Note to Readers: MBR Daily will be on summer break starting Friday July 13th, returning on Monday, July 23.
Maya Moore is SLAM’s First Female Cover Star in 20 Yea
Folio: "In 2008, 18-year-old University of Connecticut small forward Maya Moore became the first-ever freshman (male or female) to be named Big East conference player of the year in basketball. Ten years and four WNBA championships later, Moore is making history again. SLAM magazine, the self-styled “Basketball Bible,” revealed today the cover of its forthcoming September/October issue, featuring the Minnesota Lynx player as just the second female cover star in the magazine’s 24-year history—and the first since 1998, when Moore was nine years old. 'A SLAM cover is huge because it’s a very obvious and intentional symbol of where we’re going as a game,' said Moore in a video accompanying the cover story, a profile by contributor Steve Marsh. 'I see it as a really big move that feels good, feels right, going in the right direction.' The sole issue of SLAM‘s 216 previous editions with a female cover star arrived in October 1998, with Tennessee Lady Vols standout Chamique Holdsclaw (who would go on to be selected first overall in the 1999 WNBA draft) featured wearing a New York Knicks jersey. As for why it took two decades and 24 different LeBron James covers to feature another woman, SLAM‘s overwhelmingly (89%) male audience probably has something to do with it. But if the 2018 way of measuring a successful cover reveal serves as any indication, it took Maya Moore’s a mere two hours to outpace SLAM‘s previous cover, featuring the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons and Phoenix Suns first-round pick DeAndre Ayton, in terms of Instagram likes"...
TalkingBizNews: "Salah Zalatimo of Forbes.com writes about the business magazine’s redesigned website. Zalatimo writes, 'We built the new homepage to celebrate the three attributes that truly make Forbes unique: prestigious, prolific and insightful. The premium look and feel echoes our prestige. The count of active readers shows the volume of our output. The breadth of content across our channels reflects the depth of our insights. 'Our Chief Content Officer, Randall Lane, is reinvigorating our newsroom with a digital cover story initiative showcasing high-impact, expertly produced stories across our seven channels (see image). To achieve this, we have introduced the first of several new feature page templates that enable more immersive storytelling through integrated video, more prominent imagery, data visualization and more. 'With more than 100M uniques every month, we have one of the largest and most engaged audiences in the world. Our readers span locations and demographics, but what ties them together is their pursuit of success. Our brand partners share this pursuit and count many customers or potential customers in our audience. With our new site experience, we made sure to deliver elevated brand integrations with a suite of custom ad units and new placements around our content. Our goal was to increase ad viewability while increasing reader engagement.'"
Wired Editor in Chief on New Staff Hires
WWD: "Condé Nast’s Wired title has unveiled a raft of new hires to both the business and editorial sides of the masthead. At the top of that list is new site director Scott Rosenfield, who comes to the magazine from Outside, where he served as digital general manager, implementing an affiliate revenue program for the publication’s web site and built on its newsletters to drive revenue. In his new role, Rosenfield will weave together a strategy that links affiliate programs, subscriptions and video across platforms, ranging from Instagram to YouTube, back to the editorial content to ultimately generate revenue for Wired. 'Rosenfield, who begins his new gig July 23 in the New York office, is one of several recent hires for the tech title. Other additions include former Recode engagement editor Meghann Farnsworth as director of social media, former Elements editor Anthony Lydgate as senior editor, former Vice senior features editor Caitlin Kelly as senior editor and Emily Dreyfuss as senior writer. Dreyfuss, who reports to Kelly, returns to Wired after a one-year fellowship at The Neiman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.Lydgate, who Thompson praised as a “marvelous conceptual editor and line editor,” is to focus primarily on print based out of the New York office. Meanwhile, Kelly, also based out of New York, is to focus on national events and politics, mainly for Wired.com.The hires add to an overall editorial roster of more than 80 people.“I think we’ve got the right number of people [in editorial],” Thompson said. “I hope we’ll be hiring more writers as the year goes on. We’ve got a great editorial team that’s well-balanced.”Thompson, in February, not only celebrated his one-year anniversary at Wired but also rolled out a paywall for the magazine online, which he discussed at length with WWD at the time.That subscription model, although still very early days, has so far been well-received, he said Wednesday.“Complicated question,” Thompson said, when asked about response to the model. “There are millions of elements to it, but we are currently pacing ahead of our annual target, so I’m happy about that. Tons of people have subscribed. We hope they’ll renew and stay with us.”One of Scott’s responsibilities is figuring out how to align our editorial mission with our financial prerogatives,' Wired editor in chief Nicholas Thompson said. 'It’s a pretty big, complicated job and it involves a lot of business but it also involves a lot of editorial strategy.'"
