Tipsheet: Apple Store Makeover | Target Remodels @ Dallas | J. Crew Cuts 250 |


Costco to Return $3.1 Billion to Investors With Special Dividend by Matthew Boyle at Bloomberg. “The $7-a-share distribution will be funded primarily from additional borrowings, the company said on Tuesday.” Read more


Apple stores set for global makeover, addition of new educational programming by Nat Levy at GeekWire. “Changes at stores will include new screens, trees and other landscaping and spaces set aside for meetings and classes. The famous Genius Bar is getting a makeover as well. It will be called Genius Grove, and it will have staffers specializing in things like music and photography.” Read more


…Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s SVP of retail, appeared on CBS This Morning Tuesday and outlined the changes Video/Read more


PRIME +38% – Amazon Prime Now Has 80 Million Members by Leena Rao at Fortune. “…has doubled in size over the past two years…according to new data released Tuesday by research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. That number is up 38% from last year, when the firm estimated that Amazon had 58 million Prime members.” Read more


TARGET REMODELS – See inside the $220M in remodels in Dallas by Korri Kezar at Dallas Business Journal. “Among the new features to be unveiled in Target’s local stores are better displays in its apparel, home and beauty departments; grocery improvements like new fixtures, floors and lighting, as well as presenting products together as meal options.” Read more/Pics


RITE AID REPORTS – Same store sales for Q4 decreased 3.0% over the prior year, consisting of a 4.3% decrease in pharmacy sales and a 0.3% decrease in front-end sales Press release


SUPERVALU REPORTS – Q4 Wholesale net sales were $1.79 billion…an increase of 3.0 percent…Q4 Retail net sales were $1.07 billion…a decrease of 3.2 percent. The net sales decrease reflects negative identical store sales of 5.8 percent.” Press release


Median age of Walmart’s board of directors falls below 55 – Marissa Mayer paid $266,808 by Kim Souza at The City Wire. See Board salaries/Read more


Q&A: Ex-Walgreens CEO launches start-up tech venture by Nathan Bomey at USA Today. Q&A


TOO CHEAP BEER – Beer at Target’s Fenway store was too cheap, state says by Dan Adams at Boston Globe. “A Target spokeswoman suggested the low price was an unintentional error and said the company’s stores “work to comply with all state guidelines on liquor pricing.” Read more


**A message from Lock-it Block-it – Get rid of the window stick! It’s time to retire the ugly wooden sticks sitting in window tracks around the world. They fall out, require measuring and cutting and don’t adjust up or down. The Lock-it Block-it is a high-impact security bar that allows windows to stay open AND secure at the same time. 13 adjustment holes allow for inch-by-inch opening adjustments. Great for sliding doors/windows too! Video | Sell Sheet | Retailers request samples:


J.Crew to cut 250 jobs in reorg by Katie Little at CNBC. “As part of the reorganization, J.Crew COO and CFO Michael Nicholson will take on additional responsibility in planning and allocation, merchandising, marketing and design functions. Meanwhile, J.Crew named Lisa Greenwald, who will become the Chief Merchandising Officer, a position that reports to Nicholson.” Read more


Metro Inc’s surging profit beats expectations as cost controls pay off by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “Revenue nudged up 0.7 per cent to $2.9-billion…Same-store sales…rose 0.3 per cent.” Read more | Press release


PRIORITIES – Hobby Lobby CEO: Won’t See A Penny of $4.6 Billion Dollar Biz by Julia Limitone at Fox Business. “We see the business as a tree that’s owned by God and we get the fruits, so we see ourselves only as the stewards. So, we’ve all signed off that we will not get one penny from the asset or the value of the tree,” he said, adding that income generated is “ploughed back in to grow the company.” Video/Read more


Amazon Expands Prime Free One-Day Delivery to Calgary and Edmonton Press release


FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS – Busted electric car charging stations at Whole Foods causing outrage by Max Jaeger & Jennifer Bain at NY Post. “It shouldn’t take an A-lister’s outrage to get the stations fixed, said one shopper. “It is annoying that these are broken. Especially when you come spend your paycheck here,” sniffed Angel Jimenez, 31. “Come on guys.” Read more


SAD TUNE – Will Guitar Center be overwhelmed by its debt? by Ciarra Linnane at MarketWatch. Read more


Boston Dynamics has been using its robot ‘dog’ to deliver packages in Boston by April Glaser at Recode. “We’ve been taking our robot to our employees’ homes to see whether we could get in the various access ways,” said Raibert onstage at TED. “We’re doing very well — about 70 percent of the way.” Read more


You’re more likely to buy from your phone when you’re commuting by Anindya Ghose at Recode. “Because crowding is often associated with negative emotions such as anxiety and risk-avoidance, the findings reveal a positive aspect of crowding: Mobile ads can be a welcome relief in a crowded subway environment.” Read more


DANGEROUS DELIVERY – Water a rare commodity in Mexico City by Yussel Gonzalez at Yahoo. “Emilio Santos explained his dangerous job as he made his (water) deliveries. Sometimes, when a neighborhood has gone days without water, “people climb up on the truck with sticks and stones” to force him to deliver to their street first, he said. In some cases, such attackers have carried guns. Police now escort trucks along the most dangerous routes.” Read more


Albertsons Appoints Geoff White President, Own Brands Press release


Mushroom supplier registers company name ‘Aldi Home Deliveries’ at The Sydney Morning Herald. “David Collins admits it was cheeky to register the name without the German discount supermarket’s permission. But the CEO and owner of Country Fresh Mushrooms, and self-described “master of exotic mushrooms”, said he wanted to strike a deal with Aldi to do its home deliveries.” Read more


‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ Sets Release Date of May 24, 2019 – Disney pushes back the release of the next ‘Indiana Jones’ a year to make room for ‘The Lion King,’ while ‘Frozen 2’ will hit theaters in November 2019 at Hollywood Reporter. Read more


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