Ulta Beauty has laid off corporate and field management employees at Chicago Tribune. “Eileen Ziesemer, spokeswoman for (Ulta), declined to specify the number of workers or locations affected but said it was a “meaningful but relatively small” share of its employees. The layoffs took effect Tuesday.” Read more
Petco stock priced its initial public offering above forecasts late Wednesday, ahead of its trading debut Thursday at Investor’s Business Daily. Read more
Sephora’s plan to combat racial bias at The Washington Post via Philly Inquirer. “Sephora is pledging to double its assortment of Black-owned brands, to 16, by the end of the year and create programs to help entrepreneurs of color. It also will enact new customer-greeting protocols so all shoppers are treated consistently, as well as reduce the presence of third-party security guards and police officers in its 500 U.S. stores.” Read more
Nordstrom holiday sales decline 22% Press release
Costco closing all in-store photo centers at Fox Business. “However, customers will still able to access various services online at the Costco Photo Center website…according to an email to customers obtained by PetaPixel, the company cited “the continued decline of prints” as the reason due to the evolution of camera phones and social media.” Read more
Dollar General plans to pay employees to get COVID-19 vaccination at Reuters. “Dollar General Corp will offer frontline employees four hours worth of pay after they get the COVID-19 vaccine…The discount store chain did not mandate all employees to get the vaccine, but encouraged them to do so.” Read more
Proposed settlement in Hy-Vee data breach case would pay victims up to $225 at Des Moines Register. “A claim of up to $5,000 is possible for customers who faced “extraordinary expenses” because of the data breach…The grocer would be required to appoint a Group Vice President for IT security, maintain a written information security program, train employees in cybersecurity and require third-party vendors to use multi-factor identification.” Read more
FTC Probing Casey’s $580M Bid For Gas Station Rival Bucky’s Law 360 subs.
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H-E-B’s Ship-to-Home service is still temporarily suspended at My San Antonio. “H-E-B’s Ship-to-Home, the service which made thousands of the brand’s items available to fans nationwide, is still offline…The service was temporarily suspended in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, as businesses shifted focus to get their communities through the life-altering situation.” Read more
Big Lots provides Q4 business update – Quarter-to-Date comp sales up approximately 7.5% Press release
Belk on the brink at Charlotte Observer. “Belk, the 133-year-old Charlotte-based department store chain, has been pushed to the edge of solvency by a pandemic and the financial vulnerability of private equity ownership, industry experts and financial analysts say.” Read more
Good luck trying to cancel your Amazon Prime subscription at TechCrunch. “Norway’s Consumer Council has also published a report calling out what it describes as the ecommerce giant’s “manipulative” and “unreasonably cumbersome” unsubscribe process for Prime. The report has been punningly titled ‘You can log out, but you can never leave‘.” Read more
Weezy — an on-demand supermarket that delivers groceries in as fast as 15 minutes — has raised $20 million in a Series A funding at TechCrunch. “Although the company hasn’t made mention of a later U.S. launch, the presence of U.S. investors would tend to suggest that.” Read more
Connecticut investigating Amazon’s e-book business at Fox Business. Read more
Kroger quietly testing smart cart ‘KroGO’ in Cincy store
Amazon’s 25th employee explains the philosophy used to vet all new product ideas
At a subdued CES, computers provide excitement
Biden to unveil plan to pump $1.5 trillion into pandemic-hit economy
China 2020 exports up despite virus; surplus surges to $535B
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