Today’s Tipsheet: Messy Lawsuit for Menards Owner | Sam’s Sensory Lab | Retailers Ready to Expand


“Sam’s Club ‘Sensory Lab’ tests holiday products” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “Roughly 80% of the food tested meets the minimum standard, but Hebert said just 15% makes into the clubs.  “We have two test panels a day with four foods in each panel. Between 65 to 100 people come down to take part in the tests each day,” Hebert said.  The panel tests rate the products on a range of attributes from taste to texture and panel participants are allowed to share any suggestions to improve the product further.”  Read more:


“Lowe’s bid for California chain could be used as model in Canada: analyst” by Ross Marowits at The Globe & Mail.  ““It is conceivable that Lowe’s might test an Orchard Supply store format in Canada, operated under the Lowe’s brand,” Keith Howlett, an analyst at Desjardins Capital Markets, said Monday after the Lowe’s announcement.  A similar strategy of operating multiple formats has been used for years by Canada’s largest home improvement retailer, Rona Inc., which rejected a takeover overture from Lowe’s last year.”  Read more:


“Lowe’s Buys Into the California Housing Rush” by Kyle Stock at Businessweek.  “To see how the deal adds up for Lowe’s, consider San Francisco, where home prices are up 22 percent from a year earlier. Home Depot has about nine stores in the Bay Area. Lowe’s has four; Orchard would give it five more.  But Orchard is no money tree. Its same-store sales have fallen for at least five years and it hasn’t posted an operating profit for five quarters. All the while, it has struggled under the debt load it shouldered when spun off from Sears (SHLD) in December 2011.”  Read more:


“From Kroger to PSK Supermarkets, Retailers Big and Small Are Acing Loyalty Game” by David Orgel at Supermarket News.  “That’s why LoyaltyOne’s advice for supermarkets makes sense: “The overall focus must shift from acquiring new memberships to better engaging the customer base and driving repeat purchase behaviors.”  Read more:


“Target’s narrow vote on executive pay suggests shareholder discontent” by Thomas Lee at Star-Tribune.  “When it comes to “Say on Pay,” Target Corp. shareholders say they increasingly don’t like the way the company doles out cash and stock to its executives.  Despite Target’s healthy stock price, investors last week approved the retailer’s executive compensation policies with just 52.1 percent of the vote, a stunning rebuke to a company that Wall Street has long regarded as one of the best-run in the country.”  Read more:


“John Menard tried to ‘extort’ sex from Stephen Hilbert’s wife, lawsuit says” by Jeff Swiatek at Indy Star.  “The bitter falling-out between Carmel businessman Stephen Hilbert and billionaire hardware chain owner John Menard Jr. was initially portrayed as a deal gone bad from misspent millions.  A lawsuit suggests a more unseemly origin for the split: sexual extortion.  Hilbert’s wife, Tomisue, charges that Menard tried to extort sexual favors from her two years ago while he was visiting the Hilberts’ Caribbean home in Saint Martin.”  Read more:


“Retailers Ready To Spend On Expansion, Technology, Branding, For Growth In 2013: KPMG Survey”  “Most executives (85 percent) expect capital spending will increase or remain the same over the next year. When asked where they will increase spending most, executives most frequently cited geographic expansion (61 percent), information technology (IT) (40 percent), and advertising and marketing/branding (24 percent).”  Read more:


“Whole Foods Changes English-Only Store Policy” by Martha White at CNBC.  “After two of the chain’s employees in New Mexico were temporarily suspended from work for speaking Spanish, they claimed, calls for a boycott prompted Whole Foods to change its company language policy.  In a blog post, Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb maintained that the two workers received one-day suspensions for unacceptable “workplace behavior,” not for speaking in Spanish as the two alleged.”  Read more:


“Builder Confidence Hits Major Milestone in June”  “Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes hit a significant milestone in June, surging eight points to a reading of 52 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. Any reading over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.  This is the first time the HMI has been above 50 since April 2006”  Read more:


Thanks for reading…


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