Tipsheet: Wmart Grocery: Last But Climbing | Costco: No More Elephants | REI CIO Q&A | Pier 1 -0.6%


NY Times: Some Online Bargains May Only Look Like One by David Streitfeld. “Ripen eCommerce, analyzed 746,000 product searches on Amazon…A little over 44 percent of the products — some sold directly by Amazon, others by third parties — were billed as discounted, Ripen said. “It’s less than I expected, actually,” said Dave Rekuc, Ripen’s director of marketing. “Considering you can basically name your own list price.” Read more


Pier 1 Q4 Comp Sales Fall 0.6% “Total sales for the fourth quarter decreased 1.4%…E-Commerce represented approximately 15% of total sales in the fourth quarter, as compared to approximately 13% of total sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.” Read the release


…Pier 1 Imports CEO Alex Smith takes a pay cut by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “(Alex) Smith has elected to forgo his equity award this year and the Fort Worth-based home furnishings retailer also warned on Wednesday that sales are expected to be flat in 2016.” Read more


Costco Travel agrees to eliminate elephant rides after PETA complains by Michelle Baran at Travel Weekly. “This latest effort by PETA was spawned by an incident in Thailand in February in which a Scottish tourist was trampled to death by an elephant after being thrown from its back while riding the animal.” Read more


Old Navy taps Gap executive as president by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “Gap said Wednesday that Sonia Syngal, an executive vice president in charge of the company’s supply chain, will take over as global president.” Read more


How REI CIO Julie Averill balances work, home and the outdoors by Todd Bishop at GeekWire. “Your best advice for managing everyday work and life? Learn how to shut it off. I have three kids at home, each of whom leads a very busy life. It is important for me to make it to most of their games and performances. I work hard at work so that I can be present at home.” Read the Q&A


CNBC’s Cramer changes tune on Kroger by Steve Watkins at Cincinnati Business Courier. “Kroger has kind of lost its mojo,” Cramer said. “I think that’s probably a mistake to sell it. I do, by the way, like Whole Foods. Notice the stock has bottomed at $30. They continue to do a buyback. I prefer Whole Foods at this price than I do Kroger.” Read more


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Market Force ranks Walmart least-favorite grocer – but scores jump from last year “ALDI was the price leader, followed by WinCo and Costco. Trader Joe’s, known for its friendly service, ranked first for cashier courtesy. ShopRite, Meijer and Kroger offer the best sales and promotions. Hy-Vee also performed well across the board, ranking in the top five in many categories.” See the retailer rankings


BrandSpark: Canada’s Most Trusted Retailers via Montreal Gazette. “Auto-Parts – Canadian Tire, Dept. Store – Walmart, Home Improvement – Home Depot.” See the retailer rankings


Gilt co-founder launches photo-driven shopping startup Project September by Anthony Ha at TechCrunch. “…if you see a photo with an item of clothing or an accessory that you love, you shouldn’t have to wonder what it is and where you can get it. On Project September, those items will be accompanied by green dots. Click on the dot and you’ll get more info, ultimately allowing you to buy it directly from the brand’s website.” Read more


NOT SEEING EYE TO EYE – Costco Opposes Bill Restricting Competition in Contact Lens Sales “Costco announced its opposition to a bill introduced by U.S. Senator John Cassidy (R-LA)…The bill would make it more difficult for consumers to have their contact lens prescriptions filled by companies like Costco…” Read the release


Kohl’s executive vice president of marketing is resigning this week by Melanie Lawder at Milwaukee Business Journal. “The company’s chief merchandising and customer officer, Michelle Gass…will continue to oversee Kohl’s marketing efforts.” Read more


Retail sales disappoint, but some reason for apparel optimism via CNBC. “According to (Credit Suisse), which questioned 2,000 consumers…fashion apparel ranked as the second most important category to consumers this year, falling short only of intimates. Likewise, the category scored second as the category consumers expect to spend more on this year, again coming in behind intimates.” Read more


JC Penney CEO: Outwork your peers, get ahead by Christine Wang at CNBC. “A lot of times when you’re looking so far down the road, I tell my team you can trip on the curb at your feet. It’s important to have balance — short-term balance, long-term balance — and not get ahead of yourself,” he said. “I’ve made those mistakes in the past and I don’t plan to make those in the future.” See the video / Read more


State attorney generals looking into retailers’ on-call shift scheduling by Lauren Zumbach at Chicago Tribune. “They sent 15 companies letters seeking information on the use of on-call shifts, where workers must contact employers an hour or two before they’re scheduled to begin work to find out whether or not they will work that day, according to a statement from Madigan’s (IL) office.” Read more


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Ex-Best Buy Exec Takes CFO Post at BBQ Chain

Sprint pulls ‘ghetto’ commercial amid backlash

Taco Bell’s Incredible Two-Year Quest to Melt Cheese

Fast Company: Could Menstrual Leave Be The Next Work-Life Benefit?

VFW says Kroger store kicked them to the curb

Read Tipsheet Extra Stories


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