CORNELL CONGRATS – Target’s Brian Cornell is the top CEO of 2019 at CNN. “Cornell: To understand how we got here, you need to start back in February 2017 at Target’s Financial Community Meeting. We laid out a strategy and significant investment that put stores at the center of everything we do for our guests…The decision was not well-received at the time. The ‘retail-is-dead’ narrative was in full effect, and we were making one of the largest investments in our history.” Q&A
CBS News tests toys purchased from third-party sellers at Amazon at CBS This Morning. “Small magnets — if they’re swallowed — they can really just cause a lot of problems in a child’s digestive system,” said Rebecca Mond with The Toy Association…A 4-year-old Wisconsin boy reportedly had to have part of his intestines removed after swallowing small magnets from a different knockoff toy.” Read more
Rite Aid Q3 comp sales: Front-end (excluding cigs/tobacco) +1.0% / Pharmacy -0.1% Press release
…Rite Aid shares rocket higher after big profit and 3Q beat at AP. “Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 54 cents per share, far surpassing the 7 cents Wall Street had expected, according to a survey by FactSet. Revenue edged up slightly to $5.46 billion, also beating analyst projections for $5.42 billion in the quarter that ended Nov. 30.” Read more
This Toy Store Invites Children to Play. But Will it Sell Anything? by Margot Boyer-Dry at New York Times. “Camp will need to move a lot of people through its stores. During the Ewings’ weekday visits to the Brooklyn store, which opened on Nov. 30, crowds were light. On a Friday, the twins shared the space with a handful of other families who stayed quite a while. On a Tuesday, they had the store nearly to themselves.” Tiered subs.
Bankrupt Retailers Can’t Stay Quiet, or They’ll Keep Dying by Matthew Townsend & Katherine Doherty at Bloomberg. “Troubled chains are sticking to ignoring the B-word, but that doesn’t fly in today’s media landscape.” Tiered subs.
Retailers Brace for Bigger Holiday Returns Season by Jennifer Smith at Wall Street Journal. “Consumers are expected to return between $90 billion to $95 billion worth of merchandise purchased over the holidays, according to B-Stock Solutions, which runs online liquidation sites for major retailers. That is a projected jump of 15% to 20% over 2018.” WSJ subs.
…More online sales mean retailers need to solve a $50 billion returns problem this holiday season at CNBC. “The report by CBRE and Optoro said the overall returns rate in the retail industry continues to grow at 10% annually. This year, total returns of purchases made both in stores and online during the holidays are expected to top $100 billion, up from over $90 billion last year, the firms said.” Read more
PayPal completed its acquisition of a 70% equity stake in GoPay, making PayPal the first foreign payment platform to provide online payment services in China at TechCrunch. Read more
Testing Starbucks’ new pickup-only store in New York City by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “This was definitely the tiniest Starbucks I’ve ever been in…no mugs for sale or tables to sit at — but the wood paneling and green colors made it feel somewhat on-brand. Several customers came in and out within minutes. One told me that she absolutely loved the concept — “I thought mobile ordering was cool, but this…” Read more/Pics
Amazon to launch new satellite-communications headquarters in Redmond, Washington by Benjamin Romano at Seattle Times. Tiered subs.
Macy’s CMO responds to SNL spoof of the department store’s ad by Adrienne Pasquarelli at Ad Age. “The spot advertised 40 percent discounts on cozy corduroys “that’ll pinch his little nuts” and snow boots “that are so hard to put on, it’ll strain your marriage.” In one promotion for “hard, shiny shoes that hurt,” a mother tells her whining daughter, “Welcome to being a woman, Kiley.” Tiered subs.
Amazon expands free return policy to ‘millions of items’ by Nick Statt at The Verge. Read more
A Major Shipping Change Is Coming, and So Are Higher Fuel Prices at Bloomberg. “In fewer than two weeks, thousands of ships the world over will be forced to use fuel containing less sulfur in order to comply with global rules set out by the International Maritime Organization. Those who don’t could face penalties and even imprisonment. Ports are deploying drones to — literally — sniff out wrongdoers. The regulations are having a profound effect on oil refineries and the cost of seaborne trade looks set to rise.” Tiered subs.
Home Depot thief arrested after getaway car doesn’t start
Eagles’ DeSean Jackson treats 50 kids to Walmart shopping spree
How regular people are using Amazon affiliate links to make money
China cuts America a break on tariffs after phase one deal
Juul-addicted teens are chewing nicotine gum just to get through school
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