Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 1/31/13: Amazon’s growth looks like Walmart’s; Costco in Australia


“Tupperware CEO: Our Products Are Just Too Classy For America’s “Walmart Market”” by Mary Beth Quirk at The Consumerist.  “You think you’re doing Tupperware a favor by sloshing your leftover peasant fare into its plastic receptacles? Ha! Far from it. The company’s CEO says the plastic containers are just too classy to really hit it off with American consumers, since it’s a “high-quality product and a brand” and we’re just part of the “Walmart market.” Oh, okay.”  Read more:  https://consumerist.com/2013/01/30/tupperware-ceo-our-products-are-just-too-classy-for-americas-walmart-market/


“Target’s Pending Arrival Fuels Canadian Retail Battle” by Matthew Rocco at Fox Business.  “Competition among Canada’s retailers is becoming more fierce with an upcoming invasion by Target, a move that has pushed other chains like Wal-Mart Stores to bolster operations there.  Target first detailed its plans to open Canadian stores in 2011, when the Minnesota-based retailer bought more than 200 Zellers stores. The first Canadian stores donning the familiar red logo will be ready for business in March, with a total of 125 to 135 of the old Zellers stores to be remodeled and opened in 2013 and 2014.  Target is in a unique position for a company expanding beyond its domestic stores. Cross-border shopping, a popular excursion for Canadians looking for better deals, has made Target a familiar brand. According to an internal survey conducted in March 2012, 92% of respondents said they already knew about Target.”  Read more: https://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2013/01/29/targets-pending-arrival-fuels-canadian-retail-battle/#ixzz2JYGFWfCK


“Amazon’s Growth Looks Like Walmart in the 1990s — But Even Better” by Marcus Wohlsen at Wired.  “…But Apple might not be the right behemoth to use as a benchmark for Amazon’s recent performance. In 1994, Walmart’s net sales topped $60 billion for the first time, the neighborhood that Amazon’s playing in today. A decade later, Walmart’s sales had nearly quadrupled to $256 billion. Last year, Walmart’s sales clocked in at just south of $444 billion.  Amazon may or may not continue to climb its own trajectory toward a half-trillion. But at its current flattening growth rate, Walmart may not get there for years. In the meantime, Amazon’s curve looks like Walmart’s in the 1990s, the decade Walmart pulled away from the competition to become a singular force.”  Read more:  https://www.wired.com/business/2013/01/amazons-walmart-like-growth/


“Trader Joe’s store coming to Tulsa but just for one afternoon” by Chris Cordt at KRMG-Tulsa.  “Paschal says the process is simple. You place an order on TYPro’s web site, pay for it then A TYPros crew will make the drive to Kansas City to purchase everything.  On February 16th between 4-8pm, TYPros will create a pop up store in Downtown Tulsa at 11 E Brady St for you to pick up your deliveries.  TYPros isn’t alone. There’s also a ‘Petition to Bring Trader Joes to Tulsa’ Facebook group with more than 3,100 likes.  Read more:  https://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/trader-joes-store-coming-tulsa-just-one-afternoon/nWBFQ/


“Australian Costco gets $50 million boost and turns its first profit” by Patrick Stafford at Property Observer.  “Big-box retailing is in full swing in Australia, with the local arm of bulk buying group Costco receiving yet another $50 million from its parent company in order to fund further expansion after reporting its first profit.  The move comes as the bulk buying industry continues to expand in Australia, with Costco planning an expansion which will bring multiple stores in capital cities across the country. The business received $140 million in 2012 to help open new stores.”  Read more:  https://www.propertyobserver.com.au/retail/australian-costco-gets-$50-million-boost-and-turns-its-first-profit/2013013059048 


“Target CIO Beth Jacob talks technology” by John Vomhof Jr. at Minneapolis-St.Paul Business Journal (Video & Text).  “Although she doesn’t go into a lot of detail about specific technology initiatives at Target, Jacob does touch on range of topics, including how the company is increasing tech investments, adding more tech talent, and expanding its partnerships with firms like Facebook, IBM and AT&T.  She also mentions that the retailer recently opened a small office in San Francisco, something I touched on in my October article.”  Read more:  https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2013/01/30/target-cio-beth-jacob-talks-technology.html


“WSU prof saves Kroger more than $170 million” by Meagan Pant at Dayton Daily News.  ““You don’t know day-to-day exactly the number of or particular medicines people will need,” Zhang said. “Although there might be some patterns, like during cold season, demand is never certain.”  When Zhang learned of the problem, he knew the model, which uses mathematical calculations, could have a huge impact. “But I wasn’t expecting this much,” he said.  Using the system, Kroger, which has 1,950 pharmacy locations, has been able to reduce out-of-stock prescriptions by 1.5 million, lower inventory by more than $100 million and yield additional revenue of more than $70 million since October 2011, according to the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, which gives the Franz Edelman Award.  Zhang said the same ideas could be applied to stocking fresh produce or general retail and in manufacturing.”  Read more:  https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/business/wsu-prof-saves-kroger-more-than-170-million/nWBL2/


“How One Entrepreneur Turned A Blog Into A Budding Fashion Empire” by Ashley Lutz at Business Insider.  “Shauna Miller started a fashion blog in 2010 with a simple mission: to make women feel good about their discount attire.  Just over two years later, she’s a fashion designer with an upcoming line at Walmart, the world’s largest retailer.  On her blog, Penny Chic, Miller put together fashionable looks she had put together from shopping at Walmart, Forever 21 and JCPenney.”  Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/penny-chics-shauna-miller-gets-walmart-line-2013-1#ixzz2JYKARl1C


“Wal-Mart opposing D.C.’s big box living wage bill” by Michael Niebauer at Washington Business Journal.  “The bill requires that all retailers larger 75,000 square feet, and whose parent company earns at least $1 billion a year, pay their employees a minimum wage of at least $11.75 an hour and provide them with health benefits. The legislative provisions do not apply if there is a collective bargaining agreement in place between a store and its employees…While the measure does not target a specific retailer, it is clearly aimed at Wal-Mart, which plans to open six D.C. stores over the next half decade. Other big box stores that may be affected include Target, Home Depot, Costco and Lowe’s. The bill does not appear to grandfather in existing stores.”  Read more: https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2013/01/wal-mart-opposing-dcs-big-box.html?page=all


“UK Walmart Ad Showing Moms Doing Housework Cleared Of Sexism Charges” by Mark Sweney at The Guardian (Video & Text).  “The U.K.’s advertising watchdog has cleared Asda’s festive TV campaign featuring an exhausted mother doing all the work to make Christmas a success, despite more than 600 complaints it was offensive and sexist…The TV ad showed a harassed mother swamped with festive preparations: shopping, cooking, cleaning, writing cards, wrapping presents and making beds.”  Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/uk-walmart-ad-showing-moms-doing-housework-at-christmas-cleared-of-sexism-charges-2013-1#ixzz2JYQo8GQf


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