Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/21/13: Walmart on a PR roll; Target skips Super Bowl ad


“Michelle Obama and Walmart: A Match Made in PR Heaven” by Matt Brownell at Daily Finance.  “The First Lady was effusive in her praise for the retailer, calling the commitment “historic” and saying that Walmart (WMT) was “setting a groundbreaking example for the private sector to follow.”  Anthony Bianco, a critic of Walmart and the author of “The Bully of Bentonville: How the High Cost of Everyday Low Prices Is Hurting America,” says it’s unlikely that the retailer is wooing Michelle Obama as a means of getting in the administration’s good graces. But the First Lady’s seal of approval does help Walmart with what Bianco sees as its main goal: Good PR.  “I see [the veteran initiative] almost purely as a PR play, and I think [Michelle] Obama’s comments gave them the PR bonanza they were looking for,” he says. “I don’t see anything too nefarious here, but they got good PR by linking up with Michelle Obama, who’s a very popular figure.”  Read more:  https://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/01/19/walmart-veterans-michelle-obama-pr/


“Target Skips Super Bowl Commercial in Favor of Mobile Game” by Lauren Indvik at Mashable.  “On Feb. 3, big brands and their agencies will line up to compete for what they hope will be remembered as the best TV commercial for Super Bowl XLVII, spending tens of millions of dollars in the process. One major retailer, Target, will be sitting on the sidelines, having developed a more modest (and budget-friendly) mobile game instead.  Snack Bowl, which can be played on mobile web browsers as well as downloadable apps for iPhone and Android devices, is pretty basic. You’re awarded points for tossing a carousel of branded snacks, including DiGiorno pizza and Coke Zero, to your jersey-wearing guests, who are inexplicably running across your living room one by one. Your guests move faster and faster, making the game increasingly difficult. Fail to feed three of your guests and it’s game over.”  Read more:  https://mashable.com/2013/01/20/target-super-bowl-mobile-game/


“Lowe’s magazine goes social, interactive” at Amarillo Globe News.  In February, Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine will celebrate 15 years of redefining home improvement.  The magazine launched in 1998 now has a top-rated free iPad app at the iTunes Newsstand, a robust Pinterest following and more than 1,000 how-to videos available online at YouTube.com/Lowes.  Read more:  https://amarillo.com/blog-post/bizstream/2013-01-17/lowe%E2%80%99s-magazine-goes-social-interactive


“Wegman, Smucker Honored for Achievements” by David Orgel at Supermarket News.  “Call them the dynamic duo.  Danny Wegman, CEO, Wegmans Food Markets, and Tim Smucker, chairman, The J.M. Smucker Co., received Hall of Achievement Awards here during the 2013 GMA Chairman’s Lecture.  These executives, who have a history of working together, took the stage in front of some 400 industry leaders to accept their awards, which represent the highest honor given by GMA.  Read More: https://supermarketnews.com/2013-fmi-midwinter-executive-conference/wegman-smucker-honored-achievements#ixzz2IcHFx5Cb


“Walgreens Begins Review of $240 Million Media Account” by Maureen Morrison at Ad Age.  “For the first time in a decade, national pharmacy chain Walgreens is launching a formal review for its $240 million media-planning and -buying account.  “The reason we are inviting agencies for a review is that it has been 10 years since we’ve formally gone through this process for media planning and buying,” a spokeswoman told Ad Age in a statement. She added that the incumbent on the business, Publicis Groupe’s Starcom, has been invited to participate in the pitch process, which will be handled by consultancy R3:JLB.  The move comes as the company, which has about 8,000 locations in the U.S., is expanding its offerings, adding: services at its pharmacies and clinics, grocery items and fresh food in stores, enhanced beauty departments and more investment in private label.  Read more:  https://adage.com/article/agency-news/walgreens-begins-review-240-million-media-account/239287/


“Shopko Announces Promotion Of Jill Soltau To Company President.”  “Shopko announced today that Jill Soltau has been promoted to the position of President and Chief Merchandising Officer.  Soltau has more than 25 years of experience in the retail industry and joined Shopko in 2007 as Senior Vice President and GMM Apparel and Accessories.  n her expanded role, Soltau will continue to oversee Shopko’s merchandising and product development, while assuming responsibility for marketing, e-commerce, inventory management and supply chain departments.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6155194&access=EH


“Uncut: Whole Foods Co-CEO John Mackey ‘On the Record'”(Fox News — Video).  “Co-CEO gives Greta tour of Whole Foods, dishes on new book, on whether he regrets calling ObamaCare ‘fascism’ and more”  See more:  https://video.foxnews.com/v/2101957143001/uncut-whole-foods-co-ceo-john-mackey-on-the-record/


“Target to Launch Evening Wear Line With Top Hollywood Stylist” by Lauren Torrisi at ABC News.  “Starting this spring, you’ll have the opportunity to get your housewares and evening wear in the same place. Target announced its newest designer collaboration today with top Hollywood stylist Kate Young. “I’ve been working with Target for a number of years as a stylist, so having the chance to design my own collection with a brand I already know and love is like a dream come true,” said Young in a statement. Young’s celebrity clients include Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz. She consults for designers Jason Wu and Derek Lam and was named the most powerful stylist last year by The Hollywood Reporter.  Read more:  https://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2013/01/target-to-launch-evening-wear-line-with-top-hollywood-stylist/


“Trader Joe’s Raises Price Of ‘Two Buck Chuck'” in laist.  “Attention cheap wine fans: the price is going up on Trader Joe’s famous “Two Buck Chuck” for the first time since it debuted over a decade ago.  Until now, Californians have only had to fork over $1.99 to pay for a bottle of the wine whose low price was made possible in part by a glut of California grapes. Trader Joe’s told the Los Angeles Business Journal this week that the wine would now cost a whopping extra 50 cents, making it Two-And-Half Buck Chuck.”  Read more: https://laist.com/2013/01/20/two_buck_chuck_raises_its_price.php