Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 12/27/12: HBR’s 100 Best CEOs; Walgreens needs to “chill”


“US retail sales creep higher in weak holiday season-early data” at Reuters. “Holiday-related sales rose 0.7 percent from Oct. 28 through Dec. 24, compared with a 2 percent increase last year, according to data from MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse…The latest holiday season sales would be the worst performance since 2008, during the last recession.  “The broad brush was Christmas wasn’t all that merry for retailers, and you have to ask what those margins look like if the top line didn’t meet their expectations. So it could be a very unmerry Christmas for retailers,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/26/usa-retail-holiday-idUSL1E8NQ1PT20121226


Harvard Business Review Ranks “The 100 Best CEOS in the World” in its Jan-Feb 2013 Issue.  Of note:

#1:  Apple’s Steve Jobs

#2:  Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

#35:  Google’s Eric Schmidt

#44:  Lowe’s Robert Tillman

#80:  Nordstrom’s Blake Nordstrom


“Walmart to Add over 200 Gas Stations to Existing Supercenters” by Shauna O’Brien at The Dividend Daily.  “Discount retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Murphy Oil Corporation have established an agreement to add additional gas stations to existing Walmarts.  Murphy Oil has entered into an agreement with Walmart to add gas stations to over 200 Walmart Supercenters. This project, which is expected to occur within the next three years, will provide fuel stations to locations in the Midwest and Southern United States.”  https://www.dividend.com/news/2012/walmart-to-add-over-200-gas-stations-to-existing-supercenters-wmt-mur/


“YOLOL: Drake Warns Walgreens and Macy’s to ‘Chill’ Over Sale of His Motto” by David Bevan at Spin.  “Walgreens…you gotta either chill or cut the cheque.”  Instagrammers following Drake’s feed over the holiday (he shares photos under the nom de snap champagnepapi) saw the Toronto-born rapper commenting publicly on the YOLO phenenomenon as he witnessed it taking shape in a rack of ball caps at the drugstore chain, as Noisey reports. Though frequent collaborator Rick Ross also uttered “YOLO” (that’s “You Only Live Once”) on “Lord Knows” from Drake’s Take Care, the acronym found life most famously on “The Motto,” a Weezy-enriched iTunes bonus track from that same album.”  https://www.spin.com/articles/drake-warns-walgreens-macys-chill-yolo-motto?utm_source=spintwitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=spintwitter


“Microsoft forges ahead with retail store expansion plans” by Roger Chang at CNET.  “Microsoft unveiled the next six locations for its expanding network of retail stores.”

Geekwire was the first to spot the announcement. Here’s a list:

  • The Shops at La Cantera, San Antonio, Texas
  • Dadeland Mall, Miami, Fla.
  • Beachwood Place, Beachwood, Ohio
  • Westfield San Francisco Centre, San Francisco
  • City Creek Center, Salt Lake City
  • St. Louis Galleria, St. Louis.


“Big Labor’s next move against Wal-Mart” by Sean Higgins at The Washington Examiner.  “Wal-Mart and Big Labor are perfect enemies. The nonunion retailer’s entire business model is based around keeping costs low, including labor costs. It has been extraordinarily successful too, but unions now think they have found its weak spot: the company’s supply chain…Big Labor has lately been attempting to organize work stoppages at warehouses and other facilities used by the retailer. They’ve had some modest successes.  In June, eight Mexican guest workers walked off the job at CJ’s Seafood in Breaux Bridge, La., a company that supplies Wal-Mart. They later filed a complaint against the supplier with the Labor Department. Wal-Mart has reportedly suspended the supplier.”  https://washingtonexaminer.com/big-labors-next-move-against-wal-mart/article/2516685#.UNxDf2_AfX4


“What If There Were No Google, Amazon, Apple or Facebook?” by Frank Reed at Marketing Pilgrim.  (Comparison Chart from WSJ).  https://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2012/12/what-if-there-were-no-google-amazon-apple-or-facebook.html


“Target Hires LatinWorks After Hispanic Agency Review” by Laurel Wentz at AdAge.  “Target doesn’t make specific agency of record assignments, she said. The account does not include media planning and buying. Grupo Gallegos, an independent U.S. Hispanic shop, previously handled much of Target’s Hispanic work, often on a project basis. LatinWorks referred calls to Target.  Target ranks No. 29 among the 50 largest advertisers in Hispanic media, spending $45.6 million in 2011, according to Ad Age’s Hispanic Fact Pack.”  https://adage.com/article/hispanic-marketing/target-hires-latinworks-hispanic-agency-review/238922/

“Amazon most satisfying website to shop: Survey” at Reuters.  “Amazon.com Inc remained the best website for shopping online while JC Penney Co Inc suffered the largest drop in customer satisfaction of any major online retailer this holiday season, according to a survey released on Thursday…Amazon’s score was again 88 out of 100…Wal-Mart Stores Inc, which is trying to grow its online sales, scored a 78 for its Walmart.com website, down from 79 in 2011. Rival Target Corp’s website scored 79, up from 76 last year, when it had some struggles after taking over control of the site from Amazon.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/27/us-usa-retail-online-idUSBRE8BQ01820121227 


“Target tightens return policy again” at RTV 6 Indianapolis TV.  (Video and Text).  “But Target in 2011 reduced the return period for most electronics to 45 days, and in September 2012 reduced it again, to 30 days after the sale or after Christmas Day.  “Target, I came to find out,” she said, “that they had changed their policy in late September. But I purchased these items in October.”  Sure enough, the fine print on the front of her receipt states the deadline was 11/29/12… 30 days after her purchase.”    https://www.theindychannel.com/money/dont-waste-your-money/target-tightens-return-policy-again_36539902