Thursday Tipsheet: D.Gen Comp +4.9% | L.L. Bean Wants 100 | Target’s 7 Centers


Dollar General Q4 Comp Sales +4.9%As we look ahead, we have exciting operating plans that build on our competitive strengths. For 2015, we are forecasting a year of strong growth including a total sales increase of 8 to 9 percent, same-store sales growth of 3 to 3.5 percent.” Read the release


...Dollar General CFO Retires “Dollar General Corporation announced today that David Tehle, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will retire from Dollar General effective July 1, 2015.” Read the release


Target “Centers of Excellence” Restructuring by Kavita Kumar at Star-Tribune. “By the end of the week, many Target corporate workers will be assigned to one of seven new “centers of excellence” in an effort to streamline and centralize work. No one seems to understand yet exactly what that means and how the centers will play out. Katie Boylan, a Target spokeswoman, said conversations are underway this week to better explain to employees what these centers are and how they will operate. Not everyone will be assigned to a center. But those that do will work will work directly with employees from other departments — something that wasn’t always easy in the previous configuration of headquarters staff.” Read more


Amazon launches new ‘Shark Tank,’ Kickstarter marketplace – holds exclusive rights to products by Rachel Lerman at Puget Sound Business Journal. “Amazon Exclusives…will sell new products from “up-and-coming” companies, that have done well in pitch competitions or crowdfunding campaigns…Amazon will hold exclusive third-party rights to the products on the site, meaning the companies can sell the items on their own sites but not on any other outside site or in outside physical stores.” Read more


How do Target and Walmart stack up in the e-commerce wars? by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “In a research note on Wednesday by Cowen & Co, analyst Oliver Chen and his team gave Target a slight edge over Wal-Mart thanks to its lead in mobile commerce (shopping and purchasing done via a smartphone) though he warned Wal-Mart was a strong competitor.” Read more


Another shutdown at Port of Oakland by Thomas Lee at SF Gate. “The official reason behind the closure was a “staffing dispute” between workers and port operators, said Port of Oakland communications director Mike Zampa. He did not offer further details. The closure impacted the staging and gate areas at the facility, where truck drivers drop off and pick up cargo from container ships.” Read more


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Add this store to a mall and sales rise 10% by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “Citing data from Green Street Advisors, the Wall Street Journal reported that the draw of Apple stores not only allows the iPhone maker to negotiate low-rent deals for itself, but drives rents higher for neighboring stores. Whereas a typical mall tenant can pay rent up to 15 percent of its sales per square foot, Apple pays 2 percent of this metric, tops, industry executives told the paper.” Read more


L.L. Bean to triple stores by 2020 at Chicago Tribune. “(L.L. Bean) will open four stores this year before accelerating growth with a goal of “at least 100″ by 2020, President and CEO Chris McCormick told workers in a memo Wednesday.” Read more


…the new L.L.Bean stores will be between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet. A quarter of the space will be devoted to outdoors equipment. Active apparel will take up 15 percent, and the rest will be filled with footwear, boots, and casual apparel by Taryn Luna at Boston Globe. Read more


Powdered Alcohol Nearly Retail Ready by Tripp Mickle at WSJ. “Palcohol will come in several varieties—a vodka and a rum, and in three cocktails—Cosmopolitan, Lemon Drop and Powderita, which is designed to taste like a margarita. It has shown the powder in foil pouches that hold the equivalent of one shot of alcohol and can take six ounces of liquid.” Read more (Subscription)


Charlotte: Camping out for Cabela’s by Jennifer Thomas at Charlotte Business Journal. “Cabela’s says the first customers at its Charlotte-area store near Fort Mill started camping out in the parking lot on Tuesday. The store opens Thursday at 10 a.m.” Read more / See the in-store pics


….in-store video via Charlotte Observer.  See the video


Amazon exec tires of ‘helping ship brown boxes,’ joins Seattle Police as CIO by Rachel Lerman at Puget Sound Business Journal. “Russell will make $180,000 annually at the new job, a 65 percent pay cut from his Amazon position, according to King 5. But the former Amazon exec wanted to make a larger impact with his work.” Read more


Sears: Seattle Tech Office Scheduled to Open in May by Matt Day at Seattle Times. “The office, expected to open in May, would develop applications and analytic tools in an effort to make its appliance repair business more efficient and user-friendly for customers. Sears hired former employees Ian Clarkson and James Coyle to run the operation last year, (Arun) Arora said.” Read more


India’s ‘Amazon’ courts the mobile shopper by Jacob Pramuk at CNBC. “India is a very, very mobile-centric economy,” Punit Soni, chief product officer at online marketplace FlipKart, said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.” See the video / Read more


Walmart Launches “Women Owned” Logo In-store & Online  Read the release


Amazon’s streaming-video service making gains on Netflix by Jay Greene at Seattle Times. “A new report suggests that Amazon’s streaming-video service, Prime Instant Video, is now twice as large as Hulu, and gaining ground on Netflix…Nielsen…found that 13 percent of all U.S. television households use Prime Instant Video,’s subscription video-on-demand business, compared with 36 percent for Netflix.” Read more



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