Tipsheet: Teamsters Tangle w/Costco | Wmart Chief Wants Foodie Merchants | REI +1M | McFarland’s Directives


Teamsters recommends rejection of Costco contract at Reuters. “The main sticking point is Costco’s decision not to bend to a union request that 3,500 members on the East Coast on a 401(k) pension plan be allowed to join the defined benefit pension plan provided to 12,500 members in California.” Read more


Chicago: Target to open Hyde Park store by Becky Yerak at Chicago Tribune. “..the new store will be its fifth “flexible format” location in Chicago. The store will open in late fall 2016 or early spring 2017 at the new Vue53 mixed-use development near the intersection of 53rd Street and Kimbark Avenue.” Read more


Walmart U.S. Food Chief Speaks at Bentonville-Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce Breakfast by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “(Charles Redfield) shared a story of how one new pizza supplier worked together with Walmart to study the market and craft an item that resonated with consumers – Sasquatch frozen pizza…The team went to Lowe’s and Home Depot and measured the sizes of typical household freezers and then designed their packaging to fit easily…“The important thing here is that this supplier didn’t say no at any time during the process. ‘No’ stifles innovation,” he said.” Read more


…Charles Redfield on Walmart’s new food sensory lab: “Too many of our merchants are not foodies and they need to be. This sensory lab will provide better experiences. Many of our suppliers have them and it should facilitate new product development. It should hopefully be open by shareholders week (early June),” Redfield said.”


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J.C. Penney to store managers: focus on the customer, not your inbox by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “(Joe McFarland) pointed to a cart rolled out onto the stage with a foot-high stack of paper. “Those are all the emails received by one general (store) manager in one month from district staff and managers, regional and home office,” McFarland said. “This is unmanageable and overwhelming.” Read more


…McFarland on weak in-store Wi-Fi: “We would think Wi-Fi in stores is one thing that the Apple guy would have gotten right.” 


REI reports 23% increase in digital sales, record membership growth by Monica Nickelsburg at GeekWire. “For the first time in the company’s history, more than 1 million new members joined the co-op last year. REI reported $2.4 billion in annual revenue for 2015. In-store sales increased by 7 percent and digital sales grew by almost 23 percent.” Read more


Former Best Buy CEO retires from company’s board by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Brad Anderson, who was chief executive from 2002 to 2009, will retire from the board at its annual shareholders meeting in June.” Read more


TAKE IT BACK OR ELSE – Neiman Marcus throws bad merchandise back at vendors by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “(Neiman Marcus) has asked its vendors to take back merchandise or risk not getting their fashions into the store in the future, according to sources familiar with the situation.” Read more


Neiman Marcus Bonds Jump After Chain Posts Smaller Sales Decline by Nick Turner & Sridhar Natarajan at Bloomberg. “Neiman Marcus bonds surged after the department-store chain posted a smaller sales decline over the holidays than in the previous three months. Same-store sales…fell 2.4 percent in the second quarter.” Read more spreads its wings at Hoboken’s growing tech hub by Teresa Novellino at New York Business Journal. “A deal was made with developer SJP Properties for an additional 40,000 square feet of space, bringing’s headquarters to 80,000 square feet of space at the Waterfront Corporate Center III. The three-building complex comprises 1.5 million square feet…” Read more


Amazon’s Italy Chief Says Company Under Probe for Tax Evasion by Daniel Lepido at Bloomberg. “E-commerce is a low-margin business, and Amazon is in a phase of heavy investment, so profits are slim,” the executive said.” Read more


Wal-Mart’s Brett Biggs, EVP & Int’l CFO, Presents at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Consumer & Retail Conference Read the full transcript via Seeking Alpha


Bass Pro founder/CEO Johnny Morris will speak March 31 at North Arkansas College via Harrison Daily. “The lecture will be open to the public free of charge and will begin at 6:30 p.m.” Read more


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