ “Moms Answer Moms” Q&A session will feature Paris Hilton Press release


Former Amazon Prime Air employees raise $4.5M for stealthy solar airplane startup at GeekWire. “Thomas said long-duration flights in the stratosphere could offer a “lot of opportunity”…(including) continuous real-time monitoring of weather systems, wildfires or illegal fishing; high-resolution imaging and mapping; mobile cellular service and broadband direct-to-device internet access.” Read more


The 50 Best Bars in North America, According to the ‘50 Best’ List (2024) at bon appetit


Forecast group predicts busiest hurricane season on record with 33 storms at Washington Post/MSN. “The unprecedented warmth in the tropical Atlantic right now — which we expect to persist through the hurricane season — is the dominant driving factor behind our prediction,” Mann said in an email.” Read more


Home Depot wins 2024 Energy Star Retail Partner of the Year Award Press release

WM +One | Kroger -579 | WM HQ +BBQ | Costco +Union


Amazon launches low-cost grocery delivery subscription plan in US at Reuters. “…unlimited grocery delivery at $9.99 per month on orders over $35 from Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh, and other local grocery and specialty retailers on the platform, including Save Mart, Bartell Drugs, Rite Aid and Pet Food Express…available in over 3,500 cities…SNAP (individuals) would…pay a reduced $4.99 fee per month for the same perks and do not require a Prime membership…” Read more


Walmart-backed fintech One introduces buy now, pay later as it prepares bigger push into lending at CNBC. “Walmart’s majority-owned fintech startup One has begun offering buy now, pay later loans for big-ticket items at some of the retailer’s more than 4,600 U.S. stores, CNBC has learned. The move puts One in direct competition with Affirm, the BNPL leader and exclusive provider of installment loans for Walmart customers since 2019.” Read more


Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer JD Sports to buy US rival Hibbett at Yahoo Finance. “It will pay $87.50 per Hibbett share in cash, representing a premium of about 20% to the U.S. firm’s last closing price…Hibbett has about 1,169 stores across 36 U.S. states…(JD) already owns Shoe Palace, which has a big presence on the U.S. west coast, and DTLR, which is established in the east.” Read more


Express files for bankruptcy, plans to close nearly 100 stores as investor group looks to save the brand at CNBC. “…a group of investors led by brand management firm WHP Global is looking to save the company by acquiring it. Express, whose portfolio includes its namesake banner, Bonobos and UpWest, said it will close 95 of its eponymous shops and all of its UpWest doors.” Read more


Amazon ends California drone delivery – will extend drone delivery to Arizona at TechCrunch. “…ending Prime Air drone delivery operations in Lockeford, California. The Central California town of 3,500 was the company’s second U.S. drone delivery site, after College Station, Texas…College Station deliveries will continue, along with a forthcoming site in Tolleson, Arizona set to kick off deliveries later this year.” Read more


Kroger, Albertsons to sell 166 more stores seeking approval of $25 billion merger at Reuters. “With the additional 166 stores, the companies are now selling 579 stores to C&S, as well as giving it access to Albertsons Signature and O Organics private label brands.” Read more


…Albertsons Q4 ID Sales +1.0% Press release


DoorDash adds Amazon vet to board at GeekWire. “Former longtime Amazon exec Jeff Blackburn joined the board of DoorDash. Blackburn, who retired from Amazon in 2022, joined the board of Roku last year.” Read more


Walmart reports on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Talk Business. “42.51% of people of color hold management positions in 2024, up from 40.65% a year ago. The officer ranks also improved for people of color to 29.66% from 27.61% a year ago. Latino employees holding management positions increased to 14.08%, up from 10.93%.” Read more


***A message from Su Salsa: Put the lime in the dip – not the chip! Su Salsa Mild salsa has a hint of lime and cilantro flavor with a kick of jalapeno at the end. Presentation/Lime Green Label | Request sample: jlong@eyeonretail.net


