Thursday Tipsheet: Costco’s Reciprocity | Amazon’s Tom & Jerry Warning | Wayfair Eyes $319M IPO


“The Psychology Behind Costco’s Free Samples” by Joe Pinsker at The Atlantic. “When we compare it to other in-store mediums … in-store product demonstration has the highest [sales] lift,” says Giovanni DeMeo of the product-demonstration company Interactions, a department of which handles Costco’s samples…Interactions’ beer samples at many national retailers on average boosted sales by 71 percent, and its samples of frozen pizza increased sales by 600 percent.” Read more


“Which States Make You Pay an Amazon Sales Tax” by Greg Bensinger at WSJ. “ today begins collecting sales tax from purchasers in Minnesota and Maryland, marking the 22nd and 23rd states where the online retailer assesses the levy. With the new states, about 69% of Americans—nearly 219 million people—will be subject to tax on their Amazon purchases.” See the U.S. map


On-Site Video of Walmart’s Pickup Grocery Service in Bentonville at KFSM 5 News.  See the video


“Wayfair IPO expected to raise $319M” by David Harris at Boston Bus. Journal. “Boston-based e-commerce home furnishings retailer Wayfair said Wednesday it would price its initial public offering at $29 per share, above its previously proposed maximum offering price of $28 a share. The company is expected to offer 11 million of its shares to the public on Thursday.” Read more


Happening Today:  Walmart’s Neil Ashe Presents at GeekWire Summit Read more


“Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a ‘racial prejudice’ warning on Amazon” by Chris Green at The Independent. “Cathal Gaffney, the CEO of award-winning animation studio Brown Bag Films, added that Amazon’s decision was “political correctness gone mad”. But Dr Birgitta Hosea…defended the company and said it was important to “frame” the cartoons in their historical context. “It’s long been recognised that the character of Mammy Two Shoes is an offensive stereotype,” she said. “She’s shown as a maid, a bit slow-witted, only existing to take care of the housework.” Read more


“Amazon to Shutter Kansas Warehouse” by Jay Greene Seattle Times. “The thing that made Coffeyville so appealing 15 years ago — its location in a state with a small population, resulting in fewer sales that could be taxed — is the key reason Amazon is closing it down now.” Read more


“Why Wal-Mart Shouldn’t Pay Employees As Much As Costco Does” by Ashley Lutz at Business Insider. “If everyone in the industry raised wages, Costco’s quality of customer service would probably decline. And it’s unlikely that Wal-Mart’s would improve.  “If all the employers of minimum-wage labor followed Costco’s lead and paid higher wages and benefits, Costco would be less profitable, because the quality of its labor force would revert to the mean,” she writes.” Read more


“Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: High Expectations from India” at Times of India. “What is stunning about India is the speed at which it is growing and that is one of the tailwinds for the growth of e-commerce,” Bezos said, adding that “India is unbelievably energizing; the people are focused on learning and extremely inventive.” Read more


“1-Year-Old Girl Suffers Neck Injuries after Running into Fishing Line Strung in Walmart Toy Aisle” by Lee Moran at NY Daily News. “The fishing line had been stretched across the aisle, perhaps to trip people up,according to FOX23. However, as Allison is a small child, it actually cut her neck. Keeth said the store’s manager assured her that surveillance camera footage would be analyzed in a bid to track the culprit down.” Read more


“Dollar General extends tender offer to Oct. 31” by Jennifer Thomas at Charlotte Bus. Journal. “The offer was previously set to expire on Oct. 8.” Read more


“RadioShack hoping for a Christmas miracle” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “Although it showed some promising toys—including Roominate, a do-it-yourself wiring kit targeted to girls that will also be sold at stores such as Wal-Mart and Nordstrom—noticeably absent from the vendors promoting their products on-site were hot tech brands such as Apple and Beats by Dre.” Read more


“Canada: Costco customers offered no-limit reward card from Capital One” by Garry Marr at Financial Post. “Capital One is touting the fact there is no limit to the amount of cashback cardholders can earn, and is offering a bonus to cardholders which will allow them to earn double for the first three months.” Read more


“Staples closes 15 stores in Canada” by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail. “Staples Canada has closed 15 of its 331 stores in this country as the office supplies retailer feels the brunt of more business shifting online.” Read more



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