CVS THORN – Judge orders a lengthy review of CVS-Aetna deal that’s likely to keep it bogged down in the judicial process well into the spring by Josh Kosman at NY Post. “Specifically, Judge Leon ordered the Department of Justice to respond to 95 complaints that had been filed against the merger as of Monday. The DOJ, in turn, said it will take until February to respond to the complaints.” Read more
LORE ON MAD MONEY – Food delivered ‘right into your fridge’ is the future, says Walmart’s e-commerce chief at CNBC. “…the delivery person arrives “with a camera on their chest,” he said on “Mad Money.” “You can watch it on your iPhone and see them come in, put it in your fridge and leave…By the end of 2019, same-day delivery will be available to 60 percent of the U.S. population, Lore says.” Video/Read more
Williams-Sonoma Sues Amazon – Claims Amazon Copied Its West Elm Furniture Designs at Bloomberg via Fortune. “Amazon’s “Rivet” line includes products that are “strikingly similar” to Williams-Sonoma’s West Elm brand, including a $300 orb chair the household goods maker introduced two years ago, according to William-Sonoma’s complaint.” Read more
Target’s same-day delivery service Shipt will include ‘all major product categories’ in 2019 by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “…one of the challenges Target still faces is that it can be difficult to figure out which merchandise is available via which delivery or pickup method…the move could be a potential game-changer for Target.” Read more
Retail workers tested positive for drugs at the highest rate last year by Paul Davidson at USA Today. “In retail, 5.3 percent of tests were positive, up from 4.7 percent in 2015, and the highest among the 16 industries studied. Since 2015, positive tests in retail have risen from 2.7 to 3.2 percent for marijuana and from 0.14 to 0.2 percent for cocaine.” Read more
Longtime Amazon leader Diego Piacentini reportedly departs by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “Piacentini spent 16 years at Amazon, most recently running the company’s international consumer business arm…CNBC reported that Piacentini is one of at least 15 Amazon executives to depart this year.” Read more
TJX keeps customers coming back for the thrill of the hunt by James F. Peltz at LA Times. “This is one of the best management teams that I’ve come across,” said John D. Morris, senior brand apparel analyst at the investment firm D.A. Davidson & Co. “They really know what they’re doing.” Tiered subs.
European officials agree on ban of some single-use plastics at AP News. Read more
Inmar acquires digital coupon and rebate technology from Kroger by Richard Craver at Winston-Salem Journal. “YouTech was founded in 2007 and was acquired by Kroger in 2014. Its cloud-based digital offer platform enables digital offers for redemption at Kroger and other U.S. retailers.” Read more
With a Pinch of Innovation, Food Makers Raise Prices by Heather Haddon & Annie Gasparro at Wall Street Journal. “Food makers are devising more-expensive sizes and flavors of their treats and breakfast foods, a subtle strategy to cover rising costs as tough competition holds down prices elsewhere in the supermarket.” WSJ subs.
United Natural Foods Announces Intent to Transfer to NYSE at MarketWatch Read more
Walmart is testing its own, in-house virtual search technology on Hayneedle by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “The relationship proved to be mutually beneficial, explains Hayneedle’s head of Engineering, Benjamin Dekarske. “We don’t have the dedicated core technologists that Walmart has with Labs, and Walmart gains from Hayneedle a platform [for visual search] that they don’t have to scale to Walmart’s scale.” Read more
For the first time ever, UPS has forecast the busiest day for returns will be today. Typically, the busiest day for returns falls on Jan. 3 at CNBC. Read more
Boxed CMO Makes the Leap to a General Manager Post at Clorox by Nat Ives at Wall Street Journal. “I definitely have a learning curve,” Mr. Jeyanayagam said about aspects of the job ahead, adding that a recruiter pitched it to him as a “mini CEO role.” WSJ subs.
Former Pentagon employee’s business ties to Amazon draws scrutiny by Aaron Gregg at Washington Post via Seattle Times. “The possibility that Ubhi was biased toward Amazon as he helped plan high-stakes military procurements has put him at the center of a protracted legal battle involving the Defense Department, Amazon and Oracle.” Tiered subs.
Amazon expands Toronto Tech Hub and announces plans to create 600 new tech jobs Press release
The World’s Most Successful Caviar Entrepreneur Is A Scrapyard Operator In Wisconsin by Chloe Sorvino at Forbes. “Holst had never tasted caviar and had rarely been outside the United States. But he flew to Budapest, holding a briefcase filled with $10,000 in cash to convince officials to meet about buying the company. The Hungarian government agreed to $200,000. Holst paid it all in cash.” Read more
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