Tuesday Tipsheet: Lowe’s: Big Iris Talk | Velveeta Shortage | Wmart: Liquor, Salmon & China


“Kroger:  Breaks Sales Record in ‘Perfect Storm’ “ by Alexander Coolidge at Cincy Enquirer.  “Activity at many of the 110 Greater Cincinnati Kroger stores surpassed the crowds seen in the rushed days just before Christmas, she said…Kroger ordered more than twice the normal amount of in-demand items like milk, bread, cereal, beer and snacks in anticipation of the heavy traffic.” Read more


“Walgreens December Sales Increase 7.2%” at WSJ.  “Calendar 2013 sales were $73.72 billion, an increase of 4.5 percent from $70.52 billion in 2012.  Fiscal 2014 year-to-date sales for the first four months were $25.54 billion, up 6.3 percent from $24.03 billion in the comparable period in fiscal 2013.”  Read more


“Salmon Diaries:  Walmart Execs Make Long Trek to Alaska to Appease Governor” by Mike Mason at KDLG-Alaska.  “Top executives with Wal-Mart will be in Alaska on Wednesday to discuss how to get Alaska salmon on store shelves. The issue that has prompted the visit by the Wal-Mart executives is a decision by the company to only stock seafood products labeled as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.”  Read more


“No Dip for You: Velveeta Shortage Could Lead to Empty Shelves” by E.J. Schultz at Ad Age.  “Given the incredible popularity of Velveeta this time of year, it is possible consumers may not be able to find their favorite product on store shelves over the next couple of weeks,” Kraft spokeswoman Jody Moore said in an email. “Our retail customers are aware of the situation and we expect it to be a short-term issue…When pressed for details, Ms. Moore said: “I can tell you there is a combination of factors involved, but the driver is really the high demand.” Read more


“Wal-Mart seeks to win China through the middle class” by Kim Souza at The City Wire.  “Foran said Sam’s Club is now exceeding Walmart expectations within China. He said the membership fee is not an obstacle for the middle income shoppers it targets and some 90% of shoppers to Sam’s Club arrive in a car, giving them the ability to stock up and buy more volume.  “This 90% of car shoppers at Sam’s Club compares to as low as 10% at a Walmart China Supercenter,” Foran said recently.”  Read more


“Lowe’s Claim: “In the future, every electrical device we sell” will be Internet-ready and controllable by an app” by Ely Portillo at Charlotte Observer.  “Lowe’s executives are in Las Vegas this week for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, demonstrating the newest Iris products…Lowe’s executives are confident the technology will catch on.  “I’ve often heard the argument this will never take off,” Kevin Meagher, vice president of Lowe’s Smart Home, said by phone from Las Vegas. “I believe, absolutely, it will become ubiquitous.”  Read more


“Party Time:  New Walmart Express at Univ. of  Missouri Technically Not on Campus So Can Sell Liquor” by Roselyn Adams at Missourian.  “The new store is modeled after are three other Walmart mini stores — called Walmart on Campus — located on campuses in the U.S.: at Arizona State University, the University of Arkansas, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Because the Columbia store is not technically on campus, it will sell beer and wine, unlike Walmart’s other campus stores.”  Read more


“U.S. Marine’s Sneer at Amazon Drones” by Marcus Wohlsen at Wired.  “If Jeff Bezos really wants to launch his own delivery drones, he might take a look at the flying bots that are already making deliveries for an even larger operation: the U.S. Marines. …He’s clearly got an axe to grind about the attention lavished upon Bezos, venture capitalists, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs at the expense of the defense industry engineers who invented aerial drones. He derides the tech set as “a bunch of millennials playing on iPads and eating pizza in Palo Alto.”  Read more


“Chicagoland:  Trader Joe’s Poised to Grab More Business after Dominick’s Closure” by Micah Maidenberg at Chicago Crains.  “Grocery chain Trader Joe’s is making a play for shoppers in Schaumburg, which faces a void in its grocery market after the closure of two Dominick’s stores there.  Trader Joe’s signed a lease to open a 12,500-square-foot store in the Woodfield Village Green shopping center, at the northeast corner of Golf and Meacham roads in the northwest suburb.”  Read more


“This Could Be the Biggest Amazon Package Ever” by Jamie Condliffe at Gizmodo.  “Amazon is well-known for its habit of delivering small items in gigantic packages. But this parcel has to be perhaps the biggest that Bezos & Co. have ever had to ship.”  See the pic


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