Tipsheet: Amazon Buy Target? | Kroger/Ace Partner? | Poop Toys Hot | Organic Milk Oversupply


Amazon Will Buy Target This Year, Loup’s Gene Munster Predicts by Beth Mellor at Bloomberg. “Target is the ideal offline partner for Amazon for two reasons, shared demographic and manageable but comprehensive store count,” Munster wrote…Market-share numbers suggest a deal would be approved by regulators, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. would still have a larger share than an Amazon-Target combination, Munster said. He estimated a take-out valuation of $41 billion, or a 15 percent premium to Target’s current value.” Read more


First recreational marijuana shops open in California by Lisa Krieger at Mercury News. “California is now the sixth state in the nation to allow recreational cannabis sales, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada. The marijuana market — the largest cannabis one in the country — is expected to grow to $7 billion annually by 2020.” Read more/Video


Kroger is considering a partnership with Ace Hardware by Cathaleen Chen at The Street. “Under the partnership, Ace would have a presence within Kroger stores as a “store-inside-a-store,” according to a source familiar with the discussion. Kroger, which operates 2,800 stores, could not be immediately reached for comment. Ace CEO John Venhuizen declined to comment.” Read more


Claire’s pulls makeup popular with girls amid asbestos allegations at CNBC. “A report last Friday from WJAR-TV in Rhode Island cited Kristi Warner, who mailed her daughter’s glitter makeup kit to a lab, which said it contained tremolite asbestos, a toxic, cancer-causing material.” Read more


WE’RE NUMBER THREE – QVC parent Liberty Interactive completes $2.1B deal for HSN by Mark Harden at Denver Business Journal. “The acquisition creates the third-largest e-commerce company in the U.S., behind only Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.” Read more


Home Depot, Amazon may go head-to-head over shipping giant XPO by Annie Palmer at The Street. “Both Home Depot and Amazon work with XPO to deliver large appliances and furniture like refrigerators, stoves and couches.” Read more


Dairy Producers, Farmers Struggle With Organic-Milk Oversupply by Heather Haddon & Benjamin Parkin at Wall Street Journal. “It’s reached a market saturation,” said Evan Rainwater, senior vice president for manufacturing at supermarket chain Albertsons Cos. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other big chains made the product available so widely so quickly, that organic milk became less of a specialty item, Mr. Rainwater said.” Read more (subs.)


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Target Pulls Cards Against Humanity Expansion Pack After Controversy by Emily Price at Fortune. “The almost always off-color cards recently went a bit too far for some players with its “Chosen People Pack,” an expansion pack for the original game with some cards that seem to make light of the Holocaust. For instance, one of the cards reads “Torturing Jews until they say they’re not Jews anymore,” Business Insider reports.” Read more


More than 5 Billion Items Shipped with Prime in 2017 Press release


Restoration Hardware CEO buys back nearly half of the company’s shares by Riley McDermid at San Francisco Business Journal. “They are using their last available dollars to buy back their least valuable security,” David Tawil, president of Maglan Capital, a hedge fund that is betting against RH, told the Journal.” Read more | WSJ article (subs.)


Yeti sues Walmart — again — for allegedly selling knockoff products by Will Anderson at Austin Business Journal. “The products include 20- and 30-ounce Rambler cups as well as a Koozie that keeps canned drinks insulated. Go here to download a copy of the suit.” Read more


Amazon Can’t Target People Unable To Spell ‘Birkenstock’: Judge via HuffPo. “A German court has ordered Amazon not to lure internet shoppers to its online marketplace when they mistakenly search for “Brikenstock”, “Birkenstok”, “Bierkenstock” and other variations in Google.” Read more


Forever 21 confirms credit card breach involving malware by I-Chun Chen via Chicago Business Journal. “Forever 21 said encryption was off and malware was installed on some devices in some U.S. stores at varying times from April 3 to Nov. 18.” Read more


Trump: U.S. Postal Service is making Amazon richer, should be charging tech giant ‘MUCH MORE!’ by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. Read more


Consumers dropped $200 million on apps on Christmas, up 12 percent from last year by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “The revenue generated by the non-game category comes in large part from streaming apps – like Netflix and HBO NOW. Consumers in 2017 spent a whopping 98 percent more on Entertainment apps versus the same time last year, says Sensor Tower.” Read more


53 chain drugstore locations — nearly 10 percent of the total — closed in New York City this year by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. Read more


The Limits of Amazon by Christopher Mims at Wall Street Journal. “There is one major problem with the idea that Amazon will eat the entire universe, however. Amazon is good at identifying commodity products and making those as cheap and available as possible. “Your margin is my opportunity” is one of Chief Executive Jeff Bezos’s best-known bon mots. But this system isn’t very compatible with big-ticket, higher-margin items.” Read more (subs.)


REI’s debuts “adventure concierge” service at Copper Mountain by John Meyer at Denver Post. “It is staffed daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. by REI personnel who offer information about recreational opportunities in the area…“We have this in a few of our flagship store locations, and it’s meant to be kind of an adventure concierge,” said Jason Lane, who is REI’s outdoor programs manager.” Read more


Oriental Trading CEO who turned company into profitable part of Berkshire dies at 56 by Steve Jordon at Omaha World-Herald. Read more


Inside the HQ of Instant Pot by Kevin Roose at New York Times via Financial Post. “What I found was a remarkable example of a new breed of 21st-century startup — a homegrown hardware business with only about 50 employees, which raised no venture capital funding, spent almost nothing on advertising, and achieved enormous size primarily through online word-of-mouth.” Read more


Shipt won’t move team to Minneapolis as it joins Target at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. “A lot of big companies can buy smaller startups and break them, and Target’s been very deliberate about making sure we do our thing our way,” says Shipt founder Bill Smith.” Subscription


Why poop toys for kids are flying off the shelves by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “I’m calling 2018 the year of the poop collectible,” says Jim Silver, president of TTPM, a toy review website. “There are a lot of very big companies betting on this.” This week, some 36 characters from a two month-old YouTube show called “Poopeez” will be hitting stores. Among them are “Skid Mark,” a skateboarding turd; “Lil’ Squirt,” a diminutive drop of urine; and “Toot Fairy”. Read more


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