Tipsheet: Lowe’s +4.5% | Ex-Target Jones to H&R | Buc-ee’s Throne | Saks Salt Rooms


Lowe’s Q2 earnings & sales miss Street estimates – Comp sales +4.5% (vs. 4.3% expected) at CNBC. “We are pleased with our improved comparable sales performance relative to last quarter, and the strong momentum we built throughout the second quarter culminating in a 7.9% comparable sales increase for the month of July.” Read more | Press release


Express Inc. Q2 Comp Sales -4.0% Press release


DSW Q2 Comp Sales +0.6% Press release


Former Target and Uber exec Jeff Jones named CEO of H&R Block by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “I’m not walking into a troubled situation. It’s good to not walk into a problem.” Jones continued to keep the Twin Cities as home while working for San Francisco-based Uber. Now, he’ll move to Kansas City.” Read more (tiered subs.)


Wal-Mart, Google Partner on Voice-Based Shopping to Catch Amazon by Matthew Boyle & Spencer Soper at Bloomberg. “By the end of September, Wal-Mart customers can link their store accounts to Google’s Express shopping service and use voice-activated Google Home speakers to buy hundreds of thousands of items for delivery. Shopping recommendations will be based on previous purchases. Beginning next year, the assortment will expand to include fresh groceries and allow for in-store pickup of orders.” Read more


Walmart and 9 Food Giants Team Up on IBM Blockchain Plans by Robert Hackett at Fortune. “The industry group also includes members Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Driscoll’s, Tyson Foods ) and Golden State Foods. Howard Popoola, Kroger’s VP of corporate food technology and regulatory compliance, said that Walmart’s experience with the software gave the tech “legitimacy.” “The food industry is ripe for a solution like that,” he said.” Read more


Best Buy profits improving due to strong Nintendo Switch console sales: Analyst by Tae Kim at CNBC. “Based on our field checks and other research, we believe Best Buy should be able to grow domestic SSS [same-store sales] at the high end or better than mgmt.’s plan,” analyst Daniel Binder wrote in a note to clients.” Read more


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Wal-Mart Nears a Pilot Deal to Offer Customers Installment Loans by AnnaMaria Andriotis at Wall Street Journal. “Affirm’s loans will be largely geared to costlier Wal-Mart items like tires and other purchases over $200, a person familiar with the matter said.” Read more (subs.)


Sears employees argue last-minute bid for Winnipeg store should be allowed via Globe & Mail. “My employee group is owed millions in severance and termination payments,” Susan Ursel, the lawyer representing the employees told the court. “There’s money on the table and they don’t want to leave it there.” Read more


YOUR BUC-EE’S THRONE AWAITS – How Two Texans Made Buc-ee’s Convenience Stores a Phenomenon by Peter Carbonara at Forbes. “The latest is now under construction…half an hour west of Houston. It will have more than 100 gas pumps and 52,000 square feet of retail space…The men’s room will have 30 urinals and 12 toilets, the women’s room 28 toilets. Each stall will have walls, not thin dividers, and a surprisingly heavy metal door. And they will be patrolled 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by uniformed employees whose only job is to keep them pristine.” Read more


Amazon’s $13.7B acquisition of Whole Foods set for key shareholder vote today by Nat Levy at GeekWire. Read more


…BRIDGE TOO FAR? – With Whole Foods, Amazon enters an overcrowded supermarket space by Lauren Thomas at CNBC. “If Amazon isn’t careful, Whole Foods will become Amazon’s bridge too far,” Brittain Ladd, who worked on the global expansion of AmazonFresh, told CNBC in an interview.” Read more


SMALLER – 300 Kohl’s stores have been optimized with new interior layouts – By the end of 2017, nearly half of Kohl’s stores will be operationally smaller Press release


“WELLERY” – This is why you’ll see salt rooms and golf simulators on the second floor of Saks Fifth Avenue by Courtney Reagan at CNBC. “The high-end department store is undergoing a hefty renovation to give the Fifth Avenue store a facelift. Since some departments were being moved to different floors during the work, the second floor was going to be vacant for some time. The area will eventually be connected to the first floor by a glass elevator and be home to the beauty department and some jewelry.” Video/Read more


Walgreens’ mobile site slows while Amazon maintains its speed (Home Depot #6) by April Berthene at Internet Retailer. Top 10 list


Blue Apron implements a partial hiring freeze and lays off 14 recruiters by Megan Rose Dickey at TechCrunch. Read more


Sears deal will put Kenmore vacuums, DieHard batteries, flashlights on more shelves by Lauren Zumbach at Chicago Tribune. “Sears began selling 61 more products on Amazon earlier this month. They are currently available only to customers in California, but Sears eventually plans to offer the full line of Kenmore appliances to Amazon shoppers nationwide. “ Read more


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