Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 2/5/13: “Underwater Bowling” at Bass Pro; Dollar Stores “Dime a Dozen”


“Dime a Dozen: Dollar Stores Pinched by Rapid Expansion” by Ann Zimmerman at WSJ.  “While dollar stores were Wall Street darlings during the recession, some retail experts say their proliferation could now become a problem.  Dollar General said last week it will open 635 new stores this year, including its 11,000th location. Another chain, Family Dollar Stores Inc. added almost 500 stores in 2012, up from 300 a year before, and is expected to do the same this year. Family Dollar currently has more than 7,000 stores.”  Read more:  https://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323644904578270211975829422.html


“New wave bowling at Bass Pro” by Johnny Campos at The Journal Star (Peoria).  “…Westbay said that the underwater bowling theme was the brainchild of Bass Pro Shops owner Johnny Morris. Bowling was a natural tie-in with the outdoors, because of the long-standing relationship between Morris and Brunswick, which supplies all of the Mercury marine engines that are used on the boats sold at Bass Pro Shops.  “There were talks for years between Johnny and Brunswick to try and tie in bowling with the stores,” Westbay said. “It’s hard enough to think about doing something like this, but Johnny and his team made it happen.”  Read more:  https://www.pjstar.com/sports/x1522316522/New-wave-bowling-at-Bass-Pro?zc_p=0


“Tiny Upstart biffle Finds Consumer Niche – Should Amazon and Walmart Take Notice?” by Aaron Perlut at Forbes.  “…Fusz’s latest, biffle (with a lowercase “b”), looks pretty promising, and it may prove to be the best friend of consumers looking to save money, as well as an important new ally to online retailers looking to increase sales and market share.  “What consumers need is something they don’t easily get today – instant access to the best price in a safe and secure environment,” Fusz says. “Until now, when consumers search for the best price, they have to choose between the lowest price found – often from an unfamiliar vendor – and buying from a vendor they know and trust, like an Amazon. With biffle, consumers don’t have to make that choice – because the lowest price is now available from a trusted source.”  Read more:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/marketshare/2013/02/04/tiny-upstart-biffle-finds-consumer-niche-should-amazon-and-walmart-take-notice/


“Whole Foods Eyes E-commerce: Analyst” at Supermarket News.  “Whole Foods Market here could be eying an e-commerce launch, according to an analyst report on Friday.  Kate Wendt, a San Francisco -based analyst with Wells Fargo Securities, said in the report that the natural and organic specialist had filed several trademarks in January “that point to a potential move toward mobile, e-commerce, store pickup and delivery.”  She said she believes Whole Foods could launch the service in nonfood areas such as vitamins/supplements and natural HBC, before expanding into grocery product.  Read More: https://supermarketnews.com/retail-amp-financial/whole-foods-eyes-e-commerce-analyst#ixzz2K2J6Jzcp


“Amazon Patents Reselling Used Digital Goods” by Ray Willington at Hot Hardware.  “Much like it’s possible to sue for anything these days, it’s apparently not all that difficult to patent anything. While that’s something of a stretch, Amazon has just nailed a surprisingly broad patent that could have an impact on the consumer electronics economy as a whole. At its most basic level, the patent — which was awarded in the United States — details a “secondary market for digital objects.” Specifically, the verbiage makes reference to an “electronic marketplace for used digital objects,” which would include things like e-books, audio, video, computer applications, etc.”  Read more:  https://hothardware.com/News/-Amazon-Patents-Reselling-Used-Digital-Goods/


“Safeway taps JPMorgan executive as CFO” at Reuters.  “Safeway Inc, the second-largest U.S. supermarket chain, said Peter Bocian will replace Robert Edwards as its chief financial officer, effective February 19.  The company in April promoted Edwards, who had been the CFO since 2004, to the post of president and said he would continue in the finance chief’s role until his successor is named.”  Read more:  https://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/04/us-safeway-cfo-idUSBRE91310520130204


“Best Buy, Sears, Barnes & Noble among retailers that will close the most stores in 2013” at Detroit Free Press.  “For many retailers, the sales situation is so bad that it is not a question of whether they will cut stores, but when and how many. Most recently, Barnes & Noble  decided it had too many stores to maintain profits. Its CEO recently said he plans to close as many as a third of the company’s locations.  Several of America’s largest retailers have been battered for years. Most have been undermined by a combination of e-commerce competition, often from Amazon.com and more successful retailers in the same areas.”  Read list of eight that will close the most stores:  https://www.freep.com/article/20130203/BUSINESS07/130203010/Retailers-that-will-close-the-most-stores  


“Amazon to collect Conn. sales tax, ending dispute” at Seattle Times via Stephen Singer at AP.  “Amazon announced on Monday that it has agreed to collect Connecticut’s sales tax, ending a two-year dispute over the tax that the online retailer had previously refused to charge its customers.  The retailer also promised to spend $50 million to build an order-fulfillment center at an unspecified site and create hundreds of jobs.  Read more:  https://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2020285933_amazonconnxml.html


“Walgreens Promotes Magnacca to Executive Vice President” at CSP Net.  “Walgreens has announced the promotion of Joseph Magnacca from senior vice president to executive vice president, effective Feb. 1. Magnacca also retains his title as president of daily living products and solutions.  Magnacca oversees Walgreens merchandising and inventory strategy, private brands, insights and analytics, and the New York-based Duane Reade drugstore chain, which Walgreens acquired in 2010.”  Read more: https://www.cspnet.com/news/general-merchandise/articles/walgreens-promotes-magnacca-executive-vice-president


“Aldi increases market share by 29.5% (in Ireland)” at Irish Times.  “Discount German retailer Aldi enjoyed the strongest level of growth, up 30 per cent in the 12 weeks to January 22, compared to same period the previous year. The retailer grew its market share from 4.6 per cent to 5.9 per cent as shoppers continued to feel the squeeze of reduced incomes.  Meanwhile, Tesco’s share of the grocery market fell by half a percentage point, moving from 28.1 per cent to 27.6 per cent. Its sales growth also declined by 1 per cent.”  Read more:  https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2013/0204/breaking31.html


Thanks for reading…


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