Wmart #1 Drugstore | Return Fraud 16.5% | 5.3% Vacancies @ Lowest


Retail return fraud is rising as consumers send back purchases in droves at CNBC. “Retailers expect 16.5%, or $24.5 billion worth, of holiday returns to be fraudulent this year, according to a survey by Appriss Retail and the National Retail Federation.” Read more


Prisoners in the US are part of a hidden workforce linked to hundreds of popular food brands at AP. “The goods these prisoners produce wind up in the supply chains of a dizzying array of products found in most American kitchens, from Frosted Flakes cereal and Ball Park hot dogs to Gold Medal flour, Coca-Cola and Riceland rice. They are on the shelves of virtually every supermarket in the country, including Kroger, Target, Aldi and Whole Foods.” Read more


UPS announces 12,000 job cuts, says package volume slipped last quarter at CNBC. “The company reported a 7.4% drop in average daily volume domestically and an 8.3% decrease internationally. Tomé said the international softness was “heavily weighted” in Europe, coupled with freight complications in the Red Sea region, as well as the Panama and Suez Canals.” Read more


For Retailers, Business Is Back and Landlords Say No More Rent Discounts at WSJ. “Vacancies at U.S. shopping centers fell to 5.3% in the fourth quarter, the lowest level since real-estate firm Cushman & Wakefield began tracking the metric in 2007. Average asking rents rose to $23.70 a square foot and are now nearly 17% above 2019 levels.” WSJ subs.


ACSI Customer Satisfaction: Chewy #1 online…Costco/HEB/Publix #1 Supermarkets…Walmart #1 Drugstore…Macy’s/Costco #1 General Retailer Press release


Democrats’ next crime fight: Retail theft at Politico. “New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is waging her own war on shoplifters through a mix of tougher criminal penalties and funding…She wants to create new police teams to address the matter, while offering a tax credit for businesses to help bolster security measures. Hochul’s move comes as Democrats look to flip five U.S. House seats in New York in the narrowly-divided chamber this year…” Read more


Costco CFO says China has huge potential as he gives us a peek at international expansion plans at CNBC Pro. “The world’s second-largest economy has “very good potential” for Costco expansion, CFO Rich Galanti told CNBC. Perhaps, that’s even an understatement, if the mob scene outside the recent opening of the first Costco in Shenzhen is any indication. Six warehouse stores in all of mainland China do not seem to be anywhere close to being enough.” CNBC Pro subs.


Costco shopper is left stunned after store allowed her to return a two-and-a-half-year-old couch with no receipt at Daily Mail. “[They] just asked me if  there was anything wrong with it or I just didn’t want it or like it anymore,’ she recalled. ‘I said I just didn’t like it anymore, we just don’t like the color anymore,’ she explained. ‘And they gave us our refund.” Read more


Walmart says managers can now earn up to $400,000 a year — no college degree needed at CBS News


REI slashes workforce by more than 350 workers, prepares for ‘challenging’ year ahead at Fox Business. “…it impacts 200 people at headquarters near Seattle, six in sales and customer service, 30 in experiences and 121 in its distribution centers.” Read more


Walmart’s Jane Ewing to take a senior leadership role in Walmart’s International business at Talk Business. “Ewing will oversee operations, real estate, and supply chain initiatives across Walmart’s International markets.” Read more


‘A piece of my son:’ Painting of beloved Winston-Salem resident to be taken down from CVS store when it closes at WXII 12


Jeff Bezos still using homemade door desk from Amazon’s early days at Fox Business. “Bezos’ friend and Amazon’s fifth employee, Nico Lovejoy, explained, “We happened to be across the street from a Home Depot. He looked at desks for sale and looked at doors for sale, and the doors were a lot cheaper, so he decided to buy a door and put some legs on it.” Read more


Morgan Wallen and Eric Church Team to Purchase Field & Stream Brand With Investors at Billboard


Amazon terminates $1.4B iRobot deal, blames ‘disproportionate’ regulatory hurdles at GeekWire


Biden publishes watered-down gas stove efficiency rule at The Hill. “…97 percent of gas stoves and 77 percent of electric stoves on the market already meet the requirements it is proposing. This is down from the 50 percent of gas stoves on the market it estimated would be impacted by the rule last year.” Read more


Seattle bans batteries from the trash at GeekWire


Dollar General Surpasses Milestone of 5,000 Stores Nationwide Offering Fresh Produce Press release


Michelle Gass Assumes Role of Levi Strauss & Co. President & Chief Executive Officer Press release