Monday Tipsheet: Sinegal’s 1st GOP Donation | Target’s Costco Compliment | Wmart’s Uniform Headache


“Costco Turns Tables on Democrats” by Jay Greene at Seattle Times. “Employees and executives have donated more than $48,000 to Republicans and $17,000 to Democrats so far this year in (WA) state contests, according to filings with the state Public Disclosure Commission…Kinda conspicuous, isn’t it?” said Sinegal, the former Costco CEO and current board member, who acknowledged the liquor fight in Olympia was at the heart of the shift in donations..Sinegal said he doesn’t recall ever donating to a Republican before. (A search of election records suggests he’s right.).” Read more


“Target Aims to Be ‘in a class with the Costcos’ “ by Kavita Kumar at Star-Tribune. “We’ve always considered ourselves the leader among peers, in a class with the Costcos of the world who perform well quarter after quarter regardless of economic or consumer conditions,” (John Mulligan) said. “Right now, we’re too far back in the pack. And we need to get back to leading.” Read more


“Former Home Depot Managers Depict ‘C-Level’ Security Before the Hack” by Ben Elgin, Michael Riley & Dune Lawrence at Businessweek. “Home Depot’s in-store payment system wasn’t set up to encrypt customers’ credit- and debit-card data, a gap in its defenses that gave potential hackers a wider window to exploit, according to interviews with former members of the retailer’s security team…The former workers, including three managers, asked that their names not be used because they fear retribution from their former employer; some now work for companies that perform security functions for Home Depot.” Read more


“Wal-Mart’s new uniforms causing controversy—again” at CNBC. “As part of its newly mandated uniform requirements—which already had employees up in arms for adding an extra cost to their budgets—the company’s new vests were, in fact, not made in America, according to Gawker. Instead, they were made in Jordan…Michelle Gloeckler, executive vice president of consumables and U.S. manufacturing at Wal-Mart, confirmed the vests were made in Jordan, explaining the retailer made this decision because it couldn’t find a supplier in the U.S. to churn out 1.4 million vests under such a quick time crunch…Gloeckler said these replenishments would be made as soon as Wal-Mart can finalize the selection of a U.S. vendor.” Read more


“As Altuzarra collection arrives, Target hopes for a hit” by Kavita Kumar at Star-Tribune. “It is to demonstrate the style credibility of the brand,” said (Jeff) Jones. “When people line up, of course we’re thrilled. But that’s not why we do them.” That’s also one of the reasons Target once again teamed up with, a luxury fashion website, to sell certain pieces of the collection.” Read more


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“Shrinking middle class takes a toll on retailers” by Maria Halkias at Dallas News. “I don’t even know how to define the middle class anymore. It’s been hollowed out. There’s only growth in lower-income and upper-income classes,” Lewis said. So what choice do retailers have? They are forced to “discount their brains out,” Lewis said. “It’s the devaluation of brands and retail. We’re in the worst of the worst, and it can lead to real deflation, and then consumers stop buying.” Read more


“As Wal-Mart thinks small, this retailer says bigger is better” by John Kell at Fortune. “At Home is sticking with a more traditional method: big-box retailing. It operates 75 stores with an average of 120,000 square feet and hopes to expand to 600 locations across the U.S. The bet on big physical stores is for now an all-in strategy, as At Home doesn’t operate an online store. “We win on assortment,” At Home Chief Executive Lee Bird said. “We need the size to do that.” Read more


WSJ: “Alibaba Says Company to Expand Aggressively in U.S.” by Prudence Ho, Lorraine Luk & Juro Osawa. “Mr. Ma also said the company missed a “great opportunity” to list in Hong Kong. “We respect Hong Kong’s decision…Hong Kong shouldn’t change its principle for one company,” Mr. Ma said. Alibaba decided to list in New York instead of Hong Kong because Hong Kong’s stock exchange refused to accept its so-called “partnership” structure, which allows Mr. Ma and other executives to nominate more than half of the company’s board.” Read more


“Hudson’s Bay Co halves loss as sales jump 87% with help from Saks” by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “Saks, coming to Canada with its first two stores in 2016, is showing the greatest growth in its Off Fifth banner, where brands are marked down 20% to 60% from the original price. Same-store sales jumped 15% in the quarter.” Read more


” ‘Location, location, location.’ How where you live influences how you shop online” by Sarah Halzak at Washington Post. “David R. Bell makes the case in his new book, “Location is (Still) Everything,” that the neighborhoods we live in — and the acquaintances we encounter there — still have deep influence on how we shop. That may have seemed intuitive in an era in which shopping was done at the corner store. But Bell, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who specializes in digital marketing and e-commerce, says those elements retain a strong pull, even on our online shopping habits.” Read the interview



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