Kitty rescued from brink of death now a Target model at NY Post


Massive new Costco, once slated to be world’s largest, to open in California at SF Gate. “The store was originally planned to be the company’s largest in the world at over 240,000 square feet; a Salt Lake City store currently holds the title at 235,000 square feet, and the average size of Costco warehouses in the U.S. is 146,000 square feet. But the company walked those plans back after receiving concerns from the community.” Read more


Amazon surprises 13 Seattle-area students with ‘Future Engineer’ college scholarships at GeekWire


Michelle Obama signs books undercover at St. Louis Target at Fox 2


NY Home Depot hires guards, dogs to keep parking lot safe from thieves at NY Post. “The guarded New Rochelle lot was quiet and no migrants loitered there when The Post visited this week, though seven miles away in Throggs Neck, the Bronx, at least 30 male migrants hovered at the doors of Home Depot. Some were day laborers simply trying to “shape” for work with local contractors. But many others aggressively confronted shoppers, trying to sell them phony Apple Airpods or soliciting tips for lifting items from shopping carts into cars — even when uninvited.” Read more


CVS loses latest bid to escape HIV patients’ discrimination lawsuit at Reuters


Walmart’s new corporate campus in Bentonville will include Wright’s Barbecue restaurant at Talk Business. “…the campus has food and beverage partnerships lined up with Onyx, Heroes and Airship coffee roasters and a “global array of made-from-scratch delights” at 8th & Plate…Walmart’s campus construction is nearing the finish line, and most campus buildings are expected to open in 2025…encompasses roughly nine city blocks, 12 office buildings and 10 community buildings with outdoor and indoor recreation areas.” Read more | Virtual campus tour


 $300 million mega yacht owned by Walmart heiress at YachtWorld


Nike Reverses Course as Innovation Stalls and Rivals Gain Ground at WSJ. “…as the CEO spoke at the meeting, critical comments started to fill the chat window on the Zoom call while more than 20,000 employees watched. “Accountability: I do not think that word means what you think it means,” an employee wrote….Soon a cascade of laughing emojis filled the screen…The attacks went on for several minutes.” WSJ subs.


Target confirms it’s all but completely ditching DVDs in physical stores at The Verge


Costco Distribution Drivers Become First in Nation to Unionize “…a group of nearly 150 Costco Distribution drivers voted to become members of Teamsters Local 174…Costco driver Paul Lowrie (said)  ‘Costco may not be a bad place to work, but being in a Union will make everything better for us…’ Press release

Amazon’s Big (River) Secret | Shein Seattle Pop-Up | Wayfair 1st Store


Inside Amazon’s Secret Operation to Gather Intel on Rivals at WSJ. “For nearly a decade, workers in a warehouse in Seattle’s Denny Triangle neighborhood have shipped boxes of shoes, beach chairs, Marvel T-shirts and other items to online retail customers across the U.S. The operation, called Big River Services International…is an arm of Amazon that surreptitiously gathers intelligence on the tech giant’s competitors…Big River uses its sales across multiple countries to obtain pricing data, logistics information and other details about rival e-commerce marketplaces, logistics operations and payments services, according to people familiar with Big River…” WSJ subs.


Amazon exec explains grocery tech changes, debunks media reports about human reviewers at GeekWire. “So why is Amazon dropping Just Walk Out at its large grocery stores? In the interview, Kumar acknowledged the significant cost of the Just Walk Out infrastructure in these settings…Dash Carts can scale with the number of customers…The decision to focus on the Dash Carts also aligns with customer preferences in that retail format, he said. Many customers in grocery stores place more value on tracking their spending as they go, seeing item locations, and using coupons.” Read more


Shein bringing a pop-up experience to Seattle next week at GeekWire. “The event will take place April 26-29 at the O’Shea Building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle. Shein plans to offer a variety of merchandise for women and men, including clothing, shoes, handbags, and accessories.” Read more


