Wal-Mart and Mexico launch initiative to improve lives of farmworkers by Richard Marosi at LA Times. “Wal-Mart said it is taking action to ensure that workers are treated with “respect and dignity,” reminding its in-house buyers that they should buy produce only from farms that meet the company’s standards for decent treatment of workers.” Read more
Target brings back Mark Schindele for real estate role by Nick Halter at Minn./St. Paul Business Journal. “His new job is senior vice president of Target Properties, where he’ll lead ” a broad and diverse team responsible for: store planning and design, real estate, corporate real estate, property management, construction, strategic sourcing and procurement and Target Commercial Interiors,” he wrote on LinkedIn.” Read more
Wal-Mart sues the state of Texas by Maria Halkias at Dallas News. “Our Texas customers want added convenience when shopping for adult beverages. However, the current law prohibits publicly owned businesses such as Wal-Mart from offering spirits to its customers,” Wal-Mart spokesman Lorenzo Lopez said.” Read more
American Express, Costco to end US exclusivity deal by Tom Murphy at AP via SF Chronicle. “The current agreement covers U.S. stores and dates back 16 years. It will end March 31, 2016.” Read more
…Costco cards accounted for 8% of American Express’ billed business and 10% of its cards by Roger Yu at USA Today. Read more
… On Thursday, AmEx’s shares dropped $5.53, or 6.4%, to $80.48, its largest one-day percentage decline since August 2011 by Robin Sidel at WSJ Read more (Subscription)
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Wal-Mart acknowledges inventory woes in U.S. stores, seeks ‘fresh’ fix by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “I have visited about 70 stores over the past four months. Inventory is an issue, shrinkage has created challenges and we are leaning into this in a meaningful way. We can’t fix it all in five minutes. It’s going to take time but Judith (McKenna, chief operating officer for Walmart U.S.) and the team are working on it,” (Greg) Foran said during the meeting.” Read more
Cabela’s Q4 Comp Sales -5.5% / Revenue +7.2% Read the release
Fast Company: The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies (Warby Parker #1, Alibaba #3) See the top 50 list
Mattel and Google have a mystery product coming by Todd C. Frankel at Washington Post. “So what is this mystery product? Speculation has been flying. Many have seized on the View-Master clue. Maybe a mash-up between Mattel’s old-school plastic View-Master and the new Google Cardboard, the tech giant’s DIY virtual-reality glasses that can be paired with a smartphone.” Read more
Pinterest Is Working on a Plan to Introduce a ‘Buy’ Button as Soon as This Year by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “The Buy button would allow Pinterest users to order and pay for some of the products they discover on Pinterest without leaving the company’s website or app, these people said.” Read more
NRF ’15 Forecast: Retail industry sales will rise 4.1% up from 3.5% growth in 2014. Online sales to increase between 7% and 10% this year by Barbara Thau at Fortune. Read more
Johnson & Johnson projects aim to spot who’ll get a disease at AP via Yahoo. “A hundred years from now, someone’s going to look back on us and say, ‘Can you believe they waited until you got a disease and then did something?'” Dr. William Hait, head of Janssen research and development, said in an interview with The Associated Press.” Read more
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