75,000 more stores need to close across the US, UBS estimates at CNBC. “Assuming online sales’ share of total retail sales in the U.S. grows to 25% by 2026, from 16% today…about 21,000 clothing stores, 10,000 consumer electronics stores, 8,000 home furnishing stores and 1,000 home improvement stores should close, UBS says.” Read more
Walmart Is Rolling Out the Robots by Sarah Nassauer & Chip Cutter at Wall Street Journal. “…at least 300 stores this year will add machines that scan shelves for out-of-stock products. Autonomous floor scrubbers will be deployed in 1,500 stores to help speed up cleaning, after a test in hundreds of stores last year. And the number of conveyor belts that automatically scan and sort products as they come off trucks will more than double, to 1,200.” WSJ subs.
Long-delayed NJ mall featuring helicopter transport from NYC seeking luxury tenants by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “American Dream — the long-delayed mega-mall that’s slated to open this fall off the New Jersey Turnpike — will have an indoor ski slope and water park, a giant Ferris wheel and even a fleet of helicopters to fly in shoppers from Manhattan.” Read more
WINTER ISN’T DEAD YET – Minneapolis: At least 8 inches of snow in Thursday’s forecast at Pioneer Press. Read more
…200 million of us face weather mess of snow, heavy rain, wind and flooding at USA Today. Read more
Instagram is the best way to market to teens, says Piper Jaffray survey at CNBC. “Snapchat comes in second place for branding, with just under 50% of teens preferring that brands use it to reach out to them. Twitter and Facebook fared much more poorly, coming in behind email (about 38%), text messaging (about 35%), and website ads (about 30%). Only 20% of teens preferred hearing from brands on Twitter, and only about 12% preferred Facebook.” Read more
…Teens favorite website for shopping is Amazon at CNBC. Read more
Cooklist wants to put your pantry in your pocket with Target’s help by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “Cooklist has been in beta testing since October and kicks off this week with Target’s 47 Dallas-Fort Worth stores and its delivery service Shipt. A shopper using the app can search more than a million recipes to find a dish. When one is found, a list of ingredients is displayed and any not on hand can be ordered with same-day delivery through Target.com.” Tiered subs.
BJ’s opens its 217th club Press release
Patagonia Triggers a Market Panic Over New Rules on Its Power Vests by Akane Otani at Wall Street Journal. “Patagonia said last week it was keeping new orders of the torso-hugging showpieces reserved for “mission-driven companies that prioritize the planet.” Off the bat, that excludes oil companies, mine operators and other outfits deemed ecologically damaging, one certified Patagonia seller said.” WSJ subs.
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Walmart Acquires More of Hometown Bentonville by George Walson at Arkansas Business. “Walmart Inc. has expanded its real estate interests in Bentonville beyond the western boundary of the future location of its new headquarters. The retailing giant has invested more than $18 million along the west side of J Street in the months leading up to and since the new home office news.” Map/Read more
Sears’ Eddie Lampert looks to regain full ownership of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores by Kelly Tyko at USA Today. “Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores announced Monday that it received a proposal Friday from its largest shareholder and Sears Holdings chairman Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund ESL Investments to purchase the remaining shares of the company for $2.25 per share.” Read more
Debenhams, once Britain’s biggest department store group, falls into administration at CNBC. Read more
Ghost of Toys R Us still haunts toy makers by Anne D’Innocenzio at AP. “Maybe the world only needs one kind of ant farm, but in the day, you had a choice,” said Jay Foreman, president and CEO of Basic Fun, a Boca Raton, Florida-based company that purchased the assets of Uncle Milton, K’Nex and Playhut over the past year. He is now evaluating his overall lineup.” Read more
Don’t get too excited about those Whole Foods price cuts by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “A single Clif Bar, meanwhile, now costs $1.35 — or 40 cents more than in August. A 32-ounce tub of Stonyfield organic yogurt now costs $4.29, 30 cents more than in August…Overall price cuts that are “hardly heroic,” according to Grom. A shopping cart of 106 key grocery items at a Whole Foods location in Princeton, NJ, now costs $396.88 — just $3.81 lower than it did before.” Read more
Activist investors are turning up the pressure on Build-A-Bear by David Nicklaus at St.Louis Post Dispatch. “Florida investor David Kanen disclosed March 26 that he owns 9.7 percent of Build-A-Bear and wants to talk about a board seat. J. Carlo Cannell, a hedge fund manager from Wyoming with a 5.66 percent stake, chimed in last week that he also might want to shake up the board.” Read more
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