Thursday Tipsheet: H.Depot Copies Apple | Target = #1 Mobile Retailer in ’13 | Walmart’s Free Pills


“How Home Depot Copied Apple to Build an Ingenious New Bucket” by Joseph Flaherty at Wired.  “Home Depot’s new Big Gripper all-purpose bucket is a handy improvement on the old school, five-gallon contractor pail.  An ergonomic handle and patent pending “pocket grip” on the underside sets the product apart on the shelf, but more importantly, the design is a showpiece for a new approach to big box merchandising. Brick-and-mortar retailers have learned a lesson from Apple and are following their vertically integrated approach by developing high-quality, and exclusive, products to remain competitive in the age of Amazon.”  Read more / See the video


“Target is 2013 Mobile Retailer of the Year” by Chantal Tode at Mobile Commerce Daily.  “The Mobile Retailer of the Year is the most prestigious honor for smart, strategic and creative use of the mobile medium by a retailer. EBay won in 2009, Sears took top prize in 2011 and Walmart received the honor in 2012.”  Read more


“Walmart & Walgreens Offer Free Prescriptions for Obamacare Customers” at City Wire.  “Customers who have signed up for the public health exchanges should be able to access their benefits immediately. That’s why, starting (Jan. 1) through the end of January, we will fill up to a 30-day supply of prescriptions with no upfront cost to customers who have enrolled but have not yet received their plan identification information from their insurance providers, said John Agwunobi, president, health wellness for Walmart U.S.”  Read more


“Report:  Up to 40,000 Target Gift Cards Were Not Activated” by Kelli Grant at CNBC.  “Target confirmed Tuesday that a number of gift cards sold during the holiday period were not fully activated, so shoppers attempting to use them would find they had no value…A Fox station in Minneapolis reported that the foul-up could affect as many as 40,000 cards—a figure Target disputed…”The numbers that have been reported in the media are much higher than what we experienced.” Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in a statement.” Read more 


“2013 Holiday Shopping Season:  Winners & Losers” by Thomas Lee at Star-Tribune.  “Mobile retail:  2013 will likely be remembered the year that smartphones and tablets fully morphed from pure research tools into pure buying devices. The Consumer Electronics Association estimates holiday sales through mobile devices totaled $8.4 billion, or 14.8 percent of total online sales, compared to $1 billion, or 3 percent of total online sales, in 2010.”  Read more


“Costco gets another $110 million from US parent for Australian expansion” by Eli Greenblat at Sydney Morning Herald.  “The extra dollop of funding from its US parent has already helped Costco construct and open its fourth and fifth warehouse stores in Australia this year, giving it two locations in Melbourne and Sydney. The discounter is already building its sixth store, in Brisbane, and another is to follow in Adelaide soon.”  Read more / See the video


“Will Target debacle spell demise of the debit card?” by Mark Calvey at San Francisco Business Times.  “It just taught me a lesson. My debit card will not pay for a retail purchase ever again,” said Bert Lampley, a Charlotte resident who paid with his debit card at Target between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 and recently found his bank account drained from fraudulent ATM withdrawals near the Chicago airport, according to a ABC News’s national report last Friday.”  Read more


“How to Sell More Booze than Costco – Deliver It” by Soumya Karlamangla at LA Times via Star Tribune.  “Decades ago, Hollywood’s lavish parties created a demand for businesses that quickly delivered alcohol. And now, this relic of Hollywood’s past is giving small liquor stores like Almor an edge in a market inundated with other ways to buy booze.  Although Southern California is dotted with stores that deliver alcohol to homes and businesses, the concentration is particularly high in and around Tinseltown. Within a 3-mile radius of the Hollywood & Highland Center are at least 10 stores that offer door-to-door alcohol delivery.”  Read more


“Target data breach ruins a man’s dream backpacking trip” by Anna Canzano at KATU.  “For Tim Nolan of Hillsboro, the breach ruined what was supposed to a dream backpacking trip in Central America. He found himself cut off from his own bank account, all because he picked up some toothpaste at the Sunset Esplanade Target in Hillsboro the day before he left…Nolan cut his trip short by 11 days. A disappointing end to a life experience he considered priceless.”  Read more


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