WM +One | Kroger -579 | WM HQ +BBQ | Costco +Union


Amazon launches low-cost grocery delivery subscription plan in US at Reuters. “…unlimited grocery delivery at $9.99 per month on orders over $35 from Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh, and other local grocery and specialty retailers on the platform, including Save Mart, Bartell Drugs, Rite Aid and Pet Food Express…available in over 3,500 cities…SNAP (individuals) would…pay a reduced $4.99 fee per month for the same perks and do not require a Prime membership…” Read more


Walmart-backed fintech One introduces buy now, pay later as it prepares bigger push into lending at CNBC. “Walmart’s majority-owned fintech startup One has begun offering buy now, pay later loans for big-ticket items at some of the retailer’s more than 4,600 U.S. stores, CNBC has learned. The move puts One in direct competition with Affirm, the BNPL leader and exclusive provider of installment loans for Walmart customers since 2019.” Read more


Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer JD Sports to buy US rival Hibbett at Yahoo Finance. “It will pay $87.50 per Hibbett share in cash, representing a premium of about 20% to the U.S. firm’s last closing price…Hibbett has about 1,169 stores across 36 U.S. states…(JD) already owns Shoe Palace, which has a big presence on the U.S. west coast, and DTLR, which is established in the east.” Read more


Express files for bankruptcy, plans to close nearly 100 stores as investor group looks to save the brand at CNBC. “…a group of investors led by brand management firm WHP Global is looking to save the company by acquiring it. Express, whose portfolio includes its namesake banner, Bonobos and UpWest, said it will close 95 of its eponymous shops and all of its UpWest doors.” Read more


Amazon ends California drone delivery – will extend drone delivery to Arizona at TechCrunch. “…ending Prime Air drone delivery operations in Lockeford, California. The Central California town of 3,500 was the company’s second U.S. drone delivery site, after College Station, Texas…College Station deliveries will continue, along with a forthcoming site in Tolleson, Arizona set to kick off deliveries later this year.” Read more


Kroger, Albertsons to sell 166 more stores seeking approval of $25 billion merger at Reuters. “With the additional 166 stores, the companies are now selling 579 stores to C&S, as well as giving it access to Albertsons Signature and O Organics private label brands.” Read more


…Albertsons Q4 ID Sales +1.0% Press release


DoorDash adds Amazon vet to board at GeekWire. “Former longtime Amazon exec Jeff Blackburn joined the board of DoorDash. Blackburn, who retired from Amazon in 2022, joined the board of Roku last year.” Read more


Walmart reports on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Talk Business. “42.51% of people of color hold management positions in 2024, up from 40.65% a year ago. The officer ranks also improved for people of color to 29.66% from 27.61% a year ago. Latino employees holding management positions increased to 14.08%, up from 10.93%.” Read more


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Kitty rescued from brink of death now a Target model at NY Post


Massive new Costco, once slated to be world’s largest, to open in California at SF Gate. “The store was originally planned to be the company’s largest in the world at over 240,000 square feet; a Salt Lake City store currently holds the title at 235,000 square feet, and the average size of Costco warehouses in the U.S. is 146,000 square feet. But the company walked those plans back after receiving concerns from the community.” Read more


Amazon surprises 13 Seattle-area students with ‘Future Engineer’ college scholarships at GeekWire


Michelle Obama signs books undercover at St. Louis Target at Fox 2


NY Home Depot hires guards, dogs to keep parking lot safe from thieves at NY Post. “The guarded New Rochelle lot was quiet and no migrants loitered there when The Post visited this week, though seven miles away in Throggs Neck, the Bronx, at least 30 male migrants hovered at the doors of Home Depot. Some were day laborers simply trying to “shape” for work with local contractors. But many others aggressively confronted shoppers, trying to sell them phony Apple Airpods or soliciting tips for lifting items from shopping carts into cars — even when uninvited.” Read more


CVS loses latest bid to escape HIV patients’ discrimination lawsuit at Reuters


Walmart’s new corporate campus in Bentonville will include Wright’s Barbecue restaurant at Talk Business. “…the campus has food and beverage partnerships lined up with Onyx, Heroes and Airship coffee roasters and a “global array of made-from-scratch delights” at 8th & Plate…Walmart’s campus construction is nearing the finish line, and most campus buildings are expected to open in 2025…encompasses roughly nine city blocks, 12 office buildings and 10 community buildings with outdoor and indoor recreation areas.” Read more | Virtual campus tour


 $300 million mega yacht owned by Walmart heiress at YachtWorld


Nike Reverses Course as Innovation Stalls and Rivals Gain Ground at WSJ. “…as the CEO spoke at the meeting, critical comments started to fill the chat window on the Zoom call while more than 20,000 employees watched. “Accountability: I do not think that word means what you think it means,” an employee wrote….Soon a cascade of laughing emojis filled the screen…The attacks went on for several minutes.” WSJ subs.


Target confirms it’s all but completely ditching DVDs in physical stores at The Verge


Costco Distribution Drivers Become First in Nation to Unionize “…a group of nearly 150 Costco Distribution drivers voted to become members of Teamsters Local 174…Costco driver Paul Lowrie (said)  ‘Costco may not be a bad place to work, but being in a Union will make everything better for us…’ Press release