Tipsheet: WM Asks Fire Survivors to Leave | Target & Lowe’s Call Hi-Lites


Walmart asks California ‘Wallywood’ fire survivors to move on by Molly Sullivan & Ryan Lillis at Sacramento Bee. “Multiple evacuees interviewed by The Sacramento Bee Tuesday before the Walmart notice was posted said they wanted to stay close to Paradise in the hopes that evacuation orders would soon be lifted…“We’re not leaving because this is the area that we know everything,” said Jim Sampson, from a tent that he is sharing with his friend Brenda Wilson.” Read more


Gap Q3 comp sales flat: Old Navy +4.0% / Gap -7.0% / Banana Republic +2.0% Press release


Amazon employees snapped up NYC real estate before headquarters announcement by Josh Barbanel at Wall Street Journal. “While employees aren’t permitted to buy and sell stocks based on nonpublic information, several real estate lawyers said they were aware of no such prohibition for real-estate transactions.” WSJ subs.


BJ’s Q3 comp sales (excluding fuel) +1.9% Press release


Walgreens and Humana are reportedly in talks to take stakes in each other at CNBC. Read more


Kohl’s Cracks the Retail Code by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “The young woman walked into the Kohl’s store in Grafton, Wis., dressed to run errands, in Ugg boots, yoga pants, and a hoodie…Kohl’s CEO, Michelle Gass, who was showing a reporter around the store, interrupted the tour to watch the younger woman intently. “This is the quintessential Kohl’s shopper we want to see in the future,” she said.” Read more


IKEA Group plans to cut 7,500 administrative jobs at Reuters. Read more


Victoria’s Secret’s latest Hail Mary: Bringing back sunglasses and swimsuits by Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “Victoria’s Secret began selling Ugg merchandise about a month ago…plans to bring back eyewear in the coming months…“At the end of the day someone else’s brand is not going to save Victoria’s Secret,” Instinent analyst Simeon Siegel said.” Read more


America’s Best Customer Service 2019 (Groceries – Amazon, Cosmetics – Avon) at Newsweek. List


Foot Locker Q3 comp sales +2.9% at MarketWatch. Read more


Saks ‘hid,’ discriminated against minorities, older workers: lawsuit at NY Daily News. “According to Sells, the plaintiffs — Thomas Bisky, 68, Kenneth Taylor, 55, Nixson McCray, 57, William Charles Blocker, 60, Roger Dietch, 70, Pablo Orosco, 54, and Derick Longley and Carlos Batista — were stationed in areas of their respective stores where there was less foot traffic.” Read more


CDC warns against eating romaine lettuce amid E. coli outbreak at The Hill. Read more


Amazon Aims to Put Digital Wallet in Stores at Wall Street Journal. “Amazon is working to persuade brick-and-mortar merchants to accept its Amazon Pay digital wallet, according to people familiar with the matter…To start, the company is looking to work with gas stations, restaurants and other merchants that aren’t direct competitors.” WSJ subs.


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Walmart begins testing same-day grocery delivery in one of its stores in China by Sarah Perez & Rita Liao at TechCrunch. “The feature allows Walmart’s WeChat customers to place orders on mobile and then receive delivery in as little as one hour. Nearly 8,000 SKUs are available on the service.” Read more


Canada Post warns of delivery delays during holiday season and into January at Toronto Star. “Is this going to lead people to do their shopping in bricks and mortar stores rather than online? Sure,” said Karl Littler, vice-president of public affairs for the Retail Council of Canada.” Tiered subs.


…Ottawa prepared to order end to postal strike in coming days at Montreal Gazette. “The federal government is prepared to order an end to rotating strikes by Canada Post employees if a collective agreement isn’t soon reached, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu said Tuesday.” Read more


Amazon reportedly among bidders for 22 regional sports networks being sold by Disney at USA Today. Read more


SpartanNash to Acquire Martin’s Super Markets Press release


Rep. Bobby Rush says Target ‘wants the Christmas money from the very community it’s turning it’s back on’ by Lisa Donovan at Chicago Tribune. “Rush has organized a Black Friday protest and boycott at Target’s 85th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue store, hoping to hit the retailer in the wallet. He said he’s puzzled about the claim the store isn’t doing well.” Tiered subs.


