Tuesday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: Wmart’s Reality TV Show | Sears Can. CEO Departs | ‘The Pig’ Gets Carved


“Walmart Launches Online Reality Series” at Seeking Alpha.  “The five weekly “webisodes,” which go live on Tuesdays beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET from Sept. 24 through Oct. 22, feature a group of finalists under the same theme, such as Kid Stuff or Great Gadgets. The webisodes give viewers a chance to learn more about the entrepreneurs behind the inventions and watch as they pitch their product to a panel of Walmart.com judges.”  Read more


“Sears Canada CEO Departs” by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail.  “The departure was sparked over differing views with parent Sears Holdings Corp., whose controlling shareholder is Edward Lampert. The disagreement was tied to “the pace at which capital was being deployed to keep the momentum of the transformation going,” according to a source.”  Read more


“Nordstrom: How To Remain Relevant In A Tech Savvy World” by Walter Loeb at Forbes.  “Nordstrom Labs is a small team of techies, designers, entrepreneurs, statisticians, researchers and artists whose mission it is to discover what will be in the future of retailing. It is one of the most important initiatives underway at Nordstrom, as management looks to build on its legacy of customer service and care in a technological world.”  Read more


“Wal-Mart Tries Workforce Surge to Battle Sparse Shelves” by Susan Berfield at Businessweek.  “The decision to increase Wal-Mart’s permanent workforce comes amid reports that its stores have been understaffed and its customers frustrated. The U.S. workforce at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club fell by about 120,000 employees in the past five years, to 1.3 million, according to Bloomberg News, even as the company added more than 500 stores.”  Read more


“As Piggly Wiggly Gets Carved Up, Customers Cry” by Kyle Stock at Businessweek.  “The name helped, too. It isn’t a grocery chain, or even a store; it’s simply “The Pig”—a brand the company fattened up with a pile of branded souvenirs in every store. This week, customers are rushing to snap up beer koozies, t-shirts, Frisbees and other swag plastered with the company’s porcine logo.”  Read more


“Facebook Quietly Rolls Out Its Mobile Payments “Autofill” Product” by Mike Issac at All Things D.  “Beginning on Monday evening, Facebook will make that product public, slowly rolling it out to its billion-strong user network.  It’s (aptly) named “Autofill with Facebook,” and it’s a simple yet seemingly useful proposition. If you’ve stored your address and credit card information on Facebook, retail apps partnered with the company in the pilot program — currently only Jack Threads and Mosaic — will display a small drop-down prompt when hitting the payment info screen upon checkout.”  Read more


“In D.C., Wal-Mart job seekers want work. Any work.” by Petula Dvorak at Washington Post.  ” “Is this the line for Wal-Mart jobs?” asked Stephon Holly, 18, who arrived interview-ready. His wingtips were polished, his cardigan buttoned. He had a black portfolio packed with copies of his resume and talking points written on the legal pad to help him through a face-to-face.  But it never happened.  Wal-Mart reps were standing on the sidewalk, handing out fliers instructing the job seekers to apply online.”  Read more


“Walmart opens hiring centers in D.C.” by Sam Ford at WJLA-ABC.  “Retail giant Walmart isn’t wasting any time. Just days after the D.C. city council failed to override the Mayor’s veto of the controversial living wage bill, the company has opened two hiring centers.”  See the Video


“China Reportedly Lifts Ban On Facebook In The Shanghai Free-Trade Zone”  by Catherine Shu at TechCrunch.  “The Chinese government will allow access to some banned Web sites in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone, including Facebook, Twitter and The New York Times, the South China Morning Post reports, citing anonymous government sources.”  Read more


” ‘Made in USA’ fuels new manufacturing hubs in apparel” by Heesun Wee at CNBC.  “More small merchants and independent designers have been calculating the costs associated with international manufacturing and are opting to make clothing domestically. Think Raleigh, N.C., which boasts a rich textile history. Or consider Fort Wayne, Ind., in the Rust Belt.  These fashion manufacturing hubs are small compared to New York and Los Angeles. But armed with laptops and websites, entrepreneurs with a passion for domestic manufacturing are rolling the dice in smaller cities.”  Read more


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