Friday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: Kroger Bad at Social | Wmart’s $50 Mil Loan | Loyalty Lie


“The Loyalty Lie” by Doug Stephens at The Retail Prophet.  “Loyalty program members are not, in effect, any more or less loyal. What’s worse, according to the same study, is that 81% of loyalty program members don’t even understand what their rewards entitlements consist of or how they’re paid out, which shouldn’t be surprising, given that the survey also found the average consumer belongs to as many as 18 different loyalty programs!”  Read more


“Amazon Takes Tax Fight to Supreme Court” by Brad Stone at Businessweek via Mashable.  “Amazon clearly dislikes New York’s law. It’s confusing to customers and is easily circumventable by sellers. E-commerce startups can simply avoid authorizing any local affiliates, and Bezos most certainly doesn’t want some wily entrepreneur to do what he did and create the next Amazon. The company has already cut off its affiliates in New York, as well as in Illinois.”  Read more


“Entrepreneurs campaign for shelf space on Walmart website” by Victor Ocasio at Orlando Sentinel.  “Haygood is the inventor of Under Drawers, a lightweight alternative to under-the-bed storage containers. Finding the money to get her product manufactured required some risky decisions — such as mortgaging the house — which is why she hopes that, from among thousands of product pitches nationwide, Wal-Mart picks her invention to feature on its popular e-commerce website.  “It’s scary, but I think it’s going to really be well worth it,” Haygood said.”  Read more


“Wal-Mart ready to loan $50 million to Bangladesh factories” at MSN Money.  “Wal-Mart Stores Inc told investors on Thursday that it could provide up to $50 million in low-interest loans or other types of payments to Bangladesh factory owners for building improvements.  The money is part of the more than $100 million in loans and access to capital that a group of North American companies including Wal-Mart and Gap Inc pledged in July.”  Read more


“Target: What A ‘Sit On Your Hands’ Investment Looks Like” by Eli Inkrot at Seeking  Alpha.  “There’s always a reason to not like a company. Investments are risky, that’s why we’re compensating for partnering with even the best companies in the world.  Yet despite those reasons – along with the 17 other risk factors listed in the company’s 10-K – I’m about to ease those fears rather quickly.”  Read more


“Ben & Jerry’s new flavor: fancier stores” by Anne VanderMay at Fortune.  “Ellen Kresky is trying not to say anything bad about the old Ben & Jerry’s store design.  “Somebody said it best, I don’t remember if it was during the consumer research that we did or … no, I can’t say this — ” says Kresky, the brand’s creative director. Then she says it: “It felt to them that it was like walking into a children’s playground.”  Read more


“How Kroger uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+” by David Moth at Econsultancy.  “In the latest instalment of our series of posts looking at how major brands use social media I’ve decided to turn the spotlight on Kroger…it owns a number of subsidiary chains as well as its Kroger-branded stores…But as we shall see, its huge profit margins don’t necessarily translate into success in social.”  Read more


“Kroger To Webcast Second Quarter Conference Call With Investors” at WSJ.  “The Kroger Co. will host a conference call with investors on Thursday, September 12 at 10 a.m. (ET) to discuss financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2013.”  Read more


“Mall developers feel the pull of Africa’s consumer boom” at Reuters.  “An industry veteran of 30 years, Barkan’s U.S. home market was “graying”, while the youthful, underdeveloped African continent offered a sweet spot, with a rapidly expanding middle class and no competition from online retailers.  “When Wal-Mart announced it was buying 51 percent of Massmart, I knew that if I was going to stay in business, Africa was where I had to go,” he said.”  Read more


“Grocery Retailers Embrace Multichannel Tech Tools” at eMarketer.  “A major area of interest for digitally minded grocers is increasing the ability of customers to interact with retailers through a variety of channels. The idea of ordering online and picking up in-store, once a rare experience, is quickly becoming the norm. The survey found that half of those polled already offered the service, and that more than half of those that didn’t yet have it planned to offer it within 12 months.”  Read more


“Retail loyalty programs add tiers to reward big spenders” by Kelli B. Grant at CNBC.  “When pretty much every retailer is offering a program with points per purchase, tiers offer that extra incentive to choose one over another, said Jeff Berry, senior director of knowledge development for LoyaltyOne. “It almost has become the overall scorecard for customers, so they understand where they are relative to where they could be,” he said.”  Read more


“Youngsters believe future of the UK high street store is as a showroom” by Helen Leggatt at Biz Report.  “Stores in the UK have had to close down through recession and, says Amaze, “due to massive changes in how people use technology”. According to the findings to date in their five year “Amaze Generation” study of 10-15 years olds and their use of technology, the high street has little chance of recovering in the wake of technology’s grip.”  Read more


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Have a great weekend!