Monday Tipsheet: Target: Out-of-Stock on Toys & Green Beans | H.Depot/Lowe’s: Ask & You Get a Better Price


“Target’s Lean Inventory Problem:  Out-of-Stock on 60% of Top Toys; Where are the Green Beans?” by Thomas Lee at Star-Tribune.  “Out-of-stocks seem to be more frequent in groceries, with customers complaining that even SuperTargets frequently run out of basic items.  “I went to Target two days before Thanksgiving and they were completely out of fried green beans…” Twin Cities resident Alyssa Beck wrote in an e-mail. “I went to Cub and found displays of fried green beans in two different parts of the store.”…Target on average replaced its entire inventory just 6.4 times, according to the Kantar Retail consulting firm, based in Boston.  By comparison, Amazon and Wal-Mart turned their inventory 8.3 times. In fact, Target’s inventory is much closer to that of Walgreens, a pharmacy chain.”  Read more / See the Video


“Target’s Glory Days May be Over” by Lee Schafer at Star-Tribune.  “What really stands out is something that’s pretty basic for a company that operates stores, and that’s traffic. Measured by the number of transactions, it only seems to go in one direction, falling now for four quarters in a row…A lot has to go right for Target to achieve its goals, but even if it all comes together, the company will be spending less to reach its earnings-per-share goal rather than selling more.  With Target, we really had come to expect more.”  Read more


“Report: Makes More Than 2.5 Mil Price Changes Everyday (Compared to 50,000/day @”  at Profitero.  “Profitero’s analysis also reveals that has increased its number of daily price changes ten-fold over the last 12 months. At the beginning of December 2012, the online retailer implemented just 269,113 price changes.”  Read more


“Name Your Price – Home Depot & Lowe’s Permit Managers to Beat Competitor’s Price by 10%” by Hilary Stout at The Boston Globe.  “The bargaining practices are more commonplace for home and sporting goods or electronics, but even higher-end retailers like Nordstrom have price-matching guidelines — though they usually do not broadcast the terms….Joe Marrapodi, one of the founders and the chief executive of, a new name-your-own price website, walked into Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s…casually asked employees if they were open to bargaining. Both the sales representatives and the managers said yes without hesitation, he said, and cited specific price-matching policies.”  Read more


“Owning a Kindle boosts spending on Amazon by $443” by Philip Elmer-Dewitt at CNN Money.  “$443: The difference between how much Kindle owners spend on Amazon each year ($1,233) and the annual spending of Amazon members who don’t own Kindles ($790).” Read more


“San Francisco:  In Defense of Single-Use Plastic Shopping Bags” by Debra Saunders at SF Gate.  “Padilla’s SB405 exempted food stamp recipients because, he told me he feared a bag ban would have a negative “impact on low-income families.” As if their bags are different.”  Read more


“Portland:  Reacts to Walmart Outcry; May Require Future Stores to Prove ‘They Provide a Positive Impact to the Community’ “ by  Geoff Pursinger at Portland Tribune.  “The Tigard City Council is considering imposing additional regulations on big-box retailers in response to citizen reaction after a Walmart began construction on Southwest Dartmouth Street earlier this year.  At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, councilors discussed the possibility of imposing a variety of new rules against big-box stores, including banning overnight parking and requiring tenants to prove they provide a positive impact on the community.”  Read more


“Campers help Amazon keep up with holiday rush” by Bruce Scheiner at AP via Seattle Times.  “They’re dubbed the “CamperForce” by the world’s largest online retailer. Hundreds of campers are assigned packing, sorting and collection duties at Amazon warehouses in Kentucky, Kansas and Nevada — roles meant to keep orders flowing during the yuletide rush.”  Read more


“Two Sides to Every Story:  Sheriff Helps Walmart Fights Back on ‘Price Matching’ Story that Went Viral” by Robert Anglen at AZ Central.  “Cantrell’s outburst was witnessed by store employees, store managers and customers, the sheriff said.  “A female customer who was standing in line was so alarmed by Cantrell’s behavior, she had to leave the store to calm her child, who was visibly frightened,” Babeu said, adding that Cantrell threatened to wait for the employee outside and return to the store to beat him.  Babeu said deputies were called but Cantrell had left the store.  When Cantrell returned to the Walmart on Dec. 5, employees called the sheriff’s office to have Cantrell removed.”  Read more


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