Thursday Tipsheet: Ron Johnson’s New Venture | Amazon’s Secret Lab Gets $55 Mil | EEOC Sues D.Gen


“Amazon Will Pump $55 Million into Secretive Silicon Valley Lab” by Deepa Seetharaman & Noel Randewich at Reuters. “Amazon is testing a simple wi-fi device that could be placed in the kitchen or a closet, allowing customers to order products like detergent by pressing a button, one of the people said. Lab126 is also interested in wearable devices, the other person said. Both sources stressed that such devices may never come to market.” Read more


Report: Ron Johnson to Start a High-End, On-Demand Delivery Service for Gadgets by Susan Berfield at Bloomberg. “A report claims Johnson is starting a retail business that bypasses stores altogether: “[A] high-end, on-demand delivery service for gadgets.” Apparently he has recruited some former Apple executives to help him with the plan. Johnson has yet to confirm the rumors officially, and I couldn’t reach him. Anonymous sources familiar with the project told Jessica Lessin, the editor-in-chief of the Information, that Johnson could introduce the service as early as next year.” Read more


CNBC: Ex-JCP CEO Ron Johnson’s new bet “The Information Editor-in-Chief Jessica Lessin discusses former JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson’s efforts to create a delivery startup.” See the video


“Bezos-Backed Raises Another $14 Million to Help Renovate Your Home” by Brad Stone at Bloomberg. “Customers want to understand price before they even pick up the phone,” says Matt Williams, Pro’s CEO. Williams worked at Amazon for 10 years, starting as one of Bezos’s famous personal assistant “shadows,” who follow Amazon’s founder into every meeting, taking notes and following up on action items. He also worked on the team that started Amazon Marketplace, in which merchants pay fees to hawk their wares on the site.” Read more


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WSJ: “Home Depot Was Hacked by Previously Unseen ‘Mozart’ Malware” by Shelly Banjo & Danny Yadron. “Home Depot confirmed the report and said there were specific attributes of the malware that indicated it was customized to the retailer. For instance, it used file names that blended in with legitimate filenames and are unique to Home Depot’s technology, the company said.” Read more


“Dollar General Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination” “According to the EEOC’s suit, the employee, who has insulin-dependent diabetes, was working the cash register at Dollar General when she started to experience symptoms of a hypoglycemic episode. Customers were in line, so the former employee grabbed an orange juice from Dollar General’s cooler and consumed it to stabilize her blood sugar. She paid for the orange juice after the customers left…Dollar General fired the employee for violating its grazing policy, which prohibits employees from consuming merchandise before payment.” Read the EEOC release


“Smart & Final grocery chain goes public” by Chan Li at LA Times “Smart & Final Stores Inc., the warehouse-style grocery chain with a deep history in Los Angeles, raised about $161 million Wednesday through the public sale of nearly 13.5 million shares…Smart & Final controls about 250 grocery and food stores in six states including California, Arizona and Oregon. The shops operate under the names Smart & Final, Smart & Final Extra! and Cash & Carry Smart Foodserve.” Read more


“Amazon expands Twitter deal, with a wish list” by Ben Miller at Puget Sound Bus. Journal. “According to Amazon, its customers using Twitter can type #AmazonWishList to have something automatically added to their Amazon Wish List, and then they continue tweeting.” Read more


“Reactions to Walmart’s New Green Dot Banking Service” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “Jackson worries that if a user has a problem with their card that the average checker at Wal-Mart won’t be able to handle that complaint without holding up the line. “We talked to convenience stores in the past about why some of them don’t sell pre-paid phones and we were told that when they did and the consumer had a problem that they brought it back into the store upset and store workers had no way to fix the problem. The last thing retailers want is to have upset consumers in their stores when there is no way they can solve the issue,” Jackson said.” Read more



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