Tipsheet: Costco Sued Over Shrimp | Target/Lowe’s Call Highlights | Meijer Accused of Under-Pricing | Pet Store Has 250K Animals


Costco Sued Over Claims Shrimp Harvested With Slave Labor by Erik Larson at Bloomberg. “Richard Galanti…said in a statement that the company has been working closely with the Thai government, the Thai fishing industry and other retailers “to address the issues that have surfaced” over the past year.” Read more


Target CEO says store’s stocking problems are “unacceptable” by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Frankly, as a result, some retail fundamentals have started to suffer,” (Brian Cornell) said. “Specifically, in-stocks in our stores have been unacceptable so far this year. Our guests deserve better.” Read more


New Target CFO Checked out Merchandise Before Joining by Maxwell Murphy at WSJ. “Before joining target (incoming finance chief, Cathy Smith) said she “dedicated a couple of weeks to visit more than 65 stores across 10 states and I [dragged] my family along for most of the ride.” Read more (Subscription)


Retailer accuses Meijer of under-pricing goods by Alison Bauter at Milwaukee Business Journal. “A Meijer spokesman confirmed the company has received “documentation of a complaint” from the state. “We are currently investigating it,” he said by email. “This is a bit peculiar for us, (as) we are not accustomed to regulations that limit our customers’ ability to save money when they shop with us.” Read more


Amazon Employee Wants 15 Seconds of Congrats for a Job Well Done by Melissa Dahl at NY Mag. “The pace is much faster, and more demanding. And it’s never enough. ..I would like to work at a company that spends 15 seconds congratulating me for a job well done, instead of the two seconds that it is now. It doesn’t have to be gushing. Just 15 seconds.” Read her note


Diet Pepsi drinkers furious over new aspartame-free formula by Katie Hommes & Richard Morgan at NY Post. “A second tweet, citing a clear distaste for the new sucralose-sweetened drink, wished “a slow death” for the new Diet Pepsi.” Read more


CVS Awards Media-Agency Business to IPG’s UM by Alexandra Bruell at Ad Age.  Read more


Cabela’s opening brings thousands through doors by Michael Clark at Cincinnati Enquirer. “The 82,000-square-foot Cabela’s in Butler County’s West Chester Township swung wide its doors for the first time and more than 4,000 customers clamored in through a gauntlet of applauding store workers. It’s the second store in Ohio and 72nd nationwide for the Nebraska-based Cabela’s.” Read more


Despite lawsuit, Kohl’s ex-CIO takes job with luxury retailer by Alison Bauter at Milwaukee Business Journal. Read more


The World’s Biggest Pet Store has 250,000 Animals by Ben Crair at Bloomberg. “Zajac’s pet shop fills a 130,000-square-foot warehouse in an industrial part of Duisburg. It’s called Zoo Zajac, and it unfurls, like an airport terminal, along a horseshoe in the road. It’s more than twice the size of the White House and three times as large as a Whole Foods Market. It is, according to Guinness World Records, the biggest pet shop in the world.” Read more


Target’s latest e-commerce weapon? More precise delivery windows by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “In its latest attempt to get an edge in the e-commerce wars, Target will start testing a new program in the fall called “available to promise” that aims to tell shoppers with more specificity when their item will be delivered to their homes, and improve customer satisfaction.” Read more


Lumber Liquidators’ stock surges after Cantor Fitzgerald upgrade by Tomi Kilgore at Marketwatch.  Read more


Michael Jordan: I wouldn’t let Dominick’s use my identity for only $126,900 by Kim Janssen at Chicago Tribune. “Jordan, watching Fort from a few feet away in the courtroom, laughed and shook his head as Fort said that a $100,000 payment Jordan accepted from a Japanese TV company and a $500,000 deal he cut with Sirius satellite radio were fairer comparisons.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra

Ex-Walmart CFO Joins Alibaba Board

Kroger to offer online ordering at 8 Indianapolis-area locations

25 Sexiest Cities

Over a dozen Democrat Senators push Cabela’s, Bass Pro, etc. to ignore FBI rules, slow gun sales

One-hour liquor delivery? Good luck, Amazon. It’s harder than you think, Drizly CEO says

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


Target Q2 Earnings Call Highlights

Brian Cornell, Chairman & CEO

About two thirds of (the 2.4%) comp increase was driven by a growth in traffic combined with the smaller increase in average ticket.

Comp sales in signature categories grew more than 7%.

Comps in both Home and Apparel were in the 4% to 5% range this quarter.

Toys part of our Kids focus in hardlines…saw more than a 12% increase in comp sales.

Digital sales grew 30% from a year ago slightly below our expectations.

Digital growth contributed about 60 basis points to our comp sales.

More than 80% of our second quarter digital channel sales growth was driven by Home and Apparel.

We’re already shipping digital orders from approximately 140 stores and by the end of this year we’ll be shipping for more than 450 locations.

This fall we’ll begin testing what we’re calling available-to-promise in which we’ll the guest a specific delivery commitment typically 2 or 3 business days.

To inform our localization efforts we launched a small test in the Chicago market…comp performance in this group of test stores has been 1 to 2 points higher than the rest of the Chicago market.

In stocks in our stores have been unacceptable so far this year. And our guests deserve better.


John Mulligan, COO & EVP (Effective September 1st)

This week we began accepting EMV or chip-card transactions at all stores across the country.

This quarter we will initiate the process of replacing all of our REDcard products with chip and pin cards.

Marketing expense timing was a meaningful benefit this quarter…This timing shift benefited our second quarter SG&A rate by about 30 basis points…we expect this shift will reverse in the third quarter.

We are planning for a third quarter comparable sales increase of 1 to 2%

Read the full transcript via Seeking Alpha


Lowe’s Q2 Earnings Call Highlights

Robert Niblock, Chairman, President & CEO

Comparable sales grew 4.3%, primarily driven by a 3.3% increase in average ticket.

Strength in outdoor power equipment and seasonal living offset some of the weakness and some of the softness in lawn and garden.

We also experienced solid growth in big ticket discretionary project categories, such as kitchens, flooring, millwork, and fashion fixtures.

For the third quarter in a row, we drove double-digit comps in appliances.

We expect to have roughly 70 stores in Canada by 2017.

Roughly half of respondents indicated that they believe they’re home values are increasing; double the number from 2012.

Australia: I was just down last week for a joint venture board meeting. I met with the team. I walked some of the stores.


Rick Damron, COO

We’re expanding our interior project specialist program into another 470 stores, reaching over three-quarters of our stores by year end.

We achieved high single digit comps in outdoor power equipment, with particular strength in walk-behind and riding mowers, and pressure washers.

Our patio and outdoor fashion area recorded strong solid comps again this quarter, on top of double digit comps last quarter.

Our performance in Paint was in line with the industry.

We currently have approximately 135 AEPs (Account Executive Pro Services) in the field, an increase of 25 over last year.

We saw the strongest performance in our Southern division across the country.


Bob Hull, CFO

Comps were 3.6% in May, 4.6% in June, and 4.6% in July.

For the year, we expect…the addition of 15 to 20 stores, which includes five Orchard and two City Center locations.

We had two categories that were below average. Lawn and garden was actually negative. If we think about tickets below $50, they were only up 0.8%…largely because of the strange weather we had in the mid quarter.

We saw the bulk of our pressure in paint largely in exterior categories as well, exterior stains in particular is where we saw the bulk of our pressure, largely in Texas and Midwest.

Dotcom: it’s about 3% of our business now.

Read the full transcript via Seeking Alpha



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