Personnel Updates

Dollar General announced Chairman Rick Dreiling will be retiring effective January 29, 2016 and has named Michael M. Calbert Non-Exec Chairman effective January 30, 2016.

RadioShack announced the departure of CEO Ron Garriques. RadioShack’s CFO Gordon Briscoe will be the interim CEO until the company finds a permanent replacement.

Staples announced that Demos Parneros President (North American Stores & Online) will leave the company on March 31, 2016.  Mr. Parneros replacement will be Otis Pannell Senior VP Retail Operations (Division 2).

Industry Insight

Amazon has announced the first products that are available through their Dash Replenishment (DRS) program: household supplies, beverages, grocery, heath & personal care, baby and pet. There are approximately 15 brands available at this time. Amazon does plan to continue to expand partnerships as they introduce more products.

Circuit City Corp. announced they will start opening locations. The first location will open in June 2016 in the Dallas market. The company will also be relaunching The company is planning on having 50 to 100 locations up and running by 2017. The stores will be in the 2,000 to 4,000 square foot range.

Cost Plus is moving the company’s headquarters office from Oakland, CA to Alameda, CA by fall of 2016. The move will bring approximately 400 jobs to Alameda.

Mattel Inc. has given Barbie a makeover. Barbie will now come in three different body types, from curvy to tall and petite. The new dolls will also include expanded choices for skin tone, eye color, and hair style. Mattel is hoping they are able to relate to more kids with the new dolls.

PetSmart is now offering meal replacement bars for dogs. TurboPUP meal replacement bars will be available at PetSmart’s 900+ locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Sam’s Club has started accepting Visa credit cards as of February 1, 2016. Sam’s Club was already accepting Visa debit cards and Visa credit at the fuel stations.

Sears Holdings announced the company will close approximately 50 unprofitable stores over the next few months.

Target’s Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell is out meeting retail customers in their homes. Mr. Cornell believes that the retail customer has changed over the past few years. The goal is to get a better understanding of the Target customer, what their needs are. One of the biggest changes in shopping habits is the use of mobile shopping.

Walmart is giving almost every hourly United States employee a raise. Walmart announced it will bump its minimum hourly wage to $10 an hour, and for employees that were with Walmart as of December 31, 2015 they will be receiving a two percent increase on February 20, 2016. The increase in pay will affect approximately 1.2 million employees of Walmart and Sam’s Club.

Walmart announced they are moving forward with their proprietary gas brand. Murphy USA will continue operations at existing Walmart and locations that are already in the works.


Mergers and Acquisitions

Lowe’s announced the proposed acquisitions of RONA, INC. of Canada. The company has 42 locations through-out Canada and this would be the first locations in Quebec for Lowe’s. The acquisition is expected to close April 2016.

Michaels announced the acquisition of Lamrite West Inc. The Lamrite West company consists of 32 craft locations that operate as Pat Catan’s in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.


Real Estate

Advance Auto Parts plans to open a new location in the Houston, TX area at FM 1960 and Aldine Westfield Rd. The locations should open May, 2016.

At Home Group Inc. has opened four more locations. The locations opened in Prescott, AZ, Snellville, GA, Burnsville, MN and West Bountiful, UT. This is the company’s first location in MN. With the added locations, At Home Group now has 100+ locations in 28 states.

Dollar General opened a new location in the Houston, TX area at 15625 Aldine Westfield on February 6, 2016.

Restoration Hardware plans to open a location at Pier 70. The five-story location will be 60,000 sq. ft. at the historic Bethlehem Steel Building in San Francisco, CA. The new location is slated to open in 2017.

Target announced they will be opening an urban-size location in Minneapolis in the fall of 2017. The location will be 21,400 sq. ft. The location will occupy the ground floor of a building being developed on Fremont Avenue.

Walmart opened 15 new locations in Canada in January. This makes Walmart’s 400th store in Canada. There are 312 supercenters and 88 regular Walmart’s in Canada.

Financial Focus

Hancock Fabrics has filed for bankruptcy. The company had previously filed for bankruptcy in 2007. As the company petitions for reorganization under chapter 11 they will be considering all options, including selling all 250+ locations.