Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 2/18/13: Walmart sales a “total disaster”; Target’s “odd fit”


“Report: Wal-Mart February Sales a ‘Total Disaster’ Amid Tax Hike” by Matt Egan at Fox Business News.  “The report, from Bloomberg News, sent shares of the world’s largest retailer dropping more than 3% and pushed the S&P 500 to session lows.  “In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster,” Jerry Murray, a vice president of finance and logistics at Wal-Mart, said in an email to other executives on February 12, according to Bloomberg. “The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”  Read more: https://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2013/02/15/report-wal-mart-february-sales-total-disaster-amid-tax-hike/#ixzz2LFoSgA4b


“Wal-Mart shares tumble on report of weak February sales” at Reuters.  “Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc  fell 2.1 percent on Friday after Bloomberg quoted a mid-level executive’s email as saying the world’s largest retailer had the worst sales start to any month in seven years in February.  Wal-Mart executives blamed the poor sales performance on increased payroll taxes as well as delayed tax returns, Bloomberg said.  Higher payroll taxes this year are seen as a potential problem for Wal-Mart and other discount retailers that try to attract lower-income customers who have less disposable income.”  Read more:  https://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/15/us-walmart-shares-idUSBRE91E12R20130215


“Greuel may have missed red flags in fight against Home Depot” by Jack Dolan LA Times.  “When former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel led the successful charge to prevent Home Depot from opening a new store in her district, she talked about the potential environmental and traffic drawbacks and accused the chain store of flouting local development rules.  One thing she did not mention during the heated debate in the summer of 2007 was that weeks earlier, she had inherited a 50% interest in a competing business — her family’s building supply store about nine miles from the proposed Home Depot in Sunland.”  Read more:  https://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-greuel-home-depot-20130218,0,6308766.story


“Target Makes an Odd Fit in SI’s Swimsuit Issue” by Diane Brady at Bloomberg Businessweek.  “But what’s up with Target? Does it really think this monument to the male libido is the perfect place to pitch women on everyday style? Target spokesman Joshua Thomas notes that “Target has a phenomenally strong swim business” and views SI “as the authority on swim.” The retailer hasn’t advertised in the magazine for a decade or so and has never done anything on this scale. What changed the company’s thinking was the idea of a “minizine,” he says, wherein the company could feature ads that were “very female-focused, showing girls on a girls’ weekend.” Thomas says Target hasn’t yet received any negative feedback.”  Read more:  https://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-12/target-suffers-wardrobe-malfunction-in-si-swimsuit-issue


“Trader Joe’s has them wowed” by Emma Sapong at The Buffalo News.  “Last fall, Trader Joe’s boldly encroached on Wegmans’ home turf, setting up shop in Rochester in the same suburban plaza where Wegmans’ mammoth flagship store towers.  The audacious move proved successful for the California-based specialty supermarket chain. Eager shoppers lined up early in the morning last October before the store even opened its doors in the sprawling Pittsford Plaza.  “The first few months you couldn’t even get in here because it was so jam-packed,” said Cynthia Van Houte, a Pittsford resident, during a recent trip to Trader Joe’s. “You had to come between 8 and 10 in the morning if you wanted to get in. It was unbelievable, especially since Wegmans’ iconic store – the supermarket Mecca – is right there.”  Read more:  https://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130216/BUSINESS/130219313/1003


“Sears Jumps Into Same-Day Service Arena” with Mygofer Express by Adam Blair at RIS.  “Sears has jumped into the same-day service arena, joining retailers that include OfficeMax, Walgreens, Macy’s, Toys “R” Us and Best Buy. Through its Mygofer Express service, Sears will offer same-day pickup of digital orders at its flagship State Street store in Chicago in an attempt to target the busy urban commuter demographic.  Available items will include groceries, Sears-brand products and products from local Chicago merchants, according to published reports. Sears has revamped the Mygofer portal that it launched in 2009, which allowed customers to shop online or via mobile phones and then pick up their orders at a Kmart store in as little as two hours, without even leaving their cars.”  Read more:  https://risnews.edgl.com/retail-news/Sears-Jumps-Into-Same-Day-Service-Arena-with-Mygofer-Express84764


“Staples Executives Confirm Stores Will Begin Selling Apple Products in U.S.” at Mac Rumors.  “Last month, MacRumors had heard reports that office supply retailer Staples would begin offering Apple products for sale in the United States. Staples already sells Apple products internationally but had been unsuccessful in completing a deal with Apple for the U.S. market.  Tonight, we’d received word that Staples had a meeting today with corporate employees announcing that Apple products were coming to their stores.”  Read more: https://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/15/staples-executives-confirm-stores-will-begin-selling-apple-products-in-u-s/ 


“Hendrick: Lowe’s sticking with JJ” by Lee Spencer at Fox Sports.  “Hendrick said on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway that he has a verbal commitment from the North Carolina-based company. The deal is expected to run through the end of 2014.  “Lowe’s will be back,” Hendrick said. “I don’t know where that came from, but they’ll be back. Wishful thinking, maybe, by some of the other folks, but they’ll be back.”  Read more:  https://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/rick-hendrick-says-lowes-sponsorship-deal-will-continue-on-jimmie-johnson-no-48-car-021713


“Germany demands probe of Amazon work conditions” at France 24. “A German government minister called on Sunday for a thorough probe into allegations that foreign seasonal workers hired in Germany by US online retail giant Amazon were harassed and intimidated.  Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that any proof of wrongdoing could result in serious consequences for the temporary employment agency used by Amazon.”  Read more:  https://www.france24.com/en/20130217-germany-demands-probe-amazon-work-conditions


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