Tipsheet: Costco +5% | Big Lots -0.9% | AmazonFresh Test Run | Ulta +14.3%


Costco Q3 Comp Sales +5.0% “Net sales for the quarter increased eight percent, to $28.22 billion from $26.15 billion last year.” Press release


…Costco reports 2 million new Visa credit cards since last summer’s launch by Coral Garnick at Puget Sound Business Journal. “Meanwhile, Costco’s membership fees will increase next week. Annual fees will go up by $5 for U.S. and Canada Goldstar (individual) and business members, bringing the fee to $60 a year.” Read more | Earnings call transcript


AmazonFresh Pickup Opens to Prime Members in Seattle by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “The broader launch of the AmazonFresh Pickup service, in Seattle’s Ballard and SoDo neighborhoods, also brings new details about how the pickup process works. Amazon says in an online FAQ that it “may use license plates to automatically recognize your vehicle when you arrive,” helping the company quickly match arriving customers with their orders.” Pics/Read more


…We tried the new AmazonFresh Pickup service in Seattle, and this is what happened “As a test, I ordered the same items from Fred Meyer’s ClickList, and the total was about $29, compared to more than $32 from AmazonFresh Pickup. However, Fred Meyer and its Kroger sister stores charge an extra $4.95 service fee for the ClickList service, and the process is decidedly more cumbersome, requiring you to call a number when you arrive and swipe a card at pickup.” Video/Pics/Read more


Big Lots Q1 Comp Sales -0.9% (vs. guidance of flat to +2.0%) Press release


Ulta Q1 Comp Sales +14.3% “…compared to an increase of 15.2% in the first quarter of fiscal 2016…comparable sales increase was driven by 8.7% transaction growth and 5.6% growth in average ticket. Retail comparable sales increased 10.9%, including salon comparable sales growth of 9.9%.” Press release


Cabela’s quietly sought sale before investor push; Jim Cabela tried to keep HQ in Sidney by Paige Yowell at Omaha World-Herald. “The documents, which Cabela’s filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week, detail the yearlong process to sell the retailer…” Read more


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Staples reportedly rejects takeover offer, but another bid is still on the table by David L. Harris at Boston Business Journal. “Bloomberg reported that Cerberus’ offer was too low, but a bid from another New York private equity firm, Sycamore Partners, is still viable. Sycamore’s portfolio companies include Hingham-based Talbots, Dollar Express and The Limited.” Read more


…Poaches new marketing chief Read more | Press release


GameStop Q1 Comp Sales +2.3% Press release


Floor & Decor Q1 Comp Sales +12.8% “Net sales increased 30.6% to $307.3 million from $235.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2016…We opened three new stores and relocated one store during the first quarter of fiscal 2017, ending the quarter with 72 stores.” Press release


Giant Eagle may buy some Marsh grocery store locations by Paul J. Gough at Pittsburgh Business Times. “The StarPress newspaper reported Thursday that Giant Eagle could be acquiring a few of the 44 stores in the Marsh Supermarkets chain, which is in bankruptcy protection.” Read more


New Amazon bookstore looks like airport desperation pit-stop by Raquel Lenari at NY Post. “Frankly, it is just weird,” says 51-year-old Emily Bell, who was visiting New York…she disliked having to scan books for the price and was particularly dismayed that a large chunk of the space was devoted to Amazon products like the Kindle and Alexa.” Read more


Target is investing $75 million in mattress startup Casper by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “While people close to Casper believe the company has its sights on an eventual IPO, it’s unclear whether having Target as an investor would scare off other potential suitors from the retail world along the way.” Read more


Ikea’s Top Designer on the Gift of Failure and the Future of Democratic Design by Katie Richards at AdWeek. Q&A


“I JUST PREFER TO TRAVEL” – Millennials Want to Buy Homes but Aren’t Saving for Down Payments by Laura Kusisto at Wall Street Journal. “Nearly 70% of young people ages 18 to 34 years old said they have saved less than $1,000 for a down payment, according to a survey by Apartment List, a rental listing company, expected to be released Friday. About 40% said they aren’t saving anything on a monthly basis.” Read more (subscription)


Coach, Inc. Launches Tender Offer to Acquire Kate Spade & Company Press release


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Aaron Rodgers gives custom-made Polaris ATV’s to his offensive linemen

Apple Design Chief Jony Ive Adds Another Job to His Resume

UPS Fined $247 Million Over Illegal Cigarette Shipments

Why Your Next Favorite Restaurant Will Be a Bar

Amazon exec runs for Seattle school board

Beloved 96-year-old bagger who worked at grocery chain for 26 years dies

People are freaking out about ice cream sandwiches at Costco – but why?

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



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