Monday Tipsheet: Target’s 401(k) ‘Reform’ | Dick’s LBO? | ‘Blue Light Week’


Bloomberg: Target CEO $47 Million Retirement Illustrates 401(k) Gap by Carol Hymowitz & Margaret Collins. “In response to shareholder feedback, we embarked on a comprehensive overhaul of our executive compensation programs to even better align compensation with company performance,” said Eric Hausman, a spokesman for Target.” Read more


GM to Offer Retailers a New Route to Reach Drivers by Christina Rogers at WSJ. “The Detroit auto giant, which offers high-speed Wi-Fi in its vehicles, is introducing a new in-car service this year allowing drivers to get coupons from local retailers and make hotel reservations while driving down the road. Dubbed AtYourService, it will be offered via GM’s OnStar information network.” Read more (Subscription)


Family Dollar CEO urges shareholders to back Dollar Tree deal by Rick Rothacker at Charlotte Observer. “In a letter sent to stockholders Friday, Levine said stockholders should back the $8.5 billion sale to Dollar Tree over a hostile, $9.1 billion bid from Dollar General.” Read more


Amazon Sellers Sold Record-Setting More Than 2 Billion Items Worldwide in 2014 “There are currently more than 2 million sellers on Amazon worldwide that account for over 40 percent of the total units sold on Amazon.” Read the release


Dick’s & Bed, Bath & Beyond are Top LBO Picks by Brooke Sutherland & Sonali Basak at Bloomberg. “(Dick’s) is cheap after turning in a worse performance than most other stocks in the S&P 400 Consumer Discretionary Sector Index in 2014. Even so, analysts are calling for sales to keep climbing through at least January 2019.” Read more 


‘Blue Light Week’ campaign causes run on specialty bulbs by Wayne Covil at WTVR CBS 6. “We’ve sold 400 in the last couple of days,” said General Manager Donald Rackley. “We ran out multiple times, went back to the warehouse about three times just to pick up more.” The reason behind the sales increase across Central Virginia is because homeowners are buying to show support for law enforcement starting Jan. 1.” See the video / Read more


CES 2015 to focus on Internet of Things by Troy Wolverton at Mercury News. “In the days leading up to the show, my inbox was stuffed with pitches from companies exhibiting Internet of Things technologies, devices and services at CES. Among the more interesting gadgets were light bulbs that will turn on when they sense people in the room and a “smart” mattress cover that can track users’ sleep cycles and automatically tell a connected thermostat to adjust the room temperature.” Read more


The Race to Build Command Centers for Smart Homes by Don Clark at WSJ. “Every single one of these U.S. retailers and service providers want to have their own offering of a platform,” says Jimmy Busby, chief executive of Alabama-based CentraLite Systems Inc., which designs home hardware and software for other companies.” Read more (Subscription)


Restoration Hardware building mega-mansion ‘gallery’ in Tampa by Richard Mullins at The Tampa Tribune. “Now deeply into construction, Tampa’s next mega-mansion will rise three stories tall and spread out over a 47,000-square-foot space, roughly half the size of some Publix grocery stores, and likely feature rooftop gardens, fountains, and a dozen bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms.” Read more


NY Times: The Economics (and Nostalgia) of Dead Malls by Nelson D. Schwartz. “About 80 percent of the country’s 1,200 malls are considered healthy, reporting vacancy rates of 10 percent or less. But that compares with 94 percent in 2006, according to CoStar Group, a leading provider of data for the real estate industry.” Read more


How Timberland used customer data to reboot its brand by Sarah Halzack at Washington Post. “the cornerstone of the comeback has been a two-year customer study in which it collected data from 18,000 people across eight countries. In analyzing the trove of responses, Timberland was able to diagnose its problems and to zero in on its ideal customer — an urban dweller with a casual interest in the outdoors.” Read more


Whole Foods’ High Hurdle for Investors by Gretchen Morgenson at NY Times. “The skirmish unfolding at Whole Foods Market highlights an issue that is likely to play a prominent role in the 2015 proxy season. After the S.E.C. ruled in favor of the company last month, allowing it to exclude from its proxy a shareholder proposal on director nominations, 10 other companies followed suit, asking the commission to rule the same way for them.” Read more


Play-Doh Enrages Parents With ‘Inappropriate-Shaped’ Baking Toy by Belinda Lanks at Bloomberg. “Enraged parents have reportedly been complaining about the tool since November, but following Christmas—when the playsets were presumably doled out in relatively large numbers—angry comments on Play-Doh’s Facebook page garnered more attention. The comments have now been removed.” Read more



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