Tipsheet: B.Buy’s 5 Outlets | Lowe’s No to Merger | Wmart Readies Blockchain | Velvet Hot


Angry Amazon pilots say short-staffing may cause last-minute holiday deliveries to be late by Nat Levy at GeekWire. “The pilots say they are paid less, work longer hours and have less rest between flights than pilots who fly for other carriers like UPS or FedEx. That is driving down morale and causing many pilots from Prime Air-contracted airlines to look for other jobs.” Read more


Four Home Depot employees in shock after their attempt to stop shoplifter gets them fired by Jessa Schroeder at New York Daily News. “Ippolito, who had only been working at Home Depot for about a year, said there was more to the incident than just stealing. “To me, it wasn’t about pursuing a shoplifter. I saw a guy crashing a cart into one of the cashiers and I was responding to her aid. Then he looked like he was going to attack Joe … He started dropping all the merchandise, and then he ran away,” he said.” Read more


Cabela’s acquisition leaves Sidney ‘on edge,’ but some hold on to hope that town can survive by Paige Yowell at Omaha World-Herald. “It’s already, as far as downsizing, affected the town, clear down to our kids. Their friends have had to move,” she said. “We have a lot of houses for sale, and no one is buying.” Read more


A $260 billion ‘ticking time bomb’: The costly business of retail returns by Courtney Reagan at CNBC. “Americans returned $260 billion in merchandise to retailers last year, or 8 percent of all purchases, according to the National Retail Federation. That swells to 10 percent around the holiday season. Because less than half of returned goods are re-sold at full price, retailers may end up forfeiting 10 percent of their sales at the busiest time of year, according to Gartner Research.” Read more


Wal-Mart Readies Blockchain Pilot for Tracking U.S Produce, China Pork by Kim S. Nash at Wall Street Journal. “Wal-Mart has also expanded the scope of the test beyond its Chinese pork business to a segment of the produce business in the U.S. The project, announced in October, is viewed as a major test of blockchain distributed ledgers outside the financial services industry, where the technology has received the most attention.” Read more (subscription)


Velvet is flying off the shelves at Neiman Marcus by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “This fall we had amazing success with velvet,” said Chief Executive Karen Katz on an investor call. “It was all over the shoe, bag department. We didn’t have enough velvet shoes and bags.” Read more


Best Buy bought into the outlet concept and has opened five stores by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “Best Buy is focusing on these five stores for now, said Shane Kitzman, spokesman for the Minnesota-based retailer, and not planning more locations…Some were returned for scratch and dents and all still have the manufacturer’s warranty, he said. Prices will be up to 50 percent off.” Read more


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Home Depot is Matt Ferguson’s opera house by C.J. at Star Tribune. “Q: Do you see any impact on refrigerator sales as a result of your singing? A: I kind of do. When I am not working with a customer I’m just standing around or tasking, cleaning the appliances, I’m singing. What that will do a lot of times is bring someone over to me. They ask me questions. They give requests; I usually don’t know the songs. It starts the conversation, so it does help.” Read the Q&A


Wegmans ‘unlikely’ to have urban store in Boston’s Fenway anytime soon by Catherine Carlock at Boston Business Journal. “The Business Journal reported last year that (Wegmans) was committed to a 75,000-square-foot location in the “food hall” of the historic Landmark Center.” Read more


UPS Is Delivering Packages by Tricycle and of Course It’s in Portland by Mahita Gajanan at Fortune. “UPS launched a similar electronic tricycle delivery program in Hamburg, Germany in 2012, and tested the same system in Switzerland in 2015. Portland is the first city in the U.S. to test the program.” Pics/Read more


J.C. Penney bucks a retailer advertising trend this holiday season by Zak Stambor at Internet Retailer. “J.C. Penney spent 5% more on TV, radio, newspaper and digital display ads from Nov. 21-Dec. 11 than it did a year earlier, making it the only large retailer that increased its ad spending. Even Amazon decreased its spending 1%.” Read more


P&G broadens lawsuit against Dollar Shave Club to add other companies by Barrett J. Brunsman at Cincinnati Business Courier. “The amended complaint states that Dorco has distributed shaving products that P&G claims infringe on its patents through Pace Shave Inc. and Dollar Shave Club as well as Costco, Sam’s Club, K-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walgreens, Family Dollar, Dollar General and Dorco USA Inc.” Read more


LOWE’S SAYS NO – Sherwin-Williams chief holding out for Trump in Valspar deal by Josh Kosman at NY Post. “The FTC, under current Chair Edith Ramirez, who is expected to be replaced on Jan. 20, has in the past two weeks taken the unusual step of asking Lowe’s, Valspar’s biggest customer, to offer its view on the deal, sources said. In fact, the FTC said it would issue a subpoena to get a response if Lowe’s didn’t comply, sources said. Lowe’s, which represents about 20 percent of Valspar’s sales — and promotes only Sherwin and Valspar — responded and told the FTC it does not want to see the merger, sources said.” Read more


Hundreds arrested in Venezuela cash chaos, vigilantes protect shops via CNBC. “The worst looting was on Friday and Saturday, especially in El Callao and Ciudad Bolivar in the southern state of Bolivar, and police have used teargas to control crowds in some places. Chinese-run shops have been particularly targeted, witnesses say, and a 14-year-old boy was shot dead in El Callao on Friday.” Read more


Moment a delivery driver is caught on camera abandoning an Amazon package at Daily Mail. Read more


Canadian Tire to receive tens of thousands in tax refunds by Jeff Walters at CBC News. “Canadian Tire reached a Memorandum of Understanding with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), meaning the values of the stores will be reduced.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

USC is building a dining hall that makes you think you’re at Hogwarts (and includes a Trader Joe’s)

Manager shot with BB gun at Sacramento Walgreens

Benjamin Moore tried to ‘quash’ probe into water near its plant: suit

At least 33 die in Russian city from alcohol poisoning

60% of consumers want Amazon to open stores

‘I have a gun come find me,’ Target employee allegedly threatens in note

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


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