Wayfair Set to Open its First Large-Format Store “…the grand opening of its inaugural large-format Wayfair store is May 23, 2024 at 10 a.m. The Wayfair store, spanning 150,000 square feet, is located in Edens Plaza in Wilmette, Illinois….including furniture, home decor, housewares and home improvement products…also has an onsite restaurant, The Porch.” Press release


JCPenney expects to return half a billion dollars to customers this year at Fortune/Yahoo. “…will offer customers its owner version of rival Kohl’s popular Kohl’s Cash incentive. The JCPenney version is called CashPass, and the chain says customers who sign up for the program will automatically get a $10 CashPass certificate, along with another on their birthday. Also, every time they spend $200, they’ll receive another $10 voucher.” Read more


Time 100 Most Influential List 2024 Read  / Press release


From Cubicle to Corporate Icon, Costco Finance Chief Ends 40-Year Run at WSJ. “…(Galanti) is looking forward to traveling, and perhaps will take another African safari or travel to Italy with family…He enjoys bike riding and golf, though he is “not a four-day-a-week golfer.”…Costco business is also on the agenda for the near term. Galanti will continue making the 16-minute commute into the office for now, while he is on the board through January. He plans to be at a few store openings and help Millerchip, the new CFO, a former Kroger finance chief.” WSJ subs.


***A message from Su Salsa – Lime flavored tortilla chips are too lime-y! Su Salsa Mild salsa puts the lime into the dip – not the chip. A hint of lime and cilantro flavor with a kick of jalapeno at the end. See the Presentation/Lime Green Label | Request sample: jlong@eyeonretail.net


Walgreens embarks on another round of layoffs at Chicago Tribune/Herald & Review. “Walgreens spokesman Fraser Engerman said the company is not disclosing the number of people it’s laying off. Most of the positions are Chicago-based, he said in a statement.” Read more


Autonomous trucking tech firm establishes advisory council with Walmart, Werner, UPS at Trucking Dive


Amazon is falling behind its promises for new jobs at HQ2 at The Verge. “None other than The Washington Post is holding Amazon to account for missing the mark on jobs produced at HQ2. The company was supp…osed to add 2,500 new jobs at the site last year, but dropped 200 existing positions instead. Amazon risks losing tax incentives, but insists its goal of creating 25,000 jobs by the end of this decade remains on track.” Washington Post subs.


Walmart combines a pair of platforms “…making it easier for suppliers to combine Walmart Luminate’s insights with Walmart Connect’s closed-loop, omnichannel retail media solutions. The Walmart Luminate Insights Activation is a new self-serve integration with Walmart Connect…” Press release


Shoppers Drug Mart faces proposed class action for alleged ‘unethical corporate practices’ at CBC News. “Loblaw spokesperson says ‘case has no merit whatsoever, and we intend to vigorously defend it’” Read more


Hy-Vee enters Indiana with purchase of Strack & Van Til chain at Des Moines Register


Woman sues Target for collecting biometric data without her consent at Fox Business. “Arnetta Dean, who filed the lawsuit with the intention of preventing Target from further violating the privacy rights of state residents, is also pursuing statutory damages for the company’s alleged collection, storage and use of customers’ biometric data, according to the lawsuit obtained by FOX 32 Chicago.” Read more


Lowe’s partners with Lionel Messi Press release

WM Exec @ Graduation | Amazon Mega FC Pics | Wegmans @ Charlotte


Look inside Amazon’s gigantic new Oregon warehouse, its biggest in the Northwest at The Oregonian. “Five stories tall, 105 feet high, it’s the company’s largest fulfillment center in the Northwest and one of its largest anywhere in the world…Amazon expects to employ around 1,500 at the Woodburn site when it opens late this year or early in 2025. As operations ramp up, the company expects it could have 2,800 working on site before long, and as many as 3,500 Woodburn employees during busy periods. Some neighbors in the small community eye the 3.8 million-square-foot facility with apprehension…” Read more/Pics


