Tipsheet: Cornell Done Chasing Shiny Pennies | WM TM Fight | Unilever CEO Loses Cool


CVS reportedly close to acquiring Aetna in $66B deal by Jessica Bartlett at Boston Business Journal. “The deal would likely be valued between $200 and $205 a share for Aetna, a premium of more than 25 percent, the Journal said.” Read more | WSJ article (subs.)


Amazon is in exploratory talks with generic-drug makers by Meg Tirrell & Christina Farr at CNBC. “The conversations, including with generics giants Mylan and Sandoz, a unit of Novartis, have been high-level, and the nature of Amazon’s plans isn’t yet clear, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions aren’t public.” Read more


DON’T CHASE THE SHINY PENNY – Target’s CEO just revealed a key part of the company’s future by Hayley Peterson at Business Insider. “Brian Cornell: “To do things at scale, they have to have broad-based applications. Otherwise they are nice little experiments that distract the organization and distract resources that really need to be reapplied to the core enterprise.” Read more


Ulta Q3 Comp Sales +10.3% “Retail comparable sales increased 6.6%, including salon comparable sales growth of 3.8%…E-commerce sales grew 62.9%.” Press release | Call transcript


Big Lots Q3 Comp Sales +1.0% Press release


Five Below Q3 Comp Sales +8.5% “The Company opened 41 new stores (Q3) and ended the quarter with 625 stores in 32 states…an increase in stores of 20.9% from the end of the Q3 fiscal 2016.” Press release


Walmart Fights Denial Of ‘Investing In American Jobs’ TM by Kyle Jahner at Law 360. “Walmart told a panel of skeptical Trademark Trial and Appeal Board judges it should allow the company to register the trademark “Investing in American Jobs”…The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office argued that Walmart had presented no evidence, such as a consumer survey, that suggested consumers could source the phrase to Walmart or even that Walmart used it separately from the Walmart brand itself.” Read more (subs.)


Houston Costco reopens after 96-day restoration process by Melanie Feuk at Houston Chronicle. “We gutted everything from eight feet, below,” said Bruce Marteney, general manager. “We took everything down. The water was up to four feet, but we took that extra four feet. Everything in the place was thrown away.” Read more


**A message from Black Flag® – We take no prisoners. In the battle against indoor and outdoor pests, it’s every man for himself. Arm yourself with Black Flag insect and rodent controls. Whether you’re battling crawling, flying or stinging insects or fending off mice, when the flag flies, pests die. Let it Fly. Facebook page


Publishers team with retailers on holiday pop-up shops by Max Willens at Digiday. “On Dec. 1, beauty site Byrdie will open the Byrdie Beauty Lab…where people can buy beauty products Byrdie created with Nordstrom. A few blocks away, Domino will open up a 3,000-square-foot pop-up shop in SoHo with Home Depot…On Dec. 9, PopSugar will open Deck the Hauls, an Old Navy-supported installation.” Read more


Blue Apron replaces CEO with Under Armour exec by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “The company priced its June IPO at $10 a share but has seen its stock price fall to just $3 after disclosing operational problems at a new warehouse that led to marketing cuts, disappointing revenue forecasts and staff layoffs.” Read more | Press release


Target’s online growth during Black Friday week eclipsed that of Amazon, research firm says by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “The firm said Target’s online sales grew an “astonishing” 44 percent compared to the same shopping period last year… Other retailers that also posted big online sales growth during that timeframe included Best Buy, Apple, Walmart, and yes, Amazon, at between 19 and 25 percent.” Read more (tiered subs.)


The FDA Approves the First EKG Reader for Apple Watch by Emily Price at Fortune. “The idea is that KardiBand can detect when your heart is behaving in an unusual way for you and can alert health care professionals.” Read more


PetSmart Opens its 1,600th Store in North America at Pet Age. Read more


In Rwanda, Drones Deliver Medical Supplies to Remote Areas by Robert Lee Hotz at Wall Street Journal. “By flight volume, they are operating one of the busiest airlines in Africa,” says Zipline spokesman Justin Hamilton.” Read more (subs.)


Unilever CEO Loses His Cool With Analyst at Investor Event by Thomas Buckley at Bloomberg. “You’ve been telling us the margins were low for the first five years, and I’ve been telling you we have made investments to be able to get this company back on track and where it belongs to be,” Polman said. “Here you are all saying ‘I want shareholder value, I want to drive it,’ and you’re pissing it away by not even asking us to give it. To me, that’s incomprehensible.” Read more


Schwan’s Co., maker of frozen foods like Tony’s pizza and Mrs. Smith’s pies, has hired an investment bank to weigh options that include a potential sale at CNBC. Read more


Forever 21 bathroom videos ended up on porn sites: lawsuit by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “A former worker at the teen apparel chain alleges she was caught “urinating and in various stages of undress and exposing her private parts” by a hidden camera installed in the toilet— only to discover later that the filthy footage had been distributed on “multiple” porn sites, the suit alleges.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Walmart yanks shirt threatening to kill journalists

Medical marijuana users ‘have 30 days’ to turn in their guns, police say

The Unlikely Strategy Behind Buffett’s Investments in Encyclopedias

UPS Ditches Signatures for Business Drop-Offs

Kroger says ‘high’ interest in convenience stores

Farmers Business Network just raked in a whopping $110 million in funding

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