Tipsheet: Macy’s HQ to Close | Smart Speaker Shopping Slow | New Luggage @ Target


Private payrolls soar in January, the best monthly gain in nearly 5 years at CNBC. “…adding 291,000 in private payrolls for the best monthly gain since May 2015, according to a report Wednesday from ADP and Moody’s Analytics. That was well above the 150,000 estimate from economists surveyed by Dow Jones…” Read more


Macy’s to shutter Cincinnati HQ & 125 stores at The Enquirer. “The company said it will shift an unspecified number of jobs to Springdale, where it has about 480 employees. That number will grow to 950 after the Downtown headquarters closes…The moves are all part of a broader blood-letting by Macy’s, which said Tuesday it would cut 2,000 corporate jobs and 125 stores over the next three years.” Tiered subs.


…Off-Price Expansion: Macy’s will continue to expand Macy’s Backstage over the next three years. In 2020, the company plans to open an additional 50 Backstage store-within-store locations and 7 additional freestanding, off-mall Backstage stores. Press release


…Macy’s to shut San Francisco tech offices, cut some jobs at CNBC. “Macy’s said its operations in these offices, which include product and digital revenue segments as well as its online and technology groups, are moving to New York City and Atlanta.” Read more


Supplies are running low for firms that depend on China imports at Fortune. “In order to meet deadlines for summer goods, retail experts say that Chinese factories would need to start ramping up production by March 15. If Chinese factories were instead to remain idle through May 1, it would likely cripple retailers’ crucial back-to-school and fall seasons.” Read more


Best Buy board stands by CEO following investigation Press release


Target takes on startups like Away with new luggage brand by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Target’s designers and engineers spent about 14 months developing Open Story, researching not only the features offered by premium luggage brands, but also talking to consumers about what they’re looking for in luggage and where they’d like to see improvements. They went through several prototypes and stress tested them on trips and on cobblestone streets. “It’s going to blow all other luggage offerings out of the water,” Guggemos said.” Tiered subs.


Boot Barn Q3 comp sales +6.7% Press release


The owner of the New York Stock Exchange says it explored deal with eBay at Reuters. “ICE said in its statement that “eBay has not engaged in a meaningful way”, and as a result, it was not in negotiations regarding the sale of all or part of eBay.” Read more


**A message from Home & Outdoor cookware – High quality cookware made for the cabin, camping, and the great outdoors. 3X stain and scratch resistance. Retail ready packaging. Sales deck | Samples:


The Container Store Group Q3 comp sales +3.0% “…with Custom Closets up 10.2%…and all other product categories were down 2.0%.” Press release


Shopping via smart speakers is not taking off, report suggests by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. “Still, it’s important to point out that the overall number of people making purchases via a smart speaker is growing. It will even pass a milestone this year, when 10.8% of all digital buyers in the U.S. will have made a purchase using their smart speaker.” Read more


Sephora to open 100 stores in 2020, in bid to grow outside of the mall at CNBC. “Sephora will also be looking to grow in cities like Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee — not necessarily urban markets like New York and Los Angeles.” Read more


Instacart workers in Skokie, IL vote to unionize at The Verge. “The union vote is a landmark victory for gig worker activism, as it represents the first time employees of tech companies that rely predominantly on contract labor have formed a union to collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.” Read more


$9 Cabbages, Emergency Pork: Coronavirus Tests China on Food by Raymond Zhong at NY Times. “As if one dangerous disease was not enough for China right now, the national government over the weekend reported a “highly pathogenic” outbreak of bird flu at a chicken farm in Hunan Province. Some 4,500 chickens had died, and 17,000 were culled pre-emptively.” Tiered subs.


Nearly $40 million worth of legal weed sold across Illinois in January at Chicago Sun-Times. Read more


Tiffany Stockholders Approve Merger With LVMH Press release


Justice Department Ramps Up Google Probe, With Heavy Focus on Ad Tools at Wall Street Journal. “In recent months, the department has been posing increasingly detailed questions—to Google’s rivals and executives inside the company itself—about how Google’s third-party advertising business interacts with publishers and advertisers, the people say.” WSJ subs.


Climate protests shut BP’s London headquarters on CEO’s first day at Reuters. Read more


Jeff Bezos sells more than $1.8B in stock, new regulatory filings show at GeekWire. Read more


Tipsheet Extra

Jeff Bezos racked up $16,800 in parking tickets during renovation to his DC mansion

The woman who wants to reinvent recycling

Walmart gift card scam ring allegedly steals $600K from Utah seniors

David Glass’ leadership path did not include shortcuts

Man walks into Walmart store with ‘I have the coronavirus’ sign

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories



Eye on Retail Tipsheet is must-read material for retail execs every weekday morning. Tipsheet stories are carefully curated bright and early every morning to ensure fresh and unique content.


Subscribe to Eye on Retail Tipsheet here


Contact us: Put your product or service in front of the most powerful retail execs in the world, send advertising inquiries to