Wednesday Tipsheet: Wmart Pressures Suppliers/AR Gov | Ex-Target SVP Lands | Amazon’s Dash Button


Wal-Mart Ratchets Up Pressure on Suppliers to Cut Prices by Paul Ziobro & Serena Ng at WSJ. “The retailing behemoth says it has been telling suppliers to forgo investments in joint marketing with the retailer and plow the savings into lower prices instead…“They kept pushing, ‘We’re going back to basics, it’s all about low pricing,’ ” said one supplier who attended the meeting.” Read more (Subscription)


Amazon’s Dash Button, for quick reordering, is not an April Fools’ joke by Lauren Raab at LA Times. “The user sets up the device to correspond to a certain product (say, a 24-pack of Bounty paper towel rolls) and sticks the device in a convenient place (say, inside the cabinet where paper towels are kept). When the supply runs low, the user can press the button to order more of that product…Amazon spokeswoman Kinley Pearsall assured the Los Angeles Times that it’s real.” Read more


…255 products from 18 brands are available through the Dash Button program. See the list of products


…See the video here


American Express CEO defiant in defense of Costco divorce by Greg Ryan at Boston Business Journal. “I don’t like to get into deals when I don’t think they’re sustainable,” (CEO Kenneth Chenault) said.” Read more


Wal-Mart just took a bold stand asking Arkansas’ governor to veto a controversial ‘religious freedom’ law by Myles Udland at Business Insider via SF Gate. “Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has indicated that he will pass the bill…In a statement on Tuesday night, Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon said: “Every day, in our stores, we see firsthand the benefits diversity and inclusion have on our associates, customers and communities we serve. It all starts with our core basic belief of respect for the individual…” Read more


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Walmart’s David Cheesewright Talks “Going Green” with WSJ “About 20% of our store base either is or will be under water stress in the not-too-distant future…At the moment about 24% of our energy is through renewable sources…we’ll quite often also arrange to go visit homes. Particularly in the developing markets, if you come from Europe and you’ve lived in America, I think you’re slightly naive about what actually happens in these countries.” See the video / Read the Q&A (Subscription)


Amazon Latest to Ditch Data Conference to Boycott Indiana by Kate Kaye at Ad Age. “We are not participating in the conference,” a spokeswoman told Ad Age. According to the event site…The spokeswoman continued, “Nobody will present. Our speaker’s photo will be gone by the end of the day.” Read more


Ex-Target SVP Takes CIO Job by Katharine Grayson at Minn./St.Paul Business Journal. “TCF Financial Corp. hired former Target Corp. executive Tom Butterfield to serve as its chief information officer.” Read more


REI will be ‘Official Partner’ of National Park Service’s centennial celebration by Emily Parkhurst at Puget Sound Business Journal. “REI is offering five new trips as part of its adventure series, a fast-growing part of the company’s business. REI currently offers 35 different adventures in 16 national parks throughout the U.S.” Read more


Postal Workers’ ad assails Harvard President for ties to Staples by Taryn Luna at Boston Globe. “The American Postal Workers Union is taking out an advertisement in the Harvard Crimson later this week telling readers that president Drew Faust is “smearing Harvard’s good name” by sitting on the board of directors at Staples Inc.” Read more


Alibaba ‘likely’ to choose Seattle for U.S. headquarters by Marc Stiles at Puget Sound Business Journal. “Another Seattle commercial real estate industry source, who also asked for anonymity, said Alibaba has been “very vague” about whether it plans to open just a small, permanent office of 5,000 square feet or an 80,000-square-foot space for a Western headquarters.” Read more


Zappos to employees: Get behind our ‘no bosses’ approach, or leave with severance by Jena McGregor at Washington Post. “In the lengthy memo, which clocks in at more than 4,700 words, (CEO Tony) Hsieh writes that “we haven’t made fast enough progress” toward the new approach and admits it’s “not for everyone.” As a result, Hsieh writes that he plans to “take a ‘rip the bandaid’ approach” to speed adoption.” Read more


Checkout problems stifling Apple Pay, survey finds by Mike Murphy at The Mercury News. “Even when Apple Pay worked, there were numerous complaints of transactions taking too long, recording inaccurate amounts and untrained clerks unable to provide help, the report said. That’s causing many potential Apple Pay users to stop bothering; 48 percent used the service only once.” Read more




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