Walmart Canada launches pilot program for customers to recycle reusable shopping bags at Canadian Press. “…customers will be able send in their extra or damaged Walmart reusable blue shopping bags to TerraCycle who will either wash and donate them to charity partners, including Food Banks Canada, or recycle them.” Read more


Macy’s proxy fight is over, but the battle for the department store’s future wages on at CNBC. “Macy’s and activist investor Arkhouse Management settled a proxy fight this week, with an agreement to add two independent directors to the retailer’s board…“It stops the pressures in the here and now,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of research firm GlobalData. “But in a way, you’re letting the wolf into the henhouse.” Read more


A Day in the Life of a Walmart Manager Who Makes $240,000 a Year at WSJ. “They determine success or failure,” says Kieran Shanahan, chief operating officer for Walmart U.S.  As Walmart shifts to automated systems, managing a store is becoming more complex, he says. “It’s hard. You are living in two worlds.” (Store manager) Hart has seen that change firsthand. About 20 years ago, then 19 years old and a mother of two, she started part-time at the same Walmart she now runs. Her first job was cooking live lobsters pulled from a tank in the deli.” WSJ subs.


The American dollar store has fallen on hard times at CNBC. “Family Dollar was never as good a business as Dollar General,” (professor) Strong said, citing revenue numbers…Dollar General generates $275 per square foot compared to $225 at Family Dollar…“Family Dollar has always been the weak child of the sector,” Strong said.” Read more


Wegmans announces first Charlotte store at WSOC/Yahoo


Amazon CTO Werner Vogels on the rapid progress of AI, and its impact on society at GeekWire. “Early versions of generative AI were “like a dancing bear,” says Werner Vogels, the Amazon chief technology officer. “We’re all amazed that this bear can dance,” he explains. “We don’t really look at whether it dances well or not.” In the past two years, with ample training, the bear has become a better dancer.” Read more/Podcast


***A message from Su Salsa – Lime flavored tortilla chips are too lime-y! Su Salsa Mild salsa puts the lime into the dip – not the chip. A hint of lime and cilantro flavor with a kick of jalapeno at the end. Great taste. Great label. Learn more | Request sample: jlong@eyeonretail.net


Inside Amazon’s Push to Crack Trader Joe’s—and Dominate Everything at WSJ. “For six months, her manager hounded her for information about (Trader Joe’s) bestselling products. She tried to deflect, but the pressure kept ratcheting up….She emailed over an Excel spreadsheet that detailed Trader Joe’s top-​selling items nationally…He also demanded that she share Trader Joe’s margins for each product. When she refused, her manager angrily screamed at her, “You just have to give us the data!” a person who witnessed the exchange recalled.” WSJ subs.


Target Launches Pickleball Collection with Tennis Brand Prince “…nearly 80 apparel, accessories and sporting goods items starting at $9.99 with most items under $50.” Press release


Walmart Executive and Rhodes Alumna Julie Gehrki ’02 Named 2024 Baccalaureate Speaker at Rhodes College


How Amazon became the largest private EV charging operator in the U.S. at Financial Post. “In a little more than two years, Amazon has installed more than 17,000 chargers at about 120 warehouses around the United States…” Read more


Walmart employee event set for June; 4 Walmart centers test robotic forklifts at NWA Online. “Walmart Inc. will hold its annual employee celebration on June 7 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, the company…Its formal business meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. June 5, and will once again be held in a virtual format.” Read more


Dick’s Sporting Goods & SidelineSwap Expand Resale Partnership “…athletes will be able to drop-off their used sports gear at SidelineSwap trade-in events at select Dick’s locations throughout the U.S. The used gear will be evaluated by SidelineSwap buying experts, and athletes will be paid with Dick’s e-gift cards to use towards their next purchase.” Press release

Costco +7.7% | Amazon Test Fail | Late Fee Loss Nears


Costco March comp sales +7.7%: U.S. +7.3% / Canada +8.9% / Other Int’l +8.6% Press release


