Tipsheet: WM Sells Asda | Chico’s to Sell on Amazon | Too Few Clerks | Saks Breach 9 Months


Walmart Pulls Away From Grow-Everywhere Plan With $10 Billion Asda Deal at Bloomberg. “Asda will combine with British retailer J Sainsbury Plc, mixing the U.K.’s second-biggest supermarket chain with No. 3 Asda in a deal worth about 7.3 billion pounds ($10 billion). Walmart will retain a 42 percent stake in the combined company, and will take a noncash loss of about $2 billion on the transaction, according to a statement.” Read more


Chico’s shares jump as apparel retailer announces plans to sell on at CNBC. “The company said in mid-May shoppers will find a “select assortment” of clothing and accessories including its athleisure line, no-iron shirts and jewelry on Chico’s said it could potentially begin selling items from White House Black Market and Soma via Amazon, “as the new business channel gains traction.” Read more


Whole Foods sparks controversy by partnering with an Asian eatery called ‘Yellow Fever’ via CNBC. “The independently owned and operated eatery – whose name is taken from the slang term for a white man’s sexual attraction to Asian women – is located in the 365 store that opened in Long Beach, California, on Wednesday.” Read more


The Curious Case of the Amazon Prime Price Hike by Brad Stone at Bloomberg. “For more than a decade, that Costco-inspired lowest-price-anywhere mentality fueled the rise of Inc.’s reputation. But recently the company appears to be taking a different tact. There are legitimate questions about whether customers are really seeing the cheapest products on the internet, or only the cheapest ones stored in Amazon’s warehouses.” Read more


…Amazon keeps Prime membership price on hold in Canada at Financial Post. Read more


There’s a science and art to running a going-out-of-business sale by Courtney Reagan at CNBC. “The last three years have been the busiest we have ever experienced, and I have been doing this for 20 years,” Scott Carpenter, retail solutions president at B. Riley Financial’s Great American Group unit told CNBC in an interview.” Read more


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In Europe, Remains Out of Fashion by Jeannette Neuman & Laura Stevens at Wall Street Journal. “To explain Amazon’s struggles in conquering apparel in Europe, retail executives and analysts point to an absence of top fashion brands, a website they say isn’t conducive to browsing for clothes and a fragmented market full of plucky competitors.” Read more (subs.)


Retail’s Other Problem: Too Few Clerks in the Store by Suzanne Kapner at Wall Street Journal. “Gilbert McGarvey has worked at the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store in New York City for 24 years, most recently in the shoe department. “It used to be what we sold was service,” he said, “Now, they’ve cut that to the quick.” Read more (subs.)


Here’s How Designers Would Fix Amazon at Fast Company Read more


Saks Fifth Avenue data breach lasted nine months: HBC by David Paddon at Canadian Press via Toronto Star. “…the breach began as early as July 1 last year but has been contained since March 31.” Read more


Amazon to hire additional 200 people for Minneapolis tech office by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “Amazon’s growing foothold in the Twin Cities has raised eyebrows as it’s moved into the home turf of two major retail rivals, Target Corp. and Best Buy Co., creating more competition to recruit and retain tech workers.” Read more (tiered subs.)


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