Today’s Tipsheet: Costco Profit Up | H. Depot’s CEO Speaks | Harris Poll Top Retailers


“Low Prices Help Costco’s Quarterly Profit Rise ” at CNBC.  “Costco Wholesale reported third-quarter profit just above analysts’ estimates, as its low prices for food and gasoline appealed to shoppers…Total sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, rose 5 percent.”  Read more:


“Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports Third Quarter and Year-to-Date Operating Results for Fiscal Year 2013 (Co. Press Release)”   “Net sales for the quarter increased eight percent, to $23.55 billion, from $21.85 billion last year. Net sales for the first thirty-six weeks increased eight percent, to $71.10 billion, from $65.54 billion last year.”  Read more:


“2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend Reports: Brick and Mortar Retail Brands Beat Out Their Online Counterparts”  “For the third year in a row, Target Stores are top ranked and, for 2013, earn the Mass Merchandiser Brand of the Year award. Target has been at the top of its category since pulling ahead of Walmart back in 2007.  “While both Target and Walmart are frequently shopped, Target has a strong position in Consumer Connection, which is comprised of four key predictive metrics: Emotion, Fit, Trust and Performance.”  See the full retail sector results:


“Transcript:  The Home Depot’s CEO Presents at 29th Annual Sanford C Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference  at Seeking Alpha:  Highlights:

1) CEO Frank Blake stays with the theme the housing market is recovering as he points to pricing as a powerful catalyst for Home Depot, but he also warns that the availability of credit could be hampering upside.

2) The retailer still has an eye on the negative equity situation for U.S. homeowners and is optimistic, but isn’t making too much out of the latest Case-Schiller reading on home prices.

3) Customer service is a larger focus with more appliances being sold. Overall, 60% of employee time should be customer-facing, according to Blake.


Read the full transcript:


See the webcast:


“Grocery chains find power source in spoiled food” by Tiffany Hsu at LA Times via Seattle Times.  “What happens to the 40 percent of food produced but never eaten in the U.S. each year, the mounds of perfect fruit passed over by grocery-store shoppers, the tons of meat and milk left to expire?  At Ralphs supermarket chain, it helps keep the power on.  In a sprawling Compton, Calif., distribution center that the company shares with its fellow Kroger subsidiary Food 4 Less, organic matter otherwise destined for a landfill is rerouted instead into the facility’s energy grid.”  Read more:


“Target works to win loyalty of Hispanics” by Martin Moylan at Minnesota Public Radio.  “But in its bid to lure Latino customers, Target faces tough competition from Walmart…The Arkansas-based retailer has doubled its spending on multicultural marketing, with most the money going toward winning over Latinos…In Houston and Phoenix, Walmart has opened Hispanic-oriented supermarkets called Supermercado de Walmart. They offer a full range of products that appeal to Latino customers. At all of its stores, the company also offers services that are popular with many Latinos, including check cashing, prepaid payment cards and layaway.”  Read more:


“Walmart Sales Boost Production at Fayetteville Candle Company” by Kyle Leyenberger at KNWA-Fayettville.  “”We had four million in sales in 2012 to Walmart, and by 2017 we’ll have 45 million,” he says. “We’ve added fifty, sixty jobs because of it, our work schedules are more consistent and it’s been a big relief to all of our people.” Read more and see the video:

“Google to offer licensed retailer ratings to rival Amazon” by Alistair Barr at Reuters via Mercury News.  “This is the latest sign of Google’s increased focus on e-commerce, an important area of the company’s lucrative search business. More shoppers are starting online shopping searches on, the world’s largest Internet retailer, putting pressure on Google to respond.  “Google is making a big push in all things commerce,” said Leiser. “They need to be the first place people go when they are shopping online.” ”  Read more:


“Safeway Puts Local Farmers in Spotlight” by Carol Angrisani at Supermarket News.  “As part of its “Fresh From Our Farmers” campaign, the retailer has posted an interactive map on its website that gives the location and description of its 150 local suppliers.  Also on the retailer’s website and Facebook page are video profiles of several local producers. In one video, Bill Zirkle of apple grower Rainier Farms, Selah, Wash., talks about the long-term partnership between his business and Safeway.”  Read More:


“Online Retail to Shutter One in Five UK Shops by 2018” by Kiran Moodley at CNBC.  “The share of consumer spending on the “high street” (the main shopping street in U.K. towns and cities) has fallen from 50 percent in 2000 to a predicted 40.2 percent by 2014.  As shoppers increasingly stay at home to do their shopping, stores across the country will continue to shut down. By 2018, store numbers will fall by 22 percent, a loss of over 60,000 stores in five years, forcing some 316,000 jobs to be lost.”  Read more:


“Lowe’s to Webcast Annual Meeting of Shareholders”  “What: Lowe’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders.  When: 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday, May 31, 2013.  Where:  Visit Lowe’s Investor Relations website at  Click Webcasts and then Lowe’s 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.”  Read more:


“How Target, cross-border shopping are wreaking havoc on Canada’s inflation rate” by Michael Babad at The Globe and Mail.  “The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development didn’t name the giant U.S. chain in its global outlook today, but did cite “heightened” competitive pressure in the retail sector.  Target Corp.’s recent entry into Canada has sparked something of a price war among domestic retailers and foreign players operating in the country, notably Wal-Mart Stores Inc.  Coupled with other factors, this has helped hold store prices down, in turn playing a role in the muted pace of inflation in Canada.”  Read more:


“Retailers Descend on Mexico” by Amy Guthrie at WSJ.  “Analysts say these new entries have contributed to weaker sales growth in recent months at the country’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s local unit Wal-Mart de México,  as consumers trade up to fancier shopping experiences and department stores offer varied credit options.”  Read more:


“Insight selling: How retailers sell to us by stealth” by Jane O’Brien at BBC.  “The US capital already has a large number of bike shops, and Mr Mittelman knew his High Street store, Bicycle Space, could only succeed by offering customers more than competitive prices and good service.  “People can find all the products we sell online, and are often so well-read and knowledgeable. They’ve looked up every detail and come in knowing so much,” he says.  “To sell to those people you have to appeal to something greater – we’re selling a lifestyle and an experience.”  Marketers call this insight selling.”  Read more:


Thanks for reading…


Follow on Twitter @retaileyeretail