How Walmart’s privileged documents led to $101 million jury verdict for ex-supplier at Reuters. “… jury that found Walmart breached its agreement to buy millions of boxes of nitrile gloves in the first 18 months of the COVID pandemic…The jury awarded Walmart $350,000 in damages based on evidence that London Luxury’s CEO was plotting to open their own nitrile glove factory in Florida.” Read more


Amazon CEO Andy Jassy in shareholder letter says he’s committed to cost cutting while investing in AI at CNBC. “He said he believes generative artificial intelligence is shaping up to become Amazon’s next big primitive service, or “pillar”…“While we’re building a substantial number of GenAI applications ourselves, the vast majority will ultimately be built by other companies,” Jassy said.” Read more


…Andy Jassy’s compensation for 2023 totaled $29.2 million at GeekWire


… Andrew Ng, known for building AI at large tech companies, is joining its board of directors at TechCrunch


The Buckle, Inc. March comp sales down 9.4% Press release


Target to use new technology to crack down on theft at self-checkout kiosks at USA Today. “Truscan, the name of the technology, is designed to detect if there is anything near a kiosk that has not been scanned. It will then release audio and visual cues if an item isn’t scanned correctly.” Read more


Pic ‘N’ Save CEO trying to save 99 Cents Only stores in Southern California at ABC 7. “…there’s an effort underway to save most of the 143 locations in Southern California…Mark J. Miller, CEO of Pic ‘N’ Save Bargains and former president of Big Lots…said he has put together a group of investors…to try to acquire the Southern California stores…” Read more


Amazon and Walmart warehouse employees are so surveilled that they’re worried about breaking to use bathroom at Business Insider. “The 52-page report, “At Work and Under Watch: Surveillance and Suffering at Amazon and Walmart Warehouses,” was released Wednesday and highlights survey data it says was collected from 1,484 Amazon warehouse employees and 444 Walmart warehouse workers across the United States.” Read more


Department stores face another squeeze. This time, with store credit card revenue at CNBC. “Late fees for customers will be capped at $8, down from an industry average of around $32, under a new rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The change faces legal challenges, but is scheduled to take effect on May 14.” Read more


Amazon Dash Cart vs. ‘Just Walk Out’: We put the tech giant’s new grocery strategy to the test at GeekWire. “The winner of our experiment: the technology that Amazon is moving away from in these stores. Our least-favorite option: the approach that Amazon is betting on. Our conclusion: We’re not quite sure what Amazon is doing here.” Read more


Best Buy lays off some Geek Squad, phone support workers while adding AI at Star Tribune. “The Best Buy employees, speaking under the condition of anonymity, told the Star Tribune this was the latest round of layoffs in parts of the business facing lower demand. Other departments have also faced cuts though Best Buy declined to offer more details.” Read more (tiered subs.)


Home Depot earns top spot as most culturally inclusive brand of 2023 Press release


Nike pins hopes on Olympics to win back market share at Reuters. “Nike unveiled Olympic kits for the teams it sponsors on Thursday alongside athletes including Kenyan marathon star Eliud Kipchoge and British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith…Brands like On Running, Hoka, and Lululemon are taking market share from Nike…” Read more


Costco selling as much as $200M in gold bars per month, Wells Fargo estimates at NY Post


***Advertising inquiries, new product searches, comments, questions, etc., contact Jason Long at jlong@eyeonretail.net

Amazon Union Confusion | JCP 1st in 8 | Costco Dallas Plans


Two years after its historic win, a divided Amazon Labor Union lurches toward a leadership election at AP. “Two years after clinching a historic victory at a warehouse in New York City, the first labor union for Amazon workers in the United States is divided, running out of money and fighting over an election that could determine who will lead the group in the near future. Despite campaigns at several facilities in the past few years, the warehouse on Staten Island still is the only site in the U.S. where the retail giant’s workers have voted in favor of union representation.” Read more


