Tipsheet: Target Tests ‘Foot Pong’ | L.Bryant CEO Out | Wmart Replen Cuts Concern | W.Foods Hires MediaCom


Target testing ‘Foot Pong’ game in select stores by Dan DeBaun at Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal. “The game, made possible by a ceiling projector, is found near the children’s shoes and clothing sections. Target spokeswoman Kristy Welker said the game debuted at the Quarry Target last year after a store remodel. “The reason behind it was to bring a little fun to the kids area,” she said.” Video/Pics/Read more


Wal-Mart’s recent corporate downsizing raises questions among suppliers by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “Insiders said about 200 replenishment-related positions were eliminated last week around replenishment and Order Management Systems with men’s apparel and produce being two of the categories seeing potentially the most disruption. The cutbacks are believed to be directly related to the retailer’s Global Replenishment System, an expensive investment in just-in-time inventory management that replaced Inforem, the system used by Wal-Mart for decades.” Read more


Lane Bryant CEO out just four months after getting promoted by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post “(Linda) Heasley’s departure “was seemingly abrupt,” Marotta said. “We don’t know if she was asked to leave or left for another opportunity.” Read more


Walmart to sell cars by Hannah Lutz at Automotive News. “CarSaver, an online auto retail platform, will launch the program April 1 at about 25 Wal-Mart Supercenters in four markets: Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Oklahoma City…CarSaver’s digital platform allows car shoppers to select, finance and insure a vehicle through its website or on a touch-screen kiosk.” Read more


Pier 1 activist investor halves stake in company, makes big profit by Korri Kezar at Dallas Business Journal. Read more


Auto parts stock prices drop in wake of Amazon plan by Josh Kosman at NY Post. “Amazon could grow its auto part business by 60 percent, to $5 billion, in 2017, one analyst forecast.” Read more


Alibaba smashes estimates as revenue jumps 54% to $7.67 billion by Jon Russell at TechCrunch. “The primary source of revenue remains Alibaba core commerce businesses — in particular its Taobao marketplace and T-Mall service for brands — and that unit accounted for RMB 46,58 billion ($6.71 billion), up 45 percent year-on-year.” Read more


Whole Foods Market Hires MediaCom for Media Planning, Buying by Lindsay Stein at Ad Age. “At least six agencies competed for the account, which is worth about $60 million-plus…Last fall, Whole Foods appointed Sam’s Club’s Marketing VP Sonya Gafsi Oblisk as global VP-marketing.” Read more


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Tracy Morgan ordered to hand over financial documents in Walmart crash settlement by Nancy Dillon at NY Daily News. “Tracy Morgan must hand over six years of tax returns and other highly personal information…A federal magistrate judge in New Jersey gave the comedian 20 days to cough up the documents…” Read more


Mall Owners Rush To Get Out of the Mall Business by Esther Fung at Wall Street Journal. “We’re seeing a boatload of these kinds of properties coming to market,” said James Hull, managing principal of Augusta, Ga.-based Hull Property Group.” Read more (subs.)


Consumers Trust Amazon & Walmart Most For Drone Deliveries (Target #3, Walgreens #4) by Alan Wolf at Twice. “As to which types of products they’d be inclined to have delivered by air, most (57 percent) said gifts delivered to others, followed closely by hot, ready-to-eat meals (56 percent).” Read more


Luxury stores face a triple threat, as potential store closures loom by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “We are living right now the first slowdown [in the luxury market],” Olivier Abtan, a partner at The Boston Consulting Group, told CNBC.” Read more


Warby Parker debuts first Philly store on Saturday by Suzette Parmley at Philly Inquirer. Read more


There’s something brewing in the Walmart beer aisle, but you can’t call it ‘craft’ by Fritz Hahn at Washington Post. “I convened a team of Washington Post staffers for a blind tasting of beers purchased at Walmart and Trader Joe’s and asked them to write down their thoughts. The results were not that positive…” Read more


Johnson & Johnson 4Q Sales Rise 1.7% at Fox Business. Read more


Amazon’s U.S. Echo sales top 8 million by Matt Linder at Internet Retailer. “That’s up 173% from an estimated 3 million shoppers this time last year. CIRP estimates that Amazon sold 3.1 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2016 alone.” Read more


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