Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 2/6/13: Home Depot adds 80,000 workers; Target REDcard now in Canada


“Home Depot Plans 14% Increase in Seasonal Hiring” by Chris Burritt at Bloomberg.  “Home Depot Inc. plans to add more than 80,000 temporary workers ahead of its busiest season, about 14 percent more than a year ago, as a housing rebound spurs spending on remodeling and landscaping.  The largest U.S. home-improvement retailer is hiring mostly seasonal workers, though some will be offered full-time work, said Tim Crow, Home Depot’s executive vice president of human resources. Last year more than half of 70,000 temporary employees were given permanent jobs, he said.”  Read more:  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-06/home-depot-plans-14-increase-in-seasonal-hiring.html


“Target® REDcard® Products Now Available Online for Canadian Guests”  “Target is pleased to announce that applications for its REDcard products – the Target Debit Card and the Target RBC‡ MasterCard® – are now available online at Target.ca/redcard . Guests planning to shop at Target stores in Canada with a REDcard will receive an additional 5% off Target’s already low prices, applied instantly at the time of purchase.  The Target Debit Card, a proprietary card issued by Target Canada, will link to the cardholder’s existing chequing account and can be used only at Target stores in Canada.”  Read more:  https://pressroom.target.ca/pr/tgt-en/target-redcard-products-now-available-243165.aspx


“Amazon rolls out its own ‘coins'” by Aubrey Cohen at Seattle PI.  “Not content, apparently, with taking over the retail universe, Amazon announced Tuesday that it was creating its own currency.  Starting in May, users will be able to spend “Amazon Coins” to buy apps, games and in-app items on Kindle Fire. Seattle-based Amazon plans to give tens of millions of dollars’ worth of free Amazon Coins and “make it quick and easy for customers to buy additional Amazon Coins using their Amazon accounts.”  The idea is to give customers a quick and easy way to spend more money. Amazon takes a 30 percent cut from app transactions.  Read more: https://www.seattlepi.com/business/tech/article/Amazon-rolls-out-its-own-coins-4252771.php#ixzz2K7QTu2Ln


“Why Amazon Created Its New Virtual Currency, Amazon Coin” by Elbert Chu at Popular Science.  “Amazon mostly soaks up cash for real world stuff, but as they move further into the Kindle and Android worlds, the company is getting more and more digital. Now the retail giant wants users to buy their Android virtual stuff with a new currency–“Amazon Coins.” The currency, if successful, could allow Amazon to build loyalty in their Android ecosystem.  In May, Amazon will give “tens of millions” of free Amazon Coins to Kindle Fire customers in the US for apps and in-app purchases, which include stuff like Farmville chicken coops.”  Read more:  https://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-02/why-amazon-created-its-new-virtual-currency-amazon-coin


“Apple Apparently Moving Ahead with Online Store in Russia” by Ben Love joy at Mac Rumors.  “Rumors that Apple plans to open an online store in Russia have been given additional credence by a report on TechCrunch noting that the company has begun recruiting staff for the operation…The ad is for a Russian Chat Team Manager responsible for managing between 12 and 15 advisors. Although aimed at the Russian market, the role is actually based in Cork, Ireland. Apple is also advertising other roles in the region, including a Market Manager for Russia, CIS and Turkey.”  Read more:  https://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/05/apple-apparently-moving-ahead-with-online-store-in-russia/


“Walgreens January Sales Increase 6.3 Percent”  “Walgreens had January sales of $6.15 billion, an increase of 6.3 percent from $5.78 billion for the same month in fiscal 2012.  Total front-end sales increased 1.3 percent compared with the same month in fiscal 2012, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 0.4 percent. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 2.8 percent while basket size increased 2.4 percent.”  Read more:  https://news.walgreens.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=5705


“SymphonyIRI Examines Current and Emerging Merchandising Trends”  “During the past couple of years, more than one-third of CPG categories sold considerable volume—30 to 50 percent—with merchandising support. Still, on the whole, the past year has seen mixed trends. Merchandising, defined as display, feature ad, feature and display combined and price-only actions, increased across just more than half of CPG categories and declined in 47 percent of categories.  Trends in grocery and convenience channels closely mirror the industry average, but the drug channel has a different story to tell. During the past few years, merchandising support has been declining within the drug store channel. In 2012, support declined in 60 percent of the categories within the channel.”  Read more:  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20130205006416&div=-1245645151


“What’s next for Meijer’s mPerks after hitting 1 million subscribers” by Shandra Martinez at M Live.  “Here’s a sign that Meijer’s mPerks program resonates with shoppers. In less than 2 years, the digital couponing program has garnered 1 million subscribers.  The subscription base grew by more than 10 percent in December alone when 101,000 members joined.  That record-setting month also generated more than 13.7 million clipped offers and more than $5 million in savings collectively for mPerks members.”  Read more:  https://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2013/02/whats_next_for_meijers_mperks.html


“Tulsa Young Professionals Still Trying to Attract Trader Joe’s” by Kyle Arnold at Hispanic Business News.  “Tulsans have two days left to put in orders to Trader Joe’s as the Tulsa Young Professionals group makes a grassroot effort to attract one of the country’s trendiest retailers.  TyPros executive director Brian Paschal said the group has nearly 200 orders so far for the California-based chain’s assortment of foods, ranging from coffee to trail mix.  “Already this has gotten a lot more attention that I would have ever expected,” he said.  The group is trying to show Trader Joe’s, a small grocery store model with nearly 370 stores nationwide, that Tulsa would be a great location to expand.”  Read more:  https://www.hispanicbusiness.com/2013/2/5/tulsa_young_professionals_still_trying_to.htm


“Food Lion owner cuts 500 jobs” by Ely Portillo at Charlotte Observer.  “Delhaize America, which owns Food Lion and other supermarkets, is laying off 350 corporate workers, including an unspecified number at the company’s Salisbury headquarters.  The company is also closing 150 open positions, for a total of 500 job cuts. Delhaize America is a subsidiary of Delhaize Group, a Belgian grocery company.  The jobs being cut are all above the store manager level.  Read more: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/02/06/3835480/food-lion-owner-delhaize-america.html#storylink=cpy