San Francisco proposal would require grocery stores to provide six months of notice before closing a location at Fox News. “It was a good idea in 1984, and it’s an even better idea now,” Preston said in a press release. “Our communities need notice, an opportunity to be heard, and a transition plan when major neighborhood grocery stores plan to shut their doors.” Read more


Amazon leans into video in emerging Europe’s online marketplace fight at Reuters. “In February, Amazon had almost 5.9 million users in Poland, lagging far behind Allegro, with 18.2 million, and Temu’s 13.7 million, according to Mediapanel Gemius Polska and PBI data quoted by news agency PAP Biznes.” Read more


Grocery giants including Tesco, Woolworths team up to launch $125 million VC fund at Reuters. “The new fund, W23 Global, will invest over five years in start-ups and scale-ups deploying technology to benefit consumers “by driving faster, more personalised and connected experiences across stores and online”, the retailers said in a statement…” Read more | Press release


Costco plans renovations to office tower it bought next to Dallas store, filings indicate at WFAA ABC 8. “When Costco…agreed last year to buy a 10-story office tower along U.S. Route 75 next to one of its Dallas stores, at least one retail broker speculated that the company might tear it down — but so far, that doesn’t seem to be the case…It’s still unclear whether Costco will put its own offices in the building or whether it has other long-term plans for the site.” Read more


Microsoft, Junk Kouture, and Best Buy unite to foster eco-conscious innovation Press release


Whole Foods CEO Jason Buechel takes Progressive Grocer on a tour of Natural Products Expo West at Progressive Grocer. “Our first stop at the show is a booth for a product that Buechel already knows well: Nana Joes Granola, a handmade granola purveyor…Jason Buechel: Yeah, this was a product that [former Whole Foods Market CEO] Walter [Robb] told me about. He asked whether I had tried Nana Joes, and I hadn’t. He had some mailed to me and I thought, ‘Oh, this stuff is great.’ For me it has become a staple.” Read more


Former Walgreens CEO Rosalind ‘Roz’ Brewer Joins Black Economic Alliance’s Board Of Directors at Yahoo Finance


Amazon’s total Washington state employment declines for the first time at GeekWire. “The net decrease in the state comes as Amazon builds up its workforce in downtown Bellevue, but sees its overall employment decline at its main headquarters campus north of downtown Seattle. Meanwhile, the company is continuing to expand its employee base in Virginia, home to Amazon’s second headquarters.” Read more


Former Starbucks chief Howard Schultz buys a stake in Dutch ethical chocolatier Tony’s Chocolonely at Yahoo Finance. “The company’s sales have quadrupled in the States since 2020, and are likely to continue expanding across mainstream retailers. It’s already available at Walmart and other brick-and-mortar stores in America.” Read more


Best Buy is reportedly laying off a chunk of its Geek Squad team at 404 Media. “Best Buy is conducting mass layoffs of Geek Squad employees…according to former employees who lost their jobs. Workers told 404 Media they were told by the company to stay at home (last) Tuesday and to wait for a call from their bosses about whether they had been let go.” Read more


99 Cents Only files for bankruptcy, plans to shut down at Reuters. “… filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware on Sunday, saying that it intended to close all of its 371 stores in the U.S. and sell off its real estate and remaining inventory.” Read more


Colorado bill would restrict grocery retailers from selling hard alcohol, spirits at 9 News NBC. “The bill comes after independent liquor stores said they are struggling after voters approved beer and wine in grocery stores.” Read more


JCPenney’s First Store Opening in Eight Years Trumpets $1 Billion ‘Refresh’ Plan at Yahoo Finance. “In women’s fashion, “We’re the place to get dressed up,” said Wlazlo, adding that even through the pandemic, when people were stuck at home wearing sweats, Penney’s maintained its assortment of men’s suits and dresses. “We are based in Texas, and let’s just say Texas people were going out to eat and doing things. We saw a lot of suiting and dresses so we stuck with the business during that period.” Read more


