Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 2/8/13: Virtual QR code stores; Target’s sales jump



“Virtual Grocery and toy stores on the rise thanks to QR codes” by David Hill at Singularity Hub (Video and Text).  “The next big thing in shopping may be to walk away empty handed. That’s because an increasing number of companies are putting up virtual stores that have no physical merchandise; instead, posters display products with quick response (QR) codes. Customers scan the matrix barcodes with their smartphones, pay for the items in their virtual cart, and items are delivered to their doors within hours to days, depending on the items…Walmart teamed up with Mattel to offer a virtual toy store at Union Station in Toronto for a month before the holidays. This site sees over 200,000 commuters a day passing through, so the hottest toys were displayed to catch consumers eyes as they headed to and from work.  But Walmart wasn’t the first to occupy the space. The health and beauty online store Well.ca installed a virtual store at the site last April. According to its founder, it was a huge success and increased sales on the products that were displayed as well as serving as an advertisement for the store.”  Read and see more at:  https://singularityhub.com/2013/02/06/virtual-grocery-and-toy-stores-on-the-rise-thanks-to-qr-codes/


“Supermarkets cry foul as FDA proposes new food labeling rule under ObamaCare” by Shannon Bream at Fox News.  “The rule stems from an ObamaCare mandate that restaurants provide nutrition information on menus. Most in the restaurant industry were supportive of the idea, but when the FDA decided to extend the provision to also affect thousands of supermarkets and convenience stores, the backlash was swift.  The proposed regulation would require store owners to label prepared, unpackaged foods found in salad bars and food bars, soups and bakery items. Erik Lieberman, regulatory counsel at the Food Marketing Institute, said testing foods for nutritional data will require either expensive software or even more costly off-site laboratory assessments.  Lieberman said failure to get it right comes with stiff penalties: “If you get it wrong, it’s a federal crime, and you could face jail time and thousands of dollars worth of fines.”  Read more:   https://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/06/jail-time-for-food-labels/#ixzz2KDtxzYud


“Firms assess effect of Postal Service shift to 5-day delivery” by W.J. Hennigan at LA times.  “Hallmark is worried about the end of Saturday mail. Amazon.com, not so much.  Across the business world, merchants, delivery services and mass mailers of all kinds were assessing the effect of no weekend delivery of first-class mail possibly starting this summer…Online retailer Amazon.com said it was not worried about the announcement’s effect on its business.  “We use multiple carriers in all of our geographies to ensure we are delivering products to customers on time,” said Scott Stanzel, a company spokesman.”  Read more:  https://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-postal-business-20130207,0,2221416.story


“Target’s January Sales Jump 3.1% on Clearance Strength” by Matt Egan at Fox Business.  “After flatlining in December, discount giant Target said Thursday its same-store sales leaped 3.1% in January and nearly doubled Wall Street’s expectations due to a strong appetite for clearance items.  Shares of the Minneapolis-based company ticked slightly lower during early trading.  Closely-watched same-store sales rose 3.1% last month, compared with forecasts from analysts for a 1.7% increase. That marks an improvement from December when Target’s same-store sales were essentially flat due to “softness” before the Christmas holiday.  Read more: https://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2013/02/07/target-january-sales-jump-31-on-clearance-strength/#ixzz2KJEjyGJD


“Five Teams Compete to Win Walmart Canada’s Green Student Challenge”  “The top five teams are (in no particular order):

Carleton University: Carleton Composters, a team that has proposed the development of a new sustainable machine that creates nutrient-rich fertilizer from organic waste in as little as 24 hours

Université Sainte-Anne: On the Roof, a team that has proposed a system for harvesting rainwater to supply industry bathrooms, helping to reduce energy bills and water usage in an environmentally sustainable way

University of Toronto: EcoSense, a proposed mobile application that will make it convenient for users to find sustainable products from local retailers and their network of friends

University of Victoria: Gustavson Greenshifters, a team that has proposed a recycling program for chopsticks using the wood as raw material to manufacture furniture products

Wilfrid Laurier University: Canada Green Lawn Care, a start-up venture dedicated to providing zero-emissions residential and commercial lawn care service

Read more:  https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/five-teams-compete-to-win-walmart-canadas-green-student-challenge-190198061.html


“RetailMeNot Shoppers Trend Report: Men Outspend Women in Gift Giving for Valentine’s Day by More Than $120”  “RetailMeNot, the most widely used online coupon site in the United States, released today findings from the Valentine’s edition of the Shoppers Trend Report. Based on research conducted by The Omnibus Company, the survey of men and women in relationships revealed that men are far outspending women in their Valentine’s gift giving by $123 (men: $287 vs. women: $164).  The average person in a relationship plans to spend around $226 this Valentine’s Day.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6264226&access=EH


“Amazon seeks even more office space, records show” by Eric Pryne at Seattle Times.  “City permit records suggest ever-expanding Amazon.com is preparing to move into yet another Seattle office building.  The documents indicate mechanical work is being done on Amazon’s behalf on at least five floors — about 100,000 square feet — in the 15-story 1800 Ninth Avenue Building, at Ninth Avenue and Howell Street…Amazon’s growth has been a big factor in the Seattle office market’s recovery from the recession.  Over the past three years the company has moved into about 2.8 million square feet of new space — 1.7 million at its South Lake Union headquarters campus, plus 1.1 million it leases in four buildings in that neighborhood and the Denny Triangle.”  Read more:  https://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2020312419_amazon1800ninthxml.html


“CVS Caremark Raises Outlook” by Tess Stynes at WSJ.  “CVS Caremark Corp.’s fourth-quarter net profit rose 2.6% as the company reported revenue growth in its pharmacy-services and retail drugstore operations.  For the year, the company raised its forecast for per-share adjusted earnings from continuing operations by two cents and now expects $3.86 to $4.  On the retail side, revenue increased 5.1% to $16.3 billion. Same-store sales were up 4% from a year earlier, as pharmacy same-store sales also improved by 4%. Same-store sales in the front end of the store grew 3.9%.”  Read more:  https://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324590904578287620039675426.html


“Call Kurtis: They (Lowe’s) Installed The Wrong Door And Want To Charge Me To Fix It” by Kurtis Ming at CBS Sacramento (Video and Text).  “A Sacramento viewer says Lowe’s installed the wrong front door on her house, and when the company wanted to charge her to have the right one installed; it was time to call Kurtis.  The estimate Lowe’s wrote up had the description for the door she wanted. So how did this go so wrong?”  Read and see more:  https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2013/02/07/call-kurtis-they-installed-the-wrong-door-and-want-to-charge-me-to-fix-it/


“Who Will Claim the Million $ Jewel?”  “The coveted Jewel.com domain will be opened up for immediate auction to online and offline bidders. This is a rare opportunity, particularly for traders and retailers of precious stones and related luxury goods to own this most prestigious web address, complete with embedded branding and pre-established web traffic.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6263637&access=EH


Thanks for reading…


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