Billboard's CEO Leaves Amid Examination of Coverage
NYT: "The resignation of the top executive at Billboard magazine was announced on Wednesday, amid an investigation into how the publication handled coverage of harassment allegations in the music industry.Valence Media, the magazine’s parent company, said in a statement that John Amato had resigned as the chief executive of its Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group.In May, The Daily Beast reported claims that Mr. Amato had suppressed articles in Billboard that were critical of Charlie Walk, a prominent record executive and longtime friend who had been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women and was subsequently fired by his label, the Republic Group. Mr. Walk denied the allegations against him at the time they were made. Days after that article was published, Valence announced an investigation, which is continuing. In a memo circulated to employees and obtained by The New York Times, Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk, Valence’s co-chief executives, gave no explanation for Mr. Amato’s resignation. They added only that a new leadership plan would be announced 'in the near future'. Joel A. Katz, a lawyer for Mr. Amato, declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Billboard"...
Rotherham Named Publisher of The Hill
MediaPost: "The Hill has tapped Jack Rotherham, former Chief Marketing Officer at FreeWheel, Comcast’s TV ad tech company, as publisher.Rotherham succeeds Johanna Derlega, who served as publisher of the policy and politics newspaper and site since the summer of 2016. He will report to Richard Beckman, The Hill president.The Hill stated that Rotherham is known for his experience in TV, STB, VOD and OTT, including advanced advertising solutions and data driven strategy across all media platforms.Last month, The Hill launched its own online political television network, Hill.TV. It debuted a morning show and a slate of programming, including progressive opinion and conservative opinion shows, are in the works.Rotherham has also worked at AOL, Time Warner and Rolling Stone, where he was the third publisher in the magazine’s history"...
News Sites Dominate Top Online Media Brands
MediaPost: "SimilarWeb released its top 100 media rankings for the first half of 2018 revealing little in the way of shifts among major brands, but showing some surprises among celebrity and general news sites. The rankings are compiled by measuring traffic and engagement across publications.Continuing to battle for dominance among the top 10 are espn.com and msn.com. In Q4 of 2017, espn.com retained the top standing. However, msn.com is again No. 1 in 2018. Also in the top 10 were cnn.com, foxnews.com, washingtonpost.com and drudgereport.com, among others. Two new sites found their way into the top 100. Nickiswift.com, a celebrity site that explores the gritty side of stardom, came in at 79, while vox.com, the general news site from Vox Media, was 73"...
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:
Target Expands Curbside Pickup in Midwest
SN: "Target Corp. has rolled out its Drive Up curbside pickup service to 200 more stores in the Midwest.The discount store chain said Drive Up is now available at Target locations in Chicago; Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; Lansing, Mich.; Louisville, Ky.; Erie, Pa.; South Charleston, W.Va.; and other markets in the region.With the expansion, more than 800 stores in 25 states now offer Drive Up service for online purchases of groceries, household essential items and other products. Target said it will launch curbside pickup in additional markets late next month"...
Walmart Expands C Stores in Texas
Dallas News: Walmart plans to open more convenience stores in Dallas-Fort Worth. "Plano gets the next one. A 2,900-square-foot convenience store with eight fuel pumps opened at 6000 Coit Road in Plano on Wednesday. Three more convenience stores are planned for Arlington, Lake Worth and The Colony later this year, said Anne Hatfield, Walmart spokeswoman in Texas. Last year, Walmart opened a convenience store south of Fort Worth, in Crowley with all the traditional trappings, an Icee machine, rolling hotdogs and a walk-in refrigerator packed with beer. One other opened in Rogers, Ark., near Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville. While another one is planned for Avon, Ohio, the convenience stores are still in test mode, she said."
