Tipsheet: Prime Membership Stagnates | Costco +7.9% | Wmart’s “T.J.” Robot


Costco Q1 Comp Sales +7.9% (w/o gas inflation & FX), E-commerce +42.1% “Net sales for the first quarter were $31.12 billion, an increase of 13.3 percent from $27.47 billion during the first quarter last year.” Press release


…CNBC: Costco quarterly profit beats on online sales strength Read more


Walmart’s inventory robot “T.J.” works up to 90 minutes a day at Springdale store – spends the rest of time in employee lounge by Kim Souza at Talk Business. “Wal-Mart is testing the robots in about 25 stores with the number increasing to around 50 by year end…The bot was named after the employee who used to do the scanning manually. “Travis is happy to have Travis Junior helping him with the daily scan tasks…Todd explained.” Read more


Amazon Prime membership finally starts to stagnate by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “The report, from Morgan Stanley, showed that 40 percent of individuals questioned in a survey said they were Prime members — exactly the same percentage response as in a fourth quarter 2016 survey.” Read more CEO aims to sell or reorganize e-commerce biz so he can focus on blockchain by Evelyn Cheng at CNBC. “My goal is [within] 60 to 90 days we walk away from this,” Byrne told CNBC Wednesday in reference to the plan. He said he has an “ethical obligation” to focus for the next five years on his newly announced De Soto joint venture for a blockchain-based global property registry. “We think we can change the world for 5 billion people.” Read more


Get a look inside Kroger’s first restaurant by Steve Watkins at Cincinnati Business Courier. “It’s been well-received so far. I walked in Wednesday during the lunch rush and almost all 94 seats were filled. There have been waits on weekends for brunch and at other times.” 20 pics/Read more


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Ivanka Trump debuted her own store on Thursday in Trump Tower by Abha Bhattarai at Washington Post via Toronto Star. “The store in Midtown Manhattan — currently the company’s only bricks-and-mortar location — comes after a number of high-profile retailers, including Nordstrom and Sears, stopped carrying the presidential daughter’s line earlier this year.” Read more


H&M to close more stores via Fortune. “…there have been imbalances in parts of the H&M brand’s assortment composition,” it added, suggesting issues with the product ranges. H&M has seen inventories pile up over the past two years. Fourth quarter sales shrank 4% year-on-year.” Read more


Inside America’s Growing Bulletproof Clothing Industry by Chelsea Greenwood at Racked. “In the United States, body armor manufacturing is a $465 million-a-year industry, according to an August report from Market Research. And the global market for such wares is expected to be worth $5.7 billion by 2024, according to a 2016 study by Grandview Research.” Read more scores $910,000 in incentives to build new shipping hub, create 700 jobs by Mike Sunnucks at Phoenix Business Journal. Read more


Instacart promotes Sarah Mastrorocco to new position of VP of Business Development by Jordan Crook at TechCrunch. “Mastrorocco has been instrumental in signing deals with retailers like Kroger, Albertsons, Price Chopper, Lowes Feeds, BevNo, Superior Grocers, Homeland and more. Before Instacart, she was on Frito-Lay NA’s Strategy and M&A team.” Read more


Google adds one-time cloud-holdout Etsy, months after Amazon rolled out its own craft shop by Tom Krazit at GeekWire. Read more


Bloomingdale’s director of windows Leigh Ann Tischler draws back the curtains by Brooke Perry at “Asked if there’s a window theme she’d love to do, Tischler smiles. ‘I can’t give it away’…Given her track record, it’s hard to imagine Tischler at a loss for creative inspiration but “getting people to look up from their cellphones,” she says, “now that can be a challenge.” Read more


Walmart,, IBM and Tsinghua University Launch a Blockchain Food Safety Alliance in China Press release


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