Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/25/13: Costco feels the love; Green is the new thin


“Shareholders show Costco CEO the love as profit rises 17%” by Amy Martinez at The Seattle Times.  “Jelinek, who took over as CEO last year from co-founder Jim Sinegal, kept with tradition and went through a series of highlights from 2012. Among them:

• Costco had 92 warehouses that each reported more than $200 million in annual sales.

• The chain’s Honolulu store boasted the most million-dollar days during the holiday sales season, with 32. Locally, the Issaquah store led with 13 million-dollar days.

• It sold 113,000 carats of jewelry, including a $103,000 diamond ring in Gaithersburg, Md.

• Customers bought 1.5 million pumpkin pies at $5.99 each over Thanksgiving.

• E-commerce sales in the U.S. and Canada reached $2.5 billion. The company recently began selling online in the U.K., and Mexico and Korea may be next.

Read more:  https://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2020208680_costcoannualmeetingxml.html


“Green Is The New Thin”  “One hundred million dieters are spending approximately $20 billion a year on weight loss efforts, yet a new survey reveals women actually feel more pressure to beautify the Earth than their own bodies. A survey of 600 women conducted by the makers of Green Works® products learned that women say it’s being green that causes more pressure than being skinny (39% vs. 29% respectively).  For some, the pressure to be environmentally conscious even outweighs the pressure to have a great relationship, or have children who are successful in school or extracurricular activities. Along with feeling the pressure, women also feel it’s trendy to be environmentally conscious. Fifty-one percent of respondents said “green is the new black.” And when they do commit a green faux pas, throwing recyclables into the regular trash container is when they feel the most judgment.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6183415&access=EH


“Lowe’s Names Michael A. Jones as Chief Merchandising Officer” at Fox Business.  “Lowe’s Cos. has named Michael A. Jones, who most recently served as North and Latin America executive vice president and president of lawn and garden equipment company Husqvarna, as its new chief merchandising officer.  Prior to joining Husqvarna, Jones spent 15 years with General Electric Co.  “Mike has extensive experience with consumer products in categories relevant to the home improvement business, with both Husqvarna and GE including appliances, outdoor power equipment and lighting categories,” Chief Customer Officer Gregory M. Bridgeford said. “His experience in leading businesses, identifying and pursuing marketing opportunities, and discipline around value creation throughout the chain, from supplier to consumer, make him an outstanding fit for this position.”  Read more:  https://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2013/01/24/lowe-names-michael-jones-as-chief-merchandising-officer/


“Amazon buys text-to-speech software company Ivona” at Reuters.  “Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it acquired text-to-speech technology company Ivona Software, a sign that the world’s largest Internet retailer may be looking to develop more services similar to Apple Inc’s Siri voice-based search product…”The Ivona acquisition could provide some technology on the Kindle to compete with Siri, although I would argue that Siri has not been all that was expected of it so far,” said Kerry Rice, an analyst at Needham & Co.”  Read more:  https://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/24/us-amazon-ivona-idUSBRE90N0T020130124


“Wanelo: Social Commerce Site Is Big With Young Shoppers” by Jenna Wortham at NY Times.  “Fashion Tumblrs, Pinterest and Lookbook.nu, a street photography site, are certainly adept at displaying dreamy and sumptuous pictures of items you might want to buy. But more often than not, there is no information about how to purchase an item — or even where it is from.  Enter Wanelo a start-up based in San Francisco that has the same aesthetic as those sites, and one important difference: clicking on an image takes you directly to the place where it’s available for sale — not another blog, image site or Pinterest post.”  Read more:  https://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/24/a-look-at-wanelo-a-social-commerce-site-for-younger-shoppers/?src=rechp


“India Assures Wal-Mart on FDI Policy” by Prasanta Sahu at WSJ.  “India’s Trade Minister Anand Sharma met the chief of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s WMT international operations during the World Economic Forum in Davos Thursday and said his government will provide further clarity on its policy on foreign investment in the retail sector.  Wal-Mart International Chief Executive Doug McMillon told Mr. Sharma the retail giant was “excited about India” and that they were studying the conditions in India’s policy related to multi-brand retail before making a final announcement on its India strategy, according to an official Indian government statement.  Read more:  https://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323539804578261522732301016.html


“Walmart, Tesco may not rush in with stores (in India)” at The Times of India.  “Foreign retailers Walmart and Tesco on Thursday indicated that they will not rush into opening stores in India despite the government aggressively courting them to set up multi-brand outlets.  During a meeting with commerce & industry minister Anand Sharma in Davos on Thursday, British retail giant Tesco sought clarifications on sourcing from small scale units and rolling out of back-end infrastructure for foreign players entering the retail space. The move is seen as a precursor to the supermarket chain deciding on entering the Indian market after the government allowed 51% foreign direct investment in the multi-brand retail segment.  Similarly, Doug McMillon, president and chief executive of the international operations of Walmart told the minister that the global giant is studying the conditions before making a final announcement on its India plans, an official statement said.  Read more:  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Walmart-Tesco-may-not-rush-in-with-stores/articleshow/18176828.cms


“Target’s ‘Live Tweet-to-Runway Show’ Was…Strange” by Patrick Coffee at PRNewser.  “Here’s the deal: Target encouraged fans to log on to the “Everyday Show” page via Twitter and post messages concerning some product sold in the “Everyday” line. Target describes Everyday as “the most intensely sensible grocery and essentials collection of the season”, which could apply to pretty much anything. Someone in the marketing/PR department chose the “best” tweets, which were then read aloud by models as they paraded down the runway carrying the products in question with the requisite techno beats in the background.”  Read more:  https://www.mediabistro.com/prnewser/targets-live-tweet-to-runway-show-was-strange_b55611


“Better Homes And Gardens Best New Product Awards Announces 2013 Winners As Voted By 77,500+ Americans”  “Better Homes and Gardens along with leading market research firm BrandSpark International, today announced the winners of the 2013 Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Awards (BNPAs). The BNPAs are the leading consumer-voted awards program in North America, honoring consumer products in the categories of Beauty, Food & Beverage, Health & Personal Care and Household. See the 63 winning products here:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6184925&access=EH


“Global Retail Branding And Sourcing Expert Daymon Worldwide Releases 2013 And Beyond Global Retail Trend Predictions”  “Daymon Worldwide, the only end-to-end global retail branding and sourcing company, released its Global Retail Trend Predictions for 2013 and beyond, offering insider intelligence gleaned from its international team of retail and insights experts.  See the 13 trends here:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6184977&access=EH