Ex-True Value CEO named Bed Bath & Beyond COO “Prior to (True Value), (John) Hartmann was Chief Executive Officer of leading home improvement company Mitre 10, Chief Operating Officer at HD Supply, and has held senior positions at The Home Depot, Cardinal Health and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” Press release
Macy’s weighs raising as much as $5 billion in debt to weather coronavirus crisis at CNBC. “It will seek to use its inventory as collateral to raise $3 billion and real estate to raise $1 billion to $2 billion, they said. It is not planning to pledge its prime Herald Square location in New York as part of the deal, one of the people said.” Read more
Amazon now accepting food stamp benefits in seven states at Fox Business. “SNAP beneficiaries in New York, Washington, Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, Florida and Oregon can apply their benefits to online Amazon grocery orders.” Read more
Pinduoduo is the fast-growing rival to Alibaba and JD in China at CNBC. “A large part of PDD’s appeal is the group buying function. When a user selects an item on Pinduoduo, they can choose to participate in group buying. The more people that join in, the lower the price of the item goes.” Read more
Mattress company Casper winds down European operations and lays off 78 people at TechCrunch. Read more
Alibaba, JD offer bookings for COVID-19 tests at Reuters. “The services have been launched as China accelerates testing for the illness and the city of Wuhan, the initial epicentre of the outbreak, opens up from lockdown.” Read more
Amazon lobbying up 3% in Q1 at $4.3 million at CNBC. Read more
The retailers that are smartest about shopping tech will finish on top after the coronavirus by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “The retailers that were already doing it successfully are the ones that are going to recover much more quickly,” says Kimberly Becker, senior research director with Gartner. And in a future when shoppers are likely to be skittish about staying long in any store—if they visit at all—only the tech-savvy chains will survive.” Fortune subs.
Houzz, an online platform for home renovation and design, has laid off 155 employees, roughly 10% of its staff at TechCrunch. Read more
Kroger offers blueprint for businesses to reopen safely “Late last week, several U.S. Governors and business organizations asked Kroger to help their state’s businesses to reopen safely. Kroger developed this new platform – KrogerBlueprint.com – in 36 hours to begin providing immediate assistance to states and businesses with plans to update with new learnings in real time.” Press release
NRF Urges Federal Pandemic Insurance Program Similar to 9/11 Terrorism Coverage Press release
The Death of the Department Store: ‘Very Few Are Likely to Survive’ at NY Times. “Department store chains account for about 30 percent of the total mall square footage in the United States, with 10 percent of that coming from Sears and J.C. Penney, according to a January report from Green Street Advisors, a real estate research firm. Even before the pandemic, the firm expected about half of mall-based department stores to close in the next five years.” Tiered subs.
Google switches its Shopping search service to mostly free listings
Lululemon apologizes after backlash over bigwig’s ‘bat fried rice’ shirt
Trump tells Chevron to ‘wind down’ oil fields in Venezuela
Coronavirus at meat packing plants worse than first thought
Gucci parent company left naked amid lower demand from Chinese shoppers
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