Thursday’s Tipsheet: Target Cuts 150 Jobs at HQ | Costco Sticks w/Chickens | JCP Kills Logo


“Target lays off 150 from its corporate staff in Twin Cities” by Steve Alexander at Star-Tribune.  “The move affected workers at the company’s tower headquarters in downtown Minneapolis, an office on Interstate 394 in the city and a campus in Brooklyn Park.Many retailers, including Target, have lowered their financial expectations for the rest of the year, citing a tougher-than-expected spending environment.”  Read more


“Costco Stands Behind Its Cheap Rotisserie Chicken Strategy” by Kyle Stock at Bloomberg.  “When analysts started piling on Costco in a conference call this morning, Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti served up a bit of barnyard wisdom: He urged Wall Street to think of our “incredible, giant” rotisserie chickens.  The company sells 60 million of those birds every year, keeping the price at $4.99 despite surging costs for both poultry itself and chicken feed. “That’s us,” Galanti said of the stubbornly low prices. “That’s what we do.” In other words: Don’t freak out about this quarter—Costco sees itself playing the long game.”  Read more


“Costco’s Q4 Earnings Call Transcript”  Read it Here


“Costco plans for 36 new stores this year – enters Spain” by Jessica Wohl at Reuters via Globe & Mail.  “Costco has roughly 637 clubs now and said it plans to open 36 clubs this year, although some could be delayed. Eighteen openings are planned for the United States, seven in Asia and two will be in Spain, a new country for the company. Costco opened 26 clubs in fiscal 2013 and 16 in fiscal 2012.”  Read more


“Family Dollar Warns of Shutdown’s Impact” by Ely Portillo at Charlotte Observer.  “The shutdown is forcing states to freeze or cut back on many benefits going forward, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, which provides food aid.  “Over half of our customers are on some sort of government assistance,” Levine said. “When they read and hear about this uncertainty, it impacts their outlook.”  He said June was the best month of the quarter, but sales slowed as the summer progressed.” Read more


“Family Dollar’s Q4 Earnings Call Presentation”  Read the PowerPoint


“The Secrets of Bezos: How Amazon Became the Everything Store” by Brad Stone at Bloomberg.  “Within Amazon there’s a certain type of e-mail that elicits waves of panic. It usually originates with an annoyed customer who complains to the company’s founder and chief executive officer. Jeff Bezos has a public e-mail address, Not only does he read many customer complaints, he forwards them to the relevant Amazon employees, with a one-character addition: a question mark.”  Read more


“Costco & Whole Foods Private-Label Products Rank Highest with Consumers” at Food Product Design.  “In terms of which retailers’ store brands appear to have the greatest positive effect on loyalty to the store, Whole Foods Market got the highest score with 60% of buyers saying they are more likely to visit Whole Foods Market based on private-label products. Costco came in second with 57% of Kirkland buyers saying that the brand makes them more likely to shop at Costco.”  Read more


“J.C. Penney Scuttles Logo Introduced by Former CEO” by Natalie Zmuda at Ad Age.  “Scrapping the logo is just the latest attempt to roll back the former CEO’s initiatives. Since Mr. Johnson’s departure in April, the retailer has reintroduced popular brands like St. John’s Bay, layered in plenty of promotions and is now in the midst of dismantling Mr. Johnson’s vision for J.C. Penney’s home stores.”  Read more


“Killer Holiday Shopping Tips From the King of Bargains” by Brad Tuttle at Time.  “Frankly, though, were I to nominate a few charter members of the discount Hall of Shame, it would be outlet mall stores – especially those of department store brands. They’re not exactly artificially inflating prices, but these retailers try every legal loophole to muddy what true great value might be.”  Read more


“Coca-Cola vending machine prices adjust with outdoor temperatures” at  “For temperatures above 86 degrees, the cost was $1.20; at 84 degrees the price climbed to $1.70; and below 84 degrees the price was $2.40.  “The machines were designed specifically to increase trial.”  Read more


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