Thursday Tipsheet: Kroger Tests Pick-Up | Wmart SVP Creative ‘Unplugged’ | J.D. Ranks Appliance Retailer Sites


“Kroger Testing Grocery Pick-Up Service in Cincinnati” by Alexander Coolidge at “The service is not yet available to customers at the Liberty Township store. Kroger is in such early testing, only associates are using it. “We are now in the embryonic stages of a click and collect test at one of our local stores – so early in fact, we just started testing with our associates,” said Rachael Betzler, a Kroger spokeswoman.” Read more


J.D. Power Ranks Top Appliance Retailer Websites (Home Depot #2, Costco #5) “The incidence of using a smartphone or tablet to research information online has increased to 26 percent, up from 20 percent in 2013. More than three-fourths (76%) of shoppers indicate retailer websites are highly useful when shopping for appliances. Among smartphone/tablet owners, 57 percent access online content while at a physical store location.” Read the release


“Wal-Mart Mexico Unit Probed on Complaints of Cockfight” by Nacha Cattan at Bloomberg. “Fines of as much as 96,000 pesos ($7,240) could be levied if Walmex is found responsible, said Jose Luis Hernandez, commercial director of the city of Boca del Rio, where betting on fighting roosters is illegal. A Walmex spokesman, Antonio Ocaranza, said the roosters weren’t armed with blades, no betting took place at the store and no birds were harmed.“It wasn’t a cockfight,” Ocaranza said yesterday in a telephone interview.” Read more


“Target faces different challenges in Quebec: Survey” by Francine Kopun at The Star. “Quebecers are significantly less familiar with Target than shoppers in the rest of Canada…“This might be good news for Target in Quebec as the bar was likely not set as high,” according to Eric Blais, president of Headspace Marketing Inc…The survey of 1,000 women shoppers living near Target stores in Canada found that less than one-quarter of Quebec respondents (23.7 per cent) had ever shopped at a Target store in the U.S…Among women shoppers in the rest of Canada, more than half of respondents (54.4 per cent) had shopped at a Target in the U.S.” Read more


“Porch discloses $33M in total funding, with Lowe’s as major investor” by Todd Bishop at Geek Wire. “The company says it has raised $33 million to date, including a $27.6 million Series A funding round led by the Lowe’s home-improvement chain.” Read more


…Porch’s cofounder battling brain cancer by Hollie Slade at Forbes. “All this while Castro battled brain cancer after repeated trips to the doctor for what he thought was a sinus infection turned out to be a tumor. Writing about the experience on VentureBeat, Castro says if he’d still been working at Google or Expedia he’d have likely resigned but the chance to build a startup he’s passionate about keeps him busy instead.” Read more


Walmart’s Andy Murray (SVP Creative) ‘Unplugged’ by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “Today you’re getting me unplugged but since there’s just one person here from Wal-Mart and one from the media we’ll see how it goes. You will get your money’s worth, I am just not sure what will happen to me,” Murray joked…He admits that many supercenters look like they were frozen in time in 2006. “I counted 27 standees in one store many of these displays cluttering the entrance. I am not sure that’s how we want to greet today’s shopper,” Murray said. He expects to see more product demonstrations in stores saying they bring excitement and animation to the shopping climate as opposed to standing cardboard displays.” Read more


“Home Depot’s PR problems dwarfed by Target breach” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “According to YouGov’s BrandIndex, which gauges daily brand perception among consumers, Home Depot’s rating fell from about 20 a week before reports of its data breach, to a score of 5, two weeks after…the dive was nowhere near as steep as the one experienced by Target, which saw its score fall from nearly 28 to minus 26 over a comparable period. At its lowest point during this time frame, Target’s perception touched minus 32.5; it’s since rebounded to around 15.” Read more


Family Dollar: Go Away by Ken Elkins at Charlotte Bus. Journal. “In a statement Wednesday morning, Family Dollar Stores Inc.’s board of directors advised the company’s shareholders to reject the $9.1 billion hostile takeover attempt by Dollar General Corp.” Read more


Dollar General: We’re Not Going Away “Dollar General has made every good faith effort to engage in constructive discussions with the Family Dollar Board of Directors,” said Rick Dreiling, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dollar General. “At each turn, despite Dollar General’s superior proposals and to the detriment of the Family Dollar shareholders, the Family Dollar Board has refused to engage, leaving Dollar General with no choice but to launch a tender offer.” Read the release


Internet Retailer on Dick’s Website:  A few key changes would speed things up by Abby Callard. “Reddy says one JavaScript file and a couple of images add more than 250 kilobytes—almost half the total page weight. Dick’s could further improve its site through a process called “minification” of JavaScript files, he says, which involves removing any extra characters, white space and comments from source code.” Read more 


Fortune Exclusive: “Kohl’s CEO puts comeback plan into high gear” by Phil Wahba. “Mansell, a 32-year company veteran and CEO since 2008, is looking to kickstart growth through what he calls Kohl’s “Greatness Agenda,” which is as much about giving executives a framework for their thinking as it is about specific initiatives. “I’ve likened it a lot internally to how Kohl’s developed its original personality: the brands-value-convenience premise,” Mansell told Fortune in an exclusive interview. “We knew we needed to create a new path forward.” Read more


“Wal-Mart China Accused Of Firing Workers Who Claimed The Company Was Selling Expired Food” by Hayley Peterson at Business Insider. “Wal-Mart China spokeswoman Vivian Jiang told Bloomberg that the employees were terminated for “performance issues and for deviation from company policy.” “They were not terminated for talking to the media,” Jiang said.” Read more


“Walgreens Launches “Get a Shot. Give a Shot” Ad Campaign” by Lewis Lazare at Chicago Bus. Journal. “Walgreens has indicated it will send one dose of vaccine to Africa for every immunization administered at one of its drugstore outlets. The goal, says Walgreens, is to deliver 6 million doses of vaccine over a year’s time.” See the ad / Read more


HuffPo: “New Target Ad Features Gay Dads, Shuts Out All The Haters” by Emily Thomas. “A Target spokeswoman told The Huffington Post the new ad campaign “represents and celebrates” the company’s diverse community.” Read more / See the ad


“Here’s What Your Supermarket Will Look Like in 50 Years” by Marine Cole at CNBC. “Studio Industries is creating a physical pop-up grocery store through a project called the Future Market that will launch in New York City in the summer of 2015. The supermarket of the future will include smart shelves that will display products customized to every shopper based on an embedded food ID chip, according to Supermarket News.” Read more



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