Tipsheet: Target Invests in Start-Up | hhgregg -22% | N.Mar Losing Vendor Faith


Target invests in Mpls. start-up that helps retailers monitor supply chains by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “While Inspectorio is the only start-up from the inaugural Techstars program that Target invested in, the retailer is still actively in touch with others and is in the middle of tests with some of them. Branch Messenger, which has an app that enables hourly workers to swap and keep track of shifts, has relocated to Minneapolis from Los Angeles.” Read more


…Target + Techstars Open Applications for Second Wave of Startups after Year-One Success at A Bullseye View. “Target and Techstars will announce the selected startups this July and host a final demo day at the 14-week program’s close in October.” Read more/Video


Vendors are losing confidence in struggling Neiman Marcus by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “Some vendors have become irked and have lost confidence in the chain since the stores’ new computer merchandising system failed last summer. The snafu with the system has left Neiman — and its Bergdorf Goodman operation — unable to verify inventory, it has said. Operating blind, Neiman has been putting pressure on its suppliers to determine when it should restock its stores and discount its merchandise, vendors complained in interviews with The Post.” Read more


Nordstrom names longtime exec to lead new innovation team by Kurt Schlosser at GeekWire. “Nordstrom announced that it had created a new executive team role — chief innovation officer — and named Geevy Thomas to the position. Thomas brings 34 years of Nordstrom experience to the job. He most recently served as president of Nordstrom Rack.” Read more


Gildan wins bankruptcy auction for American Apparel after raising its offer to around $88 million at Fortune. “Gildan will not take any of American Apparel’s 110 stores, but will own its brand and assume some of its manufacturing operations, the source said. The deal is subject to a bankruptcy judge approving it on Thursday.” Read more


Barnes & Noble founder gives Spelman College $1 million gift by Jessica Saunders at Atlanta Business Chronicle. Read more


Instacart is cutting worker pay again in at least four cities by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Screenshots from workers’ Instacart app viewed by Recode showed pay decreases ranging from 11 percent to 19 percent for workers who both shop for grocery orders and deliver them.” Read more


Report: Amazon may be planning grocery store for Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood by Nat Levy at GeekWire. Read more


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Hudson’s Bay cuts revenue forecast at Reuters.”…its consolidated comparable sales decreased by 0.7 percent on a constant currency basis in the nine-week holiday selling period ended Dec. 31.” Read more


Whole Foods Market cancels Alberta openings as Canadian expansion plan slows via Financial Post. Read more


hhgregg prelim Q3 comp sales -22% Press release


Kantar: Tesco emerges as Christmas winner as UK grocery inflation returns at Fox Business. “Tesco sales grew 1.3 percent during the 12 weeks to Jan. 1, outperforming no.2 chain Sainsbury’s, whose sales fell 0.1 percent, Asda, down 2.4 percent, and Morrisons , up 1.2 percent.” Read more


H-E-B adding another convenience store in San Antonio by Katie Burke at San Antonio Business Journal. “H-E-B is expanding its convenience-store concept across the city and its starting with plans for its second site near the intersection of Bulverde and Loop 1604.” Read more


Former Sprouts CEO sells off majority of stock by Steven Totten at Phoenix Business Journal. “According to SEC Filings, (Doug) Sanders sold 45,000 shares of Sprouts Farmers Market stock at an average price of $19.47 for a grand total of $876,150.” Read more


For New Hires at Alibaba, a Crash Course in Chinese Business by Rachel Feintzeig at Wall Street Journal. “Alibaba has committed to running the program for at least 10 years, and expects enrollment to grow to 100 annually. Participants, all new hires, typically join after business school or a few years working in fields such as marketing and technology. More than 3,000 applied to the inaugural class, according to Alibaba.” Read more (subscription)


Trunk Club CEO Brian Spaly is stepping down via New York Business Journal. “Nordstrom said Monday that Brian Spaly has “chosen to depart” Trunk Club, the men’s fashion subscription service he founded in 2009 and sold to the Seattle retailer for $350 million in 2014. Terry Boyle, president of, will lead Trunk Club in addition to his current responsibilities.” Read more


Rent-A-Center CEO resigns – founder takes over by Korri Kezar at Dallas Business Journal. Read more


Amazon gives out 5,000 bananas a day in Seattle by Monica Nickelsburg at GeekWire. “Potassium-filled treats are free and up for grabs to anyone passing by between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Amazon employee or not. The stand has become a fixture at Amazon’s South Lake Union headquarters.” Read more/Video


FBI accused of paying a Best Buy ‘Geek Squad’ worker $500 to snoop through the files of a prominent surgeon at Daily Mail. “…who was revealed to have child pornography images on his computer.” Read more


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