Tipsheet: Jail for Toys R Us Exec (& 7-11 Mgr) | Costco Golf Ball Craze | Lowe’s Dog Dies | Wmart’s New Truck Cameras


Toys R Us exec gets three years for embezzling nearly $2M by Priscilla DeGregory at NY Post. “Chon’s lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, argued his alcoholism and troubled childhood including an abusive father led to his actions, “He was obviously mentally ill. He was spending the money on one stupid thing after another to get the love and adoration of his peers, to get the love he wasn’t getting when he was young.” Read more


BEST BEHAVIOR – Jeff Bezos on Wednesday’s Trump Meeting: “I found today’s meeting with the President-elect, his transition team, and tech leaders to be very productive,” Bezos said in a statement. “I shared the view that the administration should make innovation one of its key pillars, which would create a huge number of jobs across the whole country, in all sectors, not just tech — agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing — everywhere.” by Monica Nickelsburg at GeekWire. Read more


Pier 1 Q3 Comp Sales +1.8% “Net sales decreased 0.4%. E-Commerce sales grew approximately 28% to $97.4 million, representing approximately 20% of net sales.” Press release


…Pier 1 names interim CEO over investor objections by Korri Kezar at Dallas Business Journal. “The company announced (Terry) London’s new position despite its largest active institutional shareholder questioning his ability to effectively lead Pier 1 and preserve shareholder value.” Read more | Press release


FREE SHIP REPEAT – Best Buy again unleashes two-day free shipping before holidays by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “The expedited shipping, which (Best Buy) also offered in the final days of the last two holiday shopping seasons, will go live on Thursday and will run through 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 21, which is Best Buy’s deadline for orders to arrive in time for Christmas.” Read more


BEZOS MORE POWERFUL THAN MCMILLON (AND OBAMA) – Forbes: The World’s Most Powerful People 2016 (Bezos #14, McMillon #27, Cook #32) Top 74 list


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7-Eleven manager who exploited staff gets 4 years, Feds say by Robert E. Kessler at Newsday. “Citing court filings and evidence, prosecutors said Yousaf “acted as the chief manager of five 7-Eleven franchise stores during the course of the conspiracy, hired dozens of illegal aliens, equipped them with more than 20 identities stolen from United States citizens, housed them at residences his co-conspirators owned, and stole substantial portions of his workers’ wages.” Read more


A corporate Scrooge no more? Amazon’s philanthropy reshapes its reputation — to a point by Lisa Stiffler at GeekWire. Read more


The Man Behind ‘America’s Wine Superstore’ by Lettie Teague at Wall Street Journal. “Twenty-five years ago David Trone and his brother Robert opened a small wine shop in Claymont, Del. Today, the Trones preside over a $2.5 billion privately held retail empire based in Bethesda, Md., with 149 Total Wine & More stores in 20 states and plans to open many more next year. “It’s a great time to be in real estate,” said David Trone. Not to mention the wine business, if your name is Trone.” Read more (subscription)


How Unilever Reaches Rural Consumers in Emerging Markets by Vijay Mahajan at Harvard Business Review. “Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) pioneered the concept of training local women as rural sales agents who sell Unilever products door to door in their communities. As of 2015, the initiative had grown to 70,000 sales agents serving 165,000 Indian villages…In Pakistan, Unilever took the concept to a new level, training hundreds of village women as beauticians, working out of their homes.” Read more


CLASS ACT – Home Depot Employee Plays Role of Santa Claus to Replace Girl’s Lost Doll by Katie Kindelan at ABC News. “It just touched my heart to the point that I cried,” she said. “For him to take the time to go out a buy a doll and spend money and help my daughter, it’s not his responsibility but he went out of his way.” Manuele, the father of a 22-year-old daughter, purchased the new doll — a near replica of Katy — with his own money.” Read more/Video


TRUCK CAMERAS – Wal-Mart asks truckers to test in-cab cameras by Emma Hurt at Arkansas Online. “What sources inside the company have called a “soft pilot” program, both forward-facing and dual-view cameras will be used in several offices around the country. Dual views show the front and the inside of the cab.” Read more


GOLF BALL TRAVELS 10 YARDS FURTHER – Costco sold so many of its new Kirkland golf balls that it ran out of stock by Alex Myers at Golf Digest. “Even crazier? The current dearth of the product has created a secondary market. Forbes reports auction sites like eBay have listings of these golf balls selling for more than three times their sticker price ($14.99 for two dozen)…Before you laugh, these golf balls — which are USGA conforming and made by a third-party vendor in South Korea — have gotten great reviews. MyGolfSpy, for instance, gave the ball a 10 out of 10 rating.” Read more | Forbes article


Investors are pumping $25 million into millennial wedding registry startup Zola by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Zola is on track to register $120 million in gross sales over the next year, but has spent only $10 million over three years to get there. The startup also runs a relatively lean operation for an e-commerce company of its size, with 52 employees. Ma said the company will probably add just 15 new employees over the next year.” Read more


PetSmart Opens 20 New Stores in Q3 Press release


105 YEARS LATER – It’s official: Marijuana is legal (again) in Massachusetts by Joshua Miller at Boston Globe. “Top leaders have discussed the prospect of delaying the opening of stores beyond the planned January 2018 date to give policy makers more time to get the implementation of legalization right.” Read more


Sobeys owner sees earnings slide 50 per cent as retailer races to cut costs by Hollie Shaw at Financial Post. “Clearly a very disappointing second quarter for fiscal 2017 reflecting the significant and ongoing challenges we have been experiencing in our business,” said François Vimard, who has served as interim CEO for the struggling retailer since Marc Poulin’s ouster in July.” Read more


BIGGEST NAMING RIGHTS DEAL IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS HISTORY – Academy Sports pays $2.5M for naming rights of high school sports complex by Jack Witthaus at Houston Business Journal. Read more


TOO TIRED TO RUN – Under Armour claims new sneakers can prevent injury by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “Both Nike and Adidas have chip-enabled shoes that measure distance, time and speed, but the Under Armour’s so-called Record Equipped footwear is the first to measure your body’s readiness for exercise.” Read more


Canine staffer at Regina Lowe’s store passes away by Alexa Huffman & Christa Dao at Global News. “A service dog who received international attention after the company hired him and his owner, Owen Lima, has passed away. According to Lima, it’s been a tough week for his family as he had to put down his best friend, Blue. “I bawled my head off when Blue was put down,” he remembered.” Read more/Video


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