Thursday Tipsheet: Costco: +3% Beats Street | F.Dollar -2.8%; President Out | Target Hero


“Costco Beats Street – December Same-Store Sales Up 3%” at CNBC.  “Costco’s December same-store sales beat analysts’ expectations, helped in part by online sales in the United States and Canada.  Sales at stores open at least a year rose 3 percent in the five weeks ended Jan. 5, including the impact of fuel sales and foreign exchange.  On that basis, analysts expected same-store sales to rise 1.8 percent for the month of December, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.” Read more


“Costco:  Net Sales Have Increased $2 Bil+ in 18 Weeks ended 1/5/14” from Company Release.  “For the eighteen weeks ended January 5, 2014, the Company reported net sales of $38.33 billion, an increase of six percent from $36.26 billion during the similar period last year.”  Read the Release


“Family Dollar Same-Store Sales Down 2.8% in Q1; President Has Left the Company”  “Comparable stores sales for December decreased about 3%, driven primarily by a decline in customer transactions. In addition, we reacted to softness in discretionary categories by leveraging promotions more than we originally planned,” said Levine. “Reflecting our December results…we have lowered our earnings expectations for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 and the full year.”  Read more


“Home Depot:  Radio’s #1 Advertiser in 2013 with 2.2 Mil spots, Walmart #6 with over 850K spots”  at Radio Ink.  “In 2013, according to Media Monitors, for the second year in a row, The Home Depot was radio’s number one advertiser, airing over 2.2 million commercials on radio stations all over the United States.”  Read more


“Claim:  Walmart, Sam’s & Costco Increased Prices on Black Friday for certain Products; Walmart Challenges” by Herb Weisbaum at CNBC.  “At Target, prices dropped significantly, by as much as 12 percent in some cases.  Wal-Mart challenges the report’s conclusions. Sarah McKinney, Wal-Mart’s director of communications, told CNBC that “as a low price leader, nobody pays a premium for a product at Walmart—especially on Black Friday.” She said the company dropped the prices on some of its most popular Black Friday items.  “Once again, more than 22 million customers chose us because we had the prices and products they were looking for,” McKinney wrote.”  Read more


“Walmart’s New GRS Inventory System:  Wait a Year Until the Bugs are Worked Out” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “Wal-Mart did not return a request for comment on its global replenishment system, that is now in test mode with a few larger suppliers who say there are still bugs to be worked out.  GRS will eventually replace a system known as Inforem, which was created by IBM and last updated in 2007. Inforem uses an upward forecast modeling system, the complete opposite from the downward forecasting model used in GRS.”  Read more


“Groupon Purges Top E-Commerce Exec from Walmart” by Thad Rueter at Internet Retailer.  “Sri Subramaniam becomes Groupon’s vice president of engineering for smart deals. He had worked as vice president for @WalMartLabs, a job he started in March 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile. While there, he oversaw the retail chain’s development of a new site search tool for”  Read more


“Family Dollar Names Jason Reiser as Chief Merchandising Office”  “Mr. Reiser joined Family Dollar after a 17 year career with Walmart Stores Inc. in a variety of roles, most recently serving as Vice President, Merchandising, Health and Family Care for Sam’s Club. Mr. Reiser holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Northeastern University.”  Read more


“Target:  Hero Employee Helps Save Kidnapped 7-Year-Old” by Bob Fredericks at NY Post.  “An employee at a California Target store helped cops find a man accused of snatching a 7-year-old girl from her home last week.  Security specialist Roxanna Ramirez said she spotted a suspicious man in the Pittsburg, Calif., store on Friday, and cops busted the creep later that night on a suspected kidnapping charge.”  See the video / Read more


“Holiday store traffic drops 15%, but that’s not the whole story” by Courtney Reagan at CNBC.  “According to ShopperTrak, foot traffic at the nation’s retailers fell 14.6 percent this holiday season compared to the year prior, though in-store sales rose 2.7 percent in November and December…growth in online shopping, and online browsing, means shoppers don’t window shop in stores as much. Instead, they do it online…In 2007, shoppers made an average of 4.5 to five store visits per shopping trip. Now, they average three to 3.5 stores.”  Read more


“Calling Target to Gripe?  Better Get Comfortable” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC.  “StellaService callers were disconnected from the line during three separate calls it made on each of two days. In two other instances, the caller waited on hold for 20 minutes before ending the call…”This is just a major lesson to retailers that if they don’t have a fire drill policy in place for this type of event,” said Ty McMahan, StellaService’s director of content.  Despite the long wait times, McMahan commended the company for making an effort to staff up and connect with customers.”  Read more


“Macy’s cuts 2,500 jobs, five stores nationwide” by Alexander Coolidge at Cincy Enquirer.  “Among the 2,500 jobs lost:  Many of the more than 800 Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores each will trim a few, undisclosed number of positions. Macy’s will consolidate its Pittsburgh-based Midwest and Chicago-based North regional operations, costing Pittsburgh more than 20 positions. Macy’s is eliminating district-level planners across the country who focus on soft home categories like bedding and towels, cutting almost 70 jobs.”  Read more


“Canada:  Sobeys (#2 Grocer) Puts the Screws to Suppliers after Safeway Purchase” by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail.  “The country’s second-largest supermarket chain, which added 213 stores in Western Canada when the (Safeway) deal closed, in early November, has told suppliers of food and other merchandise they will have to shave their prices by 1 per cent, retroactive to Nov. 3 – a move that observers say could prompt rival grocers to follow suit.”  Read more


“Amazon Stats:  Customers purchased enough shoes to stretch heel to toe from Earth to the Hubble Telescope over 5 times”  “More than a billion units worldwide were ordered from Marketplace Sellers, including local businesses of all sizes, on Amazon during 2013.  The number of active Marketplace Sellers using the Fulfillment by Amazon service grew more than 65 percent year-over-year worldwide.”  Read the Release


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