Tipsheet: Microsoft Wins Albertsons | Amazon Lobbying +10.5% | Hannaford’s Free Groceries


China will this year surpass the US in total retail sales for the first time: Forecast at CNBC. “The world’s most populous country is expected to see its total retail sales grow by 7.5 percent this year to $5.6 trillion, compared to 3.3 percent growth in the U.S. retail market to reach $5.5 trillion.” Read more


Microsoft wins cloud business from Albertsons at CNBC. “…signed a three-year agreement with Albertsons…to make Microsoft Azure the grocer’s preferred public cloud. The partnership comes a little over a week after Microsoft disclosed a seven-year deal with Walgreens.” Read more


U.S. voices concern as India’s e-commerce restrictions hit Amazon, Walmart – sources at Reuters. “This has gone way beyond being a local (India) tussle.” A U.S. government official earlier this month told Indian officials to protect Walmart and Flipkart’s investments in the country, an Indian trade ministry official told Reuters.” Read more


Walmart to raise truck driver pay amid national shortage by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “Walmart runs the third-largest private trucking fleet in the country with 8,000 drivers…Walmart drivers will receive a per-mile increase of $0.01 along with a 50-cent increase in pay for each time they arrive at their destination and each time they drop a trailer…can earn an average of $87,500 in their first year of employment.” Read more


Paralegal for Sears bankruptcy case billed for $174K in one month by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. Read more


Synchrony’s Walmart feud is over, Sam’s Club deal extended at Fox Business. “The two companies parted ways in last July after Walmart chose Capital One to handle its private-label and co-branded credit cards. Since, the two have been negotiating whether to sell or retain the $10 billion in balances on Walmart’s portfolio. Synchrony finally agreed to sell Walmart’s loan to Capital One.” Read more


Amazon rolls out autonomous package-delivery robot ‘Scout’ to a test area north of Seattle by Nat Levy at GeekWire. “Amazon is starting with six delivery bots in an unspecified neighborhood in Snohomish County, and they will be accompanied by an Amazon employee at the outset.” Read more/Video


Canadians spend $54M on weed in first month after legalization by Greg Quinn at Bloomberg via Toronto Star. Tiered subs.


The World’s Biggest Brands Want You to Refill Your Orange Juice and Deodorant by Saabira Chaudhuri at Wall Street Journal. “Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Pepsi and Unilever are among 25 companies that, this summer, will start selling some products in glass, steel and other containers designed to be returned, cleaned and refilled.” WSJ subs.


Amazon is beefing up its brand metrics by Tim Peterson at Digiday. “These “new-to-brand” metrics break out how many purchases of a brand’s products on Amazon were from people who had not purchased anything from that brand on Amazon within the past 12 months. It also includes how much it cost to acquire those new customers.” Read more


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UnitedHealth sues former executive for stealing trade secrets and taking them to Amazon joint health venture at CNBC. Read more


A Home Depot exec explains the key reason why pushing for ‘the store of the future’ could backfire by Aine Cain at Business Insider. “Albert Vita, Home Depot’s in-store experience and visual merchandising director, thinks we should all take a deep breath…He likened retail innovation to an iceberg. Glittery, consumer-facing aspects of stores of the future tend to be the topics that people like to focus on. But everything lurking beneath the surface requires just as much attention.” Read more


Target’s Brian Cornell accepts award for gender diversity Press release


Where Amazon Returns Go to Be Resold by Hustlers by Alexis C. Madrigal at The Atlantic. “Liquidity Services, the operator of, became a major (though not exclusive) handler of Amazon’s American liquidations…Liquidity Services now has 3,357,000 registered buyers on its various liquidation websites… In its most recent SEC filing, (Liquidity) disclosed that it spent approximately $33.7 million on Amazon liquidation inventory.” Read more


‘Be prepared to wait in line’: At discount shop, prices drop … and drop … and drop by Michael McGough at Sacramento Bee. “About 800 people lined up on Tuesday…One woman said she waited 2 1/2 hours to get in. The man working the entrance could let only two people in at a time, to comply with fire codes…It’s a liquidation outlet for retail giants like Target and Amazon, tucked into the corner of a Carmichael strip mall.” Read more/Video


Amazon lobbying spend +10.5% in 2018 to $14.2M at Recode. Read more


Walmart’s next generation of managers will train using a video game by Julia LaRoche at Yahoo Finance. “Called “Spark City,” the game is an app that lets players create their own avatar and run the Dry Grocery department. The idea is to reenact a department manager’s day, from the customers to the chaos.” Read more


Apple dismisses more than 200 employees from its autonomous vehicle group at TechCrunch. Read more


Hannaford customers get free groceries after system crashes at WMTW 8 ABC. “The store’s cash register systems started to fail around 2 p.m. Monday, said store manager Shawn Quelch…Quelch said the store decided to let those stuck in line take their goods home free of charge…”Hannaford just took the worst shopping experience I’ve ever had and made it into one of the best,” (shopper) Blanchard said.” Video/Read more


Amazon’s executive org chart, revealed at CNBC. List/Read more


FIRST TO FIFTH – Amazon knocked off top of UK consumer poll once ethics considered by Rob Davies at The Guardian. “(Amazon) had taken the top spot in the last six published biannual UK Customer Satisfaction Indexes. But it slipped to fifth place, with a score of 85.4 out of 100.” Read more


Under Armour is developing spacesuits and footwear for Virgin Galactic at CBS This Morning. “Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said their partnership began during a visit to Branson’s private island. Fittingly, Branson was wearing beach shorts. “In my world, Sir Richard Branson is larger than life and so there’s nothing more disarming than someone approaching you wearing beach shorts,” Plank said.” Read more/Video


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