Tuesday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: CVS Profit Up | Bezos Buys Post | Best Buy Shaving Ranks


“CVS Caremark quarterly profit rises as sales up in both units” at Reuters.  “CVS Caremark Corp posted a higher second-quarter profit on Tuesday, helped by its pharmacy benefits management business, where sales growth narrowly outpaced that of its drugstores.  The drugstore and pharmacy benefits management company earned $1.12 billion, or 91 cents per share, up from $966 million, or 75 cents per share, a year earlier.”  Read more


“Immense influence goes with Bezos’ Washington Post purchase” by Brier Dudley at Seattle Times.  “Perhaps this explains why President Obama flew to an Amazon.com distribution center in Tennessee last week to announce his latest jobs plan.  It was an odd place to highlight economic opportunities for America’s middle class.  Odder still was the president’s decision to then distribute an interview on the topic through Amazon’s Kindle platform.  But perhaps the president was already working an angle with the new owner of his hometown newspaper.”  Read more


“How to Spend $25 Billion the Jeff Bezos Way: Newspapers, Rockets and 3-D Printers” by Jason Del Ray at All Things D.  “The firm’s investments have included bets on big-name disruptors, such as Twitter, Uber, Airbnb and Makerbot, as well as a cash infusion in digital media company Business Insider.  Among Bezos Expeditions’ less sexy investments: MFG.com, an online exchange for manufacturers and suppliers; Domo, a business intelligence software startup from Omniture co-founder Josh James; and Qliance, a medical clinic startup.”  Read more


“Best Buy quietly shaving its ranks at headquarters” by Thomas Lee at Star Tribune.  “Several Best Buy employees said the climate can be tense at the company’s headquarters, especially on Tuesdays.  “Whenever someone leaves their desk, we think that person just got laid off, when he or she might just be going to the bathroom,” said one surviving employee who requested anonymity because the individual was not authorized to speak to the news media.”  Read more


“Walmart’s Scan & Go Change Reminds Us How To Make Mobile Work” by Evan Schuman at Storefront Backtalk.  “In the latest upgrade to the chain’s Scan & Go mobile payment/self-checkout hybrid, Walmart takes this all-knowing tactic to the next level, giving shoppers a reason to scan physical receipts.  At its most simple level, the upgrade merely allows shoppers to scan physical receipts from Walmart (more precisely, to scan the QR codes printed on such receipts) to receive an electronic version. For the shopper, it’s a nice way to reduce paper clutter and also organize purchases in one place. For Walmart, though, it’s much more.”  Read more


“TJ Maxx, Saks’ outlets Unveil Online Stores” at CNBC via Reuters.  “Low-price retailer T.J. Maxx plans to open an online store this year, as does rival Saks’ Off Fifth outlets, making 2013 the year technology may have caught up with the speed of fashion.  For such chains, which feature clearance items, last-year’s fashions and overruns, their fast-moving and often unpredictable inventory has made selling goods over the web complex.”  Read more


“AT&T’s Retail Revamp Goes for a Genius Bar Look” by Keenan Mayo at Businessweek.  “The new look appears to be a blatant knock-off of the successful “retailtainment” calculus popularized by Apple Stores, with modern design, hip and mobile staff, and sales transactions sans cash-register. AT&T’s overhaul, which the company intends to expand to more of its 2,300 stores by 2014, is being described as an effort to emphasize the customer experience over sales.”  Read more


“Whole Foods CEO tells Bloomberg new Detroit store ‘exceeding our wildest expectations’ “ by Tanya Moutzalias at Mlive.  “Whole Foods Market Co-CEO Walter Robb told Bloomberg that “the store is exceeding our wildest expectations.” He added that the store is serving a “wide area of the community.  “A lot of things we hoped would work (in Detroit) are working, and I just couldn’t be more pleased with that, particularly at a time when the narrative about the city is so negative. I have to tell you, there is just a lot positive about that community.”  Read more


“easyShopping: Stelios moves into food retail market (UK)” at Herald Scotland.  “He said: “I have a feeling that there is a gap in the food retail market – a niche below some of the current budget operators such as Aldi and Lidl.  “Concentrating on affordable, basic ‘no-brand-name’ packet and tinned foods at bargain prices, easyFoodstore underlines the need for additional reliable day-to-day provision of basic foodstuffs. No other details have yet been decided.”  Read more


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