Thursday Tipsheet: Target: Bounces ‘Alex’ and Cheques | Blake to P&G | Raccoons in Aisle 4


Amazon disputes report claiming deliveries arrived late this holiday by Tricia Duryee at Geek Wire. “Amazon is downplaying the results of a new study today that claims 10 percent of shoppers said packages arrived later than expected over the holidays…In an interview with Reuters, Amazon’s head of Prime Greg Greeley, dismissed the results, calling them “very suspect.” An spokeswoman additionally told Reuters that “Our internal data shows significantly better results.” Read more


West Coast ports mostly shut for 4 of next 5 days as longshore dispute drags on by Justin Pritchard at AP via Seattle Times. “29 West Coast seaports that handle about $1 trillion of goods annually will be mostly closed four of the next five days.” Read more


LA Health Officials Take Action After Local Supermarket Sells Raccoons As Food at CBS LA. “Customer Christina Dow was at the market, and upon seeing the frozen raccoons, filmed the scene on her cell phone. She shared the video on social media. “The way it’s packaged in the store, it’s so real, and it’s so fresh, and you don’t see chickens with their feathers and blood all over them, and their expression, with their tongue hanging out,” Dow said.” See the video / Read more


Whole Foods Q1 Comp Sales +4.5% Read the release


Wal-Mart to lean on suppliers for better prices, products, sustainable solutions by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “McMillion was quick to tell suppliers the retailer is going back to what works and that is the “Everyday Low Prices” (EDLP) philosophy which begin with Everyday Low Costs (EDLC) of goods from suppliers. “What we need from you is EDLP and EDLC. …Putting items on sale and special promotions have never worked for us. When we get away from our pricing model out in the middle of the road we get run over,” McMillon said.” Read more


Target lays off 550 in Twin Cities as fallout from Canada closing by Kavita Kumar at Star-Tribune. “About 350 Target employees finished work on Wednesday. Another 200 were notified that their jobs will soon end but that the company wants them to stay through the winding down of the Canadian business…Target said it will eliminate 170 positions at its tech operations in India, where it employs about 3,000.” Read more


Target to bring 250 jobs to York County, PA by Myles Snyder at ABC 27 News. “Target will lease an existing 625,000-square-foot facility in West Manchester Township and plans to invest more than $52 million to establish that site as its new online fulfillment center.” Read more


Ex-Home Depot chief Frank Blake elected to P&G board at Atlanta Business Chronicle. Read more


…Blake will serve on the Audit and Governance & Public Responsibility committees of the P&G’s board by Alexander Coolidge at Cincinnati Enquirer. Read more


Target Can’t Kick Wet Wipe Class Action Over Clogged Pipes by Aebra Coe at Law 360. “An Ohio federal judge on Tuesday trimmed but refused to gut a class action accusing Target Corp. of marketing and selling flushable wet wipes that clog septic systems, finding that although three of the suit’s common law claims fail, a slew of other product liability-related claims can proceed.” Read more (Subscription)


Meijer managers charged with embezzling up to $100,000 at WZZM 13 ABC. “Tracy Gordon, 45, and 63-year-old Danny Vandermyde are accused of converting gift cards for their own use.” Read more


Costco Tries To Sell 9th Circ. On New Trial In OT Row by Brandon Lowrey at Law 360. “Costco on Wednesday urged the Ninth Circuit to grant a new trial after a judge awarded damages to two managers alleging the retailer misclassified them as exempt employees and denied them overtime, saying the company realistically expected the managers to spend their time on exempt duties.” Read more (Subscription)


How Ace Hardware Turned Corner Stores Into A $4.7 Billion Co-Op by Clare O’Connor at Forbes. “In the past 18 months Ace has seen some 144 stores jump ship from competitors, including a handful from its two fellow hardware co-ops, True Value and Do It Best. During that time just 49 Ace stores have left the fold…Ace is tackling same-day delivery, one of the hottest trends in retail. Tests in 33 stores across six states started on Jan. 26.” Read more


He’s not ‘Alex from Target’ anymore by Tom Webb at Pioneer Press. “I have not been bagging groceries. I know — sorry to disappoint, but I’ve been doing some other stuff.” That “other stuff” includes appearing in a music video, rolling out a line of Alex Lee clothing, going on tour and planning to appear in an upcoming movie. Alex also said he’s been working hard on his singing…In any case, Alex’s fame may be fading.” Read more


…See Alex’s Video (His 10 Minutes are Nearly Up…) at MTV  See the video


Harris Poll Survey: Do Americans Prefer Name-Brands or Store Brands? “Americans tend to purchase name-brands for food and beverage products where flavor, arguably, differs more between brands. This at least seems to be true for a majority of Americans who default to name-brands when purchasing breakfast cereal (62%), carbonated soft drinks (58%), bagged snacks (58%), prepared frozen foods (56%), coffee (55%), and yogurt (54%).” Read the release


Canada: Long list of small businesses wait for cash as Target’s cheque bounces by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail. “Just before Target was granted court protection from creditors, the company sent her a cheque for $18,000, the final payment for her work. The cheque was dated Jan. 13, two days before the court filing, but she didn’t get it until Jan. 26. When she went to the bank to cash it, the cheque bounced.” Read more


REI expands to Delaware, Virginia, Iowa by Emily Parkhurst at Puget Sound Business Journal. “These will be the first REI stores for Delaware and Iowa. It will be the sixth REI store in Virginia…Currently, REI has 138 stores in 33 states and will likely continue expanding as the U.S. economy rebounds.” Read more


Target Canada employees granted representation by court by Francine Kopun at Toronto Star. See the 7 appointed employees


Amazon Challenger Raises $140 Million Ahead Of Launch by Ryan Mac at Forbes. “With 130 employees, is expected to launch to a select group of “insiders” next month, while the full site will be open to the public by late spring. The company recently closed its early membership program, which obtained about 352,000 sign ups, said Lore.” Read more


Top 10 ‘Organic’ Cities (Minneapolis #5, Seattle #7) by Emily Parkhurst at Puget Sound Business Journal. See the top 10 list


Best Buy Opens Wedding Registry in Bid for New Sales at AP via NY Times. “Electronics and small appliances are as important to today’s newlyweds as silverware and towels,” said Wendy Fritz, Best Buy’s head of gift strategy.” Read more


With JRW’s title gone – will Dick’s Sporting Goods get its $164,481.17 back? by Jared Hopkins at Chicago Tribune. “It has been placed on probation and suspended from tournament play until its top directors are replaced and the league complies with Little League rules…Dick’s gave $164,481.17 in September from proceeds of selling 12,000 yellow team T-shirts…Dick’s did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.” Read more



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