Thursday Tipsheet: Target: Cuts 475; 12 Bad Photos | Costco Stares Down Dotcom | ‘Tsunami’ of Store Closings


“Besieged Target Lays Off 475 and Won’t Fill 700 Jobs” by Adam Belz at Star-Tribune.  “A woman who was laid off from Target’s finance department said half of her 12-person team was fired immediately during a meeting Wednesday morning, while the other half will be laid off next month. The layoffs have been in the works for more than six months, the employee said, and she and her family had been preparing.  “They just sent out a memo saying we had a mandatory meeting at such-and-such time saying that you guys are being let go as of today,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified for fear that her severance could be affected.” Read more


“A ‘tsunami’ of store closings expected to hit retail” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC.  “Sozzi said that after a profitable but below-expectations holiday season, the retail industry will face its second “tsunami of store closures across the U.S.,” only a few years after what he called the “fire sale holiday season of 2008.”…”There is often a mismatch between the number of stores retailers operate today compared to how many they would choose to operate if they had to do it all over again,” Lejuez said.”  Read more


“12 photos that reveal why Target Canada is in big trouble” by Ashley Lutz at Business Insider via Financial Post.  “Wall Street analyst Brian Sozzi at Belus Capital Advisors recently published photos of Target Canada that indicate why the business could be struggling.”  See the pics


“Is Costco Vulnerable to Online Avalanche?” by Herb Greenberg at The Street.  “In an interview with me Tuesday, (CFO Richard) Galanti — who picks up his own phone and doesn’t duck the questions — said “It’s one of many things we discuss all the time,” he said. “Dot-com is more prevalent than before. I’m not trying to be cute or coy about it. We’re always blocking and tackling on all elements of the business. We’re pleased with our results over the past year and a half. We don’t believe everything will be online. It will be part of the panorama out there.”  Read more


“Kroger’s Forney store will be its first in Texas to sell clothes” by Maria Halkias at Dallas News.  “Kroger has been in the apparel business for some time, but not in Texas.  That will change Friday when a Kroger Marketplace store opens in Forney.  Kroger is devoting 5,000 square feet of the 124,000-square-foot store to adult and children’s clothing, shoes and accessories. The store will also sell kitchen, bed and bath merchandise, small appliances, toys, office, party supplies, fine jewelry, and, oh yeah, groceries.” Read more 


“Kantar Study:  11% Have Purchased Groceries Online in Last 90 Days (56% of those at Amazon)” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “Despite “conventional wisdom” and the limited yet growing availability of online grocery delivery models in the U.S. (Safeway, Fresh Direct, Peapod, Coburns), shoppers are already purchasing groceries online. Kantar Retail expects online grocery to grow at a compound annual rate of 26%, moving from 1% of the US grocery landscape to 5% by 2020.”  Read more


“Study:  CVS Most Popular Pharmacy, Walgreens #2” at WSJ.  “23 percent choose CVS and 19 percent choose Walgreens. Only 7 percent choose mail order to fill prescriptions, which is higher than Target, Costco or Sam’s Club pharmacies.”  Read more


“Esquire Study on Male Behavior:  Half Enjoy Shopping, Definition of Masculine Behavior Has Expanded” by Bernadette Giacomazzo at Latin Post.  “Richard Dorment, senior editor at Esquire, said in an interview. “The thing that deeply surprised us, that we have the statistical data for, is how the definition of conventional, masculine behavior has expanded to include all the things that up until a few years ago were considered totally alien.”  Read more


“Square: Rancor from Merchants, No Phone Calls Allowed” by Jessica Guynn at LA Times via StL Post Dispatch.  “Callers are greeted with an automated message, directing them to an online help center or to email their questions, and then they are disconnected.  Barry said she grew so frustrated exchanging emails with customer service representatives that she drove two hours to the company’s San Francisco headquarters to get some help in person…No one would speak to her, she said, and the security guards threatened to call the police.”  Read more


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