Friday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: H.Depot CEO on CNBC | Wgreen/Rite Aid Sls Up | Costco in Australia


“Home Depot CEO says company is a ‘very North American business’ ” at CNBC.  “Frank Blake confirmed his company’s decision to pull out of the Chinese market last September.  “Not that China isn’t a great market, but we didn’t have the answer for the Chinese market and in particular understanding the needs of the Chinese consumer and how we could use our distribution strength to provide them better value,” he said.”We just never could solve that problem.”  Though Home Depot has strong operations in Canada and Mexico, Blake called the company “a very North American business” and said it isn’t interested in expanding anywhere else right now.”  Read more & see the interview


“Home Depot CEO Sees Housing Recovery Continuing to Boost Sales” by Chris Burritt at Businessweek.   “Home Depot Chief Executive Officer Frank Blake said rising home prices this year will spur renovation spending, helping the retailer even as increasing mortgage rates put pressure on the U.S. housing recovery.  “As we look into the back half of 2013, we continue to see the housing market improving — not a blistering pace but a steady, steady improvement,” Blake, 64, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters yesterday.”  Read more


“Walgreens August Sales Increase 5.6 Percent”  “Total sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, which ended Aug. 31, were $17.95 billion, up 5.1 percent from $17.07 billion in last year’s quarter. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 increased 4.5 percent (4.9 percent day-fall adjusted), while front-end comparable store sales for the quarter increased 1.7 percent.”  Read more


“Rite Aid’s August  Same-Store Sales up 1.1%”  “For the five weeks ended Aug. 31, 2013, same store sales increased 1.1 percent over the prior-year period. August front-end same store sales decreased 1.7 percent…Prescription count at comparable stores decreased 0.2 percent over the prior-year period.”  Read more


“Kroger sets up mini market at Nascar race in Richmond” by Dean Hoffmeyer at Richmond Times Dispatch.  “We’re hoping we’ll be swamped, this time, and then we’ll come back with a bigger store for the spring race,” said Kroger grocery coordinator Ellie Holden, who, along with marketplace specialist Ron Dean and four assistants, were stocking the store Wednesday…The introduction of the on-grounds store is being treated by Kroger as a test.”  Read more


“Costco gets nod for national expansion in Australia” by Gina Rushton at The Australian.  “US retail giant Costco has launched an Australia-wide expansion with more than five stores expected to open across the country over the next 18 months…The retailer’s growth plans had earlier been dismissed by the local council as not permissible under business park zoning rules but Sutherland Shire Council moved to overrule that decision.”  Read more


“Report: J.C. Penney dumps Martha Stewart” by Anne D’Innocenzio at AP via Charlotte Observer.  “J.C. Penney may be ending the tug-of-war with its nemesis for Martha Stewart.  The chain is reportedly dumping the Martha Stewart brand, after sales of the home maven’s goods failed to live up to expectations.”  Read more


“Online holiday forecast: sales will increase 15.1%” at Internet Retailer.  “E-commerce spending in the United States will increase about 15.1% year over year in November and December—prime holiday shopping time—says eMarketer in a projection released today. Spending during those two months will total $61.8 billion, up from $53.7 billion in 2012.”  Read more


“Grocers look to click & collect online profits” at Reuters.  “Retailers are experimenting with different pick-up models, from “drive-thrus” adjoining existing stores that are popular in France, to refrigerated lockers at petrol stations and new warehouses dedicated to online known as “dark” stores…Food and consumer goods research group IGD predicts “drive-thru” will propel French online grocery sales to 10.6 billion euros ($13.98 billion) by 2016 from 6.7 billion in 2013, while it sees home delivery push UK online grocery to 11.4 billion euros in 2016 from 7.4 billion in 2013.”  Read more


“Kroger may be behind a secret project in Atlanta” at Cincinnati Business Courier.  “A regional distribution center in Atlanta expected to bring 1,500 jobs might be run by Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports.  An undisclosed company is looking into possible sites for the $225 million project that has been code-named “Project Jasper.”  Read more


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Have a great weekend!