Wednesday’s Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet: Walmart Weighs Grocery Bid | Target Buys Skin-Care Firm | Walgreen’s Cough Syrup & Sushi


“Wal-Mart weighs bid for Li’s Hong Kong supermarket chain” at Reuters.  “Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is working with a bank as it weighs its options for ParknShop ahead of next week’s preliminary bid deadline..Last year, Wal-Mart announced plans to open 100 new stores in China over the next three years and create 18,000 jobs in an effort to boost its mainland China business. Wal-Mart opened its first China store in 1996 and now operates over 380 stores spread across various formats, including Supercenters, Sam’s Clubs and Neighborhood Markets.”  Read more


 “Target buys beauty and skin-care firm DermStore Beauty Group” by Steve Alexander at Star-Tribune.  “DermStore, based in Louisville, is a 14-year-old firm that operates, which offers about 750 brands of skin-care products. The company also owns and, which sell hair-care products and cosmetics, respectively.  The websites will continue to operate separately from Target under their own brand names and DermStore will become a wholly-owned Target subsidiary.”  Read more


“Walgreens: Come for the cough syrup, stay for the sushi” by Carl O’Donnell at Philly Bus. Journal.  ” “It’s so pretty. I want to move here,” said one customer.  Why is Walgreens, which has been a pharmacy for over a century, expanding its other lines of business?  The reasons are several, say industry experts. Walgreens’ competition has tightened in recent years, said Eric Keuffel, assistant professor at Fox School of Business. The big players in the industry have consolidated, gobbling up independent stores in the process.”  Read more


“Walgreens July Comps. Up 6.3%” at RTT News.  “Total front-end sales went up 3.6 percent year-over-year, while comparable store front-end sales rose by 2.3 percent. Customer traffic in comparable stores slid 1.2 percent, whereas basket size increased 3.5 percent.” Read more


“Private Label Packaging Playing an Essential Role in Retailer Brand Strategies” by Kate Bertrand Connolly at Food Processing via @PhillipRussoPOV.  “Changes in the retail environment, supply chain and consumer preferences have paved the way for today’s private label designs…Rather than mimicking the packaging of national brand owners, “Retailers [are] partnering with manufacturers to innovate and create unique and differentiated items and trying to be first to market versus second or third,” Maute adds. That “has a significant impact on the strategic value of the package.”  Read more


“Where’s Did All the Mall Shoppers Go?” at CNBC.  “Wall Street braced for a possible ricochet effect on retailers after American Eagle Outfitters slashed its guidance and teen retail stocks plunged…Of particular concern to Lazard Capital Markets analysts is the decline in overall mall traffic, which the retailer said led to more promotions and markdowns to get rid of inventory. This trend of fewer shoppers at the mall could hit retailers more broadly, analysts said.”  Read more


“Online Retailers Gained, While Brick-and-Mortar Lost In Wake of Borders Exit”  “Women increased their lead over men in book buying, accounting for 58 percent of overall book spending in 2012, up from 55 percent in 2011. However, men are bigger hardcover buyers – the only area where their buying outpaces women’s…Ebooks continue their steady upward trend, with an 11 percent share of spending in 2012, compared to seven percent in 2011.”  Read more


“Small apparel stores adapt to big competition from U.S. chains” by Jenny Lee at The Vancouver Sun.  “Macy’s is already offering coupons on customers’ mobile devices as they walk into a store, Pilkington said. “Think of that Walmart customer whose dad called to complain to the company for sending pregnancy-related coupons to his young daughter who unbeknownst to him, was pregnant.”In-store digital tracking is also gaining ground. Stores are tracking consumer’s mobile devices as they shop. Spending 30 minutes in the shoe section may soon trigger a discount coupon direct to smartphone.”  Read more


“What Michael Kors Knows: No Woman Is Too Fat for a Nice Handbag” by Susan Berfield at Businessweek.  “Revenue at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer’s health, rose 27 percent. In North America, that sales growth figure was 25 percent; in Europe, 56 percent. After its IPO, the stock traded around $25. After its latest earnings call, shares traded at about $70…As Kors told Bloomberg News: “They have no size, no age. You could feel you are having a fat day, and you can still wear accessories.”  Read more


“Fast Feeders Borrow Brand Equity From the Grocery Aisle” by Maureen Morrison at Ad Age.  “Although co-branded products are nothing new to the food industry, fast-food marketers seem to think there’s a fresh opportunity to with new or limited-time items featuring other brands. Here’s are some of this year’s rollouts…See the list


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