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