Tipsheet: Cornell Lobbies DC | Wmart Rejects Car Sales Report | Costco Win Slave Labor Suit | Roz @ Starbucks Board | B.Rep. Pres. Out


Banana Republic’s president is out as the Gap brand struggles to find footing by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “Andi Owen, global brand president of the wear-to-work brand, will exit the company in late February, after 25 years at Gap. CEO Art Peck will oversee the Banana Republic brand until a successor is named.” Read more | Press release


Target plans to introduce its own smartphone payment service in stores later this year by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Target plans to introduce mobile payment features to one or more of its own apps, the retailer’s Chief Information and Digital Officer Michael McNamara told Recode last week at a National Retail Federation conference in New York City. It’s not clear if Target will add the payment feature to its main Target app, its popular Cartwheel coupon app or both.” Read more


Costco Defeats Lawsuit Over Shrimp Linked to Thai Slave Labor by Joel Rosenblatt at Bloomberg. “A San Francisco federal judge threw out the case Tuesday, finding that the consumers who filed it failed to allege the company had a duty to disclose the information about labor abuses in its supply chain.” Read more cuts 200 from its California operations by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday (Jan. 24), Lore said, “We’re making changes on the inside so our customers can experience the benefits on the outside. Within the U.S. eCommerce team, we’re approaching this in a number of ways.” Read more | WSJ article (subs.)


Target Goes to Capitol Hill As Retailers Fret Over Trump’s Border Tax by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “Target CEO Brian Cornell recently visited lawmakers in Washington to lobby against the House Republican proposal. The visit by Cornell, first reported by Politico, was confirmed by a Target spokeswoman, who said the retailer was “monitoring closely” the potential impact of any legislation along those lines.” Read more


…Brian Cornell, on the Hill recently to lobby against the House GOP’s border-adjustment proposal, had every intention of skipping out on meeting Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), Pro Tax’s Brian Faler reports. Paulsen’s not just an increasingly senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee — he’s also roommates with Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), represents the same area of Minnesota where Target is based, received more donations from Target than anyone else … and, yes, was even employed there once. The two eventually chanced upon each other, but Cornell’s best-laid plan shows just how intense things are getting over the proposal.” by Bernie Becker at Politico. Read more


J.C. Penney hires head of its Bangalore tech center by Korri Kezar at Dallas Business Journal. “…appointed Snehil Gambhir to vice president and managing director of its global in-house center, which opened in August.” Read more


Amazon launches a subscription service for STEM toys by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “Amazon today unveiled a new subscription program aimed at parents called STEM Club, which delivers educational toys to your home for $19.99 per month.” Read more


PayPal users can now deposit cash at any 7-Eleven by Danny Parisi at Mobile Commerce Daily. Read more


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The Limited shutters its online operations by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. Read more


Wal-Mart rejects report that it will expand car-sales program by Marc Ramirez at Dallas Morning News. “A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokesperson said Tuesday that although Car Saver is a tenant in a Stuart, Fla., store, the company as yet has no plans to expand beyond that location. The Automotive News story said CarSaver is partnering with dealers in Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona to begin selling vehicles at various Wal-Mart Supercenters in the four markets on April 1.” Read more


Metro Inc makes modest first-quarter gains amid food price deflation by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “Sales rose to $2.97 million, a 0.3 per cent rise…Same-store sales nudged up 0.7 per cent.” Read more


…Metro grocery stores may drop Air Miles over backlash via Toronto Star. Read more


Kroger Announces Retirement of Joe Fey, Names Jerry Clontz President of Mid-Atlantic Division Press release


Panel to discuss possible effects of Costco’s proposed Fremont-area chicken plant on water quality by Barbara Soderlin at Omaha World-Herald. “Opponents of Costco’s proposed Fremont-area chicken operation are taking their concerns downstream. They say the project will foul sources of drinking water in Omaha and Lincoln with nitrates and other pollutants from chicken manure runoff.” Read more


Starbucks Nominates Rosalind Brewer to its Board of Directors Press release


Walgreens-Rite Aid Clock Runs Down With No Extension Set by Robert Langreth at Bloomberg. “Extending the deadline “is a matter for the boards,” Pessina said Tuesday in a meeting at Bloomberg’s New York office. “I cannot anticipate what they will do.” Read more


…Walgreens, Rite Aid to go on with merger if not approved by end of week by Josh Kosman at NY Post. Read more


Retailers Chasing Fast Fashion Stumble Under Heavy Buyout Debts by Emma Orr & Lauren Coleman-Lochner at Bloomberg. “Moody’s Investors Service lists 18 retail and apparel names as “very high credit risk.” That’s “the highest number I can remember since certainly the recession, and I don’t recall us getting to that level even then,” said Moody’s analyst Charles O’Shea.” Read more


Actually, it’s Generation X that spends the most time on social media by Polly Mosendz at Bloomberg. “Asked how many hours a week they spend on these networks, 35- to 49-year-olds averaged six hours and 58 minutes. Millennials, defined by the study as those aged 18 to 34, spent 39 fewer minutes per week.” Read more


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