Tuesday Tipsheet: Wmart: Trade Vgames for Socks | DEA visits Costco | Amazon’s Black Eye


“Walmart: Trade-In Your Videogame, Get a Pair of Socks” by Ian Sherr & Shelly Banjo at WSJ.  “Wal-Mart itself ran a smaller trade-in program in 2009 where it allowed customers to sell used games through kiosks in certain stores, but the retailer failed to make it work. This time, Wal-Mart has teamed up with CExchange Inc., an electronic trade-in and recycling company based in Carrollton, Texas, which also works with RadioShack Corp. and eBay Inc…Wal-Mart thinks it can differentiate itself because “our customers can buy groceries, socks or a bike, which isn’t the case at other retailers,” Wal-Mart’s chief merchant Duncan Mac Naughton said in an interview Monday.”  Read more


“DEA investigating possible violations at Costco pharmacies” by Richard Sharp at KCRA-Sacramento.  “DEA agents recently visited four area Costco pharmacies to inspect the record keeping for prescription drugs, KCRA 3 confirmed Monday.  In federal warrants obtained by KCRA 3, an investigator for the DEA said he believes agents will find numerous problems with the record keeping for hydrocodone pills for Costco pharmacies in Roseville, Sacramento, Manteca and Fairfield.”  Read more


“Amazon easing into $1B sideline business: Ad sales” by Jay Green at Seattle Times.  “The company doesn’t disclose revenue generated from online ad sales. But eMarketer estimates Amazon sold $718.3 million worth of ads worldwide last year. What’s more, eMarketer expects Amazon’s ad business to grow 33.5 percent in 2014, generating $958.5 million. That could put it close to AOL, which sold $1.1 billion in online ads last year, but with growth of less than 6 percent.”  Read more


“REI Same-Store Sales +2.9% in 2013; Sales Top $2 Billion”  “In 2013, REI opened new stores in Overland Park, Kan.; Tyson’s Corner, Va.; Silverdale, Wash.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Oxnard, Calif. As of year-end 2013, REI operated 132 stores in 33 states.” Read the release


“Cash is Back – Even with Young Shoppers” by Paula Rosenblum at Forbes.  “Thirty-two percent reported they would be using cash as a method of payment more frequently…More surprising, even though those youngest shoppers claim to be the most confident in credit/debit, their stated plans seem to tell a different story: 46 percent plan to use cash more, a higher percent than any other age group.”  Read more


“Amazon Engagement Score Plummets from 93 to 83 Following Prime Price Hike: Brand Keys” by Krystina Gustafson at CNBC.  “Based on immediate Prime member reactions, they may have underestimated the negative effects of the increase,” said Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys.  “Consumer expectations are always on the increase, and when it comes to online retail, they operate in a ‘what-have-you-done-for-me-recently?’ paradigm. Price increases weren’t what Prime Members were expecting,” he said.”  Read more


“28 States Get Pushy with 5 Retailers on Tobacco” at Chicago Tribune.  “The companies receiving a letter on Sunday from the group were Wal-Mart Stores Inc., supermarket operators Kroger Co., Safeway Inc., which operate pharmacies, and drugstore chains Walgreen Co. and Rite Aid Corp.”  Read more


“Walmart Canada Celebrates 20 Years”  “Our consumer research shows that 72% of Canadian moms — our core customer — say that Walmart is the top retailer to help them stay on budget,” said Ms. Broader. “We want to build on this commitment to find new ways to make life easier for our customers.”  Read the release


“B.C. Canada Bummer:  Only 2 of Vancouver’s 53 Grocery Stores Can Sell Liquor” at Vancouver Sun.  “A rule banning new liquor retailers within one kilometre of existing public or private stores means it could be a long time before you can pick up beer at your local Save-On or Safeway.  Of the 53 grocery stores in the City of Vancouver, only two are more than one kilometre away from an existing liquor store.”  Read more


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