Instacart holds firm on its tipping policy as contract workers call for national boycott at CNBC. “Nilam Ganenthiran, Instacart’s president, said the current 5% rate is appropriate as the default, though customers have the option of giving more. “I truly think it’s right for our shoppers, right for our customers and right for the ecosystem,” Ganenthiran told CNBC.” Read more
Walmart Expands Its Robotic Workforce to 650 Additional Stores by Matthew Boyle at Bloomberg. “…bringing its fleet to 1,000. The six-foot-tall Bossa Nova devices, equipped with 15 cameras each, roam aisles and send alerts to store employees’ handheld devices when items are out of stock, helping to solve a vexing problem that costs retailers nearly a trillion dollars annually, according to researcher IHL Group.” Tiered subs.
Morning Consult: The 25 Most Trusted Brands in America – Amazon #2 / Home Depot #24 / Walmart #25 Ranked lists
CVS CEO Larry Merlo says 600 remodeled HealthHUBs will be opened by the end of 2020 at CNBC. “Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, North Carolina and Ohio are among the next markets that CVS is targeting for its HealthHUB expansion this year. With its HealthHUBs, CVS wants to offer more health services and products to customers, which is tailored around the company’s $70 billion acquisition of Aetna.” Video/Read more
Target and Lowe’s Tech Execs Credit Talent, Culture for Insourcing Success by Jared Council at Wall Street Journal. “Not everything needs to be done in-house, but companies should opt to build technologies that are core to their businesses, said Seemantini Godbole, chief information officer at Lowe’s. “Wherever you have secret sauce that you want to put your fingerprints on, for your customer experience or for your own associates,” she said, “I’ve always believed that you should build your own technology.” WSJ subs.
Iain Nairn Named President of Hudson’s Bay “Most recently, Mr. Nairn was CEO of kikki.K, a global Swedish design and stationery business…Previously, Mr. Nairn was CEO of David Jones, Australia’s leading premium omnichannel department store chain.” Press release
Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass: ‘Amazon is working’ at CNBC. “Some say it is benefiting Amazon more than it is Kohl’s. “We’re getting a younger customer,” Gass said Sunday. “And to what we expected, some of them were buying. … You’re never going to get 100%. But some of them are buying.” Read more
**A message from Sweets & Snacks Expo. Save the date: May 19-21, 2020 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Your year starts here. Website/Register
The Container Store Group prelim Q3 comp sales +3.0% Press release
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to Face Protests From ‘Enraged’ Local Merchants During India Visit by Saritha Rai at Bloomberg via Fortune. “More than half-a-million traders representing thousands of trading bodies grouped under the Confederation of All India Traders plan to organize sit-ins and public rallies in 300 cities to protest Bezos’s visit, the group said.” Read more
J.Jill increases Q4 2019 guidance “…now expects total comp sales to decrease 6% to 8%… (vs.) previous guidance for total comp sales to decrease 8% to 10%.” Press release
GameStop holiday sales down 27.5% at Hollywood Reporter. Read more
Tilly’s comp sales decreased by 2.0% for the holiday period Press release
The former Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is now officially the Consumer Brands Association (CBA) at The Hill. “CBA’s main goals will involve championing smart regulations for the industry, building frictionless supply chains, enhancing packaging sustainability, and building consumer trust.” Read more
Stage Stores reports 1.4% comp sales increase for holiday period Press release
Amazon Publishes Books by Top Authors, and Rivals Fret by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg at Wall Street Journal. “When Dean Koontz’s book contract expired last year, his stature as one of the country’s top-selling authors made him a hot target for several major publishing houses. He chose Amazon.com Inc. It was a surprising move because it means his new books likely won’t appear in retail stores, which generally boycott Amazon-published titles.” WSJ subs.
At Home Group updates Q4 and fiscal 2020 outlook “…expects fiscal 2020 net sales and comparable store sales toward the high end of its previously provided outlook of $1,352.0 million to $1,360.0 million and (2.6)% to (2.0)%.” Press release
Lowe’s expands Google Cloud ties “Lowe’s is in the early stages of a large-scale, multiyear technology transformation, investing more than $500 million annually through 2021 and hiring up to 2,000 engineers to continue to build out future retail experiences.” Press release
Walmart sacks 56 executives in India as part of restructuring at Reuters. “It’s happening because focus is shifting to e-commerce rather than physical (stores),” according to one of three people, who spoke to Reuters ahead of the company announcement.” Read more
Barneys accused of leaving staff in the dark during liquidation by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “Among the grievances is that Barneys has not informed them of their last day of work or assured them that they will receive severance or their pensions, the filing said.” Read more
RH CEO Gary Friedman Buys $37 Million Beverly Hills Estate by James McClain at Variety. “Friedman’s new $37 million palace lies just two doors away from an even larger compound that was sold back in 2018 for a whopping $41.5 million to Walmart heiress Paige Laurie.” Pics/Read more
Ad Age Best Places to Work 2020
Casey’s won’t avoid small metro markets
The New Beer Barons
Oscars: Full List of Nominations
NRF names new chairman, board members
U.S. bike firms face uphill slog to replace Chinese supply chains
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