Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 3/29/13: Costco & cheap prescriptions, Walmart closing 3 China stores


“Wal-Mart closing three China stores” by Zhang Ye at Global Times.  “Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer by revenue, is planning to shut down three superstores in China in April, a move analysts said Wednesday is designed to cope with increasing labor costs and high rents in China.  The retailer has scheduled two store closings for April 8 in Shanghai and Wuxi, East China’s Jiangsu Province and one on April 20 in Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong Province, said Wal-Mart China in a statement e-mailed to the Global Times Wednesday.”  Read more:  https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/771253.shtml#.UVQ_s5M4SSo?source=email_rt_mc_body


“Prescription drugs cost least at Costco and most at CVS” at Reuters. “Failing to comparison shop for drugs – such as generic Lipitor to lower cholesterol or generic Plavix to thin the blood – could result in overpaying by $100 a month or even more, depending on the drug, the report said. The article will be available in the May issue of Consumer Reports.” Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/28/drugs-costs-idUSL2N0CJ19020130328?source=email_rt_mc_body


“About Walmart’s Idea to Crowdsource Its Same-Day Delivery Service” by Erika Morphy at Forbes.  “Follow me on this, because like the crowdsourced delivery system this idea (in-store lockers) has traces of genius too. There is a certain element of the population that doesn’t want to deal with Walmart despite its low, prices. They find the stores too crowded, the lines too long, the shelves too cluttered, the ambiance too low rent—whatever. “You know there are people like that out there,” Harvey said. These people wouldn’t mind scoring a low-priced DVD or crockpot though – they just don’t want to actually have to walk into the store to retrieve it. Hence, the lockers. They can pay for the item, go to Walmart and pick it up without the hassle of actually dealing with Walmart.”  Read more:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikamorphy/2013/03/28/about-walmarts-idea-to-crowdsource-its-same-day-delivery-service/


“The secret life of Target’s mascot, Bullseye” by Susan Krashinsky at Globe and Mail.  “Bullseye eats dog food; Target will not divulge what kind. She enjoys many types of treats—no elaboration. She travels first-class; the type of carrier and all other travel arrangements are secret. She even has a rider, rock-star-style, that specifies her working conditions at events across the continent. These include a private space where she can retreat, Garbo-style, and a mandated number of breaks per hour. Target will not say how many.  She is used to proximity with celebrities, including, over the years, Cameron Diaz, Salma Hayek and Michael Bublé. But she is a star in her own right and is enshrined at Madame Tussauds wax museum in New York.”  Read more:  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/the-secret-life-of-targets-mascot-bullseye/article9966869/


“Target store bar-code scammer sent to prison” by Margaret Gibbons at Philly Burbs.  “Under the scam, Gasdaska and his two accomplices would identify costly items and cheaper products by the same manufacturer. Gasdaska then would create a UPC label on a home computer for the cheaper product, which then would be affixed over the real bar code of the more costly item.  For example, the group would select a Bose computer speaker, having a real value of $249.99, for purchase. However, before taking that item to the cashier, a UPC label of another, cheaper Bose product, would be placed on the box. The cashier would then scan the fake bar code, charging the lesser price.”  Read more:  https://www.phillyburbs.com/news/crime/target-store-bar-code-scammer-sent-to-prison/article_54bfbe34-9d10-5065-8f43-8d523d1e229e.html


“Google Testing Same-Day Shopping With Target, Walgreens” by Brian Womack at Bloomberg.  “The pilot project, called Google Shopping Express, lets local residents order items from participating retailers, which also include Toys “R” Us Inc., Staples Inc. and American Eagle Outfitters Inc., Google said on its website. Customers can get items from multiple stores.”  Read more:  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-28/google-testing-same-day-shopping-with-target-walgreen.html


“Brookstone Reports Net Sales increased 4.6% to $519.6 million for Fiscal Year 2012”  “Innovative product development company and multi-channel lifestyle retailer Brookstone, Inc. announced today that, for the fiscal year ended December 29, 2012, net sales increased 4.6% to $519.6 million and comp sales increased 4.5% while Adjusted EBITDA decreased 25.7% to $18.4 million as compared to the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011. For the fourth quarter ended December 29, 2012, net sales decreased 8.0% to $232.8 million, comp sales decreased 3.5%.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6561345&access=EH


“Google Picks 8,000 Winners of ‘Glass’ Contest” by Michael Liedtke at Time.  “Prevailing in this contest might not seem like much of a victory if you aren’t a technology fan. The winners will have to pay $1,500 apiece if they want a test version of the product, which is called “Google Glass.” They also will have to travel to New York, Los Angeles or the San Francisco Bay area to pick up the device, which isn’t expected to be available on the mass market until late this year or early next year.But getting a chance to be among the first to experience Google Glass is being treated like a hallowed privilege among the tech set. Some contestants even likened it to winning one of the five golden tickets that entitled children to a lifetime supply of candy and a visit at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in the popular movie based on a book by Roald Dahl.”  Read more:  https://techland.time.com/2013/03/27/google-picks-8000-winners-of-glass-contest/


“Publix breaks ground, downplaying idea of buying Harris Teeter” by Ely Portillo at Charlotte Observer.  “Publix President Todd Jones, on hand for the ceremonial dirt-turning, emphasized the company’s promote-from-within culture. He said many top executives at Publix have been there since they were teenagers.  “When you acquire, you can’t do that,” Jones said. He said the company hasn’t made a large purchase of a competitor since it bought a meatpacking company the 1930s. Publix stock is all held by employees.  Read more:   https://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/03/29/3946087/publix-breaks-ground-downplaying.html#storylink=cpy


“Lowe’s Hit With $400M Suit Over Tracking Website Visitors” by Kathryn Brenzel at Law 360 (subscription required).  “Lowe’s Home Centers Inc. invaded the privacy of certain Missouri consumers by using tracking technology on its website, and owes them more than $400 million in computer repair and software costs, according to a class action removed Thursday to Missouri federal court.”  Read more:  https://www.law360.com/classaction/articles/428264/lowe-s-hit-with-400m-suit-over-tracking-website-visitors


“Kroger To Participate In Morgan Stanley Retail & Restaurant Conference”  “The Kroger Co. will participate in the Morgan Stanley 2013 Retail & Restaurant Conference & Field Trip on Thursday, April 4, 2013. Mike Schlotman, Kroger senior vice president and chief financial officer, will address investors.  The presentation will be broadcast live over the Internet beginning at 10:40 a.m. (ET) at https://ir.kroger.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=106409&p=irol-presentations.  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6565475&access=EH


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