Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/15/13: Walmart goes little; Facebook mystery event


“Amazon leader Bezos honored by unlikely bunch” by Amy Martinez at Seattle-Times.  “Amazon.com founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has received his share of business awards lately. Fortune magazine named him its 2012 “Businessperson of the Year.” Harvard Business Review ranks him as the No. 1 living CEO.  Now comes the National Retail Federation and its so-called Gold Award.  The trade group’s selection of Bezos as retailer of the year may be the most surprising one yet when you consider the fierce rivalry between Amazon and the organization’s brick-and-mortar base.”  Read more:  https://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2020128023_amazon14.html


“Wal-Mart plans to hire 100,000 veterans over five years” in Chicago Tribune via Reuters.  “Wal-Mart Stores Inc , the world’s largest retailer, said it plans to hire more than 100,000 veterans in the United States over the next five years, a move supported by First Lady Michelle Obama.  Most of the veterans will be placed in the company’s stores and clubs, and some will be employed in distribution centers, Walmart U.S. Chief Executive Bill Simon said in a speech to be to delivered on Tuesday at the National Retail Federation conference.  The retailer will start issuing job offers to veterans from Memorial Day in May. The offers will be given to any honorably discharged veteran within his or her first twelve months off active duty.”  Read more:  https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-walmart-veteranhiringbre90e05n-20130114,0,2009707.story


“Facebook shares rise in buildup to mystery event, earnings” at Reuters.  “Facebook Inc’s stock opened on Monday above $32 for the first time since July as anticipation about upcoming products and financial results underscored Wall Street’s renewed confidence in the online social network.  Facebook will on Tuesday host its first major press event at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, since its troubled initial public offering in May, triggering a guessing game among technology observers and online blogs about what it could unveil – everything from a smartphone to a search engine.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/14/us-facebook-event-mystery-idUSBRE90D10D20130114


“Deloitte Report: Retail revenues rebound despite global downturn.”  The revenues of the world’s 250 largest retailers topped $4 trillion in fiscal year 2011 (encompassing companies’ fiscal years ended through June 2012), according to the 2013 Global Powers of Retailing report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited , in conjunction with STORES Media. This is a 5 percent year-on-year increase in retail revenue despite the global economic downturn. Additionally, according to the report retail revenue rose significantly for companies based in emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia Pacific (excluding Japan). Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6121743&access=EH


“Handy Hardware Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy” by Stephanie Gleason at 4-Traders.  “In order to expand its business throughout the southeastern U.S., Handy Hardware built a 460,000 square-foot warehouse in Meridian, Miss., in 2009, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. That facility increased costs at the same time its business was being impacted by the poor U.S. economic climate, driving in 2011 a loss of $8.4 million.  By October 2012, Handy Hardware became unable to service the debt it incurred to finance the construction of the facility and defaulted on $26 million in bond debt. It decided to shut down the Meridian facility, lay off the workers there and move the inventory to its Houston warehouse…The company said it hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 still a member-owned company that has “right sized” operations and reduced bond debt.”  Read more:  https://www.4-traders.com/THE-HOME-DEPOT-INC-4826/news/Handy-Hardware-Files-for-Chapter-11-Bankruptcy-15824732/


“Walmart to Bring Nation’s Smallest Location to Atlanta” by Atlanta Daily World.  “In December, Walmart signed a contract with Georgia Tech Auxiliary Services to establish a convenience store concept in the Tech Square space where restaurant Ribs n Blues was previously located. ..The current 2500-square foot location will be smaller than the only other Walmart on a college campus, also known as Walmart pharmacy, which is located at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville…”They will carry some electronics, peripherals, a few devices. They may sell some iPods too,” Steele said. “They will also sell a lot of grocery items… frozen foods, fresh foods,… grab-and-go and beverage items. It’s like a mini CVS.”  Read more: https://atlantadailyworld.com/201301143132/Business/walmart-to-bring-nation-s-smallest-location-to-atlanta


“RadioShack calls off mobile venture with Target” at Chicago Tribune via Reuters.  “RadioShack, a retailer of consumer electronics and other gadgets, had been helping operate “Target Mobile” stores within 1,500 of Target’s big box locations. RadioShack said that deal will end on April 8.  “In order for RadioShack to have continued this relationship, we needed to establish a new agreement that would be financially appealing to both companies,” said RadioShack Executive Vice President Telvin Jeffries in a statement. “Ultimately, we amicably agreed to dissolve the relationship.”  Read more:  https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-radioshack-calls-off-mobile-venture-with-target-20130114,0,6625398.story


“Family Dollar CEO says payroll tax hike a small challenge” by Eli Portilo at Charlotte Observer.  “Analysts have said this will hurt discount retailers. Levine said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” morning program that he doesn’t think the tax will be a significant drag on his company.  “We’ve been through many economic scenarios that were much more challenging than this one,” he said, although he added the payroll tax is “certainly not a positive. Levine said the trade-down customers are still seeking out Family Dollar, although he declined to break out what percentage of the retailer’s customers they are. Levine said the core customers, with under $40,000 in annual income, remain the majority of Family Dollar’s customers.”  Read more:  https://obswhatsinstore.blogspot.com/2013/01/family-dollar-ceo-says-payroll-tax-hike.html#storylink=cpy


“Despite assurances, CVS and Rite Aid ran out of flu shots all over Boston this weekend” by Galen Moore at Boston Business Journal.  “Drug stores in Massachusetts have made a marketing push for walk-in flu shots during flu season, advertising the service prominently in what has become a nasty flu season. But by Friday, heading into what was probably peak demand for flu shots in Boston, many CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies had already run out, pharmacists said. The in-store shortage came days after the Boston mayor declared the 2013 flu season a public health emergency.”  Read more:  https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/blog/mass_roundup/2013/01/cvs-rite-aid-flu-shot.html


“Whole Foods Co-CEO Calls for ‘New Capitalism’ ” by Mark Hamstra at Supermarket News.  “With the government under spending constraints and many Americans still struggling economically, the need for businesses to embrace social responsibility is great, said Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer, Whole Foods Market, in a presentation here Monday.  “It’s a world that needs compassion,” Robb said during a panel discussion at the National Retail Federation Annual Convention & Expo here. He called for a “new capitalism” that can improve lives while thriving as a business.”  Read More: https://supermarketnews.com/retail-amp-financial/whole-foods-co-ceo-calls-new-capitalism#ixzz2I2q4G7FZ


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