Retail Sales Rise 0.7%
Retail sales rose 07% in September after rising an upwardly revised 0.6% in August, according to the Commerce Department. It was the sixth consecutive monthly increase and well above expectations of a 0.3% rise. Retail sales were up 3.8% year over year. Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales rose 0.6% and August core sales were revised up. Core retail sales, which are mostly goods and not adjusted for inflation, correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of GDP. 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 use their new Sidekick app to help associates support holiday shoppers. Sidekick helps associates prioritize tasks that are focused on getting the customer the product that they need. When “holes” develop on holiday shelves, the Sidekick app helps associates identify them, find where a missing product is and then prioritize filling those holes on the sales floor. Holiday brings in products that associates may not be familiar with, and Sidekick provides a picture of the product and tells them exactly where it is in the overhead. Sidekick also identifies where products need to go when associates are moving them onto the floor.
Lowe’s inked a deal with Carhart and will begin offering their iconic line of rugged working apparel at 250 Lowe’s stores across the Northeast, Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Another 250 stores in Texas, the Southeast and California will begin offering Carhart in early 2024. Family-owned Carhart is managed by descendants of Hamilton Carhart, who founded the company in 1889. The brand is popular among Lowe’s Pro customers.
Walmart announced plans for a fifth high-tech “next-generation” fulfilment center in Stockton, California scheduled to open in 2026. The 900,000 square-foot facility center will help Walmart double the number of orders they can fulfill each day and will feature an automated, high-density storage and retrieval system that streamlines a manual, 12-step process down to just five steps. The strategically located centers are key to Walmart meeting their goal of providing next-day or two-day delivery to 95% of the US population.
Walmart lured Rina Hurst away from Target to become vice president of Walmart GoLocal delivery-service platform. Hurst served as chief business officer of Target’s Shipt delivery service. Walmart says Hurst will oversee GoLocal's strategic direction, operations and general management as the third-party logistics unit continues to add other retailers to their same-day delivery service.
Ace reported Q3 sales rose 3.4% to a record-setting $23.1 billion, driven by an increase in market share and new store growth. Ace Hardware opened 168 new domestic locations and 232 total new locations worldwide in 2022, a 2.9% unit growth, with 4,645 total units in the US.
Ace moved into their new corporate headquarters in Oakbrook, Illinois. The 250,000 square foot building is in The Reserve, the former headquarters of McDonald’s. Ace’s new headquarters includes 150 conference rooms, 12 cafes and various workstations. The building’s landlord converted the first floor of the parking garage into an amenity suite that includes a fitness center, conference center, multipurpose room and a large cafeteria and dining center with a commercial kitchen.
Ace plans to add 4.4 million square feet of distribution space with three new warehouses in the next four years. That’s on top of the 2.5 million square feet its added since 2018.
Ace retained their #5 position in the annual Franchise Times Top 400 List*, with no changes in the top 5 positions in 2023. The Franchise Times' Top 400 List is an annual ranking of the 400 largest franchise systems in the United States by global systemwide sales, based on the previous year's performance. Ace Hardware shares their ranking in the top 5 with global fast food giants Burger King, KFC, and McDonald's, along with convenience store chain 7-Eleven.
Q3 revenue rose 12.6% to $143.1 billion, well ahead of estimates. Online sales rose 6% to $57.27 billion, topping forecasts. Advertising services sales jumped 26% year over year to $12.1 billion.
Advertising revenues have more than doubled in the past three years, thanks in part to the 2022 arrival of NFL Thursday Night Football as a Prime Video exclusive. Amazon says they’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to integrating advertising into video, commerce and groceries. CEO Andy Jassy said they are very focused on making advertising a great customer experience.
Amazon Web Services revenue rose 12% to $23.06 billion, slightly below the $23.20 billion analysts forecasted.
North America segment sales increased 11% year over year to $87.9 billion.
October Prime Big Deal Days promotion sold hundreds of millions of items worldwide.
The benefits of moving from a single national fulfillment network in the US to eight distinct regions are exceeding their optimistic expectations and putting them on track to deliver the fastest delivery speeds for Prime customers in their 29-year history.
Amazon will hire 250,000 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees in the US this holiday season, 67% more than in 2022 and 2021.
Amazon will invest $1.3 billion this year toward pay increases for customer fulfillment and transportation employees, bringing the average hourly pay to $20.50, a more than 50% increase over five years and up 7.9% from the average pay of $19 an hour a year ago.
Amazon opened their sixth suburban Amazon Go store; three of them are in Seattle suburbs where they can easily be monitored by home office personnel; the other three are in California. The suburban stores are larger than the urban ones and also offer fresh foods. The stores use Just Walk Out technology that allows people to just take what they want and go; their credit card on file will be automatically billed and they’ll be emailed or texted a digital receipt.
Amazon will reportedly provide Microsoft 365 subscriptions to millions of their frontline and corporate workers. The licenses are worth more than $1 billion dollars. Amazon will move from installed software to Redmond’s cloud-based subscription, viewed as a more cost-effective way to keep Amazon employees supplied with the most up to date software, even if it comes from one of Amazon’s big tech competitors.
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