Tipsheet: ICE Raids Hurt Stores | Lowe’s VR Pilot | Dick’s Cuts 20% of Vendors | Prime @ Mexico


Walgreen weighs risky FTC gambit in Rite Aid merger by Josh Kosman at NY Post. “The declaration would mean that, in Walgreen’s opinion, it has given regulators substantially all the information they need to make a decision. The move would give the FTC 30 days to complete its review of the proposed merger and take action if necessary, bringing a swift end to a vetting process that has dragged on since late 2015.” Read more


Immigration raids keeping customers away from small stores by Jeff Daniels at CNBC. “…worries persist among immigrants about enforcement actions, and some businesses have been forced to lay off employees to cope with the falloff in business. “Some are cutting across the board 20 to 30 percent,” said Arabo. “It’s not a good thing for the economy. It’s not a good thing for jobs.” Read more


Amazon Prime launches in Mexico by Sarah Perez at Techcrunch. “The service will offer unlimited free shipping on over 20 million items for the price of 449 pesos ($23) for the first year, before rising to the standard price of 899 pesos ($46) the following year.” Read more


Lowe’s brings virtual reality to some home-improvement stores by Ken Elkins at Charlotte Business Journal. “In Framingham, a booth is set up inside a Lowe’s store for customers, wearing VR headsets, to go through a guided instructional video. Tactile responses on the equipment give customers the sensation of actually holding a drill, for example. The pilot in the Boston area and in Canada will last for several months. Presumably then Lowe’s execs will make a call about bringing VR to other areas.” Read more


Ivanka Trump clothing line reports record sales by Judy Kurtz at The Hill. “Since the beginning of February, they were some of the best performing weeks in the history of the brand,” Abigail Klem, the president of the Ivanka Trump fashion brand, tells Refinery29 in an interview published Tuesday.” Read more


Dick’s to Cut Unpopular Brands From Stores by Matthew Rocco at Fox Business. “Dick’s plans to refocus its product lineup by dropping up to 20% of its vendors. CEO Edward Stack said changes are coming to “deliver a more refined offering for our customers” and enable Dick’s stores to “stay ahead of consumer trends.” Read more


Walmart to participate at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2017 Consumer & Retail Technology Conference “Tuesday, March 14. A presentation by Doug McMillon…will be webcast live through links at and will begin at approximately 8:50 a.m. EST.” Press release


**A message from Hot Shot – There’s no place like home. And when you rule the roost, you do it all… keep the peace, dry the tears, mop up the messes – even squash the spiders. When bugs cross your threshold, count on Hot Shot® brand for practical, easy-to-use, effective home insect solutions that take care of the creepy-crawlies for you – without breaking the bank. Save the Day. Facebook page


Saks Fifth Avenue to Host Second Annual Emerging Designer Showcase “As a result of the 2016 Emerging Designer Showcase, Saks picked up collections from two exciting brands, Roberta Einer and VETTA.” Press release


Best Buy swaps out Intel mini-shops for Alienware PC gaming displays by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Best Buy is swapping out its Intel mini-shops in about 50 stores, including at the Mall of America, with Alienware PC Gaming Experience zones. The Intel shops, which were first rolled out in 2014, showcased cutting-edge technology such as augmented reality and 3-D printing, but items weren’t necessarily available for purchase.” Read more


Wal-Mart Stores continues to woo suppliers as a media buyer by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “Walmart Exchange has been around for a couple of years, but with more emphasis moving toward online sales as well as in-store advertising there is a renewed push to get more suppliers onboard…” Read more


Coca-Cola Targets Small Retailers With Coke on Demand App by Kim S. Nash at Wall Street Journal. “Proprietors can send a request for, say, two cases of Coke and one case of Fanta, to local distributors, which bid on the deal. They promise a price and certain time period for delivery and then enlist help from gig workers with motorbikes to bring the products to the stores.” Read more (subscription)


Instacart Raises Funding Valuing Grocery Startup at $3.4 Billion by Ellen Huet at Bloomberg. Read more


Target comes out on top in digital marketing by Zak Stambor at Internet Retailer. “Paid search is one area where Target is particularly aggressive. It is behind only Inc. in terms of its average monthly spend. Those dollars are well spent, Argylian says, given that paid search drives 13.5% of’s overall traffic while also contributing to in-store traffic and sales.” Read more


The Home Depot Presents at 38th Annual Institutional Investors Conference via Seeking Alpha. Transcript


The Five Habits of the Walmart Shopper by Beth Kowitt at Fortune. “Sales of scientific and educational toys are up 24% over the past year…Sales of home improvement hardware, including power tools, are up 7% versus last year.” See list of 5


NRF: Retailers Support House Plan to Repeal ObamaCare Press release


Nordstrom updates parental leave policy to help stay competitive by Coral Garnick at Puget Sound Business Journal. “Birth mom’s across the company will now able to receive 12 weeks of paid leave at 100 percent of their wage. In the past, mom’s who were not in leadership positions received disability leave paid at 60 percent of their wage.” Read more


Here are the highest-paying jobs in America, according to Glassdoor’s annual list by Jillian Stampher at GeekWire. Top 25 list


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How Farmers Business Network Plans To Disrupt Big Agra, One Farm At A Time

In Its Battle With Amazon, Best Buy Gets A Fighting Chance From Shoppers

Waffle House co-founder dead at 97

Kroger to invest $60M in KY distribution center, will employ 100

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