Friday Tipsheet: Wmart: ‘Sound of Music’ Ads, WashPo Hit, China Dilemma | H-E-B’s New HQ | Kroger: 40 in a Row


“Walmart Ads for NBC’s “Sound of Music” Sounded Just Like the Show” by Brian Steinberg at Variety.  “The ads will use oft-sung tunes such as “My Favorite Things,” “So Long, Farewell,” and “Do-Re-Mi” – all featuring the Brooks clan using products from Walmart. In one ad, the family will be shown cooking in the kitchen while a bag full of groceries purchased at Walmart is on display. The last spot of the evening will feature the parents trying to get the kids to sleep as they all use electronic devices available for purchase at Walmart. “So Long, Farewell,” will play as the scene unfolds.”  Read more


“Kroger Reports 40th Consecutive Quarter of Positive Same-Store Sales – But Misses Street Estimates” by Alexander Coolidge at Cincy Enquirer.  “Kroger reported that third-quarter sales rose 3.2 percent to $22.5 billion, shy of analysts’ projections of $22.7 billion. Kroger officials noted that falling fuel prices – down 8 percent in the quarter – depressed overall sales. They said that excluding fuel, sales rose 4.7 percent.”  Read more


“Kroger’s 2013 Q3 Earnings Call Transcript”  Read it here


“Dollar General: Consumable Sales Up, Margins Down” by Ben Fox Rubin at WSJ.  ” Consumables sales continued to increase at a higher rate than non-consumables, with the most significant growth due to strong sales of tobacco products, perishables, and candy and snacks, the company said. Consumable goods sales rose 12%, while seasonal goods and home- products sales were both up 7.3%. Apparel said rose 2.4%.”  Read more


“Dollar General’s 2013 Q3 Earnings Call Transcript”  Read it here


“5 Surprises at the New Big City Walmart in DC” by Charles Fishman at Fast Company.  “The Missouri Avenue store was jammed at midday. The novelty of a new Walmart always brings in crowds (the Washington Post reported that 100 people were lined up waiting to get into the store before it opened, a la an Apple Store opening).  Three parts of the store, in particular, had so many customers and carts you could hardly pass: grocery, kids clothes, and health and beauty.”  Read more / See the 3D Video Tour


Washington Post on new DC Walmart:  Associates had to stand, were separated from VIPs, and were last to eat” by Clinton Yates.  “A good hour after everyone else was allowed to pick at the platters with shrimp cocktail and curry chicken salad with raisins among them, the DJ played Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” as guests filed out. The associates lined up. They were finally allowed to eat. Last and by themselves.  I guess it was their privilege.”  Read more


“Walgreen’s November Same-Store Front End Sales +1.9%” at MarketWatch.  “Walgreens had November sales of $6.07 billion, an increase of 4.1 percent from $5.83 billion for the same month in fiscal 2013.  Total front-end sales increased 3.2 percent compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while comparable store front-end sales increased 1.9 percent. Customer traffic in comparable stores increased 0.8 percent while basket size increased 1.1 percent.”  Read more


“Rite-Aid Same-Store Sales Up 2.8% in November”  “Same store sales for the 13-week period ended Nov. 30, 2013 increased 2.3 percent over the prior-year period. Front-end same store sales decreased 0.2.”  Read more


“Walmart’s Expansion Dilemma in China” by Tony Jim at China Perspective.  “It is believed that Walmart switched its focus to small cities because of its abating advantages in tier-1 and tier-2 cities.  In larger cities, Walmart is no longer viewed as an upscale, foreign brand as it was when it started doing business in China in the late 1990s and early 2000s…But it is argued that Walmart missed the booming time of commercial real estate in the big cities, while this market in small cities is very limited.”  Read more


“H-E-B’s New HQ Clears Planning Commission:  Plan to Close Then Reopen Entire Block in San Antonio” by Iris Dimmick at Rivard Report.  See the Master Renderings / Drawings


“Want to Work on Amazon’s Drone Squad?  They’re  Hiring!” by Mike Isaac at All Things D.  “Let’s meet (the team), per a source who helpfully pointed a few out to me recently…According to Buchmueller’s LinkedIn page, the group is hiring.”  Read more


“Asian American Households Spend 19% More than Average Households; Prefer Costco to Walmart” by Anh Do at LA Times.  “Asian Americans lead in online buying, with 77% making an Internet purchase in the last year, compared with 61% of the general population.  By 2017, Asian Americans are expected to surpass $1 trillion in consumer buying power.”  Read more


“Amazon Expands ‘Frustration-Free’ Packaging Push”  “Amazon today announced that its Frustration-Free Packaging initiative, a multi-year effort to liberate products from hermetically sealed clamshell cases and plastic-coated steel-wire ties, now offers over 200,000 items, up from 19 when the initiative was launched five years ago.”  Read more


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