Express Scripts partnering with Petco for pet medication delivery Press release


U.S. states count on extra online sales tax to boost budget at Reuters. “But tax analysts, attorneys and policymakers say these new laws might not give states what they are banking on. States are devising different plans with varying legal and procedural elements – some being rushed out before they are ready – leaving them open to lawsuits from retailers and others.” Read more


Former Amazon employee launches startup to prepare candidates for tech giant’s grueling interview process by Kurt Schlosser at GeekWire. “Amazon hopefuls looking to prep for an interview can spend $200, for a 2 1/2-hour “essential course”; $700 for an 8-hour “complete workshop”; or the top tier of $4,500 for several hours where Dimitrov acts as Bar Raiser in a simulated Amazon interview loop, complete with friends who are current Amazon employees.” Read more


Home Depot Holds Fast At Number One in Radio at Radio Ink. “Other familiar names rounded out the top five slots with JC Penney third (36,459), followed by Lowe’s (28,774), and McDonald’s (28,593).” Read more


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Heard on the Call:

Target Q3 Call Highlights

Brian Cornell

We plan to host our 2019 Financial Community Meeting in New York City on Tuesday, March 5.

Q: Did China tariff play any role in – bringing in more inventory in the third quarter? Cornell: Yes

We did move a lot of inventory in second quarter, and we did it at a higher cost. Do you guys all know there’s transportation pressure out there? 

  • We will find ways to offset that incremental cost through other ways as we go forward.


John Mulligan

We have seen a measurable incremental lift in the second year of the remodels we completed more than a year-ago.

Drive-Up continues to receive the highest Net Promoter Score of any service we provide.

Our inventory position was up about 18% compared with last year.

We have achieved our goal to hire 120,000 seasonal team members.

Shipt: I think the metric I look at gets me most excited, if you look at…markets that have been open for over a year still continue to see triple-digit growth in sales, in GMV.


Mark Tritton

In Apparel, we saw particular strength in Baby as well as Jewelry and Accessories and Men’s.

Growth in Home was led by outstanding comps in our home decor assortment.

Hardlines saw even stronger performance, comping in the high single-digits this quarter.

  • This was led by Toys, which saw comp growth of more than 20%.

We saw particular outstanding performance in Essentials and Beauty, which grew faster than the company average.

  • Within this category, we saw double-digit growth in Baby

In Food and Beverage, comp sales grew about 4% in the third quarter.

  • Double-digit comps again in adult beverage.

We’ve recently rolled out new shipping boxes on These boxes are unmistakably Target and feature our iconic Bullseye Mascot.

Full transcript via Seeking Alpha



Lowe’s Q3 Call Highlights

Marvin Ellison

We intend to exit our retail operations in Mexico and our Alacrity Renovation Services and Iris Smart Home businesses.

  • These actions send a clear message that we’ll no longer pursue ventures that dilute our return on capital.

Comparable sales growth of 1.5%, driven by a 2.3% increase in average ticket, partially offset by 1% decline in transactions.

12% comp growth on

Out of stocks continued to pressure sales.

Our inefficient reset process continued to create disruption in our stores and contributed to out of stocks.

  • All of our categories with negative comps – millwork, paint, fashion, fixtures and flooring – were pressured by fully executed resets.

Our store processes are too complex, our labor management system is primitive, and our associates are burdened with too many tasks.

Our project specialists and install sales business is too complicated.

We’re in a $900 billion fragmented home improvement marketplace…if you combine us and our chief competitor, that’s less than $200 billion in revenue…there is a lot of market share up for grabs.


William Boltz

Seasonal and outdoor living led the way with high single-digit comps, driven by double-digit comps in grills and lawnmowers.

For the ninth quarter in a row, we drove above-average comps in appliances.

Our kitchen department also posted above-average comps, with strength in organization and shelving as well as cabinets and countertops.

Millwork was pressured by supply and reset challenges.

Our paint business was impacted by brand transitions, along with supply disruption, as we transitioned into our exclusive partnership with Sherwin-Williams.

Our fashion fixtures department was negatively impacted by reset challenges in light bulbs and commercial lighting.

The under performance in our flooring business continued and was driven by reset disruption in hard surface.

Throughout the fourth quarter, we will showcase Craftsman on multiple end caps

Full transcript via Seeking Alpha



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