Tipsheet: Ellen’s Pet Line | WPP Wins Wgreens | Sam’s Kudos on Today | Robotic “Fruit” Hand


Amazon unveils plans for $1.5 billion air cargo hub that will create 2,000 jobs in Kentucky by Alan Boyle at GeekWire. “…creating more than 2,000 jobs in the process. Total investment in the hub is projected to amount to $1.49 billion, according to reports from Kentucky. The plan calls for extensive construction on a 920-acre site.” Read more


WPP Wins Walgreens Boots Alliance Account by Christine Birkner at Adweek. “WPP will create its own team of agencies, “Team WBA,” to service the account, with office locations for the team in Chicago, London and New York.” Read more | Press release


China’s e-commerce boom can be a tough road for couriers by Ryan McMorrow at NY Times via Seattle Times. “The Chinese e-commerce industry has been built on the backs of an estimated 1.2 million couriers. Their work is coming under scrutiny from labor activists and legal experts who say many couriers face punishing hours and harsh working conditions.” Read more


This child with Down syndrome won over an entire Sam’s Club store by Brittany Loggins at Today. “Carter walks around the register and wants to help her,” said Rouse. “I told him to scan a couple of items and come on, and she said, ‘No, he’s fine.’ We thanked her. She didn’t hesitate or rush.” Not only did Carter want to help, he did an amazing job! It was this sweet exchange that caught the eye of the store’s manager, Mike Russo…” Read more/Pics


Coach Finds Success in Selling More Expensive Handbags by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “The leather goods maker on Wednesday reported a 3% increase in comparable sales in North America in the quarter ended Dec. 31, the third straight quarter of growth.” Read more | Press release


World’s largest online-only supermarket tests robotic hand that can delicately pick-up and pack fruits and vegetables by Stacy Liberatore at Daily Mail. “Alex Harvey, the head of the robotic and autonomous systems at the company, told WIRED that ‘The overall goal is to automate picking of every single item we have’.” Video/Read more


The surprising way an online shopping surge crushed UPS earnings by Morgan Brennan at CNBC. “We actually had a good fourth quarter, but what we saw was a tremendous shift in the amount of volume that went to the consumer versus to the business. In fact we looked over the last 10 years and this is the fastest rate of change,” Richard Peretz, chief financial officer at UPS, told CNBC.” Read more


The Maker of Skoal and Copenhagen Is Recalling Smokeless Tobacco Over Sharp Metal Objects via Fortune. Read more


**A message from Lock-it Block-it – Get rid of the stick! It’s time to retire the ugly wooden sticks sitting in window tracks around the world. Wooden sticks fall out, require measuring and cutting and don’t adjust up or down (no summer breeze for you!). The Lock-it Block-it is a high-impact security bar that allows windows to stay open AND secure at the same time. 13 adjustment holes allow for inch-by-inch opening adjustments. Great for sliding doors/windows too! Watch the video. See the sell sheet. Retailers request samples:


Alibaba-backed OpenSky has bought defunct furniture website Dot & Bo by Jason Del Rey at Recode. Read more


Men’s jeans could be the biggest retail casualty of a trade war with Mexico by Courtney Reagan at CNBC. “Mexico is the largest supplier of male jeans to the U.S., responsible for 40 percent of those sold in the U.S., Herman said.” Read more


Only 14% of adults are “very confident” that retailers will protect data collected about them by Jessica Young at Internet Retailer. Read more


Lowe’s Strikes $2.85M Deal To Settle Misclassification Suit by Suevon Lee at Law 360. “Lowe’s reached a $2.85 million settlement with a class of installation workers who alleged they were misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees eligible for benefits, according to court filings in New Jersey federal court.” Read more (subscription)


Ellen DeGeneres Bites Into Pet Industry by Matthew V. Libassi at Fox Business. “It’s a multi-year deal, so we will be in collaboration for multiple years; it’s a very comprehensive pet line. When we launch it will be in with more than 250 SKUS in a brand new fixture in our center drive aisle,” Mardi Larson, director of Public Relations at PetSmart, tells FOX Business.” Read more


Forrester: 2016 direct online sales totaled 11.6% of total U.S. retail sales but digital touchpoints actually impacted an estimated 49 percent of total U.S. retail sales Press release


Hormel stops operations at supplier farm after video shows animal abuse at CNBC. “The video, which is 2 minutes and 26 seconds long and is available on YouTube and on Mercy for Animals’ website, was part of the group’s undercover investigation at the Maschhoffs farm.” Read more


QuikTrip mobile ordering launch a sign of competitive marketplace by Samuel Hardiman at Tulsa World. “Spokesman Mike Thornbrugh is quick to say that QuikTrip’s mobile ordering is still in the soft-launch stage…“The lines are so blurred. It’s no longer convenience store vs. convenience store. It’s retailers in general against retailers” Thornbrugh said.” Read more


Couple allegedly steals 85 alcohol bottles from Safeway at KRON 4. “Deputies found 15 bottles of liquor in the backpack and 70 bottles of high-end liquor, some with electronic sensors still attached, in the trunk of the car, Sackett said.” Read more


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