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No Evidence of Aloe Vera Found in the Aloe Vera at Wal-Mart, Target & CVS by Lydia Mulvany & Zeke Faux at Bloomberg. “Aloe’s three chemical markers — acemannan, malic acid and glucose — were absent in the tests for Wal-Mart, Target and CVS products conducted by a lab hired by Bloomberg News. The three samples contained a cheaper element called maltodextrin, a sugar sometimes used to imitate aloe. The gel that’s sold at another retailer, Walgreens, contained one marker, malic acid, but not the other two.” Read more


Dollar Tree Q3 Comp Sales +1.7% (+1.4% expected) “The same-store sales growth, representing the Company’s 35th consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales, was driven by increases in comparable customer count and average ticket.” Press release


Fox Business: Dollar Tree’s Quarterly Profit More Than Doubles “Excluding items, the company earned 81 cents per share, beating the average analysts’ estimate of 78 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.” Read more


Burlington Stores Q3 Comp Sales +3.7% “For the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2016 the Company expects: Net sales to increase in the range of 6.6% to 7.6%; Comparable store sales to increase in the range of 2.5% to 3.5%.” Press release


Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly smiling over the retailer’s holiday prospects by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “…being an avid user and evangelist for technology is also part of the job — and one that Joly takes seriously. He bought a drone last year and plans to buy another this holiday. His house is filled with several Google Home devices, the tech giant’s version of the voice-activated-and-responding Amazon Echo. He has an Echo, too, in his kitchen and is a Prime member himself. “But Alexa and I are not really on speaking terms anymore,” he quipped.” Read more


Deloitte: 76% of Americans plan to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend “Shoppers expect to spend 51% of their budget online and 46% in physical stores…84% plan to shop in-store over the holiday weekend and 87% plan to do so online…69% plan to head to stores and 55% intend to shop online on Black Friday…Cyber Monday: 74% of respondents plan to shop online on Cyber Monday.” Press release


Wal-Mart’s Dallas optical lab loses 91 jobs to automation by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “While trade policies were a big issue in the presidential election, manufacturing jobs are still being lost in the U.S. to automation. Last year, Wal-Mart said it would spend $10 million to upgrade manufacturing equipment at its Fayetteville, Ark.; Crawfordsville, Ind.; and Dallas optical labs.” Read more


Eddie Bauer faces tough climb to reclaim former heights by Janet I. Tu at Seattle Times. “Earlier this year, the company moved its Bellevue Square flagship store from a 8,390-square-foot location to a space half that size. The store design morphed from a lodge motif to a more spare look with darker walls and ceilings and lots of light, intended to make the products stand out. So far, 57 of the company’s 370 stores worldwide (335 in the U.S. and Canada) have this new design. And the company is looking to downsize its other locations as leases come up.” Read more


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Amazon reportedly wants to include live sports as part of Prime membership by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “The Journal reported that Amazon wanted to exclusively license NBA’s League Pass streaming product; it is also reaching out to traditional broadcasters like Univision and ESPN about the content they own but don’t end up airing on TV.” Read more | WSJ article (subscription)


Brewers Bet Beer Drinkers Seek More Sober Suds by Saabira Chaudhuri at Wall Street Journal. “It’s kind of like nonbeneficial exercise—why would people use this if the main benefit doesn’t exist?” says Matt Voda, a New York-based virtual-reality developer who in 2013 did market research on nonalcoholic beer for Heineken as part of an internship with the brewer. Mr. Voda’s research during his three months at Heineken showed nonalcoholic beer was primarily drunk by older people whose doctors had advised them to cut back on alcohol.” Read more (subscription)


Amazon Echo sales reach 5M in two years, research firm says by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “CIRP’s estimates line up with other research firms. New York consulting firm Activate Inc. estimated that Amazon sold 4.4 million Echo units in its first full year of sales, after becoming available to the general public in 2015.” Read more


Lowe’s Unveils LoweBot, The Bilingual Robot That Is Eager To Please by Don Ford at CBS SF Bay Area. “One guy wants a soft drink. “I’m looking for a Soda,” he said. “Drain cleaner,” the robot responds. The robot likes specifics. “Do you have Pepsi?” the man asks. That worked.“I followed it and it took me right to it!” the man said.” Video / Read more


Amazon has big plans to expand its online tickets business by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “In one of the recent job postings, Amazon said it is looking to hire new employees “to develop our international expansion strategy for Europe and Asia.” The company has also been hiring Amazon Tickets employees at its headquarters in Seattle, potentially signaling plans for a U.S. ticketing business. “[O]ur vision goes beyond just selling tickets as we aim to disrupt the entire live entertainment experience, including what happens before, during and after the show,” one posting reads.” Read more


Ex-Staples President Joins Barnes & Noble as COO Press release


Orchard Supply opening first San Diego County store by Karen Pearlman at San Diego Union Tribune. “…there will be a ribbon cutting at 6 p.m. at the store on Dec. 8. A “grand opening” is also set for Dec. 10, said store manager Shane Holly…They will open new stores later this year in Rolling Hills and Culver City. Another store set to open next year in Hollywood.” Read more


Venezuela’s Nemesis Is a Hardware Salesman at a Home Depot Store by Anatoly Kurmanaev at Wall Street Journal. “Mr. Díaz, 60 years old, does more than anyone else to set the price of everything from rice to aspirin to cars in his native Venezuela, influencing the inflation rate and swaying millions of dollars of daily currency transactions. How? He is president of one of Venezuela’s most popular and insurgent websites,, which provides a benchmark exchange rate used by his compatriots to buy and sell black-market dollars.” Read more (subscription) | Story via


Singing Dollar General cashier keeping his day job, for now by Rachel Greco at Lansing State Journal. “The last few weeks have been unexpected for the East Lansing resident and Dollar General cashier, whose impromptu rendition of “Ascension” by Maxwell was captured on video and went viral this month. Holliday’s week began with a Monday appearance on “Good Morning America,” and ended with a rare opportunity, an invitation from Maxwell himself to take the Detroit venue’s stage in front of thousands of people.” Read more | Video


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