Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 2/1/13: Union backs off Wmart protests; Costco loves Pepsi and GM


“Lowe’s exec: Mobile represents 20% of Web traffic” by Lauren Johnson at Mobile  Commerce Daily.  “A Lowe’s executive at the 2013 Mobile Marketing Association Forum San Francisco said that mobile represents 20 percent of the company’s Web traffic, showing how the medium is increasingly becoming a bigger priority.  During the “Mobile and retail: How Lowe’s develops and leverages a complete view of the consumer” session, an executives from Lowe’s spoke about how the brand has steadily been growing its mobile footprint. The panel was moderated by Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer at Hipcricket, New York.”  Read more:  https://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/lowe%E2%80%99s-exec-mobile-represents-20pc-of-traffic


“Union agrees to back off Wal-Mart protests” by Ann D’Innocenzio at AP.  “Labor groups say they will end most of their picketing of Wal-Mart stores as part of a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board.  The agreement, announced by Wal-Mart, comes after the retailer filed a complaint in late November with the National Labor Relations Board against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. It said demonstrations organized by union-backed OUR Walmart that culminated on the day after Thanksgiving threatened to disrupt its business and intimidate customers and other store workers.”  Read more:  https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/01/31/ufcw-wal-mart-protests/1881053/


“PepsiCo’s In The Club… Store, that is, Capturing Costco Food Service Account” by Jeffrey Klineman at Bevnet.  “The Brooklyn-born son of a deli owner, a former sandwich courier in New York’s Garment District, Alan Bubitz knows a deal on food when he sees it.  Now, as the vice president of food services for Costco, Bubitz’s bailiwick includes one of the most popular deals in the world: his company’s famous ¼ lb. hot dog and a 20 oz. Coke for $1.50 – plus tax, where applicable.  But the fountain nozzles, they are a changin’ — at least in the Costco food court.  Bubitz confirmed yesterday that all Costco foodservice locations will be switching from Coke to Pepsi products. The change, which will begin at the massive club retailer’s 400-plus U.S. locations in April, will be carried out globally over the next few years as vending contracts expire.”  Read more:  https://www.bevnet.com/news/2013/pepsicos-in-the-club-store-that-is-capturing-costco-food-service-account


“Robert Reich says unionization of Walmart will get the economy growing” at Current.  “The Keynesians have really brought flawed theories to the forefront during the past month by two of their preeminent thinkers…He later takes jabs at America’s favorite punching bag, Walmart, for not being unionized saying, “The average pay of a Walmart worker is $8.81 an hour. A third of Walmart’s employees work less than 28 hours per week and don’t qualify for benefits…He continues saying, “Walmart should be unionized. So should McDonalds. So should every major big-box retailer and fast-food outlet in the nation. So should every hospital in America.”  Read more:  https://current.com/community/94036915_robert-reich-says-unionization-of-walmart-will-get-the-economy-growing.htm


“Menards employee who flies to Minot weekly shares story” by Kevin Hurd at WEAU in Wisconsin (Video & Text).  “”You’re pretty nervous the first day, but the people out there are nice like in Wisconsin, and the hours just seem to fly by,” said Brett Miller, who flies to Menards in Minot, ND weekly for work.  He does not have a typical 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. gig at Menards. He is part of a group of 50 people that flies each week from Eau Claire to Minot. Once a week they start their day early, making the hour and a half flight to work.”  Read more:  https://www.weau.com/home/headlines/Menards-employee-who-flies-to-Minot-weekly-shares-story-189318211.html


“Costco Auto Program and GM Offer: Sales Nearly Triple Previous Promotion”  “The Costco Auto Program today announced the outcome of its most-recent offer with General Motors. Preliminary sales results for the Chevrolet, Buick and GMC Special Offer indicate the number of eligible vehicles sold is more than 15,000 – nearly triple the final sales results of last winter’s promotional offer from the Costco Auto Program and GM.  The Chevrolet, Buick and GMC Special Offer took place Oct. 2, 2012, through Jan. 2, 2013. During the promotional period, Costco members were able to purchase select 2012 and 2013 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC models at GM Preferred Pricing, in addition to receiving all publicly available rebates and incentives. Moreover, Costco members who made an eligible purchase qualified to receive a $500 Costco Cash Card after completing a Costco Auto Program member satisfaction survey.”  Read more:  https://www.prweb.com/releases/CostcoAutoProgram/GM/prweb10381809.htm


“Kroger Announces Retirement of Kroger Central Division President Bob Moeder” at Herald Online.  “The Kroger Co. announced today the retirement of Central Division President Robert “Bob” Moeder.  “During his 42-year career, Bob has consistently demonstrated his passion for and commitment to our associates, our customers and our local communities,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s president and chief operating officer. “His improvement of our convenience store division and support on launching supermarket fuel has contributed to Kroger’s connection with customers and increased value for shareholders.”  Read more: https://www.heraldonline.com/2013/01/31/4584725/kroger-announces-retirement-of.html#storylink=cpy


“Lewis: Whole Foods CEO concerned about whole economy”  by Al Lewis at The Denver Post.  “As CEOs go, John Mackey at Whole Foods Market Inc. is a pretty good guy.  He works for $1 a year. He doesn’t loot his company with excessive perks and bonuses. His flies Southwest Airlines. He wears Patagonia. Forbes has ranked his company on its “Best Places To Work” list for 15 years. His stock has skyrocketed back from the last recession, from about $8 to about $96 a share, proving his critics wrong. And along the way, he’s made lasting changes to the way Americans think about food.  So why does he get such a hard time?  “Occasionally somebody asks me a question, and before I can think about it, I just blurt out the truth from my perspective,” he told me.”  Read more:  https://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22490029/lewis-whole-foods-ceo-concerned-about-whole-economy


“Wal-Mart: The $200 billion grocer” by Emily Jane Fox at CNN.  “When you think “locally sourced,” Wal-Mart probably isn’t the first store that comes to mind. And yet the retailer recently announced that two-thirds of its products are made here in the United States.So what gives? The answer lies in groceries.  Ten years ago, groceries made up a little more than 20% of Wal-Mart’s (WMT, Fortune 500)net sales, or about $48 billion. In 2012, groceries accounted for 55%, or roughly $244 billion. And most of your groceries — from produce, to pancake mix, to paper towels — are made right here in the U.S.”  Read more:  https://money.cnn.com/2013/01/31/news/companies/walmart-grocery/


“Amazon added 32K employees in 2012”  at Portland Business Journal.  “Amazon.com Inc. said it grew its number of total number of employees to 88,400 at the end of the latest quarter from 56,200 at the end of last year; an increase of 57 percent.”  Read more:  https://www.bizjournals.com/portland/morning_call/2013/01/amazon-added-32k-employees-in-2012.html