Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 4/1/13: Walmart Express “doing well”; Lowe’s April Fools


“Will Dollar Stores Rule the Retail World?” by Christopher Matthews at Time.   “It’s difficult to see dollar stores maintaining their current growth rates for much longer. Walmart recently announced a plan to ramp up its efforts to build smaller Neighborhood Market outlets, which will be on average about one-third the size of its traditional supercenters. These stores will be better positioned to attract customers in urban centers where Walmart has lagged the competition.”  Read more: https://business.time.com/2013/04/01/will-dollar-stores-rule-the-retail-world/#ixzz2PDTqL2Iv


“Walmart Express in Stedman (NC) doing well, plans for Eastover store moving forward” by Michael Futch at Faye Observer.  “”We have built more in North Carolina than any other state,” he said. “This is really a test phase for the Express store format. We have eight or nine in various stages of approval and construction in North Carolina.”  There has been talk that the Stedman store has done so well it may be expanding. Wertz said there are no plans to expand at this time.  All the Walmart Express stores are about 12,000 to 15,000 square feet. They carry roughly the same assortment of foods and merchandise and feature a store pharmacy. Most sell gas.  “They do vary a little bit in appearance,” Wertz said. “We modify them appropriately, depending on location and requirements of the city.”  Read more:  https://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2013/04/01/1246725?sac=fo.local


Lowe’s April Fools via their Facebook page:  “ANNOUNCING the latest technological advancement — a digitally delivered olfactory experience. Pick out the flowers you want based on fragrance from your computer, phone or tablet. Just open the image, scratch the flower you want to smell and take a whiff. It’s that easy!!!”  https://www.facebook.com/lowes?ref=ts&fref=ts


 “Amazon’s Tax Dispute May Be Destined for the Supreme Court” by Jacob Gershman at WSJ.  “One of the less-remembered legacies of Eliot Spitzer’s governorship was the “Amazon tax.”  It was his administration that came up with a plan to get Amazon.com and other out-of-state online retailers to start collecting state and local sales taxes from New York customers.  Six years (and two governors) later, New York’s battle with Amazon came to a head on Thursday after the state’s highest court upheld the constitutionality of the tax in a 4-1 ruling.”  Read more:  https://blogs.wsj.com/law/2013/03/29/amazons-tax-dispute-may-be-destined-for-the-supreme-court/


“Why retailers will be forced to reinvent themselves in the mobile age – eBay strategic director” by Jessica Davies at The Drum.  “However, the shoppers’ traditional path to purchase is evolving at breakneck speed and now resembles more of a loop than a funnel-type model, according to Bassett.  “The purchase funnel is being broken down and as a customer I don’t have to go through all four distinct steps. It means once I want something I can get it right now which begs the question – is the purchase funnel really relevant today?”  Read more:  https://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/03/21/why-retailers-will-be-forced-reinvent-themselves-mobile-age-ebay-strategic-director


“Nordstrom woos young women with lower prices” by Amy Martinez at The Seattle Times.  ““One of the things that we heard from our customers for a number of years is, ‘Boy, the stuff we love, we can’t afford, and the stuff we can afford, we don’t like too much,’ ” Nordstrom Chief Financial Officer Mike Koppel said at a recent investors conference.  “We felt that we had an opportunity to have better product that was more accessible,” he said.”  Read more:  https://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2020663776_nordstromsavvyxml.html


“J.C. Penney’s home revamp is make or break for CEO Johnson” at Reuters.  “The struggling department store chain is poised to open the first of its new home goods boutiques on April 5, a launch that Johnson himself has called “pivotal” to his efforts to revive Penney.  Once the go-to place for home products like window treatments and bath towels, Penney’s customer traffic fell 13 percent in fiscal 2012 while revenues plummeted 25 percent, the first full year with Johnson at the helm.”  Read more:  https://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/01/us-jcpenney-home-idUSBRE93006920130401?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews


“EBay Beats Out Amazon To Lead $50M Round In India’s E-Commerce Giant Snapdeal To Build Up Its BRIC Business” at Techcrunch.  “Online e-commerce giant eBay last week said that it expects to have 12% of its sales coming from BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries by 2015 in an global e-commerce market that will be worth $300 billion, and here is one more step in that strategy: it is leading a $50 million investment in Snapdeal, an online marketplace in India with 20 million users.”  Read more:  https://techcrunch.com/2013/04/01/ebay-builds-up-its-bric-strategy-leads-50m-investment-in-india-e-commerce-giant-snapdeal/


“Steve Jobs’ 1st boss is still in startup mode” by Michael Liedtke at The Seattle Times.  “After Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in 1976, Apple also adopted parts of an Atari culture that strived to make work seem like play. That included pizza-and-beer parties and company retreats to the beach.  “I have always been pretty proud about that connection,” Bushnell said in an interview. “I know Steve was always trying to take ideas and turn them upside down, just like I did.”  Read more:  https://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2020672290_inpersonbushnellxml.html


“Walgreens Selects OMD as Media Agency of Record”  “We couldn’t be more excited about our new relationship with Walgreens. From the first day it just felt right,” said Alan Cohen, CEO, OMD USA.”  Read more:  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20130329005240&div=-1245645151


“Coming to Your Phone: Ads That Talk Back to You” by Ina Fried at All Things D.  “Voice technology is already finding a home in search, text entry and helping control mobile devices. Now Nuance thinks voice has a role to play in mobile advertising.  The company is announcing a venture on Monday, in combination with advertising agencies, ad networks and publishers, to see if ads that feature voice interaction might prove more engaging and effective than traditional banner ads.”  Read more:  https://allthingsd.com/20130401/coming-to-your-phone-ads-that-talk-back-to-you/?mod=atdtweet


Thanks for reading…


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