Tuesday Tipsheet: Wmart Doubles Down | Amazon/J&J Clash | Target’s Accidental Ship


“Walmart Doubles Down on Thanksgiving” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC. “The world’s largest retailer announced Tuesday that it will begin its in-store Black Friday sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, two hours earlier than last year.  In addition, Walmart.com will begin offering Black Friday sales on a limited number of items Thursday morning—likely before the turkey is even in the oven.”  Read more


“Food-Stamp Cuts Likely to Nick Retailers” by Jack Neff at Ad Age. “Kantar’s ShopperScape data indicate that about 8% of primary shoppers used the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and/or the Women, Infants and Children program to pay for groceries on their last trip. Usage was even higher at Walmart (10%), Dollar General (15%) and Family Dollar (18%), while supermarkets generally relied less on electronic-benefit transfers (7% of transactions).”  Read more


“Amazon and J&J Clash Over Third-Party Sales” by Serena Ng and Jonathan Rockoff at WSJ. “Johnson & Johnson and Amazon.com Inc. are clashing over complaints that Amazon isn’t doing enough to prevent people from selling damaged or expired J&J products—Tylenol painkillers and Rogaine baldness treatments, among others—on its website.  The behind-the-scenes dispute is a prime example of a widening fear among consumer-products companies: On the Internet, it is easier to lose control over a brand image.” Read more


“Target Fills Its Cart With Some of Amazon’s Tricks” by Paul Ziobro at WSJ. “According to consultancy Kantar Retail, 62% of Target’s shoppers also visit Amazon within four weeks of their Target trip, up from 33% in 2007. Target shoppers are most likely to also shop at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., but soon Kantar expects Amazon to take that distinction.”  Read more


“Wal-Mart’s Micro-Mini Opportunity” by Rich Duprey at Motley Fool.  “As Wal-Mart experiments with smaller-format concepts that step away from the previous superstore expansion model it championed, it’s drilling down to the most basic level. While this (C-stores) will be something it uses to learn from, it’s easy to see the convenience-store format being the next natural progression in store development.”  Read more


“Target Accidentally Ships New Xbox To Customers Weeks Early” by Kevin Mahoney at Twin Cities Business.  “Forbes, meanwhile, reported that Microsoft has banned the early recipients from using Xbox One’s online features until the official launch date.”  Read more


“When a Company (Lowe’s) Is No Longer That into You” by Sam Ford at Harvard Bus. Review.  “I was ready to take our relationship to the next level: a backyard fence…Every time I looked outside, I thought about Lowe’s, but I knew they’d call soon. Finally, after the weeks had turned into multiple months, I called them. The company that made the gate opener was no longer one of Lowe’s suppliers…The deterioration of my personal relationship with Lowe’s points toward a larger issue companies face: companies struggle with relationship management.”  Read more


“Best Buy sends out $10 use-it-on-anything coupons” by Steve Alexander at Star-Tribune.  “Sent by e-mail to customers over the last few days, the coupon is good at stores or Bestbuy.com until Dec. 24…Delivered to customers in the last few days, the coupon arrives in the form of a letter from CEO Hubert Joly, whose smiling image takes up nearly a third of the page.”  Read more


“Amazon Is Closer Than Ever to Running the U.S. Postal Service” by Marcus Wohlsen at Wired.  “But in a country where the laws of retail commerce have long since trumped religious custom on Sundays, shipping has remained a stubborn holdout. It’s extra surprising that the organization to finally break that tradition would be a lumbering federal agency rather than a private company.” Read more


“Tuesday Morning CEO sees the company as a treasure” by Maria Halkias at Dallas News. “Tuesday Morning Corp.’s new CEO didn’t need another challenge.  Last year, Michael Rouleau was enjoying an easy life in Seattle and winters in Scottsdale, Ariz. Then he started hearing from Dallas-based hedge fund manager Steven Becker…Becker, 46, eventually persuaded Rouleau, 75, to come visit Tuesday Morning’s headquarters in Dallas…Rouleau spent a day and a half there. “It was the most fun I’d had in years,” he said. “I sniffed a real opportunity.”  Read more


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