Tipsheet: Least Empathetic Co’s (CVS #19) | Visa Delays Pump Upgrade | Wmart #1 in Holiday TV Ads | Beaver Trashes Dollar Store


Kroger CEO on food price deflation: ‘It’s not fun’ by Steve Watkins at Cincinnati Business Courier. “We’re in the middle of the cycle right now and it’s not fun,” McMullen said…Kroger executives also talked about ClickList: The company has now expanded the online order and customer pickup service to 550 stores. That’s 50 more than it had just four weeks ago, McMullen said.” Read more | Earnings call transcript


Jewel-Osco hopes to burnish image in Chicago with contemporary store at Clark and Division by Greg Trotter at Chicago Tribune. “For those who may not associate their neighborhood Jewel with words like “swanky” and “contemporary,” well, that’s what Jewel-Osco is hoping to change. “We really wanted to make a statement for the Jewel-Osco brand…We really want to put forth a new image,” said Dave Hene, senior real estate manager for Jewel-Osco.” Video/Pics/Read more


Visa, Mastercard delay deadline for upgrade of gasoline pumps by Jenny Surane at Bloomberg via Boston Globe. “The world’s largest payments networks will give merchants until October 2020 to adopt the technology, three years later than previously planned, the companies said Thursday in separate statements.” Read more


Target to bring smaller store near University of Texas by Will Anderson at Austin Business Journal. “…the 22,000-square-foot location will be in Dobie Twenty21, a student-apartment and retail development at 21st and Guadalupe streets. The location, expected to open in July 2017, would be the company’s first in Texas in the smaller format.” Read more


Ulta Q3 Retail Comp Sales +14.3% “E-commerce sales grew 59.1% to $73.6 million from $46.2 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2015, representing 240 basis points of the total company comparable sales increase of 16.7%” Press release


Gap November Comp Sales -1.0% (vs. -8.0% LY) “Gap estimated that the fire, which occurred in a building on its Fishkill, New York distribution center campus, negatively impacted Gap Inc.’s November 2016 comparable sales by approximately 3 percentage points.” Press release


Five Below Q3 Comp Sales -0.2% Press release


Big Lots Q3 Comp Sales Flat Press release


The 20 Most (and Least) Empathetic Companies, 2016 (Whole Foods, CVS…) by Belinda Parmar at Harvard Business Review. “ Top/Bottom 20 Lists


**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


Millennial shoppers are heading to JC Penney by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “We want to be able to deliver her needs both as a woman and as a mother,” Sheeba Philip, J.C. Penney’s vice president of marketing strategy and communications, told CNBC. “That’s a huge unmet need.” Read more


Designed to save shoppers time, new system lights up Hy-Vee lines by Barbara Soderlin at Omaha World-Herald. “A green light indicates an open lane or a short line, and yellow or orange lights indicate a longer line. The Papillion store used data generated by the system to cut average wait times from more than four minutes — with some waits of as long as six or seven minutes — to less than three minutes, store director Dan Fuller said.” Read more


Google shops are popping up in Canada Best Buys by Dan DeBaun at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. “While the concept is growing across Canada, Cortellucci says there are no plans to expand Google shops into U.S. Best Buy locations.” Read more


Amazon’s Alexa on journey to fully grasping natural speech by Angel Gonzalez at Seattle Times. “Rohit Prasad, the Amazon scientist in charge of developing the artificial-intelligence software’s abilities to grasp human language, says Alexa is still in the early stage of its journey…” Read more


With $720 Self-Tying Sneaker, Nike Loosens Ties to Retailers by Sara Germano at Wall Street Journal. “(Nike) wants to double its direct sales to consumers to $16 billion by 2020…”They have to be worried about it,” said John Kernan, senior retail analyst for brokerage Cowen & Co. He pointed to recent efforts by Dick’s to create some of its own products and provide more shelf space to Under Armour and Adidas.” Read more (subscription)


Howard Schultz On Why He’s Stepping Down As Starbucks CEO at Fortune. “I am personally as passionate about developing the Reserve brand, and opening more Roasteries, as I was about opening our first espresso bar more than 30 years ago in Seattle…” Read more


…Meet Starbucks’ next CEO: Here’s what former colleagues say about tech vet Kevin Johnson by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. Read more


Mall of America’s first-ever black Santa makes history via AJC. “Luther went to a Santa convention in Branson, Missouri, and found Jefferson. Out of about 1,000 Santas, Jefferson was the only Santa of color there. “It was like finding a needle in a haystack,” Luther told the Star Tribune.” Read more


Target CEO: Partnership with St. Jude ‘a natural fit’ by Michael Sheffield at Memphis Business Journal. “It’s a great partnership,” Cornell said. “Target House opened in 1999, and we’ve had more than 4,500 families who can stay there and can live a normal life while they’re there.” Read more


Beaver trashes dollar store by Justin Wm. Moyer at Washington Post. “The beaver was apprehended at a dollar store in Charlotte Hall, Md., the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, apparently after browsing the selection of artificial Christmas trees and trashing the place.” Pics


Walmart, Target and Verizon Have Spent the Most on Holiday TV Ads So Far This Year by Jason Lynch at Adweek. “Walmart led the pack again with an estimated $66.4 million in holiday ad spending, though that number was down slightly from $67.6 million last year. Target, which almost doubled its holiday ad spending from last year, came in second with $49.7 million.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Nike on Thursday filed 64 patent applications, including 24 for new technology

Macy’s closing flagship Minneapolis store on Nicollet Mall

Three killed as pickup truck crashes into Walmart store

Bloomberg: Dollar General, Don’t Repeat Walmart’s Mistakes

Walmart launches 2nd grocery pick-up and gas station concept in Denver area

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


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