Walmart is opening dozens of veterinary clinics in its stores and launching an online pet pharmacy at CNBC. “…(Walmart) already operates 21 veterinary clinics in its stores across six states, but over the next 12 months it will growth that number to 100…Walmart also will launch an online pet pharmacy, WalmartPetRX.com, rivaling PetSmart’s e-commerce business, Chewy.com.” Read more
Save-A-Lot to seek buyer or investor at Reuters. “Save-A-Lot has about 1,230 stores and is the second largest “hard” discount grocer in the United States after Aldi.” Read more
How the Apple Store Lost Its Luster by Mark Gurman & Matthew Townsend at Bloomberg. “In interviews, current and former Apple employees blame a combination of factors. They say the stores have become mostly an exercise in branding and no longer do a good job serving mission shoppers… Meanwhile, they say, the quality of staff has slipped…The Genius Bar, once renowned for its tech support, has been largely replaced with staff who roam the stores and are harder to track down.” Tiered subs.
Hudson’s Bay is pursuing strategic alternatives such as a sale or merger for its department store Lord & Taylor via NY Post. Read more
Alexa has been eavesdropping on you this whole time by Geoffrey A. Fowler at Washington Post. “I listened to four years of my Alexa archive and found thousands of fragments of my life: spaghetti-timer requests, joking houseguests and random snippets of “Downton Abbey.” There were even sensitive conversations that somehow triggered Alexa’s “wake word” to start recording, including my family discussing medication and a friend conducting a business deal.” Read more
Amazon says small business owners earn $90,000 a year, on average, from selling in its stores by Dalvin Brown at USA Today. Read more
Fifth Avenue Losing Luster as Vacancies Climb, Rents Fall by Esther Fung at Wall Street Journal. “Average ground-floor asking store rents between 49th and 60th streets were $2,779 a square foot in the first quarter, down by 11% from its peak during the first quarter of 2017, according to brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield.” WSJ subs.
REI names Eric Artz president and CEO “He joined REI in 2012 as chief financial officer and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2014…Previously, he was CFO at Urban Outfitters.” Press release
Amazon Go opens for the first time in New York. And the cashier-free store will accept cash at CNBC. “…is opening to the public this week at Brookfield Place in downtown New York, on the second level of the enclosed shopping mall.” Read more
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Grocery startup BigBasket becomes India’s newest unicorn with new $150M investment by Manish Singh at TechCrunch. “Alibaba, which also led the Series E round in BigBasket last year, is the largest investor in the company, with about 30% stake, a person familiar with the matter said.” Read more
Amazon wants to pay the New York Times and BuzzFeed to expand so it can reach more shoppers outside the US by Peter Kafka at Recode. Read more
84.51° Expands Chicago Presence with Move to Redeveloped Old Post Office Press release
Alibaba is releasing its own typeface called Alibaba Sans by Katharine Schwab at Fast Company. “While an Alibaba spokesperson says that the aim is not to homogenize the design of the small brands on the platform, Alibaba Sans does seem like a way for the company to offer a more streamlined visual experience to shoppers while elevating the design of its site as a whole.” Read more
Kroger and Home Chef Launch Pilot for Three New Retail Meal Solutions Press release
Hayneedle lays off 239 workers in Omaha by Henry J. Cordes at Omaha World-Herald. “180 workers were in the firm’s call center in Sarpy County and 59 in its headquarters building…“This was not a Walmart decision; it was a decision made by Hayneedle,” (director of comm Wilson) said.” Read more
Office Depot Announces Stephen M. Mohan as EVP of the Business Solutions Division Press release
Kraft’s will cover your babysitting expenses up to $100 on Mother’s Day by Alvin Brown at USA Today. “Kraft will reimburse a total of $50,000 and parents are limited to one submission per person, email address or household. The offer ends at 11:59 pm ET on May 19, or while funds remain available.” Read more
Why Amazon Is Gobbling Up Failed Malls (5:42 video) WSJ subs.
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