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Inside Retail (Jul 18th, 2018)

1. Amazon’s Prime Day shopping holiday was its largest shopping event ever, drawing more new members on July 16 than any other day in its history. Analysts expected Amazon to see $3.6 billion in sales through midnight Tuesday. Amazon said it sold more than 100 million products, with small and medium businesses exceeding $1 billion in sales. Deals included steep discounts on Amazon brands such as a Kindle for $80 and the Echo Dot for $30. Some Wall Street analysts are already responding positively. For example, Piper Jaffray raised its price target on Amazon shares to $2,075 from $1,850 late Tuesday. – BLOOMBERG

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2. Goldman Sachs has downgraded shares of Clorox to Sell from Neutral, saying the stock is overvalued and “unsustainably high.” Goldman cited concerns that rising prices will put a damper on sales growth as well as concerns about its gross profit declines. "We believe organic sales are likely to decline as volume weakens due to price increases," analysts said in a note. Further, Clorox’s business in Argentina is facing struggles. Goldman lowered its price target to $112 per share from $127 per share. Shares of Clorox were down more than 3% today near $130.84, with the stock off about 8% so far this year. – THE STREET

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3. Wall Street had a mixed reaction to Netflix’s latest earnings report. The streaming service’s shares plunged 13% after it reported worse-than-expected subscriber numbers for the second quarter. Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy saying that, while the miss was not cause for alarm, shares are overvalued. Netflix is up 108% so far this year. Bank of American Merrill Lynch said it expects Netflix to return to topping estimates soon. Netflix reported 5.15 million subscribers, lower than the 6.2 million it had expected. – CNBC

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4. Walmart and Microsoft are partnering on cloud technology that can better compete against Amazon. The five-year deal leverages Microsoft’s cloud solutions for Walmart customers, to make their shopping experience faster and easier. Walmart has been investing heavily in technology improvements to ramp up its e-commerce business with the rise of online shopping. Microsoft’s technology reportedly allows for cashier-free checkout and aims to eliminate checkout lines. Under the partnership, a significant portion of Walmart.com and samsclub.com will migrate to Microsoft’s Azure. – CNBC

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5. Amazon wasn’t the only retailer seeing a boost on Amazon Prime Day. Target’s summer sales event that same day drew the highest single day online traffic and sales of the year. Millions of Target customers tapped into deals on appliances, personal care products and baby gear. The one-day sales event also coincides with Target’s promotion for teachers, which offers 15% off school supplies for the week. Target stores are fulfilling about 90% of the orders from the Tuesday event. – RETAIL DIVE

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6. Petco is launching a new in-store concept that focuses on health and wellness of animals. Called PetCoach, the concept is opening first in San Marcos, Calif. It provides personalized pet services as well as experiences and products that are “designed through a veterinary lens. PetCo has been offering PetCoach online to provide advice for pet care. “With PetCoach, we're reinventing the idea of a traditional 'pet store' by providing complete care experiences – from grooming, training and day care to full-service veterinary care,” said CEO Ron Coughlin in a press release. – PETCO

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7. Funko is launching a line of toys and collectibles based on Fortnight that will be available for the holidays.

8. UPS is testing a smart lock system to allow it to deliver packages inside apartments.

9. Nordstrom is welcoming Casper’s pop up shops in its stores across the U.S. starting in August.

10. Pirch has named a new president and CEO – Steve Smith, a former Home Depot executive.

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Amazon Prime Day was just as impressive as analysts expected. Is this online retail behemoth going to continue to overtake the retail sector? We always enjoy your thoughts. Have a great week!

Rebecca

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