Tipsheet: NorthStar Hits TJX | H.Dep EVP Iview | Wayfair +32% | Wgreen/Rite Aid 60 Days


60 DAY COUNTDOWN – Walgreens, Rite Aid To Certify Compliance, Forcing FTC’s Hand On Merger by Bruce Japsen at Forbes. “Walgreens Boots Alliance officially set in motion a clock designed to force the Federal Trade Commission to make a decision on its purchase of Rite Aid in 60 days.” Read more | Press release


NorthStar Asset Management not happy that all of the top executives at TJX are white men by Jeff Green & Lindsey Rupp at Bloomberg. “TJX’s primary customer base is likely represented by the store workers and the store management, rather than what you see in the C-suite,” NorthStar CEO Julie Goodridge said in an interview. “As management gets further and further away from their customer base, that’s when they start making stupid decisions around merchandising, and that’s something we’re concerned about.” Read more


Home Depot EVP Ted Decker Talks to Atlanta Journal Constitution by Michael E. Kannell at AJC. “Decker: “Have you read ‘The Boys in the Boat’ about the American Olympic rowing team in 1936? It’s a wonderful metaphor.” When everyone is doing everything in concert to make that boat move faster, “that’s when the boat has what they call ‘swing,’” Decker said. “And that is what we want.” Read more


…Carol Tome: “We estimate that we have captured fifty-one percent of the appliance sales lost by Sears”


Wayfair Q1 direct retail net revenue up 32.1% year over year “The number of active customers in our Direct Retail business reached 8.9 million as of March 31, 2017, an increase of 45.8% year over year.” Press release


Bon-Ton CEO Kathryn Bufano to resign after three years by Melanie Lawder at Milwaukee Business Journal. “Bufano will resign from the company late in (August) upon the expiration of her contract, the department store chain said late Monday afternoon. Her successor is William Tracy, the company’s chief operating officer, who will become president and CEO effective Aug. 25.” Read more


USING A.I. TO SET GAS PRICES – Why Do Gas Station Prices Constantly Change? Blame the Algorithm by Sam Schechner at Wall Street Journal. “In a pilot study, OK split 30 stations into two sets, a control group and an a2i group. The group using the software averaged 5% higher margins, according to a paper Mr. Derakhshan presented last June at an A.I. conference in Seville, Spain.” Read more (subscription)


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CST Brands Q1: U.S. Merchandise & Services Gross Profit increased 1% Press release


Pop-Ups, Markets Generate Big Bucks For Retailers by Anne Kadet at Wall Street Journal. “The market’s appeal is so strong, she says groupies volunteer to set up tables, hand out fliers and greet shoppers…Co-founders Ronen Glimer and Amy Abrams say artisan markets are thriving because shoppers are hungry for unique goods, not to mention connection. They choose their merchants based not just on their wares, but personality. A key question: “Is this a fun person?”.” Read more (subscription)


Toys R Us finally gets serious about e-commerce by Charisse Jones at USA Today via CNBC. “The toy giant’s new site will debut to a small number of users before a full rollout that is expected by early July. The revamp is part of a nearly $100 million investment by Toys R Us over the last three years that is geared toward jump-starting an e-commerce experience that it acknowledges lagged some of its retail peers.” Read more


Two years after massive breach, Staples hires first cybersecurity chief Press release


Coach CEO says he doesn’t want consumers to know it owns Kate Spade by Courtney Reagan at CNBC. “We don’t want consumers to any have idea that there is a link. We don’t think it’s relevant,” explained Coach CEO Victor Luis in an interview with CNBC…”To that end, there won’t be links between the brands online. All the connection will be on the back end of the business” like logistics and some supply chain costs.” Read more


Amazon set to debut new Echo device with touchscreen and phone-calling capabilities by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “The Wall Street Journal reported Monday afternoon that the new voice-powered device will sport a 7-inch touchscreen and let users make internet-powered telephone calls. The device could start shipping as early as June and will be priced at more than $200.” Read more


…Amazon to control 70% of the voice-controlled speaker market this year by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. Read more


Office Depot beats 1Q profit forecasts on cost cuts at Fox Business. Read more | Press release


With Wal-Mart’s help, China’s grows Q1 sales 40% by Don Davis at Internet Retailer. “ said today it had begun selling on its e-commerce site goods from British grocery chain Asda, a Wal-Mart subsidiary. It also said it was working with 80 Wal-Mart stores in China and 165 stores operated by Chinese supermarket chain Yonghui Superstores Co. Ltd. to offer one-hour delivery of groceries to online shoppers in China.” Read more


Party City Q1 Comp Sales +1.7% Press release


Dick’s Sporting Goods launches a private-label performance apparel brand by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. “Dick’s recently launched (Second Skin) online first rather than in store to gauge consumer response, says Ryan Eckel, vice president of brand at Dick’s. “We initially want athletes to discover the brand rather than be loud and in their face right from day one, and an online launch gives us the best opportunity to do that,” he says. “Later this year, Second Skin will expand to include a wider assortment of athletic apparel and will be available both in stores and online.” Read more


Lowe’s Launches Iris Monitoring Service For $14.95 Per Month Press release


BLONDIE FOR AMAZON – Amazon is launching live music gigs to attract more Prime subscribers at Fast Company. “The first Prime Live Event will feature Blondie at the Round Chapel in Hackney, London, on May 23. Other upcoming artists include Alison Moyet and Texas. In order to purchase tickets to the gigs, you’ll need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber.” Read more


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