Tipsheet: Ex-QVC Exec Bilked $1M | Bezos Meets Mattis | JCP -1.3% | Nordstrom +1.7%


Former QVC exec charged with bilking company out of more than $1M by Jeff Blumenthal at Philadelphia Business Journal. “Prosecutors said QVC unknowingly paid for: Approximately $200,000 in private luxury chauffeur rides for (James Falkowski) and his friends…over $28,000 in payments to a custom furniture maker for two tables for Falkowski’s Philadelphia apartment; Approximately $59,500 in pre-paid American Express, Tom Ford, and Barney’s New York gift cards that he used for himself.” Read more


…Falkowski also allegedly engaged in kickback schemes with two vendors that ultimately paid him $240,000 for arranging insider deals with the company at Daily Mail. Pics/Read more


Camping World Q2 Comp Sales +10.6% “New vehicle units sold increased 38.2% to 21,930…Retail revenue increased 20.7% to $1.2 billion from $1.0 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.” Press release


YUM? – Amazon looks to new food technology for home delivery by Jeffrey Dastin at Reuters. “Amazon is exploring a technology first developed for the U.S. military to produce tasty prepared meals that do not need refrigeration…The pioneering food-prep tech, known as microwave assisted thermal sterilization, or MATS, was developed by researchers at Washington State University, and is being brought to market by a venture-backed startup called 915 Labs…The method involves placing sealed packages of food in pressurized water and heating them with microwaves for several minutes.” Read more


JCPenney Q2 Comp Sales -1.3% “Home, Fine Jewelry, Footwear and Handbags, Sephora and Salon were the Company’s top performing divisions during the quarter. Geographically, the Southwest and Southeast were the best performing regions of the country.” Read more


…JC Penney reports weaker-than-expected comparable sales; stock craters by Lauren Thomas at CNBC. “Penney’s net loss widened to $62 million, or 20 cents per share, in the second quarter, from $56 million, or 18 cents per share, one year ago. Net sales climbed 1.5 percent, to $2.96 billion.” Read more


Nordstrom’s stock pops with +1.7% comp sales growth (vs. -0.4% estimate) at CNBC. “Nordstrom said its Anniversary Sale this year, which is historically the company’s biggest sales event of the year, “performed better than recent trends.” Read more


Pentagon chief James Mattis meets with Amazon chief Jeff Bezos during tech tour by Alan Boyle at GeekWire. “Mattis is due to visit Google’s main campus as well as Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental, or DIUx, both in Silicon Valley…Bezos is a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Advisory Board.” Read more


Target gets warm reception at meeting in North Park (San Diego) Thursday to talk about a possible new Target Express. (Just don’t paint over the funky custom mural on the side of the building!) by Lindsey Pena at ABC 10 News. “Right now (Target) is still in what it calls a “fact finding phase”.  Target said if the store were to open, it would employ 40 to 50 people.” Video/Read more


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How Macy’s Plans to Fix Its Beauty Products Business by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “We’re figuring out how to make it work within our stores,” Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette told Fortune in an interview. But that gets to why investors are losing faith in Macy’s: it always seems to be testing things with little payoff to show for it so far.” Read more


AmazonFresh Grocery Delivery Undercover at Field Agent. “We enlisted 20 agents to purchase at least $10 of groceries, including chilled and fresh items, from AmazonFresh for delivery to their respective homes…more than half of first-time users said they’re highly likely to use the service again. It is perhaps noteworthy, however, that only 7 of 12 new users preferred AmazonFresh over traditional, brick-and-mortar grocery stores.” Video/Read more


Costco names Hamilton E. (Tony) James as Chairman of the Board “He is President, Chief Operating Officer of The Blackstone Group L.P….Tony has been a director of Costco Wholesale since August 1988 and was its Lead Independent Director since 2005.” Press release


Amazon looks to challenge Ticketmaster, reportedly in talks with U.S. venue owners by Jessica Toonkel & Jeffrey Dastin at Reuters. “Amazon is seeking to partner with U.S. venue owners to sell event tickets, four sources have told Reuters, a move that could loosen Ticketmaster’s powerful grip on the lucrative ticketing business.” Read more


PetSmart President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Massey Steps Down “The Board of Directors has accepted his resignation and Raymond Svider will serve as Executive Chairman to oversee the Company’s operations with the senior leadership team. The Board has initiated a search for Mr. Massey’s replacement.” Press release


Ex-Target SVP named Fiesta Mart CEO by Jack Witthaus at Houston Business Journal. “Sid Keswani spent nearly two decades at Target before becoming the senior vice president of operations at Corpus Christi-based retailer Susser Holdings Corp. While at Susser, he helped grow the company by about 125 stores in roughly 18 months.” Read more


Toys ‘R’ Us Will Return to Times Square by Nick Turner at Bloomberg. “The 35,000-square-foot store will open this month in the Knickerbocker Building on Broadway near 42nd Street, the toy giant said Thursday.” Read more


Amazon has brought on Hunter Public Relations for PR and marcomms services for its U.S. retail business by Diana Bradley at PR Week. “Its responsibilities include hardlines and consumable products sold by Amazon, services such as AmazonFresh, customer experiences including voice shopping, Prime membership and benefit value, and holiday initiatives. Hunter partner Gigi Russo is leading account work. Weber Shandwick was the incumbent on the account.” Read more


Ex-Schnucks President and COO named Southeastern Grocers President and CEO “Anthony Hucker also held the position of President of Giant Food…and served on the executive board of Ahold USA. Prior to joining Giant Food, Anthony spent seven years at Wal-Mart in a variety of leadership positions.” Press release


Buy Home Depot before earnings due to booming housing sales: Jefferies at CNBC. Read more


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Amazon Could Probably Conquer Drugstores, Too

Blue Apron is stuck in a dangerous cycle that has nothing to do with Amazon

Online shoppers spend an additional 25% when picking up an online order at Macy’s

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