Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 12/26/12: Home Depot involved in Federal Probe; Walmart & Conde Nast


“Mayor Ray Nagin’s dealings with Home Depot a focus of federal probe” by Gordon Russell in The Times-Picayune.  “Just a couple of nagging details were keeping Home Depot from breaking ground on a new store in Central City in early 2007: The retailer needed the city of New Orleans to sell it several streets that were within the planned store’s huge footprint. And the sale of the streets was being held up by a pesky “community benefits agreement…But Home Depot wanted no part of such an agreement. And the retailer had an ally in Mayor Ray Nagin, who, as it turned out, also wanted something from Home Depot: a steady supply of work for Stone Age, the fledgling granite-countertop company he and his sons were trying to take to the next level.  Within the space of a few months, the community benefits agreement was dead, Home Depot had its streets, Stone Age had a contract to be the exclusive granite installer for four Home Depot locations around New Orleans, and a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the new store…”  https://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/12/mayor_ray_nagins_dealings_with.html


“Wal-Mart Turns to Condé Nast for Beauty Magazine” by Erik Maza at Women’s Wear Daily.  “Buried within Wal-Mart’s Web site, beneath the red sales banners and loud holiday graphics, is a magazine called BeautyScoop. Thousands of stores also carry it, and it was mailed to millions of the store’s customers…BeautyScoop is something else. It has a model on the cover, for one. Its own logo — the name in a large type underneath a smaller Wal-Mart tag. Though wafer-thin — it runs just 12 pages — and produced on glossy stock, it is as close as a store catalogue can come to a magazine. And there are editorial features.”  https://www.wwd.com/media-news/publishing/wal-mart-turns-to-cond-nast-for-beauty-magazine-6552390?module=hp-topstories


“Amazon.com Just Entered the Brick and Mortar Retail Business in Seattle” by Mike King in Sound CRE.  “Amazon.com completed the acquisition of their corporate campus yesterday. The $1.154 billion transaction between Paul Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate is composed of 11 buildings with over 1.8 million square feet of space. The price equates to $644 per square foot.  An overlooked component of this deal is roughly 100,000 square feet of retail space in the mixed-use buildings. The retail space is currently 75% leased and Amazon will most likely turn over the leasing and management of the portfolio to a major commercial brokerage firm. Nonetheless, it is interesting to see a company who has long been the counter to brick and mortar retail, now becoming a landlord of brick and mortar retail businesses.”  https://www.soundcre.com/2012/12/22/amazon-entered-brick-mortar-retail-business-seattle/


“Analysis: Amazon, Google on collision course in 2013” at Reuters.  “Amazon wants to be the one place where you buy everything. Google wants to be the one place where you find everything, of which buying things is a subset,” said Chi-Hua Chien, a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “So when you marry those facts I think you’re going to see a natural collision.”Both companies have a lot at stake. Google’s market capitalization of $235 billion is about double Amazon’s, largely because Google makes massive net earnings, expected by analysts to be $13.2 billion this year, based on a huge 32 percent net profit margin, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. By contrast, Amazon is seen reporting a small loss this year.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/23/net-us-google-amazon-idUSBRE8BM09420121223


“Whole Foods CEO to speak on new book” by Nicole Hoffman.  “Mackey’s book focuses on companies, such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, Costco and the Container Store, that have purposes beyond simply maximizing profits.”  https://press.org/news-multimedia/news/whole-foods-ceo-speak-new-book


“INSIGHT-How US retailers are building up their online muscle” at Reuters.  “The brave new world for U.S. retailers can be found in small cities like Martinsburg, West Virginia…That’s where department store chain Macy’s Inc recently opened a facility the size of 43 football fields – big enough to stock 1 million pairs of shoes – just to fulfill orders made online…”Today, tomorrow and going forward, you are comparing the experience in our store to the experience of sitting in your living room, in the comfort of your home, ordering something on your laptop, your smart phone or your iPad,” Home Depot Chief Executive Frank Blake told Reuters.  “Your willingness to put up with rude associates, dirty stores and out of stocks is just going to go down and down and down. Our bar on performance in our stores is going to go up and Chup and up,” he said.  https://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/24/us-usa-retail-ecommerce-idUSBRE8BN03J20121224


 “Target Plans For A Green Entry Into Canada” by Randy Woods at Earth Techling.  “Target will be one of the first companies in Canada to take part in USGBC’s LEED Volume Program, which streamlines the certification process for multiple buildings of a similar type. The design plans for the stores will include new systems to conserving energy and water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and divert waste to landfills through recycling and reuse programs.  Target will retrofit several existing stores with LEED features. In 2011 Target acquired the 80-year-old Canadian retail outlet Zellers and will begin converting or selling off 220 stories once the Zellers brand is discontinued after this holiday shopping season. The first 24 former Zellers stores will open as renovated Target outlets in March and April across Ontario, Target said.”  https://earthtechling.com/2012/12/target-plans-for-a-green-entry-into-canada/


“Fixing Up A Few Cool (Ace) Hardware Stores” by Jesse Chimes at American University.  “A team of second-year MBA students in Associate Professor Parthiban David’s senior strategy capstone course took on a real-world challenge this semester as they consulted for the local ACE Hardware co-op, A Few Cool Hardware Stores…A Few Cool Hardware Stores is an independently owned group of seven retailers receiving support and discounted product pricing under the ACE Hardware co-operative model.”  https://www.american.edu/kogod/news/122112_ksbnews_mbacapstone.cfm


“Get Ready to Laugh:  This Old RadioShack Commercial Shows Everything You Wanted to Christmas in 1991” by Liz Klimas at The Blaze.  “You might not think about technology of yesteryear too often, but the holidays are a time to reminisce.  An old RadioShack commercial from 1991 shows just what you might have put on your Christmas list back then.”  https://www.theblaze.com/blog/2012/12/24/get-ready-to-laugh-this-old-radioshack-commercial-shows-everything-you-wanted-for-christmas-in-1991/


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