Tipsheet: Wmart CIO’s 2 Main Things | Blank Talks H.Depot | Halo Top Hell | Hot Chocolate


Amazon killed their wine website. Now the two founders are back with another. by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “A few days ago, the duo launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for a new wine-selling venture called Casemates, which allows wine producers to sell directly to U.S. consumers online. On Day 1, the campaign surpassed its $50,000 goal; it sat at $104,000 as of Tuesday morning.” Read more


Walmart CIO Clay Johnson Q&A by Peter High at Forbes. “We are doing two big things. The first one is that we are moving to a product model and to end-to-end ownership…Once we have end-to-end ownership across the board, the key question becomes about driving efficiencies in the process. Increasingly, we are addressing this with process automation, which is the second big thing.” Q&A


The Germans Are Escalating America’s Grocery Price War by Craig Giammona at Bloomberg. “If it’s death by a thousand cuts, Aldi and Lidl are holding the blade,” said Mike Paglia, a grocery analyst at the research firm Kantar Retail. “It looks a lot like a price war, and you’re starting to see those ripple effects.” Read more


Internet giants fuel warehouse demand as land prices surge by Lauren Thomas at CNBC. “In surveying 10 U.S. markets, CBRE found the average price for “large industrial parcels” (50 to 100 acres) now sits at more than $100,000 per acre, up from about $50,000 a year ago.” Read more


Nordstrom To Begin Hiring Employees For New NYC Men’s Store “Nordstrom will hire 250 employees for its first stand-alone Men’s Store in Manhattan, which will open on Broadway between West 57th and West 58th Streets in April 2018. The company will also open a New York City flagship store in 2019 at the base of Central Park Tower.” Press release


…Nordstrom upgraded on key partnerships and ‘differentiated’ assortment by Tonya Garcia at MarketWatch. “Even with e-commerce making up only 15% of the business versus 85% in-store, J.P. Morgan thinks Nordstrom is insulated from online competition thanks to high-quality real estate, omnichannel initiatives, and the off-price Rack and Hautlook concepts.” Read more


Outfoxed by Small-Batch Upstarts, Unilever Decides to Imitate Them by Saabira Chaudhuri at Wall Street Journal. “When (Halo Top) became America’s best-selling ice-cream pint last year, executives at Unilever’s premium brand, Ben & Jerry’s, were stunned. “It’s all they talked about,” said a former Ben & Jerry’s executive, referring to former colleagues.” Read more (subs.)


Amazon’s advertising push will not threaten Google’s search business, analyst says by Arjun Kharpal at CNBC. “Merkle is seeing very little overlap between Amazon’s ad customers and Google’s. In addition, the use case for Amazon and Google’s search is very different,” Lee wrote in the note.” Read more


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Arthur Blank talks with NPR about launching Home Depot via Built from Scratch. “Listen in as Arthur talks about the highlights, the lowlights and the truly unbelievable moments with NPR’s Guy Raz.” 33:11 audio


The ‘Shroom Boom: Will Trendy Medicinal Mushrooms Go Mainstream In 2018? by Rina Raphael at Fast Company. “Food Navigator found that year-on-year sales for food products incorporating medicinal mushrooms rose have risen between 200-800%, depending on the variety.” Read more


Citigroup: There’s a 40% chance Apple buys Netflix by Jim Edwards at Business Insider. “The firm has too much cash – nearly $250 billion – growing at $50 billion a year. This is a good problem to have,” Suva and Merchant told clients…Apple would need only a third of that cash to buy Netflix, the pair say.” Read more


…Variety: Entertainment Predictions for 2018 – Netflix buys a studio. “One potential takeover target: MGM, which oversees a large library of movies and TV shows, with James Bond, “Stargate,” “Rocky” and “RoboCop” among its franchises. MGM also owns premium cable channel Epix, which could give Netflix an intriguing foothold in pay TV.” Read more


Rent-A-Center CEO Mark Speese steps down via CNBC. “The rent-to-own furniture retailer has been under pressure from activist hedge funds Engaged Capital and Marcato Capital to sell itself.” Read more


Amazon, Google cut speaker prices in market share contest by Stephen Nellis & Paresh Dave at Reuters. “ and Google both discounted their virtual assistant speakers so deeply over the holiday shopping season that they likely lost a few dollars per unit.” Read more


Holiday Jewelry Sales Grew 5.9 Percent in 2017 Says Study by Emili Veslind at JCK. Read more


M&M’s maker says climate change could lead to chocolate shortage by 2050 by Josh Hafner at USA Today. “Rising temperatures from climate change threaten to shrink the slim strip of rainforests around the equator where the cacao trees used to make chocolate thrive…the two West African nations that produce over half of the world’s chocolate — Ghana and Ivory Coast — would feel the heat.” Read more


The US government blocks MoneyGram’s $1.2B sale to Alibaba’s Ant Financial by Jon Russell at TechCrunch. Read more


Amazon finally wins a patent for 3-D printing on demand, for pickup or delivery by Alan Boyle at GeekWire. “Is it an idea whose time has come, or whose time has passed? Hard to tell: Amazon set up an online store for custom 3-D printing back in 2014, but that part of the website currently offers only 3-D printing hardware and supplies.” Read more


2 Chainz says he’s still on the fence over taking Walmart to court for allegedly ripping off his Dabbin’ Santa sweaters Video/Read more


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Why the University of Illinois Is Investing in Farmland

Chip and Joanna Gaines expecting Baby No. 5

Police search for ‘serial puncher’ who attacked two Walmart employees

84-Year-old man gets locked inside Rite Aid on Christmas day

Sports Authority signs at Denver Broncos stadium are finally coming down

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