Tipsheet: Costco Kickback Fine | Bezos in Goodell’s Box | WM U.K. Plan B


Costco fined $7.2M for accepting illegal kickbacks by Timonthy Sawa at CBC. “Secretly recorded audio tapes obtained by The Fifth Estate showed a senior pharmacy executive from Costco asking for kickbacks. “As a minimum, I’d like to see somewhere around 3.6 million of support. That’s a minimum,” the executive can be heard saying.” Read more


Walmart’s Plan B for its U.K. Checkout by Carol Ryan at Wall Street Journal. “Walmart Inc.’s tidy-up of its overseas empire will hit a rough patch this month if trustbusters block the sale of its U.K. unit to a competitor. Fortunately, though, the division could still attract a private-equity buyer…Doug McMillan is rethinking the U.S. retailer’s sprawling international operations…Rather than opening its own stores overseas, Walmart wants to become a controlling shareholder in strong domestic players.” WSJ subs.


Casualties of Sears’ downfall will get their day in court today at CNBC. “Sears Holdings unsecured creditors will head to bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York on Monday, Feb. 4 to protest Eddie Lampert’s $5.2 billion bid to save the company.” Read more


Walmart Chief Data Officer says Northwest Arkansas could be data science hub by Kim Souza at Talk Business. Read more


Lowe’s is shutting down its Iris smart home platform at the end of March by Nick Statt at The Verge. “Lowe’s is calling it a “redemption” process, and not a refund, so it’s not clear how much money you’ll get, or if there are strings attached to the Visa prepaid card that stipulate how it can be used or if it has to be spent at Lowe’s.” Read more


Inside look – Kroger’s new digital shelves – 7 of 8 participants prefer digital shelves to traditional at Field Agent. Video/Read more


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Reeling from algorithm glitch, Instacart institutes $3 minimum fee for drivers by Sean Captain at Fast Company. “Tom shared his story with labor advocacy organization Working Washington…A January 27 blog post on the organization’s site titled, “Earn eighty cents an hour by delivering groceries with Instacart!” quickly went viral, lighting up heated online discussions on sites like Hacker News.” Read more


Savannah Guthrie, Marie Kondo Debut on Top TV Personalities Social Media Ranking by Kevin Rutherford at The Hollywood Reporter. Top 10 list


Jeff Bezos is spotted in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s box at the Super Bowl and at Robert Kraft’s Superbowl party at Daily Mail. Read more/Pics


…Bezos photographed with Fanatics mogul Michael Rubin: Rubin’s sports apparel giant Fanatics just did a deal with Walmart to bring its gear to stores, and sources wondered whether a pact with Amazon could be far behind. at NY Post. Read more


Warby Parker introduces virtual try-on to let shoppers select a pair of frames and instantly see how they look. by Jordan Crook at TechCrunch. “The tech was built on Apple’s ARKit, and the feature is only available to users on the Warby Parker  iOS app on an iPhone X or later.” Read more


“PHYGITAL” SPACE – Ikea Hopes You’ll Be Into Furniture Subscriptions by David Meyer at Fortune. “As reported in the Financial Times, the Swedish firm will soon start trialling a furniture-leasing program—initially targeting business customers—under which previously-leased goods will be refurbished and resold. According to Torbjörn Lööf, CEO at brand owner Inter Ikea, the move could pave the way for “scalable subscription services” in the future.” Read more


Target strikes deal to sell razors from Harry’s women’s shaving start-up at CNBC. Read more


Hawaii considers ban on cigarette sales at ABC 30. “Lawmakers are proposing that cigarette sales would effectively end by 2024. The ban would go into effect progressively, starting next year, by raising the minimum age for buying cigarettes from 21 to 30. Two years later, no one under 100 would be allowed to buy cigarettes.” Story link


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