Thursday Tipsheet: Costco Comps Up 4% | HVAC Problems @ Target | Nagin’s Memory Loss


“Costco January same-store sales beat Street, up 4% vs. 3.3% estimate” at Reuters.  “January net sales grew 6 percent to $7.99 billion.  Excluding the negative impact of foreign exchange and falling gasoline prices, same-store sales rose 6 percent.”  Read more


“Costco’s Net Sales Up $48 Billion in January” (Company Release). “Costco Wholesale Corporation today reported net sales of $7.99 billion for the month of January, the four weeks ended February 2, 2014, an increase of six percent from $7.51 billion during the similar four-week period last year.”  Read the release


“HVAC Firm at Center of Target Data Breach Also Counts Costco and Walmart as Customers” by Jason Mick at Daily Tech.  “They reportedly struck via first compromising servers at an air conditioning business in Sharpsburg, Penn, whom Target used as a contractor. The firm — Fazio Mechanical Service — has a flashy portfolio of high-profile clients which includes not only Target and all of the aforementioned retailers/grocers, but a number of other large firms that Mr. Krebs and other early reports have not mentioned.”  Read more / See the client list


“Walmart Opens New @WalmartLabs Office in Sunnyvale, CA” by Heather Somerville at San Jose Mercury News.  “Walmart has had a presence in Sunnyvale for more than a year, but Wednesday marked the official opening of the new office. About 500 people work there, and Walmart said it plans to double that, and is hiring engineers, computer scientists and e-commerce professionals. Walmart also has technology development hubs in Bangalore, San Diego and Portland, Ore.”  Read more


“Secret Service Investigates Security Breach at Home Depot; Three Internal Employees Blamed” at WTEV-47 New.  “According to the criminal complaint, Home Depot Corporate Security alerted the U.S. Secret Service to the crime after discovering that Claudette Grimes sent an email from her Home Depot account containing an attachment which contained more than 300 Home Depot employees’ identifying information, including Social Security numbers and birthdates.” Read more


“Walmart looks to urban cores in Canada for growth” by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post via Montreal Gazette.  “Target’s arrival “has made us a better Walmart,” Broader said. “This is an incredibly competitive market with world-class retailers. In order to compete, you have got to understand this consumer and understand the diverse and well-run competitors that already exist here.”  Read more


“Ray Nagin Experiences Memory Loss Related to Home Depot Shakedown” by Juliet Linderman at NOLA.  “When Evans asked Nagin if he’d ever “pitched” Home Depot for a contract — “Ask, propose, solicit,” Evans said — Nagin said, “Not that I recall.” Likewise, Nagin did “not recall” contacting Home Depot executives and helping scuttle the community benefits agreement. Read more


” ‘Walmart’s Worst Nightmare’ Is Expanding Massively” by Brad Tuttle at Time.  “How is WinCo able to grow so swiftly, to the point that it’s being viewed as a worthy competitor to Walmart and Costco? It just so happens that the company’s model shares some similarities with both of these retail giants.”  Read more


“WinCo Foods the newest combatant in Dallas-area grocery battle” by Maria Halkias at  Dallas News.  “WinCo Foods is opening stores Thursday in McKinney and Fort Worth that are about twice the size of a traditional supermarket. It will open three more in March — in Duncanville, Lewisville and North Richland Hills — and doesn’t plan to stop there…”  Read more


“Analyst:  Sam’s Club and its Competitive Advantages vs. Costco” by Trefis at Forbes.  “Costco operates 439 stores in 40 states of the U.S. and Puerto Rico, with high concentration around California. The retailer earns about 24% of its domestic revenues from the region. On the other hand, Sam’s club is evenly spread across the U.S. with 620 stores in 47 states and Puerto Rico. Additionally, Sam’s Club is the only warehouse club that offers Apple products, which gives it a slight edge over Costco.” Read more


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