Thursday Tipsheet: BJ’s & H.Depot Like Bees | Costco/Apple Make Up | Kroger #1 in Gas


“Home Depot and BJ’s Wholesale look to help honeybee population” by Carey Gillam at Reuters via Globe & Mail.  “Home Depot is requiring its suppliers to start such labeling by the fourth quarter of this year, said Ron Jarvis, the company’s vice president of merchandising/sustainability. Home Depot is also running tests in several states to see if suppliers can eliminate neonics in their plant production without hurting plant health…BJ’s Wholesale Club said it was asking all of its vendors to provide plants free of neonics by the end of 2014 or to label such products as requiring “caution around pollinators” like bees.” Read more


“How Rodney McMullen took Kroger to the top” by Alexander Coolidge at  “The company, by the way, is kicking its Arkansas-based competitor’s ass – something Wall Street has noticed…”You would never know what a talent he was if you just knew him casually, he’s not the type to brag, he’s not aggressive,” said Bill Sinkula, a mentor and Kroger’s former chief financial officer. “He was a key player on every major decision after 1987 when he was just a kid.” Read more


“Costco Makes Up With Apple” by Mike Beasley at 9 to 5 Mac.  “It seems Costco has once again started selling specific Apple products several years after it dropped the company’s wares over Apple’s decision to not let the retailer carry the iPad. Not every model, carrier, capacity, or color are represented in Coscto’s stock, and all of the devices are only available online.” Read more


“Ikea Raises Hourly Pay 17% for US Retail Workers” by Anne D’Innocenzio at AP via ABC.  “The 17 percent average raise, expected to be announced Thursday, is the Swedish ready-to-assemble furniture chain’s biggest in 10 years in the U.S. The pay increase will take effect Jan. 1. It will translate to an average wage of $10.76 an hour, a $1.59 increase from the previous $9.17.” Read more


“Consumers may have to wait for more secure credit cards” by Jack Newsham at Boston Globe.  “A report by a Boston-based consultancy, Aite Group, estimates 30 percent of credit cards and nearly 60 percent of debit cards will not have the new technology (chip cards) by October 2015.” Read more


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“Canada: Sobeys to close stores, chop jobs” by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail.  “The closings could involve as many as 50 to 60 stores, said one industry source, but company officials wouldn’t confirm the numbers. Mr. Walker said the retailer was in the process of communicating the plans to its employees. On Thursday, the company will provide more “context” when it releases its fourth-quarter results, he said.” Read more


“Report: Best Buy may sell its China business” by Nick Halter at Minn./St. Paul Bus. Journal.  “Best Buy Co. Inc. is considering selling or finding a partner for its Chinese business, which includes 190 stores across the country, according to a recent report…A sale of the business could fetch around $300 million, the paper reported.” Read more


“Home Depot’s Marvin Ellison Presents at Oppenheimer Consumer Conference”  Presentation Slides & Webcast


“8 vending machines you didn’t know you needed” by Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey at CNN.  “Japan has embraced the concept wholeheartedly, selling eggs, bras, live lobsters, salad, cold and hot coffee, ties and, reportedly, even used underwear from machines.”  See the List


“aisle411 Delivers In-Store 3D Mapping on Google’s Project Tango”  “It allows users to search and navigate to specific products in a 3D augmented reality experience inside the store. Users of aisle411’s in-store mobile marketing platform can also simultaneously discover personalized coupons, offers and rewards that “pop out” of the shelf along their in-store route, along with collecting loyalty rewards just for walking down aisles.”  See the video / Read the release


“Study:  Consumers’ Favorite Gas Stations Are Grocery Stores and Wholesale Clubs”  “Kroger ranked No. 1 with 79%, Costco and QuikTrip tied for second with 78%, Sam’s Club ranked third with 76% and Murphy USA, which operates standalone stations and on-site stations at Walmart Supercenters, was fourth with 68%…Even so, consumers more often than not end up frequenting traditional gas stations because of convenience.” Read the release


“The Back Story on Walmart’s Decision to Take a Red Pen to NY Times Article” by Diana Bradley at PR Week.  “In this case, the reporter didn’t contact us or let us know he was working on that particular column,” says Tovar. “Had he reached out to us, we would have had an open and transparent dialogue with him…after reading Egan’s column, Walmart’s comms team tried to determine the best way to respond. As it read through the op-ed and marked it up, Tovar says a colleague suggested posting the edited draft on Walmart’s blog.” Read more


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