Tipsheet: Target Spokesperson Out | Amazon Eyes Grocer | Couche-Tard Eyes Weed | Toys R Us -4.1%


Target’s chief spokesperson is leaving the company by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Dustee Jenkins, senior vice president and chief communications officer, is leaving next week. Her last day is June 23. The company did not disclose a reason for her departure, and she did not respond to requests for comment.” Read more


U.S. retail sales post biggest drop in 16 months at Reuters. “The Commerce Department said on Wednesday retail sales fell 0.3 percent last month after an unrevised 0.4 percent increase in April. May’s decline was the largest since January 2016 and confounded economists’ expectation for a 0.1 percent gain.” Read more


Amazon Is in Talks to Buy Indian Online Grocer BigBasket at Bloomberg. “The discussions are at an early stage and may not lead to a sale, the people said, asking not to be identified as the negotiations are private. BigBasket, run by SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt, is India’s largest online grocer and operates in about 25 cities across the country.” Read more


Wal-Mart Just Created a Designer Cantaloupe by Matthew Boyle at Bloomberg. “The retailer teamed up with seed experts at German agriculture giant Bayer AG to help develop a bespoke melon that’s pleasing to the palate but still tough enough for the trek from warmer climes.Wal-Mart considered more than 100 varieties of seeds and tested 20. Wal-Mart employees spent six months grading the cantaloupes on attributes like flavor, texture and aroma.” Read more


Neiman Marcus takes itself off the auction block by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “Chief Executive Karen Katz said Tuesday that “any conversations about a full or partial sale of the company have terminated.” Read more


Toys R Us Q1 Comp Sales -4.1% Press release


Couche-Tard keen on selling cannabis in convenience stores in Quebec via Toronto Star. “Alimentation Couche-Tard has hired a lobbyist to work on ensuring it is involved in the cannabis-distribution system Quebec will eventually set up. The province’s official registry of lobbyists shows Marie-Eve Bedard has been authorized to work on behalf of Couche-Tard.” Read more


Sears is cutting 400 HQ corporate jobs by Gina Hall at Chicago Business Journal. Read more 


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Amazon gives 2% rewards back to Prime members who deposit cash via their bank account by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. ““Amazon Prime Reload” gives customers 2% back when they reload their Amazon Gift Card Balance with a connected checking account and linked debit card.” Read more


JC Penney Pegs Hopes on ’80s Shoe Designer by Chavie Lieber at Racked. “The Sam Edelman brand might be a household name that’s known for its trendy styles, but this partnership with Edelman is baffling — and not just because she has never designed clothes before…” Read more


Indiana: Kroger and new competitor Fresh Encounter split Marsh locations at IndyStar. “The Kroger Co. and Fresh Encounter Inc. are dividing up 26 of Marsh’s 44 remaining stores, including eight Central Indiana locations, according to a motion filed Tuesday in Marsh’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.” Read more


Supervalu Looks to Cloud for Savings, Flexibility by Angus Loten at Wall Street Journal. “Its chains, including Shop N’Save and Cub Foods, have come under intense pressure from the growth of discount retailers across the Midwest…Finding a secure platform was also a consideration. Two years ago, the chain was hit by a data breach.” Read more (subs.)


Amazon Go job posting points to potential expansion of checkout-free retail concept by Nat Levy at GeekWire. “Some of the duties included in the posting, first spotted by The Seattle Times, are site selection, working with local brokers, negotiating leases for new locations and putting together a strategic real estate plan for Amazon Go.” Read more


Wal-Mart Stores’ Management Presents at dbAccess Global Consumer Conference Transcript @ Seeking Alpha


Australia: 7-Eleven compensation bill climbs over $110 million by Anna Patty by Sydney Morning Herald. “While 7-Eleven’s head office was not held responsible for the conduct of its franchisees that had underpaid workers, it volunteered to repay workers what they were owed in back pay.” Read more


Tipsheet Extra Stories

Walmart Foundation gives update on work to change perception of retail jobs

The producers behind New York Fashion Week are launching a startup accelerator

Daily aspirin behind more than 3,000 deaths a year, study suggests

Costco worker stocks up on adoring female fans after his six-pack and shelf-stacks go viral

‘Keep smilin’ Josh’: Target store creates memorial for employee who died of cancer

Walmart shoplifting suspect tries to use taxi as getaway (bites driver when he won’t budge)

Cumberland Farms customers doused in chemical while pumping gas

Panera is set to hit $1 billion in digital sales by the end of this year

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