Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 12/28/12: H.Depot & Lowe’s Fear Strike; Amazon & 306/second


“Christmas Day retail traffic up 27% over 2011; Amazon & Walmart most visited sites” by Sean Ludwig at Venture Beat.  

Here’s the top ten list:

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“Home Depot to Lowe’s Busiest Season Threatened by Strike” by Chris Burritt & Brooke Sutherland at Bloomberg.  “Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s Cos. have the most at stake among retailers facing a dockworkers’ strike, with possible port closings cutting off shipments right before the lucrative gardening season.  Home Depot, the biggest U.S. home-improvement chain, is making plans in case 15,000 workers at ports from Maine to Texas walk off the job, and Lowe’s said that it is monitoring the talks. About 45 percent of the commerce that flows in and out of the U.S. goes through East Coast ports, according to the National Retail Federation.  Home Depot has contingency plans in the event of a strike.  Retailers “would be hit far and wide from apparel to home goods to patio furniture to barbecues,” Jonathan Gold, the NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy, said yesterday in a telephone interview from Washington. “It is a major concern. At this point, we don’t anticipate a settlement.”  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-28/home-depot-to-lowe-s-busiest-season-threatened-by-strike.html


“Amazon Was Selling 306 Items Every Second At Its Peak This Year” by Jay Yarrow at Business Insider.  “Every year Amazon puts out a press release with a bunch of goofy facts about its business.    It’s free of hard facts about Amazon’s business, so if you’re trying to get a lead on its earnings, this is the wrong place to look. But, it’s a fun read for some context about Amazon’s sales.  This year it says it sold 27 million items on Cyber Monday, or 306 items per second, which is a record.  Best sellers at Amazon:

Health & Personal Care: Panasonic Vortex Nose and Facial Hair Trimmer; Braun Series Pulsonic Shaver System; and Philips Norelco SensoTouch 2D Electric Razor

Tools & Home Improvement: Nest Thermostat; Streamlight Nano Light Miniature Keychain LED Flashlight; and DEWALT 18-Volt Drill/Driver Kit

Automotive: Swiss+Tech Micro-Max 19-in-1 Keychain; Battery Tender Junior 12V Battery Charger; and Reindeer Car Costume

Grocery: Donut Shop K-Cup Packs; Unique Sampler K-Cup Portion Pack; and Ekobrew Cup

See the full list of Amazon factoids and best sellers at: https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-holiday-facts-2012-12#ixzz2GLgGM4Vf


“Retailers Take on the Risk of Same-Day Shipping” by Stephanie Clifford and Clair Cain Miller at NY Times.  “Ivy Wu did not immediately need the navy lace cocktail dress she ordered the other day. But when a representative from Shoptiques, an e-commerce site, arrived at her Midtown Manhattan office with the dress only hours after Ms. Wu, 26, had placed her order, “I was really impressed that it was here,” she said.  This holiday season, same-day shipping has replaced free shipping as the new must-have promotion. It’s logistically complicated and money-losing — and may not even be a service that consumers want or need, analysts say. But retailers from Walmart to small shops like Shoptiques are willing to take the risk. Even the Postal Service has introduced a same-day option for retailers. And the reason is simple: fear of Amazon.com.”  https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/business/fear-of-amazon-pushes-retailers-to-take-on-risks-of-same-day-shipping.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1356697749-UXywpo+ArSTiM4Ne1So3lQ


“Kroger’s Strategic Advantage Over Whole Foods Market And The Fresh Market” at Seeking Alpha.  “The fact that Kroger has a network of over 2,400 locations across the United States places the company at a strategic advantage against its smaller rivals due to its ability to adapt its current stores to meet the needs of customers who might otherwise go to Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, or another specialty food-retailer. For investors, this marks a company that has proven for 36 straight quarters that it can grow identical supermarket sales through continuing to innovate and use its strategic advantage: its location base.”  https://seekingalpha.com/article/1085151-kroger-s-strategic-advantage-over-whole-foods-market-and-the-fresh-market


Evolution of Wegmans Stores.  (Video collage from past to present.)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=D_4EbkTzbZ0


“Video captures tornado moving toward Alabama Walgreens” at CBS 6 – Virginia (Video and Text).  “A tornado rips through Mobile Alabama Christmas day, the whole thing caught on camera.  This surveillance video shows the twister coming through near a Walgreens store moving around cars and sparks flying from power lines.”  https://wtvr.com/2012/12/27/video-captures-tornado-moving-toward-alabama-walgreens/


‘”Random Shopper’ bot buys and sends Amazon gifts to owner without help” by Meghan Kelly at Venture Beat.  “…So he set out to create the Random Shopper. It’s a computer program that chooses random products in Amazon’s books, movies, and music sections. It is hooked up to the Wordnik application programming interface, which gives it a random word to search. From there it chooses a product at random and then buy it. The Random Shopper has a preloaded gift card and is outfitted to order; enter shipping, billing, and payment information; and then send off a gift to Kazemi every so often until it runs out of money.” https://venturebeat.com/2012/12/27/random-shopper/#pbOgAYI6f8biZrS7.99


“7-Eleven aiming to stock shelves with healthier food options” by Leigh Goessl at Digital Journal.  “Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is looking towards restocking its shelves with healthier options for customers. The company’s goal is to sell more fresh foods in the U.S. and Canada.  Over the past year, 7-Eleven has made a few changes geared towards selling foods that are healthier than the typical junk food fare. According to the New York Times, 7-Eleven plans to have 20 percent of its sales from fresh foods in stores located in the U.S. and Canada by 2015.”  https://www.digitaljournal.com/article/339836#ixzz2GLwf6Bg6


“Safeway Exceeds Cage-Free Eggs Goal” by Gina-Marie Cheeseman at Triple Pundit.  “Safeway Inc. is the first major grocery retailer in the U.S. to require all of its cage-free eggs to become Certified Humane. In 2008, Safeway started an initiative with its suppliers to source all Lucerne Cage-Free and O Organics shell eggs from farms that are Certified Humane. The Certified Humane label is administered by Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC).”  https://www.triplepundit.com/2012/12/safeway-exceeds-cage-free-eggs-goal/