Monday Tipsheet: Wmart Cries Foul in China | BJ’s Picks Up Crumbs | Wgreens Urged to Leave US


“Wal-Mart Cries Foul on China Fines” by Laurie Burkitt & Shelly Banjo at WSJ.  “In the U.S. and most other countries, it is usually manufacturers, rather than retailers, that have primary responsibility for the quality of the products they sell, whether it is ketchup or dried beef. But in China, the manufacturers “aren’t accountable…(Walmart’s) pushback runs counter to what experts say is the safer strategy—keep your head low—for foreign companies in China: “It’s not something you see often in China.” Read more


“Walgreens urged to leave US to gain tax benefit” by Ed Hammond at Financial Times.  “At a private meeting in Paris on Friday, investors owning close to 5 per cent of Walgreens’ shares lobbied the company’s management to use its $16bn takeover of Swiss-based Alliance Boots to re-domicile its tax base. The move, known as an inversion, would dramatically reduce Walgreens’ taxable income in the US, which has among the highest corporate tax rates in the world.”  Read more


“Irresistible Target deals, but only on some items” by John Ewoldt at Star-Tribune.  “Target spokesman Joshua Thomas said that the price-reduction strategy was never meant to be a broad sweep of prices but rather a focused effort on popular items, often at deeper discounts. It’s an extension of Target’s holiday strategy where, for example, all sweaters were discounted 40 percent before Christmas.”  Read more


“BJ’s Picks Up Crumbs from Cupcake Fad Collapse” by Venessa Wong at Businessweek.  “Getting goods into BJ’s is part of a new strategy to diversify beyond its cupcake-store business, which is no longer thriving. Falling same-store sales have forced Crumbs to close 17 stores since 2013, and the chain will continue to shutter underperforming locations this year.”  Read more


“Office-Supply Stores Seeing Profit Margins Erased” by Mary Ellen Biery at Forbes.  “The margin of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was 0.2% of sales, on average, in 2013, compared with 5.1% in 2012. Gross profit margin, meanwhile, decreased to 41.8% from around 44% to 45% from 2009 to 2012.”  Read more


“Home Depot’s EVP & General Counsel, Teresa Wynn Roseborough, Addresses Ways Women Can Be Successful” by Lauren McDonald at Red & Black.  “A few disclosures about who I am as opposed to about what I have done — I do not cook, I cannot sing, it sometimes takes me hours to decide what to wear, my weight fluctuates and I am always a few drops of rain away from a bad hair day. I play golf happily but badly, I am a geek, I love the law and I absolutely love being a lawyer,” Roseborough said.”  Read more


“How Walmart cashier became a labor leader in China” by John Ruwitch at Reuters via ABS-CBN.  “Huang Xingguo took a job as a cashier at a new Walmart store in his hometown in southern China for a steady paycheck and the prospect of upward mobility after a string of sales jobs and a run as a day trader. Five years later, he has landed on the frontlines of China’s labour rights movement, an unlikely leader of several dozen workers seeking better severance pay after the store in the Hunan province city of Changde announced last month it was closing.”  Read more


“Guy Buys Scale On Amazon, And Now Amazon Thinks He’s A Drug Dealer” by Caroline Moss at Business Insider.  “One Redditor who went to Amazon in search of a mini digital scale is now getting suggestions for drug-related paraphernalia.  “Oh great, now Amazon thinks I’m a drug dealer”.  Read more / See the pics


“Home Depot’s Langone imparts business wisdom on Fairfield U.” by Tim Loh at Greenwich Time.  “Once, at a management meeting, Langone was approached by a store head who complained that none of the Home Depot corporate leaders had visited his location. “And I said, `Well, where’s your store?’ And he said, `Paducah, Kentucky.’ And I said, `Well, if I knew where Paducah, Kentucky was, I wouldn’t have gone either,'” he recalled.  With that, the Quick Center erupted with laughter.” Read more


“Tesco’s Troubles Pile Pressure on CEO Philip Clarke” by Peter Stiff at WSJ.  “Analysts expect the company to report its second consecutive fall in full-year profit on Wednesday, as it battles fierce competition in its home market and retrenches overseas.  Tesco’s tough times reflect a wider shift in the U.K. grocery sector, brought on by the rise of international discount chains Aldi Stores Ltd. and Lidl UK GmbH.”  Read more


“Pot vending machine making debut in Colorado” by Ricardo Baca at Denver Post.  “A different kind of machine, one customers can access, will debut in Colorado this weekend. It’s called ZaZZZ, and maker American Green calls it “an automated, age-verifying, climate-controlled marijuana dispensing machine.”  Read more


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