Today’s Tipsheet: Amazon’s “No Drama” Shareholders Meeting | Dollar Tree Up | Sears Down


“The Rise of Virtual Brick-and-Mortars” by Jeffrey Rayport at HBR.  “UK-based retailer, Tesco, has launched an array of “virtual” stores designed to sell products with no merchandise. The world’s first virtual store was a Tesco Homeplus opened in the Seoul Subway in August 2011. This wasn’t really a store: it was a wall that displayed over 500 of the chain’s most popular products, each with an associated barcode that users could scan to populate a shopping basket that Homeplus would deliver to their homes the same day. Since launch, the Homeplus Smartphone App has become the number one shopping app in Korea, with over a million downloads to date. Homeplus has extended this concept to bus stops.”  Read more:


“Drama is no-show at Amazon meeting” by Amy Martinez at The Seattle Times.  “The Internet retailer’s annual shareholders meeting Thursday lacked all the drama of last year, when dozens of labor activists took their protests to the event to criticize Amazon’s treatment of warehouse workers and tax policies…Asked if Amazon soon will expand its local grocery-delivery service, Bezos said only that the business had “made progress on the economics over the past year.” He added, “So I’m optimistic that the team is making good progress” — perhaps a sign he remains committed to the 5-year-old experiment.”  Read more:


“Why Lowe’s Is Losing the Housing Recovery to Home Depot” by Kyle Stock at Businessweek.  “Last quarter was the first time since the 2008 recession that sales to tradesmen outpaced business from ordinary homeowners, and Home Depot was ready. It had loaded up on such products as plywood and fast-drying paint, set up dedicated checkout lines and loading services for contractors, and sent employees to make sales calls at building sites. Home Depot also appealed to banks and private-equity firms with a turnkey program to spiff up properties in foreclosure. The result: Home Depot saw 35 percent of its revenue come from professionals, compared with 25 percent at Lowe’s.”  Read more:


“Delhaize wants to sell two American chains” by Yoni Van Looveren at Retail Detail.  “Delhaize is working hard on cleaning out its American branch: under the leadership of Roland Smith the distribution group cut heavily in the bonuses of management last year and it upped profit margins. He also closed down over thirty (unprofitable) shops of Sweetbay this year.  Now it seems Delhaize wants to divest the Sweetbay chain completely, as well as Harveys.”  Read more:


“Youthful Trend to Drive Whole Foods” by Lee Brodie at CNBC.  ” “Millennials will be about 30% of this country in a half-dozen years,” he added. In turn that suggests an entire generation may be coming of age that’s committed to the mission of Whole Foods – responsible eating.  In fact, Cramer believes the trend is so strong that as Whole Foods opens new supermarkets – it can tap into a vast audience who share that same desire.  “There’s a store scheduled to open in Brooklyn in November. A borough of 2 million people is just now getting a Whole Foods. It is a reminder of just how much runway there really is for this company,” he said.”  Read more:


“Google Faces Antitrust Probe Over Dominance In Online Display Ads” at Ad Age.  “FTC investigators are examining whether Google is using its position in U.S. display ads — a $17.7 billion industry that includes the sale of banner ads on websites — to push companies to use more of its other services, a practice that can be illegal under antitrust laws, the people said.”  Read more:


“Dollar Tree, Inc. Reports Record First Quarter Results”  “Comparable store sales increased 2.1%, on top of a 5.6% increase for the first quarter 2012…The Company continues to expand. During the first quarter, Dollar Tree opened 94 stores, closed 2 stores, and expanded or relocated 16 stores. Retail selling square footage increased 7.0% compared to a year ago, to 41.2 million square feet.”  Read more:


“Sears losses mount, weighs sale of unit to shore up liquidity” at Reuters.  “Same-stores sales fell 3.6 percent in the United States. Overall sales fell 9 percent to $8.5 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of $8.74 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.”  Read more:


“Target Launches Beauty Concierge Program in Los Angeles and Orange County in May”  “Target is pleased to announce that it will introduce its Beauty Concierge program to 96 existing stores in Los Angeles and Orange County area on May 24, 2013…Participating stores will be staffed with a Target Beauty Concierge, a highly-trained, brand agnostic beauty enthusiast who is available to answer guests’ questions in-store.”  Read more:


“The Home Depot to Speak at Goldman Sachs Fourth Annual dotCommerce Day” at Sacramento Bee.  “The Home Depot…today announced that Kevin Hofmann, president, Online will speak at the Goldman Sachs Fourth Annual dotCommerce Day in New York, NY. The presentation will begin at 9:45 a.m. ET on June 6, 2013.  The speech will be webcast live over the internet at”  Read more:


Thanks for reading, enjoy Memorial Day Weekend!


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