Tipsheet: Chicago Prepares for Protests | Costco +7.2% | Lowe’s Interim CFO

Costco Q4 comp sales (ex gas & f/x) +7.2% “Net sales for the 16-week fourth quarter were $43.4 billion, an increase of 5.0 percent from $41.4 billion in the 17-week fourth quarter last year.” Press release


…Costco Falls After Reporting Problem With IT Systems in Results by Matthew Boyle at Bloomberg. “Costco’s information-technology problem, which roiled its bookkeeping and sent the stock tumbling on Thursday, was tied to workers getting access to financial data after they should have been cut off. While a company official was cryptic on their call with analysts, Costco later said that it has hired outside experts to check for any signs of meddling.” Tiered subs.


Mattress Firm files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at CNBC. Read more


Chicago retailers brace for potential protests as jury deliberates in Officer Jason Van Dyke’s murder trial by Ryan Ori & Ally Marotti at Chicago Tribune. “The Magnificent Mile Association sent an email out to its roughly 700 members Wednesday…The police bulletin urged readers to secure items that can cause damage, like patio chairs, tables and trash containers, and make sure doors are locking as expected.” Tiered subs.


Lowe’s shares fall after naming interim CFO by Sue Chang at MarketWatch. “…(Lowe’s) has appointed Tiffany Mason as interim chief financial officer, effective Oct. 5. She will hold the position until David Denton, who was named CFO in late August, joins the company.” Read more


Bernie goes easy on Bezos for slashing stock options at Fox Business. “Our understanding is that the vast majority of Amazon workers are going to see wage increases, including some very significant increases as the minimum wage goes up to $15 an hour,” Sanders said in a statement to FOX Business.” Read more


…Next Stop – McDonalds! at CNN Business. “If McDonald’s raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour and respected the constitutional rights of your workers to form a union, it would set an example for the entire fast food industry to follow,” Sanders wrote in a letter addressed to (CEO Steve) Easterbrook.” Read more


One month in, Petco has 2,000 subscribers to its pet advice service by Ilyse Liffreing at Digiday. “It’s a learning platform for us to understand how pet parents want to engage with a partner, not just a retailer,” said (Tariq) Hassan. Right now, the only PetCoach store is in San Marcus and has three vets on staff,  but Hassan said Petco has plans to build out and test more locations. The online site receives 2.5 million visitors a month and has 100 vets available online.” Read more


Target is back to its ‘cheap chic’ roots, but the retailer has to keep the momentum going by Lauren Thomas at CNBC. “Nestled inside Target’s Minneapolis headquarters, racks of unfinished clothes line the walls. In another area, sketches and splotches of color are hung up for inspiration. Walk down the hallway, and it looks like you’ve arrived at an HGTV set…About 550 employees work together to bring roughly 40 private labels…to life.” Read more


Walmart is testing a new floor-scrubbing robot in 78 stores by Hayley Peterson at Business Insider. “The robot scrubs store floors, taking over a job that previously took Walmart employees about two hours daily to complete, the company said in a blog post. Walmart will soon deploy the robot, dubbed Auto-C, to more than 360 US stores.” Read more


Gap Appoints Three New Members to Its Board “Amy Bohutinsky, COO of Zillow Group Inc., John Fisher, Co-Founder and General Partner of Sansome Partners, and Lexi Reese, COO of Gusto.” Press release


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Postmates Unlimited lowers min order size for free delivery from $20 to $15 at TechCrunch. Read more


Online Orders Force Supermarkets to Rethink Their Stores by Heather Haddon at Wall Street Journal. “Smart & Final Inc. has made some changes lately that would seem like near-heresy for a supermarket: …(removing) racks of snacks and other profitable impulse purchases near the doors of some stores and instead installed freezers there…The freezers will serve as pickup points for customers who order their groceries online and may never go any farther into the store.” WSJ subs.


Square launches a new service that will allow its small business sellers to offer financing to their customers at TechCrunch. Read more


BuzzFeed is opening a quirky toy store in NYC this fall by Lori Weiss at NY Post. “The project is being advised by New York branding guru Rachel Shechtman. That’s despite the fact that Shechtman founded Story, a trendy store at 144 Tenth Ave. in Chelsea’s High Line District that follows a similar strategy, albeit catering to teens and millennials with a rotating assortment of stylish accessories. Story was acquired in May by Macy’s. Read more


The best times for retail brands to post on social media by Rachael Samuels at Internet Retailer. “Facebook: Thursday at 2 p.m. and Friday at 11 a.m…Instagram: Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m…Twitter: Saturday at 1 p.m.” Read more


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