Friday Tipsheet: Amazon’s Club Store Attack | Ivy League Disses Wmart | W.Foods Wants 1000+


“Amazon Launches ‘Pantry’ to Take on Costco/Sam’s/BJ’s” by Alistair Barr at USA Today. “Amazon has the clubs in their cross hairs,” said Keith Anderson, who leads RetailNet Group’s Digital Advisory practice.”This will be a potential issue for Costco.” Warehouse club members tend to be higher income households with kids — the type of shoppers that have huge lifetime value to retailers.  The demographics of an Amazon shopper are similar to the club store shopper and Amazon wants to appeal to that audience, one of the people familiar with the effort explained.”  Read more


“Meet Boxed – The New ‘Online Costco’ “ by Christopher Mims at Quartz.   (From the 11/22/13 archives but newly relevant.) “Boxed has been generating revenue from the day it launched, and while it offers free shipping on orders above $75, it has kept costs low by carrying only a limited range—currently about 600 items…It can now ship to everywhere in the lower 48 states of the US. Shipping is free on orders of $75 or more, and they are delivered overnight to Philadelphia, Washington DC, Boston, New York and Los Angeles, and within two days to everywhere else.”  Read more


“Costco Takes Wait-and-See Approach to E-Commerce (The Clocks Ticking!)” by Eliot Zwiebach at Supermarket News.  “Richard Galanti:  ‘We enjoy watching the landscape as others are getting into those types of businesses…’Getting overnight delivery or same-day delivery is great, but ultimately you’ve got to pay for it.’…’My sense is probably that Amazon is taking market share more from supermarkets where people shop two-and-a-half times to three times a week.’  Read more


“Would Ivy League Students Like a Convenient Walmart to Shop at?  No Way!” by Akane Otani at USA Today. “Harvard Square has a nice, bohemian, historic feel that would be ruined by a big Walmart,” he said. “The convenience and low prices might be nice, but I don’t think the cost to the Harvard community would be worth it.”  Beyond considering the impact a Walmart might have on local businesses, Jessica Solis, a sophomore at Brown, said she would not welcome a Walmart on campus because “its presence would really detract from the homey, domestic feel that Brown offers.”  Read more


“Target Confirms Strong Holiday Sales in Electronics” by Thomas Lee at Star-Tribune.  “Target said the reports confirm what the company has seen thus far.  “We’ve seen tremendous guest reaction to the season’s latest electronics and gaming products,” said spokeswoman Katie Boylan. “In fact, Black Friday sales in electronics significantly increased over last year, and we are seeing demand in this area of the store remain high in December.”  Read more


“Whole Foods Cranks up New Store Growth; Now Eyes More Than 1,000 Stores” by Brian Gaar at Austin-American Statesman via Seattle Times.  “The company operates nearly 370 stores, and officials plan to open up 33 to 38 more stores in the current fiscal year…One reason for the growth — aside from improving economic conditions — is the company learned it can successfully operate stores in smaller markets…Company officials have said Whole Foods could reasonably reach 1,000 stores, but Sud said they now think that’s a conservative estimate, implying it could grow to even more.”  Read more


“Geek Sued by Best Buy Fights Back” by Steve Alexander at Star-Tribune.  “In a telephone interview, Parsons, 41, of Sheffield Lake, Ohio, disagreed with the suit’s premise.  His two websites “may not be legal by the way the law is written, but I’m not confusing their customers. My website colors and layout are totally different from Geek Squad’s. If anyone asks if I’m the Geek Squad, I say no, I’m the Affordable Geek Squad. I never claimed to be the Geek Squad.”  Read more


“Restoration Hardware co-CEO Departs; Shares Plunge 12%” by Laurie Kulikowski at Dallas News.  “Shares of Restoration Hardware plunged more than 12% in after-hours trading after the high-end home furnishings retailer announced the surprise departure of co-CEO Carlos Alberini as third-quarter comp sales missed expectations.  Alberini, 58, who has been in Restoration Hardware’s C-suite since 2010, has accepted an offer to become chairman and CEO of Lucky Brand.”  Read more


“Radio Shack:  The Lost Shack” by Warren Shoulberg at The Robin Report.  “The big news is that Radio Shack has opened five, high-profile remodeled stores featuring its “Let’s Play” strategy that sports a cleaner, pared-down assortment dolled up with electronic merchandising wizardry like video screens and audio plug-in stations. There are now five such stores.  The bad news is that this leaves 4,306 Radio Shack stores in the country that need to be remodeled.”  Read more


“Inside CVS HQ with CMO Rob Price” by Jennifer Rooney at Forbes.  See the Video


“Now Everyday is Black Friday” by Tiffany Hsu at LA Times.  “Analysts also said that the swing into big-ticket retail — a 1.8% month-to-month increase at auto and parts dealers, a 1.2% boost at furniture stores — makes shoppers less inclined to spend extra money on toys and apparel. The clothing and accessories category slumped 0.2% last month.”  Read more


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