Wednesday Tipsheet: Goodbye Costco – Hello Zaycon? | Slow Death of Retail Workforce


“The Sad, Slow Death of America’s Retail Workforce” by Derek Thompson at The Atlantic.  “According to data obtained by The Atlantic from EMSI, the retail industry gained about 49,000 jobs between 2001 and 2013, which means it grew by exactly 0.32 percent. Which means it didn’t grow.”  Read more


“Costco Shoppers Find Alternative in Zaycon” by Angel Gonazalez at Seattle Times.  “Some bulk buyers of fresh beef products, seeking relief from a big spike in meat prices, have found an alternative to Costco, with drive-through access instead of a crazy parking lot.  Dozens of cars queued up on Monday at Papa’s Tree Farm, nestled among orchards and cattle ranches in Maple Valley, to pick up 40-pound boxes of ground beef and 22-pound packages of ham from the back of a refrigerated truck owned by Zaycon Foods, of Spokane Valley.” Read more


“Who will win the battle for the millennial grocery shopper?” by Jeff Fromm at The Business Journals.  “Many mistakenly assume that Target would be chief among millennials when it comes to grocery retailers. In fact, Walmart remains the most popular choice among millennial parents among retail visits overall…Costco has a grave outlook with millennials. While the brand is beloved by many, this generation on a budget is unlikely to accept paying for a store membership.”  Read more


“William Blair Says Sell Wal-Mart Stock” by Teresa Rivas at Barron’s.  “We have previously highlighted the risks to retailers as e-commerce grows, but we have viewed Wal-Mart to be partly insulated…Increasingly, though, we are concerned that Wal-Mart’s store base is ill positioned for a consumer that is increasingly buying individual items online, reducing the appeal of Wal-Mart Supercenters with wide assortment.”  Read more


“New Sam’s Program:  Return Your $500+ TV within 6 Months and Receive up to Half of its Price Back”  “Any Sam’s Club member who purchases a television worth $500 or more can get a $99 4-year SquareTrade protection plan that includes delivery, set-up, haul-away and recycling of their old TV. Exclusive to Sam’s Club, the protection plan also offers a guaranteed buyback program that allows Sam’s Club members to trade in their TV within six months of purchase and receive up to half of its price back on a Sam’s Club gift card.”  Read the release


“Analysis: Retailer Tax Rates” by John Kiernan at Wallet Hub.  “Walmart: 31% – Target 34.9% – Costco 36.1% – Home Depot 37.2%…”  See the full list


“Americans for Tax Fairness No Fan of Walmart” by Clare O’ Connor at Forbes. “Walmart’s low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing, according to a report published to coincide with Tax Day, April 15.  Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of 400 national and state-level progressive groups, made this estimate using data from a 2013 study by Democratic Staff of the U.S. Committee on Education and the Workforce.”  Read more


“Home Depot workers honor late customer” at WPVI-TV (Philly).  “He was a regular at the store on Route 130 and when his niece went there to buy some things to create a memorial for Bill, the associates volunteered do it and constructed a 3 foot by 4 foot tribute to their loyal customer, made of wood bolts and rope.”  See the video / Read more


“Best Buy’s CEO: Web retailers should collect sales tax” by Adam Belz at Star-Tribune.  “Best Buy Co. Inc. CEO Hubert Joly on Tuesday urged Congress to force online merchants to collect sales tax from customers, in his most forceful public statement on the matter to date…“We don’t think the government should pick the winners,” Joly said in a speech to the Economic Club of Minnesota. “We don’t think the government should subsidize Amazon and eBay.”  Read more


….and his four tips for turnarounds by John Vomhof Jr. at Minn./St. Paul Bus. Journal.  “Best Buy Co. Inc. CEO Hubert Joly outlined some of the lessons he has learned along the way…3) Fire lots of bullets: “You have to fire a lot of bullets before you fire a cannonball…So, firing bullets means what? It means aiming for something and trying to see whether you can hit the target and whether it produces a good result…So, if you fire a lot of bullets, you get to try a number of things — and in retailing it is particularly meaningful to try a variety of things.”  See the four tips


Follow @retaileyeretail