Today’s Tipsheet: WMT: HR Reserves HQ Rooms-Cuts Expected | Galanti Q&A for Q4 | Joaquin Bump | Winco Likes Small


Wal-Mart to cut hundreds of jobs at headquarters by Nathan Layne at Reuters. “Fewer than 500 employees are expected to lose their jobs and an announcement could be made as early as this Friday, according to one of sources, who declined to be named because the move had not been made public.” Read more


…Sources: HR reserves rooms for Friday – Wal-Mart department directors told to cancel travel this week or make sure they come to the office on Friday by Sarah Nassauer at WSJ. Read more (Subscription)


FY’ 16: Costco to Build 32 New Stores in U.S. and Abroad by Angel Gonzalez at Seattle Times. “That includes the French location, but also two more warehouses in Madrid, Spain’s capital. Galanti conceded that Western Europe is a tough place to get into, “with all the rules, regulation and permitting process, but we’re pretty interested in continuing that process…Australia, which has two-thirds the population of Canada, has only seven locations while Canada has more than 80. “I’m not suggesting that we’re going to have two-thirds of that anytime soon, but we can add a few there,” Galanti said.” Read more


Whole Foods to stop selling products made by inmates at AP via LA Times. “The company said the products should be out of its stores by April 2016, if not sooner. Whole Foods said it has sold tilapia, trout and goat cheese produced through a Colorado inmate program at some stores since at least 2011.” Read more


Investors Bet On Joaquin With Home Supply Stocks by Dani Burger & Kate Garber at Bloomberg. “The projected path looks like the same projected path as Sandy which was a real benefit for Home Depot and Lowes in the aftermath,” Jaime Katz, an equity analyst at Morningstar Investment Service in Chicago, said by phone.” Read more


Chicago: Target’s first two Freshii locations set to open Oct. 12 by Ally Marotti at Chicago Crain’s. “Forty percent of Target customers use the cafes, which are the first thing they see after walking into the store, a Target spokeswoman said in an email…“This was about what does Target Cafe want to be when it grows up?” (Matthew Corrin) said. “The answer was, Target Cafe should be Freshii.” Read more


Wal-Mart director talks buying local at NC college by Lauren K. Ohnesorge at Triangle Business Journal. “(Joe Quinn) says he’s still concerned about accessing the domestic talent required to sustain the manufacturing industry. “We are a funny society,” he says. “We just spent 30 years telling our kids they should go to four-year college. … Everybody should get a four-year degree and the reality is, for years, we didn’t pay any attention to the pipeline going into manufacturing.” Read more


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Retailers appeal to Capitol Hill regarding microchip mandate by Cory Bennett at The Hill. Read more


Twin Cities: Fresh Thyme brings new dynamic to grocery market by Mike Hughlett at Star Tribune. “Fresh Thyme plans to open 10 to 12 stores here in the next four or five years, with deals signed for six more Twin Cities locations beyond Bloomington.” Read more


Winco is kicking the tires on smaller stores by Andy Giegerich at Portland Business Journal. “Typically, Winco’s groceries occupy around 80,000 square feet. “We’ve begun doing a few more of these smaller models, as infill projects, and they’re performing well,”(Michael) Read said. “We’re looking for infill opportunities that operate successfully without cannibalizing our other stores.” Read more


Instacart hires first CFO amid growing IPO buzz by Riley McDermid at San Francisco Business Times. ““[We are not] being specific about that next phase. It’s just about having more partner retailers, more markets, more customers, and continuing to grow,” (Ravi) Gupta said. “Whether we do that in the private or public market isn’t something we’re talking about right now.” Read more


Woodman’s president submits complaint over Meijer’s ‘ridiculous’ low prices by Alison Bauter at Milwaukee Business Journal. “…It includes photos of bulk coffee priced on sale for $4.98. “Normally we don’t turn others into you but: this is ridiculous!!” writes Woodman, who goes by Phil.” Read more


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Costco Q4 Earnings Call Highlights

Richard Galanti, CFO

FY 2016 – plans are to add up to 32 net new warehouses, including a few business centers in the U.S.

18 to 20 of the planned new locations will be the United States with the remaining in international markets, including our second opening in Spain and our first opening planned for France.

Internationally in local currencies, the strongest results in Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, and Spain.

The better-performing departments were deli, sundries and candy.

Hardlines: low single-digit range, better-performing departments were sporting goods, hardware, and automotive.

Consumer electronics: negative low single-digit year-over-year positive

Softlines: comps were in the low single-digit range, better-performing departments, including home furnishings and domestics.

Fresh foods: comps were in the low single-digit range as well with best results in deli, produce and meat.

We continue to enjoy strong renewal rates, 91% in the U.S. and Canada and 88% worldwide.

Total e-commerce sales came in just under $3.5 billion, up a little over 20% for the year.

I think we feel comfortable that over the next five years we will continue to open 30-ish plus units a year.

Read the full transcript via Seeking Alpha


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