Monday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: H.Depot’s Privacy Concerns | Walmart & Pet Insurance | Sam’s Snowden Problem



“Rona restructuring hampered by weather and cautious consumers” by Marina Strauss at The Globe & Mail.  “Rona Inc. is sparring with major home improvement retail rivals in a battle that has seen U.S. heavyweight Home Depot Inc. emerge as a winner as they all grapple with cautious home renovation spending.  Under new leadership, Rona is now racing to close unprofitable outlets, shrink its work force, restock shelves and lower some prices.”  Read more


“Snowden’s Saga May Impact Flower Sales at Sam’s Club” by Ben Pollock at The City Wire.  “Ecuador renounced a trade pact with the U.S. in late June and U.S. lawmakers allowed the treaty to expire before taking their recess Aug. 2. Without the treaty, tariffs on certain Ecuadoran goods will rise, as high as 14.9% for broccoli and 6.8% for certain types of flowers…According to, there are 442 different flowers for sale. Some 85% of the roses listed on the site is sourced from Ecuador. There were 62 different varieties of Ecuadoran roses on the site. Other roses offered were predominantly from Colombia.”  Read more


“Home Depot, Best Buy Data Collection Stirs Privacy Concerns” by Jennifer Kerr at AP via Star Tribune.  “It’s not just the government that might be keeping tabs on you. Many retailers are tracking you, too — or at least your merchandise returns…Consumer advocates are raising transparency issues about the practice of having companies collect information on consumers and create “return profiles” of customers at big-name stores such as Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Victoria’s Secret, Home Depot and Nike.”  Read more


“Wal-Mart Africa Unit Massmart Looks at Kenyan Acquisition” by Eric Ombok at Bloomberg.  “Massmart Holdings Ltd., South Africa’s biggest food and household-goods wholesaler, said it has met “several important players” in Kenya’s retail industry as the unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. seeks expansion abroad.  “Massmart’s interest in investing in Kenya is well known,” Chief Executive Officer Grant Pattison said in an e-mailed response to questions. “We don’t however, comment on acquisitions, potential, speculative or otherwise.” Read more


“Wal-Mart’s backyard is a hotbed for startups” by Parija Kavilanz at CNN Money.  “”Silicon Valley is great for the tech world. [But] if your business deals with retail or consumer products or supply chain logistics, then this is the place to be,” said Ho.”  Read more


“Lowe’s Vine Account Has The Best Home Lifehacks Ever” by Michelle Manetti at Huff Po.  “That’s right, the company has created amazing (nearly) 6.5 second videos showing you how to do things like repurpose PVC pipes, keep extension cords tidy and remove a broken light bulb with a potato.  Apparently these were a part of a clever campaign and there hasn’t been a new one uploaded in a month. But we’re hoping this isn’t the end of them, because these tips are awesome. We rounded up five of our favorites:”  See the videos


“Orchard Supply Hardware on Pace toward Completing Sale to Lowe’s”  “In order to be considered under the bidding procedures approved by the Bankruptcy Court, any competing bidders would have needed to submit qualifying bids before 4 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, August 9, 2013. Orchard engaged in discussions with a number of potential buyers but did not receive any qualifying bids in advance of this deadline. Accordingly, the auction previously scheduled for August 14, 2013 will not be held. Orchard will now move forward to have the sale to Lowe’s approved by the Bankruptcy Court on August 20, 2013, and completed by the end of August.” Read more


“Tesco opens new shopping & leisure destination (UK)” by Gemma Balmford at Retail Focus.  “Watford Extra features a number of new concepts currently being trialled by Tesco, including a new-look general merchandise area focusing on Homeware, and Cook and Dine, a community space that customers can use free of charge for events such as yoga, baby gym and cookery classes, and a new F&F concession with a boutique look and feel.”  Read & See More 


“Tesco may merge supermarkets and hypermarkets in China” at Retail-Digital.  “British retailing giant Tesco is in talks with China Resources Enterprise or CRE to merge their supermarkets and hypermarkets in China. If the deal is sealed, it will see Tescos 131 stores and shopping malls in the country combine with CRE’s over three thousand stores.” Read more


“Wal-Mart dips into pet health insurance” by Anna Adrianova at CNBC.  “The sector should also benefit as more companies add pet insurance to their portfolio of employee benefits, said Kristen Lynch, executive director of the pet health insurance association.Earlier this year, retail giant Wal-Mart Stores began offering pet insurance to its customers in select stores in Canada, Lynch said. Walmart Pet Health Insurance is offered and underwritten by Western Financial Insurance.”  Read more


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