Today’s Tipsheet: FTC: Retailers ‘Bamboozled’ | Walmart Pay | Danger at Costco?


FTC Says Retailers Are ‘Bamboozling’ Shoppers With Fake Bamboo Fabrics at AdWeek. “The Federal Trade Commission announced complaints against four major retailers—Bed Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom, JCPenney and—with civil penalties totaling $1.3 million. The offense? Marketing bamboo products that aren’t made of bamboo.” Read more


Walmart Drops An Atomic Bomb On Its Apple Pay Competitor by Mark Rogowsky at Forbes. “But the big news, which Walmart neglected to mention in its press release, is that in dropping this midnight bomb just two weeks before Christmas, the retailer isn’t targeting Apple Pay. Instead, it’s essentially blowing up MCX, the Walmart-led consortium that was formed in 2012 and has been desperately trying to roll out an Apple Pay competitor called CurrentC.” Read more


NY Post: Technical glitch almost ruins Walmart’s new app unveiling by Lisa Fickenscher. “By the time the phone conference began, most reporters were befuddled, asking “What’s the news about?” and complaining that they couldn’t access the video.” Read more


This brick-and-mortar store wants to sell you the Internet of Things by Tracey Lien at LA Times. ” In a store under construction…in Silicon Valley, workmen tinker and tarps cover the walls…B8ta’s founders came from Nest Labs…the founders learned how resource-intensive it was for a company selling an Internet of Things product to create environments inside retailers that adequately explain how everything works.” Read more


Amazon Launches One-Hour Booze Delivery in Manhattan Through Prime Now by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “The launch marks the second city in the U.S. where alcohol delivery is available through Prime Now; the first was Amazon’s hometown of Seattle.” Read more


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Wal-Mart customer insights from 2.2 billion voices drive much of the retailer’s business plan by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “There’s nothing like talking to your customers,” (Matt) Kistler said during his speech at the WalStreet Breakfast event held by the Bentonville-Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday (Dec. 9) in Bentonville.” Read more


Danger at Costco? Membership Growth Slowest in Years by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “Membership fees of $593 million in the quarter ended November 22 came in less than the $621 million Wall Street firm Cowen & Co was expecting. That represents growth of 1.9%, an anemic performance for Costco. Growth in fees has ranged from 4.5% to 7.7% in Costco’s four previous full fiscal years.” Read more


Costco earnings hurt by credit-card switch by Sarah Nassauer at MarketWatch. “Richard Galanti, Costco’s finance chief, said co-branded customer sign-ups during the quarter ended Nov. 22 had “greatly slowed and now ceased.” That reduced the company’s quarterly earnings by $15 million, or 2 cents a share, and he predicted the negative trend would to continue in the next two quarters and possibly into the fiscal fourth quarter.” Read more


Costco Q1 Earnings Call Transcript Read here via Seeking Alpha


Wednesday in Chicago: Hundreds of protesters block Michigan Avenue at Fox News. “The protesters formed a circle in the middle of downtown Michigan Avenue and appeared to be headed for a bridge near the Magnificent Mile, which was the site of a Black Friday protest. Some in the crowd shoved officers before police let them through.” Read more


WinCo to build Texas distribution center by Andy Nelson at The Packer. “The 800,000-square-foot facility could open by Spring 2017, said Michael Read, vice president of public and legal affairs for Boise, Idaho-based WinCo.” Read more


Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pies are back at Wal-Mart by Fred Imbert at CNBC. “It took about 2 million pounds of California-grown sweet potatoes to deliver this Christmas miracle,” John Forrest Ales, director of corporate communications at Wal-Mart, said in an email.” Read more


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Washington Post: Home Depot looks to adapt for baby boomers who aren’t so into ‘do-it-yourself’ anymore by Sarah Halzack. “Their expectations of the Home Depot are changing,” said Marc Powers, the chain’s executive vice president of U.S. stores. “Now people like me have less time and less energy to do it myself like the Home Depot taught us to do. Now I want someone to do it for me.” Read more


The Hill: Retailers pan cyber bills as holiday assault looms by Katie Bo Williams. Read more


‘His mother is alive and well’: Woman who recounted emotional moment is branded a liar by Emily James at Daily Mail. “A Colorado woman’s emotional video about a Walmart cashier who broke down while at work, hours after his mother committed suicide, has been labeled a fake by a spokesperson for the store. According to the spokesperson, the incident detailed by Paige Yore, 25, in a heart-wrenching Facebook video…never actually took place.” Read more


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