Thursday Tipsheet: Lowe’s New ‘Holoroom’ | Target’s Quick Mtg | Rest. Hard. Shines


“Amazon to take on Angie’s List/Home Depot/Lowe’s by connecting patrons with service providers” by Deepa Seetharaman at Reuters via Columbus Dispatch.  “ Inc. plans to launch a marketplace this year for local services, a broad term that encompasses anything from baby sitters to handymen, people familiar with the matter said…at least one of the startups contacted by Amazon focuses on home repair.” Read more


“Target Wastes No Time With an Extremely Brief Annual Meeting” by Susan Berfield at Businessweek.  “Wait—that was it? Target’s annual meeting Wednesday afternoon in Dallas seemed to be over before it really began.  Apparently about 100 shareholders were in the audience for the 30-minute event, which resulted in the reelection of the entire board of directors.” Read more


“Wal-Mart Reconfiguring Electronics Space” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “Electronics are a challenging industry,” (Stephen) Quinn said. “The new sets in our local stores adjust our space-to-sales ratio better and we are leaning in toward the growth areas.”  Wal-Mart said wireless devices, tablets and mobile connectivity items will have more dominant presentation space in its stores. The space also will include bigger brand presentations, and newer and more popular brands. Those brands will be featured in more prominent store locations to better ensure customer awareness.”  Read more


“Restoration Hardware Shares Shine on 200% Earnings Jump” by Samantha Sharf at Forbes.  “The company reported $366.3 million in first quarter revenue, up 22% from the same period last year. Adjusted net income came in at $7.2 million, up 217% from last year and far ahead of Wall Street analysts’ $4.1 million consensus estimate. ” Read more


“Lowe’s 3-D ‘Holoroom’ makes remodeling a (virtual) reality” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC.  “Lowe’s announced on Wednesday that it will transform the in-store experience by building a 30-by-30 virtual reality room that enables customers to view a 3-D representation of their renovation projects before they start with demolition…The Holoroom will debut later this year in two of the company’s Toronto stores…The initial launch will be limited to bathroom remodeling, but over the next 12 to 18 months, Lowe’s plans to add new categories and rooms such as kitchen, living and outdoor spaces.”  See the video / Read more


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“Kroger to build $250M Distribution Center in Atlanta” by Steve Watkins at Cinc. Bus. Courier.  “Kroger completed a deal with the city on Tuesday to build the center. It plans to open it by September 2015.”  Read more


“Imagining a more modern grocery store” by Jessica Wohl at Chicago Tribune.  “Industry experts at this week’s FMI Connect conference at McCormick Place are trying to prepare for what they see as the retail experience of the future…For example, a store’s glass entryway doors could lift up on a weekend morning to provide space for a farmers’ market.”  Read more


“Ouch:  Analyst Downgrades Radio Shack Stock to Zero” by Danielle Abril at Dallas Bus. Journal.  “We think a turnaround is nearly impossible for the company at this point, and think liquidation value is minimal,” Tilghman wrote in the note he released Wednesday. “Based on recent and expected cash burn, working capital and debt are likely to be at best, offsets to one another.” Read more


“Forget Target, your health care info is more at risk” by Shelley DuBois at The Tennessean.  “While no single breach was as widespread as Target’s, health care-related data breaches accounted for 43 percent of all major breaches in 2013, according to the Identify Theft Resource Center. It marked the first time in more than a decade that health care-related attacks surpassed other business sectors.” Read more


“It’s an economy, now” by Stephen Gandel at Fortune.  “Amazon most likely falls into a government category called non-store retailers. As of May, the government said there were just under 500,000 people employed in that category. Amazon itself says it has 124,600 employees, up from 91,300 a year ago, or about 1 out of every 4 workers in the category, though not all of Amazon’s employees are based in the U.S.”  Read more


“Goldman Sachs Misses Out on Big Alibaba Payoff” by Alexandra Stevenson at NY Times.  “In October 1999, Goldman Sachs led Alibaba’s first round of investment, which raised $5 million…The investors in that round secured a 40 percent stake in the company, according to news reports…One Western executive who has known Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder, for more than a decade, said: “At that time, Jack’s company was relatively undistinguished. No one would lend him any money or provide capital for the business.” Read more



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