Tuesday Tipsheet: H.Depot: #1 in Radio, Not #1 in CEO Pay | Wmart’s Apology & Bad Spanish


“Ow, Canada: U.S. retailers get the cold shoulder” by Anne D’Innocenzio & Charmaine Noronha at AP via Seattle Times.  “Target’s tough time in Canada isn’t unique.  Big Lots is closing its 78 Canadian stores, which it bought just two years ago…Best Buy announced last year it was closing 15 of its 260 stores in Canada and cut about 5 percent of its workforce in the country as it tries to revamp its strategy.  Even Wal-Mart Stores, which have been entrenched in Canada for more than two decades, have seen sales falter.”  Read more


“Lowe’s CEO Niblock gets 50% pay increase to $18.7 Mil” by Ely Portillo at Charlotte Observer.  “The home improvement retailer disclosed Robert Niblock’s 2013 pay in a securities filing Monday. Niblock’s pay rose from $12.1 million in 2012.  Lowe’s said Niblock received a bonus above his target because of the company’s positive performance in 2013, and that the timing of an additional stock grant also raised his pay.”  Read more


Flashback:  “Home Depot Chairman Blake’s total comp steady at $11M” at Atlanta Business Chronicle. ”Blake got about $11 million last year, including a $1.06 million salary (basically flat), about $4.9 million in stock awards (up 6 percent), about $2.4 million in option awards (down 9.5 percent) and $2.6 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation (up 4.7 percent).” Read more


“Walmart to Go Not Necessarily a Game Changer for C-Stores” by Ryan Saylor at The City Wire.  “For the convenience store customer, price is very (important). When it comes down to cigarettes, that’s where we get 70% of our top line revenue. Wal-Mart won’t be able to beat us because of state minimums.”…Richmond said often the larger chains are purchasing from the same convenience suppliers as the little guys, meaning prices are nearly identical or even slightly higher.”  Read more


“Best Buy’s Top U.S. Store Executive Departs, HR Chief Takes Over” by Steve Alexander at Star-Tribune.  “Seven months after getting a new title, Best Buy Inc.’s president of U.S. retail stores retired and is being succeeded by the retailer’s chief human resources officer…Shari Ballard, the human resources chief, will take on Score’s duties. Ballard, a 21-year employee, will retain the human resources job, which she got last August after leading Best Buy’s approximately 450-store international unit.”  Read more


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“Walmart Apology: Speedy Checkouts Allowed English Speakers to Carry More Items than Those Speaking Spanish” by Andrea Noble at Washington Times.  “The discrepancy, first reported by Buzzfeed, was pointed out Monday morning on Twitter when a customer took a photo of a sign…The sign said in English that the speedy checkout was for “25 items or less” and in Spanish for “20 articulos o menos.”…But just as the photo was beginning to incite a passionate reaction among outraged social media commentators, Wal-Mart officials at the company’s corporate headquarters in Arkansas stepped in and took responsibility for what they described as an “honest mistake.”  Read more


“U.S. retailers to share cyber threat data after Target attack” at Chicago Tribune.  “U.S. retailers are planning to form an industry group for collecting and sharing intelligence about cyber security threats in a bid to prevent future attacks in the wake of last year’s big attack on Target Corp.  The National Retail Federation said on Monday it will establish an Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or ISAC, for the retail industry in June.”  Read more


“Home Depot #1 for Radio Spots (by far), Walgreens #3” at Radio Ink.  “With nearly 62,000 commercials airing on radio stations all across the country, the Home Depot was radio’s number one advertiser (for the week of April 7). GEICO was a distant second with 34,146 commercials followed by Walgreens (30,840).”  Read more


“March retail sales sizzle, best in 18 months” at CNBC.  “The Commerce Department said on Monday retail sales increased 1.1 percent last month, the biggest rise since September 2012, as receipts rose in nearly all categories.”  Read more


“Office Depot Chief Legal Officer Named among ‘America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel’ “  “Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Elisa Garcia was named among America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel by The National Law Journal.” Read the Release


….Walmart’s General Counsel Karen Roberts also Named to Top 50 List.  “But stepping into the top job wasn’t a breeze—Roberts was promoted to general counsel in late 2012 after the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer came under scrutiny for possibly bribing Mexican government officials to speed expansion. As the legal team continues its internal investigations into the matter, her experience heading compliance no doubt helps.”  Read more


Random:  “The Truth About Google X:  An Exclusive Look Behind the Secretive Lab’s Closed Doors” by Jon Gertner at Fast Company.  “Failure is not precisely the goal at Google X. But in many respects it is the means. By the time Teller and I speak, I have spent most of the day inside his lab, which no journalist has previously been allowed to explore. Throughout the morning and afternoon I visited a variety of work spaces and talked at length with members of the Google X Rapid Evaluation Team, or “Rapid Eval,” as they’re known, about how they vet ideas and test out the most promising ones, primarily by doing everything humanly and technologically possible to make them fall apart…Read more


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