Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/24/13: Target’s online only brands; Amazon’s really big shop


“Target Introduces Six New Brands … That You Can’t Buy in Stores” by Brad Tuttle At Time.  “Cheap chic retailer Target is renowned for brand collaborations good (the Missoni craze) and bad (the Neiman Marcus collection that no one wanted). Target’s new brand partnerships may be the most intriguing of all. Just don’t go looking for them in actual Target stores.  Last week, Target announced the debut of six new online-only brands, sold exclusively at Target.com. The brands include a women’s apparel outfit (Labworks), baby clothing (Zutano Blue), bedding (Room 365), home décor (TOO by Blu Dot), and others focused on stylish, affordable products that are desired in the typical American household. In other words, they all seem to be in Target’s wheelhouse, so to speak.”  Read more:  https://business.time.com/2013/01/23/target-introduces-six-new-brands-that-you-cant-buy-in-stores/


“I Discovered Music Through a Kroger Grocery Store” by Jill Krasny at MTV Hive. “But in the dairy aisle, surrounded by squishy gobs of cheese and cartons of milk, I felt invincible. “Treat your children well,” urged Jerry Garcia; “Have a cuppa tea,” Ray Davies implored, as I tossed beef-flavored ramen packet into the shopping cart. We could be doing the most mundane thing in the world and hearing those songs would brighten our day. They established a sense of place — California, Great Britain — and instilled a nostalgia for all things drudgery that’s stuck with me ever since. To this day, a quick trip to Walgreen’s feels as warm and reassuring as a mixtape left in the tape deck long after a road trip.” Read more: https://www.mtvhive.com/2013/01/23/supermarket-music/


“Walmart, Lowe’s Develop Chemical Reporting Tool” at Environmental Leader.  “The Retail Industry Leaders Association has rolled out an initiative designed to streamline the required safety data sheet process used by suppliers and retailers to exchange chemical and product information.  Retailers require detailed information to safely handle chemical products in compliance with regulations from the US Department of Transportation, Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration and EPA, among other agencies.  RILA along with retailers Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Target, Walmart, American Eagle Outfitters, Meijet, Publix and Sears Holdings developed a safety data sheet template that aligns with a 16-section format prescribed by OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, which went into effect last May. The SDS template initiative, which was sponsored by 3E and The Wercs, aims to improve the efficiency of the process.”  Read more:  https://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/01/23/walmart-lowes-develop-chemical-reporting-tool/


“Amazon Sets Up (Really Big) Shop to Get You Your Stuff Faster” by Marcus Wohlsen at Wired (Picture and Text).  “Across the country, Amazon is erecting massive distribution centers in the nation’s exurbs to shorten the distance between online shoppers and the stuff they want. This week, the company announced it’s planting a Sasquatch-sized footprint right in Silicon Valley’s backyard.  Amazon’s newest million-square-foot warehouse is slated to go up an hour east of San Francisco in Tracy, California. This conservative farm town of 84,000 may be a world away culturally from its Bay Area neighbors. But it’s close enough physically to make shipping Amazon orders a snap.”  Read more:  https://www.wired.com/business/2013/01/amazon-distribution-centers/


“Target Reveals 2 Reasons Why Its Collaboration With Neiman Marcus Failed” by Ashley Lutz at Business Insider.  “The spokesman, who WWD didn’t identify by name, said part of the problem was timing:  “’There are two spikes during the Christmas season, Black Friday and last-minute shopping just before Christmas,’ he said. ‘There’s that lull in between. The line was timed to excite consumers during that time. We underestimated that lull. Consumers were fatigued coming out of Black Friday. They were looking for deals.'”  He also said pricing was an issue:  “‘It was priced a bit higher than some of our partnerships because products had real silk, hand-beading and 18-karat gold. We believe we created a price barrier.”  Read more:  https://www.businessinsider.com/targets-neiman-marcus-collection-flops-2013-1#ixzz2It1XuUdP


