US hikes tariffs on Chinese goods, Beijing vows retaliation at AP News. “The higher U.S. import taxes don’t apply to Chinese goods shipped before Friday. By sea, shipments across the Pacific take about three weeks, which gives negotiators a few more days to reach a settlement…” Read more
Party City says it is closing 45 stores amid a global helium shortage by Kelly Tyko at USA Today. “…did not release a list of affected stores…closures represent about 5% of locations. Local news outlets have so far reported closings in California, Illinois, Connecticut and Washington.” Read more
U.S. consumer prices rise; underlying inflation tame at Reuters. “Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI edged up 0.1 percent as apparel prices dropped for a second straight month.” Read more
‘Why Is This So Cheap?’ Chinese Shopping App Falls for American Bargains by Natasha Khan & Allison Prang at Wall Street Journal. “ShopShops, which works on a commission basis with many of its partner stores, now hosts 220 streams a month—from various cities in the U.S., as well as a handful of others, including Dubai and London—averaging about $6,000 in sales each session. ShopShops then facilitates delivery to China.” WSJ subs.
Etsy CEO shrugs off ‘rocky’ start to Q1: ‘We feel really good’ at Mad Money/CNBC. “Q1 started out a little rocky as we said and then ended really strong,” he said in a one-on-one with the “Mad Money” host. “We raised guidance, so we feel really good about the start that we’re off to.” Video/Read more
Amazon pays $700K as part of pact with Washington state AG to crack down on toxic school supplies nationwide by Monica Nickelsburg & James Thorne at GeekWire. “The state found 15,188 purchases from Amazon.com that involved products with illegal levels of cadmium and lead.” Read more
The Buckle April comp sales +2.0% Press release
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Shoppers Tour Walmart’s New Intelligent Retail Lab at Field Agent. “Agents assigned the IRL an overall rating of 4.1 on a 5-star scale. Comparatively speaking, participants gave high marks to the lab for organization/layout, ambiance, and stock levels, yet relatively lower marks for customer service.” Video/Read more
Mother’s Day spending estimated to reach record of $25 billion, up 8.22% by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “Consumers are expected to dole out an average $196.47 for moms and other special women this year. NRF said 84% of consumers plan to celebrate the event this coming weekend.” Read more
Fears of an Amazon Drug Store Disruption Can Be Shelved, Evercore Says by Bailey Lipschultz at Bloomberg. “The findings showed that just 7% of U.S. households ordered over-the-counter drugs online instead of visiting a brick-and-mortar store, the survey of 2,500 adult consumers revealed.” Tiered subs.
Retailers Are Warned to Step Slowly Into One-Day Shipping by Jennifer Smith at Wall Street Journal. “Surveys indicate the price of an item is the biggest reason shoppers buy online with a particular merchant, Forrester’s Ms. Kodali said. Less than 10% say expedited shipping drives purchase decisions, although more than half cite free shipping as an incentive.” Read more
The average American hasn’t made a new friend in 5 years via NY Post “45 percent of those studied reveal they would go out of their way to make new friends if they knew how or had more opportunities.” Read more
Shaquille O’Neal buys 10 pairs of shoes for Georgia boy, 13, with size 18 feet after single mom admitted she was struggling to pay for his footwear at Daily Mail. “Shaq told CBS 46 reporter Sharon Reed he’s bought 3,000 pairs of shoes from Friedman’s over the last 30 years ever since the owner gave him a free pair of dress shoes for prom.” Video/Read more
Tipsheet Extra Stories
Brooke Shields sues major retailers over “Brooke S” eyebrow pencil
Guns N’ Roses Sues Brewery Over Rosé Ale
Student ‘geek squads’ maintain school devices, help teachers
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Sanders want to cap credit card interest at 15%
Musk pokes fun at Bezos’ new moon lander spacecraft with lewd tweet
Man catches massive 50-pound catfish, sets new state record
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