Staples offers $2.1 billion cash to buy Office Depot parent at Reuters. “The two companies agreed to merge in 1996, but the deal was put to rest as a government lawsuit argued the move would have meant higher prices for pens, paper and other office supplies.” Read more
Lululemon forecasts fourth-quarter earnings and sales at the top end of outlook thanks to strong holidays at CNBC. Read more
Amazon Pantry is being discontinued as Amazon consolidates its grocery delivery services at The Verge. “…instead rolling those household goods and shelf-stable pantry items into the main Amazon website where they can be ordered alongside the rest of Amazon’s products.” Read more
GameStop signs deal with investor, refreshes board to focus on e-commerce at Reuters. “GameStop Corp signed an agreement with investor Ryan Cohen’s RC Ventures LLC on Monday, appointing the Chewy.com founder and two other e-commerce veterans to its board as the ailing videogame retailer doubles down on digital sales.” Read more
Amazon, Walmart Tell Consumers to Skip Returns of Unwanted Items at Fox Business. “The relatively new approach, popularized by Amazon and a few other chains, is being adopted more broadly during the Covid-19 pandemic, as a surge in online shopping forces companies to rethink how they handle returns. “We are getting so many inquiries about this that you will see it take off in coming months,” said Amit Sharma, chief executive of Narvar Inc., which processes returns for retailers.” Read more | WSJ subs.
With grocery store access limited during the pandemic, drone delivery offers a high-tech boost to business at Fortune. “Manna’s biggest partner is grocery giant Tesco, but the drone delivery option has turned out to be a boon for local businesses, from mom and pop coffee shops to bookstores, as they fight to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic. Manna makes its money by charging customers a couple of euros, which is the same as road-based delivery services. Retailers don’t pay a penny to use it.” Read more
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Amazon tops dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index at Store Brands. “The top 14 retailers ranked in order are: Amazon, H-E-B, Trader Joe’s, Wegman’s, Aldi, Albertsons’ Market Basket, Sam’s Club, Costco, Publix, Target, Fresh Thyme, ShopRite, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Walmart. The only new retailer to make the top 14 was Target, replacing Winco Foods.” Read more
The Tiny Satellites That Will Connect Cows, Cars and Shipping Containers to the Internet at Wall Street Journal. “In the near future, it isn’t unreasonable to imagine this evolving satellite technology could put a distress beacon in every automobile, allow remote monitoring of wildlife in any environment on earth, and track your Amazon shipment—not just when it’s on a truck, but backward, all the way to the factory that produced it.” WSJ subs.
Grocers Step In to Speed Up Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout at Wall Street Journal. “The executives of Kroger and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc…expressed frustration over what they said was a slower-than-necessary rollout because of holdups at the state and federal levels. Kroger is also exploring ways to hold large events in community centers and stadiums that would allow it to vaccinate 600 to 800 people at a time, Ms. Lindholz said.” WSJ subs.
Ben & Jerry’s enters the pet food business with frozen dog treats at AP News. “The treats come in two flavors: pumpkin with cookies and peanut butter with pretzels. Both are made with a base of sunflower butter.” Read more
How CEO Kenneth McGrath is turning Save A Lot around at KSDK 5. “McGrath grew up in Cork, Ireland, the son of entrepreneur parents who owned construction companies, a bicycle company, a taxi provider and a bus company. “I can identify with business owners, because I grew up at that table,” McGrath said. “I was serving customers from a very young age.” Read more
More virus-zapping robots are coming, and they’ll stick around at The Washington Post via SF Chron. “Sales of cleaning robots are projected to swell from $341 million in 2019 to more than $2.3 billion by 2025, according to a market advisory firm Mordor Intelligence.” Read more
Patagonia has had enormous success with upcycled clothing. Could others follow?
Why Chamberlain built a $3,000 automatic garage door for your dog
Hyundai says it’s in talks with Apple amid electric car buzz
Major cement firm inks $3.4B deal to focus on solar, green roofs
Economic recovery uneven: US Chamber of Commerce
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