Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 12/20/12: Walmart MBA, RadioShack in Afghanistan


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“Extreme Franchising: Bringing RadioShack to Afghanistan” by Nick Leiber at Bloomberg Businessweek.  “The next time you stroll through downtown Kabul, you might be able to buy batteries from a RadioShack outlet, the result of a new effort by the U.S. to shore up Afghanistan’s economy: selling American franchises to Afghan entrepreneurs.  The U.S. has set a 2014 deadline for troops to withdraw from Afghanistan and turn security over to Afghan military and police. That is prompting capital flight, depressing property values, and triggering other economic pain. That’s where franchising might fit—and an initial foray into the country proved promising, U.S. executives say.  “I didn’t have huge expectations going there that we would consummate an agreement, but after being there on the streets and seeing some fairly sophisticated [retail] operators in a very difficult climate, I’ve walked away with the fact that we would do business in Afghanistan,” says Martin Amschler, a RadioShack vice president who joined several American franchise executives to participate in a five-day matchmaking event in Kabul this week.”  https://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-12-07/extreme-franchising-bringing-radioshack-to-afghanistan


“Behind the Staples and LinkedIn Joint Content Venture, “Succeed”” by Joel Keller at Fast Company.  “For now, the Succeed site consists of a discussion board moderated by LinkedIn’s editorial staff, where discussion is ether generated by one of the moderators or one of the 6,700 subscribers to the group, and a small-business-oriented edition of LinkedIn Today, the site’s newsfeed. But both companies see the potential for more, and Staples is looking to how expanded content might link back to their initiative to make their retail website and stores more than just places to buy supplies.”  https://www.fastcocreate.com/1682103/behind-the-staples-and-linkedin-joint-content-venture-succeed


“Ex Microsoft exec plans marijuana shops for the wealthy” at KGW.  “Shively is planning to roll out a chain of retail pot stores, selling to the Cognac/BMW/country club set. He’s presently using his own money to float the idea, but he and his partners say they don’t expect any problem finding deep, deep pocket investors to back the expansion of the chain if legal pot proves a viable industry in Washington.  “We’re focused on Baby Boomers – basically wealthy Baby Boomers,” said Shively. “It’s a $100 billion industry in search of a brand. Never in the history of capitalism – forget America, in the world – has such a giant vacuum existed,” said Shively.  His brand is will be “Diejo Pellicer,” which will offer the highest quality pot-products and is named after his great grandfather, who grew and sold hemp back in the 1800s. Shively and his plans have been parodied overseas, where he’s called the “Bill Gates of bud” in a Chinese video.”  https://www.kgw.com/news/business/Ex-MIcrosoft-exec-plans-marijuana-shops-for-the-wealthy-182557331.html


 “Walmart Sustainability Strategy Taught to MBA Students” at Environmental Leader.  “The Walmart Sustainability Case Project, an in-depth analysis of the retailer’s effort to develop and implement goals of creating zero waste, selling sustainable products and using 100 percent renewable energy, will be used to teach business students and executives about sustainability and business development.  University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business associate professor Andrew Spicer, who led the Walmart Sustainability Case Project, will teach the full case series this spring in a course on corporate sustainability in the school’s international MBA program.”  https://www.environmentalleader.com/2012/12/19/walmart-sustainability-strategy-taught-to-mba-students/


“The golden age of retail therapy? Glimpse inside Dallas’s original Neiman Marcus store in 1945 reveals how Texas oil wives spent their money” by Tamara Abraham at The Daily Mail.  “As we dash around buying gifts this holiday season, it is difficult to imagine that shopping was once a very different activity indeed.  A newly-released set of images from 1945, taken by LIFE from inside the original Neiman Marcus store in Dallas, Texas, reveal how the city’s oil wives and heiresses would spend their money.  Published again this week in TIME, the photographs show models parading the latest looks for customers lounging in armchairs. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2248122/Glimpse-inside-Dallass-original-Neiman-Marcus-store-1945-reveals-Texas-oil-wives-spent-money.html#ixzz2FYUmTabX


Amazon’s Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos Named NRF’s Gold Award Recipient.  “The National Retail Federation is pleased to announce that Amazon, Crocs, Kohl’s and lululemon are the recipients of its prestigious annual awards. The award winners are selected each year by select members of the NRF Board who comprise its Award Committee. The recipients, each company’s top ranking executive, will accept their awards during the Annual Retail Industry Luncheon at NRF’s Annual Convention and EXPO, Retail’s BIG Show, on Tuesday, January 15, 2013.”  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20121219006692&div=-1245645151


“RadioShack names two top executives” by Katherine Cromer Brock at The Dallas Business Journal.  “Troy Risch, most recently vice president of stores at Target Corp., has been named executive vice president of operations, according to an announcement from the company.  Huey Long, who has worked with Wal-Mart, Circuit City, Amazon and Sam’s Club, has been named executive vice president of strategy and consumer insights.”  https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/blog/morning_call/2012/12/radioshack-names-two-top-executives.html


Seven in Ten Americans Want Retailers to Enhance the In-Store Shopping Experience, SapientNitro Survey Reveals.  “Seven in ten (70%) Americans agree that “retailers could do more to enhance the in-store shopping experience.” Highly valued enticements include:

The ability to buy products in-store but have them shipped to home for free (79%)

Free Wi-Fi (63%)

Interactive displays or kiosks that provide additional information or recommendations about a product (57%)

Exclusive in-store mobile offers (56%).


Among smartphone users, a majority would also like:

To view store circulars/flyers on their phone (67%),

In-store navigation smartphone apps (59%), and

The option for mobile payment or to check out by scanning their mobile phone (59%).



“Tuesday Morning names former Michaels Stores CEO to board” by Steven Thompson at Dallas Business Journal.  “Tuesday Morning Corp. added Michael Rouleau to its board of directors, the retailer said Thursday.  The Dallas-based closeout retailer has seen a series of management and board changes over the past several months.  Rouleau previously was president and CEO of Michaels Stores from 1996 to 2006, before the company was sold. Rouleau also was executive vice president of retail operations for Lowe’s in the 1990s, co-founded Office Warehouse in 1988 and was one of Target Corp.’s first 25 employees.”  https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2012/11/29/tuesday-morning-appoints-former.html