CNBC Doubts Target | 85% ‘Thrifting’ | Woody The Talking Christmas Tree


Target blamed theft and violence for 9 store closures. Crime is higher at locations it kept open nearby at CNBC. “I don’t want to use the word ‘stunt,’ because I don’t know exactly what went on in Minneapolis [where Target is based], but to me, it read like a stunt, looking to divert attention from the company’s lack of performance overall,” said Mark Cohen, a professor and director of retail studies at Columbia Business School…”They implied that the only reason they were closing the stores was because of theft. That may or may not be true. My guess is: Not true.” Read more


Holiday spending to be up big even as approval of Biden hits new low at CNBC. “Intended holiday spending per person jumped 31% to $1,300 this year, according to the CNBC All-America Economic Survey…Yet, 66% percent of Americans are negative about the current state of the economy and the outlook, a record for the 17 years of the survey.” Read more


Affirm to offer BNPL services at Walmart’s self-checkout kiosks at Reuters


Shippers mask positions, weigh options amid Red Sea attacks at Reuters. “A number of container ships are anchored in the Red Sea and others have turned off tracking systems as traders adjust routes…Major shippers including Hapag Lloyd, MSC and Maersk…have said they will be avoiding the Red Sea route and re-routing via southern Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.” Read more


…About 15% of world shipping traffic transits via the Suez Canal at Reuters. Read more


VF Corp says order fulfillment impacted by cybersecurity incident at Fox News. “The parent company behind popular brands like The North Face, Supreme and Vans said it experienced a cybersecurity incident that affected its online order fulfillment capabilities…Data was also taken, the clothing company said.” Read more


‘Thrifting’ Extends to Holiday Shopping Too at WSJ. “Roughly 17% of gifts this holiday season will be a resold item, according to software firm Salesforce…About 85% of American shoppers have bought or sold preowned items over the past year, nearly a third for the first time, according to online marketplace OfferUp’s Recommerce report. In apparel alone, some 10% of the global market will be secondhand by next year.” WSJ subs.


US single-family housing starts jump to more than 1-1/2-year high at Reuters. “Single-family housing starts…jumped 18.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.143 million units last month, the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau said. That was the highest level since April 2022.” Read more


Retailers are improving their delivery speeds at AP. “Jason Goldberg, the chief commerce strategy officer at the advertising giant Publicis, noted that Amazon has far more warehouse space and trucks than Walmart and Target. He said even if both Target and Walmart were to dramatically add more delivery hubs, they still wouldn’t be able to catch up with Amazon.” Read more


First building on Walmart’s new Bentonville campus opens Jan. 12 at Talk Business. “The fitness center will be the first amenity building to open on Walmart’s new home office campus since the project’s initial announcement in September 2017. A layout center was the first building Walmart opened on campus in February 2022. The construction project is a massive campus build that encompasses roughly 9 city blocks, 12 office buildings and 10 community buildings with outdoor and indoor areas of recreation.” Read more


Target is requiring hybrid employees to come back to the office in 2024, but only for four weeks a year at Fox 9. Read more


Amazon in talks to invest in Diamond Sports at Reuters via WSJ. “If an agreement is reached, Amazon’s Prime Video platform would eventually become the streaming home for Diamond’s games…Diamond, which has the local rights to about half the teams in Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association and about a third of the National Hockey League teams, would continue operating its cable networks through its existing partnerships, according to the report.” 


The CEO of Ahold Delhaize thinks self-checkout is worth it despite theft: ‘Savings on labor costs are higher than the potential downsides’ at Fortune (subs. required) 


Richfield school board grants Best Buy’s request to lower property taxes at Star Tribune. “The city, schools and county have all approved ending a minimum-valuation agreement one year early as Best Buy says the Richfield headquarters has plummeted in value…The school district negotiated with Best Buy to get a one-time payment of $150,000 to the district.” Read more


Walmart CEO talks company values on Simon Sinek podcast at Arkansas Money & Politics. Read more


Walgreens names Weber Shandwick US PR AOR at MM+M. “WPP formerly served as WBA’s global marketing and communications AOR, but PRWeek understands the business has been split up among WBA’s brands. Walgreens confirmed it has hired Weber but declined additional comment.” Read more


Albertsons Companies Appoints Sarah Mensah and Lisa Gray to Board of Directors Press release


Feeling Festive? Your Instacart Shopper Is Probably More ‘Bah Humbug.’ at WSJ. “She’s learned that holiday orders with hefty cases of water or soda are a hard no because maneuvering them on a flatbed in a crowded store is nearly impossible. Some shoppers reject all orders from Walmart during the holidays. “It’s like bumper cars for carriages in there,” says a New Jersey-based shopper who runs Kim’s Side Money Plans, a YouTube channel dedicated to gig work.” WSJ subs.


Woody the talking Christmas tree delights and terrifies visitors at a Nova Scotia mall at Globe & Mail. Read more/Pics