Wednesday Tipsheet: Costco +7% | Canada & ‘Price Gouging’ | Wmart Likes TX


“Costco Q1 Comp Sales +7%” “Net sales for the quarter increased seven percent, to $26.28 billion from $24.47 billion during the first quarter last year.” Read the release


WSJ: “Costco Profit Gain Falls Short of Forecasts” by Angela Chen. “Profit for the quarter rose to $496 million, or $1.12 a share, from year-earlier earnings of $425 million, or 96 cents a share. Revenue improved 7% to $26.87 billion. Analysts had expected a profit of $1.52 a share and revenue of $26.92 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.” Read more (Subscription)


“Costco’s a deal for shoppers. The CEO may be, too.” by Gary Strauss at USA Today. “In an era of oversized pay packages and stock grants, Jelinek pulled in a relatively modest $5.6 million in fiscal 2014 compensation, up 4.8% from 2013, the members-only warehouse giant and USA’s second-largest retailer said in a preliminary proxy Tuesday. That’s about half the median $10.5 million pay Standard & Poor’s 500 company CEOs made in 2013.” Read more


“Target testing “vignette” model for home decor” by Nick Halter at Minn./St.Paul Bus. Journal. “Target is experimenting with a new home-decor layout that eschews aisles in favor of open showroom-like areas that display how products would look in a room. The test launched Nov. 8 in Target’s Northeast Minneapolis store — where it does many of its pilots — and hasn’t been introduced elsewhere, at least not yet.” Read more


“Ottawa targets U.S. retailers over ‘price gouging’” by Gordon Isfeld at Financial Post. “The federal government may be pushing ahead with a promised crackdown on retailers who jack up their prices — and viewed as widening the gap between Canada and the United States…Industry Minister James Moore said Tuesday that new legislation will tackle the so-called “geographic price discrimination” between the two countries — a practice he prefers to call “price gouging.” Read more


“Ottawa’s proposal to probe retail price gaps finds few backers from suppliers” by Marina Strauss at Globe & Mail. “Supplier groups are unimpressed by the federal Conservative government’s attempt to use legislative pressures to sway companies to drop prices.“From what I gather, I don’t think this effort will make any difference,” said Bob Kirke, executive director of the Canadian Apparel Federation.” Read more


“Big retailers price black, white Barbies differently” by Katie Little at CNBC. “They should always be the same price, across all ethnicities,” a Wal-Mart spokesman said Tuesday evening. “This is just a pricing error. We corrected it immediately.” Read more


“Organic-Farming Boom Stretches Certification System” by Caelainn Barr at WSJ. “There are currently 81 accredited “certifying agents,” or groups that stamp food as organic in the U.S. But of the 37 that had a complete review this year, 23 were cited for failing to correctly enforce certification requirements on farms in audits, according to an internal Agriculture Department report.” Read more (Subscription)


“Wal-Mart cuts a new path through rural Texas” by Maria Halkias at Dallas News. “Wal-Mart is rediscovering small-town Texas. This time it’s focusing on even smaller towns than it did in the 1970s and 1980s. Wal-Mart will open 37 stores in the state from November through the end of January.” Read more


“Retailers Using Science To Shape Shopping Experience” by Kathryn Hauser at WBZ CBS Boston. “For bigger stores neuroscience could be the new norm. “As the digital world is taking off more competition in traditional brick and mortar stores they have to do something to compete,” says Dr. Marci. And the new playing field is our own subconscious.” Read more / See the video


“Target to sponsor 2 Ganassi entries in 2015 as retailer looks to spend more on marketing” by Jenna Fryer at Star-Tribune. “We are just reallocating dollars, there’s no difference in anything else,” said Dan Griffis, vice president of experiential marketing and alliances at Target. “I would put our investment in racing as the only full-time sponsor in both IndyCar and NASCAR, against any other sponsor in the sport.” Read more


“The Top 50 Places to Work in the U.S. (HEB #7, Costco #29, Wegmans #32)” by Jared Linzon at Fast Company. See the Top 50 List


“Amazon Will Allow Negotiating on Prices for Some Products” by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Amazon has introduced a price-negotiating feature for some of its items in an apparent bid to boost sales in its collectible and fine art categories, which include sports and entertainment memorabilia.” Read more


About 150,000 items for sale on Amazon are eligible for the service, but that will expand to more third-party sellers in 2015 by Mae Anderson at HuffPo. Read more


“Best Buy will look for other paper suppliers after Greenpeace report” by Kavita Kumar at Star-Tribune. “The announcement by the Richfield-based electronics chain this week comes in the wake of a recent Greenpeace report that criticized the retailer for using Resolute Forest Products as its primary paper supplier.” Read more


San Jose: “See inside the debut of the Whole Foods grocery store” by Vicki Thompson at Silicon Valley Bus. Journal.  See the 16 Pics / Read more


Berkeley: Good Samaritan Attempts to Stop Looting of Radio Shack, Gets Struck in Face for his Efforts by Jason Howerton at The Blaze. “The victim was actually a fellow protester, according to Berkeleyside. The news website reported that there were a “series of aggressive interactions between protesters who wanted to keep the peace and stop those who were breaking windows at Radio Shack and those who were encouraging the vandalism.” See the video / Read more



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