Retailers Decry Additional Tariffs
PG: "The Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on a further $200B worth of imported goods from China has drawn disapproval from retailers, who said that such actions would end up harming U.S. consumers. The U.S. Trade Representative has issued a list of the Chinese imports, mainly of raw materials, but also of such items as spark plugs and buttons, that will be subject to new tariffs.“The latest list of $200 billion of products to be subject to tariffs against China doubles down on a reckless strategy that will boomerang back to harm U.S. families and workers,” said David French, SVP for government relations at the Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation (NRF). 'The threat to the U.S. economy is less about a question of ‘if’ and more about ‘when’ and ‘how bad.’ Tariffs on such a broad scope of products make it inconceivable that American consumers will dodge this tax increase as prices of everyday products will be forced to rise. And the retaliation that will follow will destroy thousands of U.S. jobs and hurt farmers, local businesses and entire communities. Continued French: 'The administration has been pursuing tariffs now for months, and we still don’t know what the endgame is. Now is the time to get back to the negotiating table with China while working through a global coalition that shares our concerns. The way things are shaping up, it may be too late, but we hope the administration changes course before we lose the momentum from tax and regulatory reform and return to an era of high prices, job loss and negative growth in our economy.' In May, French testified in a hearing held by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative that the prices of back-to-school and seasonal merchandise would likely rise following tariffs on Chinese goods, causing the economy to suffer. 'American retailers and the families we serve barely had time to process the barrage of tariffs implemented last week,' noted Hun Quach, VP of international trade for the Retail Industry Leaders Association. 'Now, we will need to grapple with new tariffs on an additional $200B worth of imports, which are bound to include even more consumer products and everyday essentials.' Added Quach: 'The president has broken his promise to bring ‘maximum pain on China, minimum pain on consumers,’ and American families are the ones being punished. Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war.' She went on to warn that '[u]nless the administration finds meaningful solutions, American businesses, families and jobs are on the losing end of this battle.' NRF’s French does see the possibility of relief via Congress, however. Following the Senate’s approval of a 'motion to instruct' related to congressional approval of national-security-designated tariffs, he noted: 'There is clearly growing bipartisan concern over the administration’s reckless trade agenda as the real-world consequences of tariffs spread in communities across the country. Congress has an important role to play in protecting hardworking Americans from a trade war, and this vote is an important first step. We appreciate the leadership of Sens. Corker, Toomey and Flake and hope to see this common sense legislation continue to move forward.'"
Weis Markets Equips for Omnichannel Marketplace
SN: "Weis Markets Inc. has bolstered its wireless infrastructure to better meet the front- and back-end demands of today’s omnichannel world.The Sunbury, Pa.-based regional supermarket chain has upgraded its wireless network to high-performance technology from Aruba, a unit of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, to help spur sales, provide a more seamless customer experience and drive supply chain efficiencies.Overall, the network connects 11.5 million square feet of retail store, warehouse and distribution center space. Weis operates 205 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.“From an operational perspective, secure, high-performance Wi-Fi allows our 23,000 store associates and 1,000 associates in distribution centers and headquarters to ensure that correct products are purchased, inventoried, selected and placed on retail shelves,” according to Jacob Koch, manager of systems administration for Weis. “From a sales and service perspective, that same foundation will allow us to offer better in-store mobile experiences for our customers, adopt more sophisticated app services so we can push out offers via our mobile app, and gain insights into our customers’ behaviors and needs.”Weis had standardized on an Aruba wi-fi platform, replacing its Cisco Systems access points (APs), in 2014. But the grocer decided that updating to Aruba Gigabit Wi-Fi Instant APs would boost connectivity, and help rein in costs and support mobile-first shoppers and staff.About 5,000 APs were deployed in Instant mode across the retailer’s stores, distribution centers and warehouses, and store support center in Sunbury. Koch noted that the rollout enabled Weis to simplify wireless network management by not having put a controller in every location... In distribution centers, Weis associates are now able to select items more quickly and easily — and more accurately — via a voice-controlled product pick system that uses wireless headsets and Honeywell Vocollect voice software over the Aruba network. That has resulted in a higher percentage of correct product on store shelves and improved inventory processes"...
Jet.com Opening Grocery E-Commerce Facility in NYC
SN: "Walmart e-commerce subsidiary Jet.com is gearing up for same-day grocery delivery in metropolitan New York.Jet.com on Tuesday confirmed plans to open an e-commerce fulfillment center in the New York City borough of the Bronx this fall. The Hoboken, N.J.-based online retailer, which is leasing the space, said the facility will process orders for groceries, everyday essentials and some general merchandise. 'We have an existing grocery delivery service that urban customers already enjoy, but this Bronx FC will allow us to deliver scheduled same-day and next-day in the New York City area this fall,' Jet.com spokeswoman Meredith Klein said. The Bronx fulfillment center will handle Jet.com orders only, according to Klein. The company didn’t disclose the size or other details about the facility, but she said it provides a vehicle for expansion deeper into city markets. 'This is part of our overall strategy to reach urban, affluent consumers living in large metro cities--namely New York--to offer them a unique assortment of brands, tailored shopping experience and personal service, and last-mile delivery,' Klein said.For parent Walmart, the Jet.com fulfillment center will enable the company to set foot in New York City, a market where the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant for years has unsuccessfully tried to open a brick-and-mortar store.Yet Walmart already has taken the e-commerce path to reach the lucrative urban New York customer. At the end of May, the company announced Jetblack, a new retail service that employs a concierge-style approach to online shopping through “conversational commerce,” or the ability to shop via text messaging, online chat or voice.Developed by Walmart tech incubator Store No 8, Jetblack launched on a limited basis in Manhattan and part of Brooklyn. The members-only service enables customers to text almost any shopping request--spanning such categories as gifts, home, fashion, and health and wellness--and Jetblack will find the right products and deliver them the same day or the next day for no extra charge.Store No 8 was formed in early 2017, just months after Walmart closed its $3.3B acquisition of Jet.com and named Marc Lore, the e-tailer’s founder and chief executive officer, as president and CEO of Walmart U.S. eCommerce. Walmart has accelerated its e-commerce and omnichannel efforts since rival Amazon.com’s $13.7B purchase of Whole Foods Market last August. The discounter, along with its mass merchant and supermarket competitors, have ramped up their online services and delivery capabilities to counter the integration of Amazon’s hugely successful Prime benefits program with the point of sale at Whole Foods. Amazon Prime member savings and other benefits became available at all Whole Foods stores on June 27.