“Intown Ace Hardware, Local Mom-And-Pop Store, Outmaneuvers Home Depot To Survive” by Catherine New at HuffPo.  “Jones changed up his business plan, going from a building supply provider to something more like a general store. He scuttled low-margin, high-maintenance items, like table saws and power tools — things Home Depot routinely discounted — and spent his energy on customer service to attract a new demographic of customers, namely women. Today, Intown still sells hardware goods, but now it also offers things like colorful wrapping papers, a large garden center and knickknacks. To Jones’ satisfaction, Home Depot even sends customers to him when they need a special part or have a specialized home repair problem, he said.”  Read more:  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/intown-ace-hardware_n_2456458.html


“Safeway Should Sell Canadian Operations Says BMO” by David Benoit at WSJ.  “The analysts go as far as to predict that if Safeway Canada was put on the block, there would be a bidding war for it, judging by some recent action by the likely bidders. BMO said the unit is worth around $5.5 billion, which is more than Safeway’s current $4.4 billion market capitalization, but the analysts cautioned “have no insight as to whether a potential sale is or is not in the works.”Safeway shares jumped 7.3% to $20.21 in recent trading, the first time the stock has been above $20 since early May.”  Read more:  https://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2013/01/23/safeway-should-sell-canadian-operations-says-bmo/


“Three Ways Retailers Are Fighting Back Against Amazon and the ‘Showrooming’ Effect” by Sterling Wong in Minyanville.  “According to a poll by Harris Interactive, 43% of US adults have showroomed, having visited a brick-and-mortar store to check out a product before buying it online, most likely on Amazon. Best Buy has been hurt the most from this phenomenon, with 24% of those polled naming the electronics chain as the store they visited most often to view a product they then purchase online. Wal-Mart (22%) was next, followed by Target (9%), and Home Depot (4%)”  Read more: https://www.minyanville.com/sectors/consumer/articles/From-Price-Matching-to-Mobile-Apps253A/1/23/2013/id/47580#ixzz2It6cIdYl


“Dollar General plans to add 6,000 jobs” at AP.  “Discount retail store company Dollar General Corp. announced Wednesday that it would open 635 new stores this year and add 6,000 new jobs.  Dollar General also said that it would relocate 550 stores in 2013. The company said it plans to open the chain’s 11,000th store before the year’s end and the company’s 75th anniversary in 2014.”  Read more:  https://www.nbcnews.com/business/dollar-general-plans-add-6-000-jobs-1C8086502 


“Staples Brand Products Launch in Japan”  “Staples, Inc., the world’s largest office products company and second largest internet retailer, today announced the launch of Staples brand products in Japan, bringing North America’s most trusted brand in office products to businesses in one of the world’s biggest markets.  “Japanese consumers will love the quality and value as well as the unique designs and vivid colors of Staples brand products, and we expect to grow both our retail and delivery businesses through this relationship.”  Staples has established a wholesale distribution relationship with Jointex, a leading office products wholesaler and division of PLUS Corporation, a manufacturer of stationery and office furniture based in Tokyo. Read more:  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20130123006048&div=-1245645151


“Target to launch in March first of 124 stores in Canada” by Thomas Lee in Minneapolis Star Tribune via Detroit News.  “In what is arguably Target’s boldest project in its 50-year history, the chain in March will open the first of 124 stores in Canada, its first expansion beyond the United States.  The move is Target’s first big step at becoming a global retail force.  Target’s international ambition has less to do with bragging rights than basic survival. Not only is Target running out of room to grow, but recession-worn American consumers haven’t been as eager to open their wallets, much to the benefit of low-priced competitors like Wal-Mart and Amazon.  Read more:  https://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130123/BIZ/301230326#ixzz2It0TsisY


“Former Home Depot HQ sold” by Douglas Sams at Atlanta Business Chronicle.  “The Home Depot Inc.’s former world headquarters has a newly formed joint venture behind it involving Oak Tree Capital Management.  The buildings on the northwest side of Atlanta in Vinings are known as Paces West and include two interconnecting office towers with a total of 646,000 square feet along Interstate 285. Piedmont Healthcare is now an anchor tenant in the project.”  Read more:  https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/real_talk/2013/01/former-home-depot-hq-building-sold.html


Thanks for reading…


Follow us on Twitter @retaileyeretail