Tipsheet: Costco #10 Admired | Amazon/USC Team | V-day -16%


2021 World’s Most Admired Companies (Amazon #2, Costco #10, Walmart #11, Target #17, Home Depot #19…) at Fortune. Ranked list


Walmart donates $14 million as part of broader pledge to advance racial equity at CNBC. “In the wake of the George Floyd protests, Walmart pledged to boost diversity within its own ranks and contribute $100 million over five years to help fight systemic racism across the country. On Monday, the company gave an update on that effort. Walmart and its foundation will distribute the first $14.3 million to 16 nonprofit organizations.” Read more


Valentine’s Day shoppers to dole out $2.8B for loved ones at Fox Business. “Overall, consumers will dole out an average of $164.76, down $32 on average per person from the record $196.31 in 2020.” Read more


U.S. construction spending hits record high in December at Reuters. “The Commerce Department said on Monday that construction spending increased 1.0% to $1.490 trillion, the highest level since the government started tracking the series in 2002.” Read more


Amazon adds palm-reading biometric ID scanner to more physical retail stores in Seattle at GeekWire. “Amazon One is now available at the Amazon Go store at 1122 St. and will launch at the 920 5th Ave. and 1906 Terry Ave. locations in the coming weeks. There will be eight Amazon physical retail stores in the Seattle area with Amazon One…” Read more


For Neiman, Saks, Nordstrom the retail battle is getting more personal at CNBC. “Now more department store sales associates earn commissions and build client relationships with personalized services offered online, a setup that also benefits retailers…“I don’t see in-store shopping being a thing in the future,” says one Saks Fifth Avenue sales associate.” Read more


Shoppers face shortages of cars, shirts and smart speakers amid COVID-19 shipping delays at USA Today. “Not only have the last two months seen supply shortages develop at a pace not previously seen… but prices have also risen due to the imbalance of supply and demand,” says Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, a data provider.” Read more


Amazon and the University of Southern California will create a machine learning research center at GeekWire. “The center’s goal is to make A.I. and machine learning technologies more secure and trusted by the public. It will be directed by Salman Avestimehr, professor of computer and electrical engineering at USC…” Read more


Publix says heiress not connected to company after report links her to Trump rally before riot at USA Today. Read more


Amazon’s diversity and inclusion leader, Elizabeth Nieto, leaving for job at Spotify in New York at GeekWire. “She will be replaced on an interim basis by Alfonso Palacios, a 15-year veteran of Amazon, according to an internal memo to employees, obtained by GeekWire. Palacios, an Amazon vice president, currently oversees the company’s Recruiting Engine team, which develops internal technology used by Amazon’s recruiters.” Read more


Leo Burnett and BBDO are finalists in Home Depot creative review Ad Age subs.


Amazon Faces Familiar Opponent in Alabama Union Election at Wall Street Journal. “The commerce giant faces a familiar opponent: the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, or RWDSU, which along with local organizers is helping to lead the pro-union campaign…The RWDSU fought the company’s plans for a second headquarters in New York in late 2018 and supported worker protests at some warehouses during the coronavirus pandemic.” WSJ subs.


UK online fashion retailer buys Topshop, three other brands at AP. Read more


Q&A – How the Kohl’s CEO Is Navigating the Covid-19 Pandemic at Wall Street Journal. “Gass: ‘The leaders of tomorrow will have to be really flexible in how they think about the working day. When we’re all back in the office, you might want to go to a yoga class in the middle of the day, and that’s great. What matters are outcomes and results.'” WSJ subs.


UNFI Names Dorn Wenninger SVP of Produce “He most recently served as Vice President Perishables for Walmart Mexico where he was responsible for sourcing, buying, and product development of the fresh departments for 2,400 stores in the region as well as Walmart’s owned meat processing plants.” Press release


High school principal works overnight at Walmart to help students in need at NBC News. “Darby, a principal at the South Carolina school, works at the retail chain from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. stocking shelves, though not every day. Every paycheck goes toward helping his students, whom he affectionally refers to as his grandchildren.” Video/Read more


Tipsheet Extra

Inside BJ’s big new little store in Queens

Tesla’s dirty little secret: Its net profit doesn’t come from selling cars

Loblaw partners on test of reusable packaging in Ontario

Southeastern Grocers halts IPO

Under Armour launching collab inspired by the streets of Baltimore

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