Thursday Tipsheet: Costco Comp Flat | Dick’s/Tribeca Team | NY Times in Bentonville | New Eye on Retail website


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Costco April Comp Sales Flat / +7% Excluding Fuel “Costco reported net sales of $8.75 billion for the month of April, the four weeks ended May 3, 2015, an increase of two percent from $8.56 billion during the similar period last year.” Read the release


Whole Foods Q2 Comp Sales +3.6%, Announces New Store Concept Geared Towards Millennials “We believe the growth potential for this new and complementary brand to be as great as it is for our highly successful Whole Foods Market brand,” added (Walter) Robb. “We look forward to sharing more details about this exciting new venture sometime before Labor Day.” Read the release


Lumber Liquidators Pulls Chinese-Made Laminate Flooring Amid Safety Concerns by Chelsey Dulaney at WSJ. “…the company said Thursday that it is further reviewing its supplier’s certification and labeling processes. The company has brought on Freeh Group International Solutions LLC, founded by former FBI director and federal judge Louis J. Freeh, to help in reviewing its sourcing and compliance policies.” Read more (Subscription)


Former Best Buy CEO joins Minneapolis startup by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Former Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn is getting back in the game….he is joining Minneapolis tech startup Upsie as its chairman effective June 1. Upsie, which allows consumers to buy a warranty for smartphones, televisions and other devices, launched its smartphone app in November.” Read more


Ex-Dollar General employee files suit, claims he was fired after whistleblowing by Eric Snyder at Nashville Business Journal. “Corey McNeley, a director of store operations, filed suit last month…(he) claims he was fired after raising concerns about the company’s use of coupons that violated the redemption terms agreed to by vendors…The suit claims the value of the alleged fraud is in excess of $8 million.” Read more


AmazonFresh pushes back deadline for Prime members to upgrade to $299/year grocery membership by Tricia Duryee at Geek Wire. “We did extend the free period,” said Amazon spokeswoman Nell Rona. “Prime members in Seattle, New York metro and Philadelphia metro can use the service for free through the end of June 2015.” Read more


Dick’s Sporting Goods and Tribeca Team Up on Documentary by Tyler Pukatch at Screen Daily. “We partnered with Judd and Tribeca Digital Studios on We Could Be King to create public awareness around the impact of funding cuts in youth sports,” said Lauren Hobart, director of The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation and svp and chief marketing office of Dick’s Sporting Goods. “To continue to shine a light on this important issue, we’re excited to share a similarly powerful yet very different story of the Salmon River High School girls’ lacrosse team.” Read more


Ahold USA names 3 new SVPs by Jon Springer at Supermarket News. “…Naming Nick Bertram (currently SVP of store strategy and execution) to the role of SVP of merchandising strategy and support….Dean Wilkinson (currently VP of sales and marketing for Giant-Landover) will replace Bertram as SVP of store strategy and execution.” See all of the changes


Alibaba earnings beat estimates as revenue jumps 45 percent by Reem Nasr at CNBC. “Gross merchandise volume on China retail marketplaces rose 40 percent to $97 billion.” Read more


CVS Puts Media Business Into Review by Alexandra Bruell at Ad Age. “WPP’s Mindshare is the incumbent on the media business and is expected to participate…CVS in 2014 spent $84.4 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media.” Read more


Firm hires former Target lawyer Bob Seng by Katharine Grayson at Minn./St.Paul Business Journal. Read more


Kansas: Ex-Kroger Chairman David Dillon Advocates for Major Retailer Liquor Sales by Tim Carpenter at Topeka Capital Journal. “We all know many liquor store owners don’t like this legislation,” said Dillon, a former chairman of Kroger and the chairman of the Uncork Kansas advocacy group…“For 60 years,” Dillon said, “they have enjoyed their government-sanctioned industry protections and have never had to worry about new competition, industry developments or changing customer desires.” Read more


Loblaw Q1 Comp Sales +2.3% “Consolidated sales of $10,048 million, an increase of 37.8% compared to the first quarter of 2014.” Read the release


Sears’ Lampert tells investors he has the cash to speed up a turnaround by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “As important as it is to have a good plan and adapt to changing circumstances, you also need to find the resources to effect the transformation,” Lampert wrote.” Read more


NY Times: Bentonville, Ark., Hosts a Film Festival Without a Movie Theater by Bret Schulte. “Laura Brown moved to Bentonville from San Diego in 1999, when her then-husband took a job with Sam’s Club. “I probably cried for three years,” she said. She failed to mesh with locals and recalls two restaurants, a forsaken town square and “no shopping whatsoever, except for Walmart.” As a local developer put it, “You could have fired a gun downtown and not hit anyone.” Read more


Canada: Despite Target’s departure, retailers still fighting industry pressure by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail. Read more


Australia: Masters – Five reasons Woolworths is being hammered on hardware by Bunnings by Emily Stewart at ABC. “A retailer can choose quality sites, good value sites, or do it fast — but no one can do all three at once.” “In pursuit of their rapid rollout, Masters has chosen inferior locations, including some already rejected by Bunnings and is rumoured in the property sector to be paying big prices.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra:  To maintain a concise Tipsheet we’re forced to leave out great stories every day. No more! Now these stories are featured in the Tipsheet Extra section of the new Eye on Retail website. Today’s stories:

Target Backs Off Plan To Put Store On Polk Street In San Francisco

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon Featured at Retailing Excellence Conference on June 11

CVS will Reopen Looted and Burned Stores in Baltimore

Credit Suisse: Five Below Could Grow to 3,000 Stores from Current 366

12 Target Property Leases Sold to Canadian Tire

See the Tipsheet Extra stories here



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