Wmart: Cuts 100+ at HQ / Leaked Supplier Memo | Target Canada Play in Works | TN Big Box Liquor | Lands End Apologizes


Walmart Slashes 100+ Jobs at Headquarters by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “A spokesman for Walmart said the cuts affected 1-3% of headquarters’ tech staff. Walmart recently merged the teams that work on in-store tech in Bentonville and its e-commerce team in Silicon Valley, creating overlap.” Read more


…Job cuts could be as many as 300 based on an estimate by Talk Business & Politics by Kim Souza at The City Wire. Read more


New Toronto play to explore the rise and fall of Target Canada by Luke Simcoe at Metro News. “Outside the March theatre company will stage Community Target, a site-specific theatre project exploring the discount retailer’s failed foray into Canada. Director Robert Motum is hoping the set will be a former Target store in Toronto.” Read more


J.C. Penney results bright spot amid retail gloom by Sruthi Ramakrishnan at Reuters. “J.C. Penney said home Sephora beauty outlets, footwear and handbags were its top performing divisions in the fourth quarter…The company’s quarterly same-store sales rose 4.1 percent, in line with analysts’ expectations.” Read more


Walmart tells suppliers to expect ‘healthy tensions’ in 2016 by Kim Souza at The City Wire. “Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores recently met with suppliers in Indianapolis for its Year Beginning Meeting telling them to expect 2016 to be a year of changes. The retail giant said it would be a mistake for suppliers to expect “business as usual”… (Talk Business received a transcript from that meeting, which is the basis for this report.)” Read more


Whole Foods introduces food truck test kitchen at Austin flagship at Supermarket News. “Developed by the retailer’s recently hired VP of culinary and hospitality, Tien Ho, the initial concept will launch March 10 as Tartinette…” Read more


Sears laying off 250 in administrative offices by Corilyn Shropshire at Chicago Tribune. “The layoffs at Sears Holdings represent a “mix of positions in various units and roles across the organization,” spokesman Chris Brathwaite told the Tribune. Brathwaite also said 151 open corporate office positions will not be filled.” Read more


Wal-Mart picks D-FW for its first training academy designed to improve customer service by Maria Halkias at Dallas Morning News. “The first academy opens Friday in the Wal-Mart Supercenter on E. Trinity Mills in Carrollton. Wal-Mart expects to have an academy open for every couple dozen stores. The next two open by mid-March in Fort Smith and Fayetteville, Ark.” Read more


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Restoration Hardware’s new membership program gives analysts pause by Tonya Garcia at MarketWatch. “Weak preliminary fourth-quarter earnings and a new fee-based membership plan to launch this spring at Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. have prompted downgrades from analysts.” Read more


Walmart to open 30 new stores in China via Xinhua. “Besides the 30 new stores, Walmart will upgrade 60 existing stores and expand its logistics and distribution centers. It will also introduce a cross-border e-commerce service in 2016, according to (Sean) Clark.” Read more


Kohl’s to close 18 stores by David Schuyler at Milwaukee Business Journal. “The company also said sales for fiscal 2016 are expected to be flat with 2015, with the potential for a decline in sales of about 0.5 percent.” Read more


Weak Holidays Force Retailers to Shrink, Rethink Web by Suzanne Kapner at Wall Street Journal. Read more (subscription)


Amazon Operations Vet Joins Instacart to Make Its Delivery Network Run Smoother by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “Mike Swartz spent nearly a decade at Amazon teaching and instituting processes to help its warehouses operate more efficiently. Now he’s facing the challenge of doing the same for a new kind of retail operation that doesn’t have any warehouses of its own.” Read more


Sprouts’ earnings continue steady climb by Steven Totten. “Net sales saw a 21 percent increase to $3.59 billion…Sprouts opened 27 new stores in 2015…for a total of 217 stores in 13 states as of Jan. 3.” Read more


TN: Legislation restricting alcohol retailers to just two locations in Tennessee has stalled – may pave way toward the expansion of big-box liquor stores across the state by Lizzy Alfs at The Tennessean. Read more


Gap Q4 Sales -7.0% “Gap Global: negative 6 percent…Banana Republic Global: negative 10 percent…Old Navy Global: flat versus positive 5 percent last year.” Read the release


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