Tipsheet: Amazon #1 Lobbyist | Loblaws Cuts 500 | “Crazy” Irma Food Stamp Lines


Amazon is now the biggest corporate lobbyist in Washington by Jade Scipioni at Fox Business. “According to the New York Times, Amazon has increased its lobbying staff to 83 members this year compared to 60 members last year, making it one of the biggest corporate lobbying shops in town. To top it off, the company is also on its way to surpassing its previous high for lobbying spending last year, which was $11.3 million.” Read more


Nordstrom can’t find financing to go private by Lisa Fickenscher & Josh Kosman at NY Post. “…the proposed $10 billion deal was also a victim of a leak, sources said. Leonard Green & Partners, which was to supply equity financing, was reluctant to fund a deal worth more than $47 a share, sources said. In the wake of a story Sept. 12 that Leonard Green was helping to finance the deal, shares of the Dallas company spiked to nearly $48 a share from $44.72.” Read more


…Nordstrom Lenders Demanded Interest Rate the Family Couldn’t Pay by Nabila Ahmed at Bloomberg. “After meeting at least nine different firms over the course of four months, the asking price came to about 13 percent, said the people, who requested not to be identified because the discussions were private. That’s roughly twice the average borrowing cost for typical retailer.” Read more


How a group of Florida tomato growers could help derail NAFTA by Caitlin Dewey at Washington Post. “The problem, in a word, is humidity. Florida has a whole lot of it. As a result, its growers can’t use greenhouses, which better protect the vegetables, and they have severe problems with pests and diseases…Mexican tomatoes, on the other hand, are largely vine-ripened and grown in greenhouses.” Read more (tiered subs.)


Aldi sets opening date for first Austin-area store by Gary Dinges at Austin American-Statesman. Read more


Walmart Now Beats Both Family Dollar and Dollar General on Price at The Street. “For the first time since we started this study back in March, our September results show that Walmart is now priced below Dollar General,” Grom wrote. “To this end, the Dollar General basket is priced at a 90 basis-point premium to Walmart as compared to a 200 basis-point discount just two months earlier in July.” Read more


J&J reports 11.9% fall in quarterly profit at Fox Business. Read more


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Bruce Berkowitz, the largest outside shareholder at Sears Holdings Corp., is leaving the retailer’s board, a move that sent the stock tumbling on Monday via Denver Post. Read more


(Sam’s CEO) Furner said when fuel and tobacco are taken out of the basket, 95% of Sam’s Club purchases look as if they are being bought for the household by Kim Souza at Talk Business. Read more


Enjoy That Cup of Coffee! Your Total Comes to $55 by Charles Passy at Wall Street Journal. “Many Americans have long moved past the ho-hum cup—first embracing the higher-end brews offered by Starbucks and now enjoying what is called the “third wave” in coffee, with emphasis on farm-to-table sourcing and alternative brew methods.” Read more (subs.)


eBay takes on The RealReal and other fashion resellers with launch of authentication program by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “Initially, the service will focus on luxury handbags and wallets across 12 high-end brands, including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, Prada, Burberry, Dior, Fendi, Balenciaga, Goyard, Celine and Valentino.” Read more


(Some) Seattle politicians seek to renew relationship with Amazon in mea culpa letter to Jeff Bezos by Monica Nickelsburg at GeekWire. “Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s name is conspicuously absent from the letter; she has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of Amazon’s effect on Seattle…Councilmembers Kirsten Harris-Talley, Debora Juarez, and Mike O’Brien also did not sign the letter.” Read more


Wayfair is betting cheap delivery will push the online retailer past furniture giants by Julie Creswell at NY Times via CNBC. “But the big question hovering over Wayfair is whether the company can ever make money by delivering bulk furniture virtually for free. The company is expected to lose nearly $200 million this year and has been a favorite of short sellers, betting that the company’s stock price will fall.” Read more


Loblaws to cut 500 jobs by Francine Kopun at Toronto Star. “The cuts are being made in corporate offices and include executives, members of management and employees across divisions and functions that support Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart and other retail stores, including No Frills, Joe Fresh and Zehrs.” Read more


How Google’s Quantum Computer Could Change the World by Jack Nicas at Wall Street Journal. “Early next year, Google’s quantum computer will face its acid test in the form of an obscure computational problem that would take a classical computer billions of years to complete. Success would mark “quantum supremacy,” the tipping point where a quantum computer accomplishes something previously impossible.” Read more (subs.)


Indiegogo, the nine-year-old, crowdfunding site, is now an e-tailer too by Connie Loizos at TechCrunch. “(Startups) can now sell what they make once their goods are in production. In what seems a bigger twist, the San Francisco-based company will also now sell other items, too, opening its new platform — called simply “Indiegogo Marketplace” — to goods that were successfully crowdfunded elsewhere.” Read more


Harris Teeter emphasizes food safety after feces incident in store by Katherine Peralta at Charlotee Observer. “Several departments of a Harris Teeter store in Charleston reopened Monday, after officials say a disgruntled former employee on Sunday sprayed what is believed to be feces on fresh produce.” Read more


Ford, Sam’s Club And TrueCar Team Up Press release


Tens of thousands wait in line for 10+ hours for post-Irma food stamps by Monique O. Madan & Carli Teprof at Miami Herald. “Figueroa was among tens of thousands of people — 50,000 people showed up at just Tropical Park alone — over the last few days who camped out in snarling lines, braved the heat and in some cases, left empty-handed, after state officials closed food assistance centers…“It was crazy,” he said. “It was so poorly organized. Maybe they didn’t expect so many people to show up and things went out of hand.” Read more


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