Tipsheet: Homebuilder Conf. -42 | Retail Sls -8.7% | Saks Black Masks


US retail sales for March plunged a record 8.7% (vs. -8.0% expected) at CNBC. “Economists see no respite for consumer spending in the second quarter, with estimates as low as a 41% rate of decline…” Read more


Homebuilder confidence index takes biggest one-month dive in its history at CNBC. “Builder confidence in the market for single-family homes plunged 42 points to a reading of 30 in April, the lowest point since June 2012, according to…HMI…The reading was expected to drop to 55. Anything above 50 is considered positive. The last negative reading was in June 2014.” Read more


Trump Says McMillon, Cook Among Dozens of CEOs to Advise on Economy at Bloomberg. “He named allies, including Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands Corp., but also Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Inc., who has been a repeated target of the president’s vitriol.” Read more


J.C. Penney explores bankruptcy as hopes for recovery fade at Reuters. “(J.C. Penney) has access to enough cash to survive in the months ahead…the sources said. Still, the company is contemplating a bankruptcy filing as one way to rework its unsustainable finances and save money on looming debt payments, which include significant annual interest expenses, the sources added.” Read more


Kroger CEO urges feds, states to label workers ’emergency personnel’ by Alexander Coolidge at Cincinnati Enquirer via USA Today. “Given the significant daily risk these workers face, we are calling on all of our federal and state leaders to take immediate action,” McMullen said in a joint statement with the UFCW president Marc Perrone. “Make no mistake, this designation is absolutely critical as it will ensure these front-line workers have priority access to personal protection equipment like masks and gloves.” Read more


Walmart will soon have 20 coronavirus testing sites running in 10 US states by Joseph Guzman at The Hill. “We currently have three sites open, and we have plans to expand testing to multiple sites next week,” a Walmart spokesperson told (Business Insider). “We have been learning a lot from our initial sites so that we can get the model right and are working hard to help expand testing in areas of need as quickly as possible.” Read more


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Saks Fifth Avenue reveals plans for fashionably sanitized post-coronavirus opening by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “As for the face masks, they will likely be black, Saks President Marc Metrick told The Post. “We don’t want anything medical or scary looking,” Metrick said of the masks. “Masks could become the new iPhone cases. There is a chance it could become another new accessory.” Read more


PayPal now available on Press release


Amazon may close French warehouses after court restrictions at Reuters. “Amazon currently employs close to 10,000 people at its six French warehouses, 6,500 of whom are on permanent contracts, according to the court decision.” Read more


Luxury consignment retailer The RealReal lays off 10% of workforce, furloughs 15% at TechCrunch. “Those furloughed include employees in The RealReal’s e-commerce centers, retail stores, luxury consignment offices, sales organization and headquarters.” Read more


Black grocery workers feel increasingly vulnerable to coronavirus by Nathaniel Meyersohn at CNN. “When the virus first started spreading, some customers and workers at Hill’s (Albertsons) store didn’t take it seriously because of a debunked myth that black people couldn’t get coronavirus. That quickly changed after two workers at her store tested positive for coronavirus. “We were being misinformed to think it doesn’t affect us,” she said. “And it does — greatly.” Read more


Amazon reportedly planning drastic cuts to affiliate commission rates starting next week at The Verge. “For instance, commission rates under the categories home improvement, furniture, lawn and garden, and pet products will see a commission rate of 8 percent per sale drop down to just 3 percent. For headphones, beauty products, and musical instruments, commission rates will go from 6 percent down to 3 percent.” Read more


Walmart is making it easier for people who use SNAP to buy food via the retailer’s grocery pickup service at Progressive Grocer. Read more


WHO recommends governments restrict alcohol access at CNBC. “The World Health Organization’s regional office for Europe recommended governments restrict access to alcohol and “any relaxation of regulations or their enforcement should be avoided.” More than 3 million people die every year from alcohol, the WHO said…” Read more


Best Buy to furlough about 51,000 employees as its stores remain closed to customers at CNBC. Read more


Kroger VP Gilliam Phipps joins Sprouts as chief marketing officer at Supermarket News. “Phipps comes to Phoenix-based Sprouts from The Kroger Co., where he most recently served as vice president of branding, marketing and Our Brands, the retailer’s portfolio of private brands…Prior to Kroger, Phipps served more than 11 years in various roles at H-E-B, most recently as director of own brands…” Read more


Tipsheet Extra

As coronavirus empties streets, speeders hit the gas

New IRS site could make it easy for thieves to intercept stimulus payments

7 ways of doing business by Zoom that are here to stay

Selfies are over. Maskie is the new Instagram trend

Marine barbershops abuzz with demand for high-and-tight cuts

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



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