Friday Tipsheet: Costco=Forbes #2 Employer | Target’s ‘Fairy Godmother’ | Restoration Hardware +24%


Forbes: America’s Top 500 Employers (Costco #2, Winco #241, Bass Pro #402, JCP #494).  See the top 500 list


Report: Amazon makes even temporary warehouse workers sign 18-month non-competes by Spencer Woodman at The Verge. “The Amazon contract, obtained by The Verge, requires employees to promise that they will not work at any company where they “directly or indirectly” support any good or service that competes with those they helped support at Amazon, for a year and a half after their brief stints at Amazon end.” Read more 


Fresh & Easy CEO buys $6.35-million home in Redondo Beach See the pics / Read more


How L.L. Bean Became Fashion’s Hottest Company by Clare O’Connor at Forbes. “You mess up, you’re going back to square one,” says Cindy Morse, a 21-year Bean veteran, over the thud of a vamping machine that finishes off each boot with three stitches of heavily waxed thread. There’s urgency but no rush. If you bought a pair in February, you can expect to receive them around June.” Read more


Dallas: Day 1 of  Prime Now by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News “It got busy enough that the service wasn’t being offered on some orders attempted from downtown Dallas in the late afternoon.” Read more


***A message from Orchard Road Canning – New designer inspired cap art for the home canning consumer. The decorative series of canning caps features three custom designs: Wild Daisy, Fruit and Gingham and is available in Regular Mouth size. Finally, something unique and differentiated to drive incremental sales in the home canning and storage categories! See the decorative designs. Request samples:


Restoration Hardware Q4 Comp Revenues +24% Read the release


Amazon Robot Contest May Accelerate Warehouse Automation by Will Knight at MIT Technology Review. “Pete Wurman, chief technology officer of Kiva Systems, says that about 30 teams from academic departments around the world will take part in the challenge, which will be held at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Seattle (ICRA 2015). In each round, robots will be told to pick and pack one of 25 different items from a stack of shelves resembling those found in Amazon’s warehouses.” Read more / See the video


Fairy godmothers bring cheer to Target Canada workers at Toronto Sun. “It’s not something we expected anyone to do,” cashier Beverley Robinson said through tears. “It restores your faith in humanity.” See the video / Read more


Google Takes Its Amazon-Style Starred Product Ratings To Europe by Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch. “Customers look for product validation through reviews and ratings. Providing this info is valuable to our customers and provides The Home Depot with a competitive advantage on Google,” Dave Abbott, Vice President of Online Marketing for The Home Depot, noted in Google’s blog post.” Read more


Macy’s “studying” China closely, with eye on international growth by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “We have spent a lot of time studying China,” Macy’s Chief Financial Officer Karen Hoguet said at a conference this week, adding though that “we haven’t figured it out yet.” She has been to China twice, while CEO Terry Lundgren has visited China regularly.” Read more


Mystery odor at Muncie, IN Walmart sends 8 to hospital by Douglas Walker at Muncie Star Press. “Monroe said the people had complained of a burning sensation in their throats after an odor was detected…there were no indications meth played any role in Wednesday night’s events. A man has been charged with leaving a backpack full of meth-related materials in a restroom of the southside Muncie Walmart on March 12.” Read more


CNBC most loved beer labels: Round one results See the labels / Read more


’50 Shades’ baby boom expected in November by Mark Duell at Daily Mail. “…it seems midwives in Leeds are well aware of the erotic movie’s potential for a baby boom nine months later, with a hospital staff room sign warning employees to ‘book your annual leave now’. The notice said: ‘Important information for midwives. The movie Fifty Shades of Grey is being released February 13, 2015 + 40 weeks = November 20, 2015. Book your annual leave now.’ Read more



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