Tipsheet: CVS/Justice Dept Showdown?| Buy-for-Me +19% | Judge Bars Store Closures


CVS and Aetna CEOs Talk Merger Deal on CNBC’s Squawk Box “Upon closing, “they’ll be things we’ll be able to do out of the gate,” Merlo told CNBC. “Over the next couple of years, you’ll see a dramatic change in terms of the store not just being about products but also service offerings that can help people on their path to better health.” CVS plans to run Aetna as a separate business unit.” Video/Read more


…CVS-Aetna Deal May Hinge on Antitrust Approach Under Trump at Bloomberg. “Most vertical deals don’t raise antitrust concerns, and the ones that do generally get approval to close with an agreement containing behavioral conditions,” said Jennifer Rie, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst who follows antitrust issues, in an email. “But the Justice Department appears to be rejecting this kind of remedy given its approach to the AT&T-Time Warner deal.” Read more


From Target to Toys ‘R’ Us, retailers are throwing parties this holiday season by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Target Corp. hosted a scavenger hunt as well as a toy event in many stores last month. Next weekend, it will hand out cocoa, cookies and milk in stores. The following weekend it will give out Star Wars sticker sheets to coincide with the release of the newest movie in the franchise, “The Last Jedi.” Read more (tiered subs.)


Walgreens Wants You To Know It Cares by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “The 8,000-store chain will start airing ads on TV that show so-called “care stories” depicting customers sharing Walgreens experiences related to their care and well-being. Other ads will follow in 2018 and the campaign also includes a big social media component as Walgreens looks to try to win over more young women. The goal, as Walgreens puts it, is to show it will “champion” the health and well-being of people.” Read more


Corporate Winners and Losers in U.S. Tax Bill at Bloomberg. “…aspects of the legislation on the personal side — like doubling the standard deduction — will give such individuals more discretionary income. The advantage would be temporary under the Senate bill; its individual tax cuts would expire in 2026.” Read more


Holiday shoppers are spending more on themselves this year at CNBC. “A recent survey by (NPD) found that 19 percent of consumers “definitely” plan to spend more on themselves this holiday season, while 40 percent are at least considering doing so.” Read more


No tears for end of Cook County soda tax — and no more pop runs to Indiana by Greg Trotter at Chicago Tribune. “After repealing the tax in October, the Cook County Board adopted a budget last month that will lay off 321 employees in the absence of the revenue from the sweetened beverage tax.” Read more


**A message from BK Resources – Restaurant owners, plumbers & GCs need food service equipment – are they in your assortment? BK Resources is a leading supplier of stainless steel: commercial faucets, sinks, work tables, bar equipment, ice bins and more. Grab your fair share of this business! Catalog | Website | Custom/Sample requests


Tim Belk’s new adventure turned the former retailer into an organic farmer by Katherine Peralta at Charlotte Observer. “People say to me, ‘Tim you seem different, you’re smiling so much more’ ” Belk says. “One of the things I wanted was to have more control over my time. Being CEO, you’re on 24/7. You just don’t realize how much pressure that is until you get away,” he adds.” Read more


Judge bars Starbucks from closing 77 failing Teavana stores by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “An Indiana judge has taken an unusual step and temporarily barred Starbucks from closing 77 failing Teavana stores in Simon Property Group malls because the real estate giant was less able to handle the financial pain.” Read more


Amazon hands out chocolates to increase worker morale at Mirror. “They told me the chocolates were given out to try to raise spirits, to get everybody on board. It’s a couple of sweets per shift to get morale up and make them think they care about us. I found it quite insulting, to be honest.” Read more


Signet Jewelers discloses that the consumer watchdog is considering legal action for its in-store credit practices at CNBC. “Signet, owner of jewelry chains Zales, Kay and Jared, has long been scrutinized for its extensive offering of credit, particularly to those with low FICO scores. For this fiscal year, 62 percent of its $3.9 billion sales in its “sterling jeweler” business were offered on credit.” Read more


Hepatitis A outbreak prompts San Diego to build giant tents for its homeless by Bradford Betz at Fox News. “Gemma Librado lives a block away from the tent that opened Friday. She said she is glad to see the streets being cleaned up but she worries it may attract more homeless. Last Sunday, a homeless man high on drugs and with a bleeding hand ran into her apartment when she opened the door and locked himself in the bathroom.” Read more


36-Year-Old Makes $62 Million With Instant Web Flea Market by Pavel Alpeyev at Bloomberg. “What Mitsumoto discovered was a way to remove the last bit of friction for sellers to get rid of stuff, unlocking value wasting away in people’s closets. He tapped into a market of people who lacked either the time or the patience to take nice pictures, write product descriptions and haggle with buyers.” Read more


GNC cancels funding plans, seeks alternatives at Fox Business. “GNC Holdings Inc. cancelled a sale of senior notes and its plans to borrow more as it considers other options to raise funds…The company did not specify its options, though a potential sale is usually part of a strategic alternatives search.” Read more


Toys R Us UK to close stores in restructuring via CNBC. Read more


Tiffany & Co. is the favorite luxury jewelry brand among wealthy millennials (by far) via MVI Marketing. “(Tiffany) came ahead of Cartier in second place, Pandora in third and Chanel in fourth, MVI said Tuesday. Rolex was the top brand for watches, followed by Apple, Omega and Cartier.” Read more


Fed rate hike expected next week, three hikes expected in 2018: Reuters poll Read more


Home Depot launches “Give me an H” podcast: A behind-the-scenes look at the company’s culture “The series, hosted by Home Depot human resources leader Arlette Guthrie, begins with Ted Decker, the company’s executive vice president of merchandising.” Listen/Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

People are flipping out over upside-down Christmas trees this season

Why Retailers Are Rethinking Their Holiday Ad Strategies and Moving Away From Storytelling

Woman names newborn after Costco employee who helped delivery him (in store!)

Facebook has a team of around 100 employees building products for teens and kids

How Weight Watchers Transformed Itself Into A Lifestyle Brand

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for 20,000+ retail execs every weekday morning. Tipsheet stories are carefully curated bright and early every morning to ensure fresh and unique content.


Subscribe to Eye on Retail Tipsheet here


Contact us: Send story tips, press releases and advertising inquiries to