Tipsheet: Panic Buying @ Costco | Specialty Grocers Not Special | Target CFO: Play O


Grocers, Retailers Prepare for Surge in Demand as Coronavirus Spreads by Jaewon Kang at Wall Street Journal. “For weeks, as the outbreak advanced mainly in China, retailers focused on maintaining supplies of products they procure from Asia such as tuna, mandarin oranges, garlic and face masks. Their attention shifted in recent days…“This is like a natural disaster, but it’s an illness,” said Doug Baker, vice president of industry relations at FMI.” WSJ subs.


…Panic buying hits New York at Daily Mail. “Over the weekend videos emerged on social media of shoppers rushing to stock up on toilet paper, bottled water, disinfectant wipes and sanitizer at a Costco in Brooklyn, New York. People were also seen scrambling to get hold of food at a Chinese supermarket in Flushing, Queens, on Sunday.” Video/Read more


…Coronavirus taking a toll on Chinese restaurants in New York at NY Post. “Restaurant owners, the people who work for them and city lawmakers say business at Chinese-owned establishments has plummeted by as much as 60 percent as the global pandemic spreads. Some restaurants in Queens have closed, possibly for good, sources said.” Read more


Target’s new CFO says company will continue to invest to compete by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Michael Fiddelke said Target will continue to make significant investments in technology, supply chain and new stores. “That’s the thing that we think has driven our success and so we’ll continue to keep an eye out for what are the right places we can continue to invest,” he said in an interview. “We want to play offense.” Tiered subs.


Walmart names Sam’s Club exec Jamie Iannone to key leadership role in US e-commerce at CNBC. “He will oversee Walmart e-commerce groups, including the retailer’s tech incubator and third-party marketplace. He is switching roles as Walmart looks to grow online sales beyond groceries.” Read more


Hudson’s Bay shareholders vote overwhelmingly to take Canada’s oldest retailer private at Montreal Gazette. Read more


New York plastic bag ban takes effect, customers ‘not happy’ at Fox Business. “Certain bags, like food storage or pharmacy drug bags are exempt. And people using government nutrition programs like SNAP or WIC are exempt from the 5-cent paper carryout bag fee.” Read more


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Amazon asks employees to avoid ‘non-essential’ travel to mitigate coronavirus risk by Monica Nickelsburg at GeekWire. Read more


Walmart and Verizon may turn stores into 5G hubs at Engadget. “This isn’t guaranteed to take place, although both sides have an incentive to put 5G in stores. For Walmart, this could turn its stores into medical hubs for communities where dedicated clinics (not to mention wired internet providers) are rare.” Read more


Amazon’s fight against $277 million EU tax order kicks off in court on Thursday at Reuters. Read more


Specialty Grocers Lose Their Edge by Jaewon Kang at Wall Street Journal. “What was special 10 years ago isn’t special anymore,” said Don Fitzgerald, who teaches marketing at DePaul University and until last year was a merchandising executive at Kroger’s Mariano’s chain.” WSJ subs.


US malls ‘will be hit hard’ if coronavirus worsens, study finds at CNBC. Read more


Bath & Body Works’ massive sanitizer business is a rare winner in the coronavirus crisis by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “…(Bath & Body Works) gets about 5% of its annual sales from hand sanitizers. That would translate to $260 million based on Bath & Body Works’ 2019 revenue of $5.34 billion.” Read more


Jeff Bezos’ $165M Home and Why New Moguls Love Old Hollywood Estates by Peter Kiefer at Hollywood Reporter. “No broker was involved in the Bezos-Geffen deal (speculation has it that negotiations may have opened on Geffen’s yacht when Bezos was a guest last summer), but according to Coldwell Banker’s Joyce Rey, who has walked the property on multiple occasions, the price seems fair.” Read more


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