***Advertising inquiries, new product searches, comments, questions, etc., contact Jason Long at jlong@eyeonretail.net

Target #65 Work | Amazon Scams Surge | Tesla Bests H-E-B


Amazon Sellers Plagued by Surge in Scam Returns at WSJ. “Amazon shoppers regularly switched Coach wallets for no-name dupes and Nike football cleats for flip-flops. She tried to get Amazon’s help, but filing complaints became a hit-or-miss process. She eventually changed her inventory and now sells consumable products like pet supplies, which has significantly reduced theft.” WSJ subs.


Nearly half of Levi’s sales are happening online and in its shops, a shift as department stores fade at CNBC. “In the three months ended Feb. 25, direct-to-consumer sales made up a record 48% of overall sales at Levi’s, up from 42% in the year-ago period and 25% higher on a two-year basis, the retailer said.” Read more


Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For (Wegmans #6 / Sheetz #60 / Target #65 / Publix #81 / Walmart #97) List


Dollarama reports Q4 profit and sales up from year ago at Toronto Star. “Comparable store sales rose 8.7 per cent as the number of transactions rose 11.2 per cent, but the average transaction size fell 2.2 per cent.” Read more


Costco offering members access to weight-loss programs including medication at Reuters. ” Costco Wholesale will offer its members access to weight-loss programs, including prescription drugs Ozempic and Wegovy, from online healthcare services provider Sesame…(Costco’s) members can subscribe to Sesame’s weight-loss program for $179 for three months, compared with $195 for non-members…” Read more


12 people mysteriously sickened at Walmart distribution center at KPLC 7


Amazon closing smaller Fresh grocery store in Seattle as it focuses on expanded format stores at GeekWire. “Amazon also confirmed it will be removing Just Walk Out tech from existing large-format Fresh stores…Amazon said it plans to rely on Dash Carts, which keep track of items and costs as shoppers place those items in the high-tech shopping carts and skip the checkout lines. Just Walk Out will continue to be used in Amazon Go convenience stores, and will be licensed to third parties for use in such places as sports stadiums, airports and on college campuses.” Read more


…Amazon cuts jobs in physical stores tech group “For the AWS team that develops technology for Amazon’s physical retail stores, the cuts follow reports that Amazon is shifting away from its “Just Walk Out” technology in its larger Amazon Fresh grocery stores.” at GeekWire


H-E-B loses its spot as Austin’s largest private employer to Tesla at Chron


Thrive Market’s Nick Green talks building a billion-dollar grocery company at TechCrunch. “The billion-dollar e-commerce company splashed onto the scene in 2014 with its idea of online grocery delivery… Nick Green, one of the company’s co-founders, stopped by Found to chat about his company and the market’s evolution since he first launched it.” Read more / Audio


In expansion push, Home Depot to spend $172 mln in Mexico this year at Reuters. “The company is widening its product offerings, particularly in the furniture, decorations and pets segments, adding in a statement that it aims to open 12 more stores in the next few years to reach 150 total in Mexico.” Read more


California bill requires one worker for every two cashierless registers at Supermarket News. “The measure would require grocery and pharmacy retailers to meet certain requirements if they wanted to offer self-checkout, including having no more than two self-checkout stations monitored by any one employee and requiring the employee to be relieved of all other duties.” Read more


How Far $100 Goes at the Grocery Store After Five Years of Food Inflation at WSJ. “Sharon Faelten, a 74-year-old retiree from Underhill, Vt., said that instead of a wallet-punishing ordeal, she tries to think of trips to the store like procurement raids depicted in apocalyptic novels, where the goal is to stock her fridge, freezer and pantry for as little money as possible.” WSJ subs.


***Advertising inquiries, new product searches, comments, questions, etc., contact Jason Long at jlong@eyeonretail.net