4 Big CPG Makers Create Sustainable Food Policy Alliance
Washington Post: "A year after America’s powerful food lobby began to implode, four of the world’s largest food companies are launching an association of their own. The Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, unveiled Thursday by the U.S. divisions of Danone, Mars, Nestle and Unilever, says it will fight for progressive food policies--from conservation programs to prominent nutrition labels--that have long been eschewed by major food-makers. In doing so, the new alliance is likely to tangle with the mighty and well-moneyed Grocery Manufacturers Association, which Mars, Nestle, Unilever and seven other major firms abandoned amid high-profile philosophical disagreements in 2017. But with combined annual revenue of more than $200B, the four companies in the new alliance--responsible for such well-known brands as Dannon yogurt, Snickers candy bars and Hellman’s mayonnaise--could prompt other food-makers to foreground nutrition and sustainability"...
Google, Shopify Team to Blunt Amazon's Ad Push
RetailWire: "Google is making it easier for retailers and brands to get their ads out on some of the media giant’s most popular platforms, and it’s using Shopify to do it. Google is rolling out a suite of tools that allow retailers to buy ads directly through Shopify and display them in places like Google’s search interface, Google Maps and YouTube, according to Bloomberg. The main tool is replacing the need to set up and track individual ad campaigns on each Google service. Other commerce-related tools Google is launching include one that enhances the keyword relevance of brands’ ads and increases click-throughs and a tool meant to push foot traffic to stores via online ads.The move by Google to increase its focus on facilitating advertising for brands and retailers comes as Amazon.com has made big inroads into digital advertising. Last year, eMarketer estimated that Amazon would own 10% of the share of digital advertising industry’s spend by 2020, a jump from 3.5% in 2016. And some brands have reported significantly greater success promoting through Amazon Sponsored Products than through Google Adwords.Shopify’s collaboration with Google looks like another instance of big players picking sides to stake out territory against Amazon. Shopify’s widely-used all-in-one e-commerce platform allows stores to build their own e-commerce presences. While Amazon shut down its competitive tool, Amazon Webstore, years ago, standalone online storefronts position businesses to work outside of the Amazon Marketplace.Digital advertising isn’t the only area in which Google has been shoring up competition against Amazon. In voice commerce, Google and Walmart partnered last year to offer thousands of products through Google Home"...
McDade's Markets Sold to Durnin Group
PG: "Greg and Kathy McDade, founders of McDade’s Market, based in Jackson, Miss., have sold their four locations to the Louisiana-based Durnin Group, which is owned by Paul Durnin Jr. The McDades opened their first store in 1996 when they purchased an existing Sunflower Market and renamed it McDade’s Market in 1999. Two of the four independent grocery stores will retain the McDade’s Markets name, while two others will be renamed Froogel’s Cost+ Foods, a banner owned by The Durnin Group with three locations in Mississippi’s Gulf Coast region"...
4 Things Grocers Should Watch for on Prime Day 2018
PG: 2018's Amazon Prime Day "is the first in which Amazon, now among the top grocers in the U.S., makes its move into consumables. Whole Foods Market stores now figure into the mix, with Prime members able to secure an additional 10 percent off hundreds of sale items throughout the stores, along with deep discounts on select personal products. Online, Amazon will feature the “lowest prices” on a wide array of packaged private label goods.... 2018’s event will be the year that “Amazon makes the value of Prime Day tangible,” said Jordan Rost, VP of consumer insights with market research firm Nielsen. 'With their 10-percent-back offer at Whole Foods stores, Amazon is extending the value of Prime Day and Prime membership to the physical brick-and-mortar retail environment as well,' Rost explained. 'Prime Day has always been about proving the value of Prime membership, and with Amazon's ability to extend that to physical stores, other retailers have never had more urgency to up their omnichannel execution.' What else can both online grocers and brick-and-mortar operators expect from Prime Day 2018?" According to Rost, look for: Amazon-Whole Foods leveraging private label; personalized Prime offers (using Amazon's data, devices); the Prime Effect for online grocery (By 2024, 70 percent of U.S. consumers will be grocery shopping online, and they expect a seamless experience across channels); and Prime Day pop-ups (Amazon pop-ups at brick-and-mortar stores, using online data to customize the best deals locally).
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE: