Tipsheet: Costco Expands Chicken Plant 44% | Target Reduces Nascar | 7-11 +77 Drone Deliveries | 780M Painkillers @WV


7-ELEVEN BEATS AMAZON to the first regular commercial drone delivery service in the U.S. by April Glaser at Recode. “Seventy-seven customers in Reno, Nev., have now received items ordered from 7-Eleven delivered to their doorsteps via drone. All 77 flights were from one store to a dozen select customers who live within a mile of the shop.” Read more


Charles Redfield – Walmart’s top U.S. food exec began as a Sam’s Club cashier by Jennifer Joyner at The City Wire. “He and his wife Sue have two sons, Matthew, 13, who was born in Bentonville, and Avery, 17, who was born in Canada…“What’s next for me is to make sure I see both of my boys through high school and on to college and help set them up for success in life. Sue and I are excited about what the future holds for both them and us,” Redfield said.” Read more


Walgreens shoppers stay more engaged when wearables update their data by April Berthene at Internet Health Management. “Consumers participated about four times longer in a health tracking program if an activity tracker automatically logged her data, versus programs that require a consumer to manually enter her results, according to the study from the Scripps Translation Science Institute…The study analyzed data from 315,744 consumers who participated in the Walgreens Balance Reward for healthy choices program throughout 2014.” Read more


TV station gets exclusive look at Costco’s expanded chicken processing plant plans in Fremont by Nick Starling at KMTV 3. “The processing plant expands from 250-thousand square feet to 360-thousand square feet. The investment in the project skyrocketed from $180-million to $275-million dollars. Interim city administrator Brian Newton said usage of water, sewer, electric and gas will all increase which is a win for the city, “It’s all good news so we’re really tickled to have them.” Video/Read more


SELF-GIFTING AT A 20-YEAR HIGH – 42.6% of shoppers buying items for themselves by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “Beemer described the bump as part of the “Trump effect” that has driven the stock markets to new highs.” Read more


Walmart trims its Christmas Eve hours at CNN. “…it will close at 6 p.m. this Saturday. In recent years it has closed at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve.” Read more


Walgreens, Rite Aid Divest 865 Stores To Fred’s Pharmacy For $950M by Bruce Japsen at Forbes. Read more


…“We got a very good price on these stores,” said Fred’s finance chief Rick Hans. Fred’s shares surged 85% to $20.75 in Tuesday afternoon trading. by Paul Ziobro & Brent Kendall at Wall Street Journal. Read more (subscription)


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Luxury retailers lead in speedy shipping service at Luxury Daily. “At the top of Kurt Salmon’s leaderboard was Coach, which delivered in two days. Following was American Eagle, Burberry and Kate Spade, who all got packages to their destinations in three days.” Read more


Follow the pills and you’ll find the overdose deaths – Drug firms poured 780M painkillers into West Virginia amid rise of overdoses by Eric Eyre at Charleston Gazette-Mail. “One mom-and-pop pharmacy in Oceana received 600 times as many oxycodone pills as the Rite Aid drugstore just eight blocks away. In six years, drug wholesalers showered the state with 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills, while 1,728 West Virginians fatally overdosed on those two painkillers, a Sunday Gazette-Mail investigation found.” Read more


Target Reduces Nascar Sponsorship With Kyle Larson In 2017 at Fox Sports. “Sources said the move frees up about 5-10 primaries worth of inventory on the #42. Target’s deal expires on the NASCAR side after 2017, and the retailer ended a 27-year partnership on Ganassi’s IndyCar side after the ’16 season.” Read more


I’M GETTING THIS FOR MY OLDER BROTHER – HE’D BETTER LOVE ME FOR THIS – Customers wait hours outside Best Buy for new NES Classic at ABC 12. Video


Woman on journey to Costco in every state stops in Houston at ABC 13. Video/Read more


FedEx Plays Hardball With Retailers as Profits Get Squeezed by Paul Ziobro & Ezequiel Minaya at Wall Street Journal. “You can get a lot of volume that is completely non-compensatory and just not make any money,” Mr. Smith said on a conference call Tuesday. “There are a large number of transportation and logistics companies that prove that every quarter, making no money.” Read more (subscription)


Amazon going all Uber in Boston by Jordan Graham at Boston Herald. Read more


Houston’s first car vending machine officially opens by Joe Martin at Houston Business Journal. “The Houston vending machine is Carvana’s second in the U.S., but is the company’s largest. It is eight stories tall…After inserting the coin into the machine, the pre-owned car is dispensed out of the machine and into one of the garage bays on street level.” Read more | Video how it works


UPS Takes a Stake in Retail Returns Specialist Optoro by Jennifer Smith at Wall Street Journal. “Launched in 2010, Optoro employs close to 500 people in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Nashville, Tenn., where it opened a distribution center this year. Customers include Home Depot Inc., Best Buy Co., Target Corp. and” Read more (subscription)


Amazon’s Echo is still mostly out of stock in the week leading up to Hanukkah and Christmas by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “The black-colored version won’t be back until Jan. 16; the white model is slated to return on Dec. 30. The smaller Echo Dot device has been out of stock for at least a few days, too, and isn’t expected back until Dec. 27. Same goes for both devices on the websites of retail partners like Best Buy and Lowe’s.” Read more


Costco to open branch in New Taipei’s Xinzhuang District at Focus Taiwan. “The Xinzhuang branch will be the 13th Costco outlet in Taiwan.” Read more


Sears & PetSmart discounts online orders picked up in stores by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. “The 20% discount for Sears’ customers is good through Christmas Eve, while PetSmart offers a one-day discount for in-store pickup.” Read more


Costco CFO sticking it out with down fund by Juliet Chung at Wall Street Journal. “Richard Galanti, chief financial officer of Costco Wholesale Corp. and an investor with the fund since its inception, described himself as “a believer” given the fund’s long-term record. He said he was keeping his money at the firm and that York’s smaller size might improve performance. “Is a little smaller better? It can’t hurt,” Mr. Galanti said.” Read more (subscription)


For Cash-Strapped Monks, Selling Fruitcakes Is A Saving Grace by Jodi Helmer at NPR. “The monks at Assumption Abbey in Ava, Mo., were making concrete blocks when Father Cyprian Harrison joined the order in 1965… “After a lot of inner reflection, we decided [to get out of the concrete block business and start making] fruitcake. We only had to change the recipe a little,” quips Harrison.” Read more


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Amazon, Walmart urged to stop selling “spying” doll

Body found behind Walmart missing head & genitals

H-E-B purchases 17 acres near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in SE Austin

43% of homes in Vancouver cost more than $1 Million

A controversial GOP plan could boost the taxes on a sweater from $1.75 to $17

One businessman says Amazon kept his merchandise—and his money

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


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