Thursday Tipsheet: Bloomberg Hits Target | D.Gen Comp +1.3% | H.Depot CEO on CNBC


“Breaking:  Dollar General Same-Store Sales +1.3% in Q4, +3.3% for Year”  “We successfully opened 650 new stores, ending the year with 11,132 stores serving customers in 40 states…Net sales increased 6.8 percent to $4.49 billion in the 2013 fourth quarter…Same-store sales increases were driven by sales of tobacco products and perishables.”  Read the release


“How Target Blew It:  Missed Alarms and 40 Million Stolen Credit Card Numbers” at Bloomberg.  “For some reason, Minneapolis didn’t react to the sirens. Bloomberg Businessweek spoke to more than 10 former Target employees familiar with the company’s data security operation, as well as eight people with specific knowledge of the hack and its aftermath, including former employees, security researchers, and law enforcement officials. The story they tell is of an alert system, installed to protect the bond between retailer and customer, that worked beautifully. But then, Target stood by as 40 million credit card numbers—and 70 million addresses, phone numbers, and other pieces of personal information—gushed out of its mainframes.”  Read more


Home Depot CEO Frank Blake Appears on CNBC (in Las Vegas at Store Manager’s Walk):

…on Spring:  “we need Spring to come”  See the video

…on online plans and supporting internet taxes.  See the video


Trending Online:  ‘Target’s Latest Photoshop Fail Looks Pretty Painful” by Jamie Feldman at Huff Po.  “Why, Target? WHY? Photoshop fails have become more common than ever, with various retailers chopping off limbs and backsides. So it’s really no surprise that Target is the most recent culprit to distort a model.”  Read more


“Target Apologizes for Anatomically Impossible ‘Thigh Gap’ Photo” at Time.  “It was an unfortunate error on our part and we apologize,” Target spokesman Evan Miller said to ABC News, adding that the photo had been removed from Target’s website.” Read more


“Obama Goes Shopping at Gap in NY (Michelle Doesn’t Like Hoodies) at NY Post. “Panariello recommended a hoodie for the First Lady, but the president said she doesn’t like them…“He did ask how long I’d been there and asked another worker and talked about the minimum-wage increase,’’ Panariello said.  Gap told its employees late last month that it would raise its minimum wage to $9 an hour, later increasing to $10 an hour.” Read more


“Happening Today:  Lowe’s CEO & CFO Present at UBS Conference @10:30 am ET”  Follow the Webcast


“Whole Foods CEO not concerned with traditional grocers ‘we are not them, and they are not us’ “ by Elliot Zwiebach at Supermarket News.  “(Walter) Robb mentioned two initiatives that will help distinguish Whole Foods from its competition: “Customers have never had any view into the use of pesticides on conventional produce, and we’re going to provide that for them for the first time ever. And we also plan an effort around transparency on GMO labeling.”  Read more


“Best Buy to Start Selling Elon Musk’s Solar Panels in 60 Stores” by Carolyn Said & Thomas Lee at SF Gate.  “SolarCity offers free solar installations and then sells power to customers at typically 10 to 15 percent less than utilities’ prices. The company said it recoups the cost of installation plus generates a profit over the long term by offering 20-year power contracts.  SolarCity boasts a similar partnership with Home Depot stores. “We’re in the process of doubling our investment in that channel,” Bass said.” Read more


“Canada:  Supermarkets Squeeze Suppliers for More” by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail.  “About a month after the $5.8-billion acquisition closed, Sobeys demanded its suppliers provide it with 1-per-cent retroactive “synergy savings” – or price cuts – and no price increases in 2014…Last week, Overwaitea Food Group made its own demands. In a letter to suppliers dated March 3, it implemented a “new store startup fee” of one free case of all listed items per new store, including “all new stores going forward in each banner.”  Read more


“What Nordstrom can learn from Target’s Canadian experiment” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC.  “I think one of the things about Canada is that in the U.S., we tend to treat them like our next-door neighbor and like they’re an extension of our economy, and that’s really not fair,” Paul said. “What a lot of retailers are learning is that Canada can be just as challenging as going halfway around the world.”  Read more


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