Distribution April 2023
Retail Sales Fall 0.4%
Retail sales fell 0.4% in February after rising an upwardly revised 3.2% in January, according to the Commerce Department. It was the largest monthly increase since March 2021 when stimulus checks were delivered. Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales rose 0.5% in February after rising an upwardly revised 2.3% in January. Core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of GDP. Unlike many government reports, retail sales aren't adjusted for inflation and can reflect rising prices or one-time events that boosted spending. The retail sales report covers about a third of overall consumer spending and doesn't include services, such as travel and entertainment.
The Home Depot
THD will host their second annual Virtual Career Day for jobseekers in mid-April. Career Day gives people an opportunity to learn about open roles, get a sneak peek into the company's culture and hear from both new and seasoned associates. Participants will be able to chat live with associates in virtual booths and learn what it’s really like to work at The Home Depot. People will be able to explore part-time and full-time opportunities within the stores and warehouses, including customer service and sales, technicians and driver positions.
Morgan Stanley’s latest survey points to Walmart+ having 18.4M members, or 14.3% U.S. household penetration, which is "modestly higher" than their prior survey and close to the record high of 18.6M members recorded in the September 2022 survey. Based on analysis of the number of actual members plus the number of respondents stating they are "very likely" to subscribe to Walmart+, they told investors they see more growth ahead.
Construction began in February on Ace’s massive new headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, that will allow them to bring about 1,100 employees from three locations under one roof. They expect to be relocated in mid-to-late 2023. Ace says the move will also save them money, as it will cost less than maintaining three separate locations. The building they are renovating was once McDonald’s corporate headquarters.
Ace announced their 2022 Vendors of the Year honorees. This year, seven vendor partners were recognized for showing demonstrative and measurable efforts to help Ace retailers differentiate through service, convenience and quality, all key pillars of the company's long-term growth strategy. This year’s winners included Milwaukee Tool, EGO and Benjamin Moore paints. Craftsman was also recognized as the Ace Foundation Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Vendor of the Year in recognition of their donations and sponsorship of the Ace Hardware Foundation and CMN events.
Ace Hardware announced record-breaking attendance at their recent in-person convention in Texas. Nearly 12,000 people attended the event that brought together more than 4,800 Ace retailers representing 3,355 stores. Ace announced new strategies for increased efficiency, including Planogram Change Management designed to help retailers cut their reset time in half. Ace also outlined plans for one of their biggest growth drivers in 2023, outdoor power equipment. Strategies include an expanded relationship with STIHL. Retailers attending said one of the biggest draws was the chance to talk to Ace representatives as well as their fellow store owners and operators from across the country.
Amazon is delaying the beginning of construction of PenPlace, the second phase of their headquarters development in Northern Virginia. The more than 8,000 employees they’ve already hired will go to work at the Met Park campus, the first phase of development, when it opens this June.
Amazon will cut another 9,000 jobs, primarily from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Twitch, human resources and advertising. That brings the total number of employees losing jobs since November to more than 27,000. CEO Andy Jassy made it clear that AWS is still a priority, they are simply streamlining and becoming more efficient.
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