“Home Depot Expands Quirky Alliance in Smart-Home Products” by Steve Lohr at NY Times. “The Quirky and Wink approach impressed Home Depot enough that it chose Wink as its technology partner. Home Depot now sells 600 smart-home products, six times as many as it did two years ago. “We wanted a partner who could take all these products and make them work together,” said Jeff Epstein, its vice president in charge of home automation products. “Frankly, Quirky and Wink were the only ones who could do that — at least so far.” Read more
Family Dollar: “I just don’t know who the buyer is here.” by Ely Portillo at Charlotte Observer. “(Carl Icahn’s) good at ruffling feathers,” Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough said of Icahn. “I just don’t know who the buyer is here.” Although rival Dollar General has been named as a possible buyer, Yarbrough said he expects that chain to focus on organic growth…Wal-Mart, which is developing its own small-store format to compete with Family Dollar and Dollar General, has also been mentioned as a possible buyer. Yarbrough called that a “pie in the sky” proposition.” Read more
“Walmart’s Response To The New York Times Is Great” by Chuck Ross at Daily Caller. “Walmart recently decided to go into the newspaper editing business. The Arkansas-based company responded to an article from New York Times columnist Timothy Egan, titled “The Corporate Daddy” by doing the work that it felt Egan’s Times editors should have done. “Thanks for sharing your first draft,” reads a red-inked note from Walmart, which is known more for its low prices than its snark.” Read more
“Target’s test store in Northeast Minneapolis mining ideas for engaging consumers” by Kavita Kumar at Star-Tribune. “The Quarry store is where the company is tinkering with a lot of new innovations as it looks to move faster than it has in the recent past…The company used to try new initiatives at the bi-level store next to its corporate headquarters on Nicollet Mall. But that store isn’t representative of a typical store since it’s an urban store where many of its own employees shop. Read more
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“Academy Sports in San Antonio: 600 Line-up Overnight to Get Spurs Tony Parker’s Autograph” by Zeke Maccormack at My San Antonio. “Cries of “We love you!” signaled Tony Parker’s arrival Sunday at Academy Sports & Outdoors, where hundreds of die-hard Spurs fans camped out the prior night to get an autograph from the NBA champs’ point guard. “It was chaotic overnight,” said Gerrad Leal, 22. “Everybody was complaining.” He arrived at 10:30 a.m. Saturday to secure the coveted lead spot in the line that topped 600.” Read more
“Walmart Canada Names Ex-Delhaize Exec New CEO” at The City Wire. “Walmart Canada hired Dirk Van den Berghe as president and CEO, replacing Shelley Broader who was recently promoted by the retail giant to a CEO role that oversees retail operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Canada. ” Read more
“Neiman Marcus Logo Painted on Roof After Employee Email to CEO” by Maria Halkias at Dallas Star. ““Karen [Katz, Neiman’s CEO] is always telling us to email her with ideas, so I did,” Louden said. “I was with my family for Easter brunch in the Tower Club, and we were having trouble figuring out for sure which building was the store.” Until Katz sent out an email last week saying that the logo was Louden’s idea, Louden had forgotten about her suggestion. “I wasn’t even sure they’d read my email,” Louden said. “I started getting all these thank-you emails.” Read more
“Start-up wants to be Airbnb — for online retailers” by Uptin Saiidi at CNBC. “Storefront is a platform for retail spaces to pair with merchants looking to find and rent short-term space. For anywhere from $50 to $1,000 a day, designers and brands rent spaces like showrooms, boutiques, art galleries and even hotel lobbies or street fair booths. This year, Storefront said it raised $7.3 million in a Series A round of venture funding.” Read more / See the video
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