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Retail Sales Up 0.4% in April, First Gain Since January

| Mike O'Brien

Retail sales inched up 0.4% in April from the prior month, exactly matching a rise in the Consumer Price Index, according to figures from the U.S. Commerce Department. It represented the first gain in retail sales since January, a positive sign amid economic fears and continued inflation. Excluding gas and auto, retail sales were up 4.3% in April vs. a year ago, adjusted for inflation.

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Cryptocurrency Payments: Are We There Yet?

| Suresh Daksina

While cryptocurrency can be volatile, for merchants who sell to the tech industry, especially if they deal in blockchain-related technology, and those who want to reach tech-savvy customers looking for the latest digital payment options, accepting cryptocurrency payments can be a great way to build a loyal customer base.

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Target Joins the Warning Parade

| Mike O'Brien

Target joined fellow retail bellwethers Walmart, Home Depot and Amazon in warning about softness in consumer demand for 2023 as it reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for Q4, although the figures cleared a lower bar.

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Walmart Cautious in 2023 Outlook

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart reported ecommerce growth of 17% in Q4 to $80 billion, representing 13% of total sales, and beat expectations overall, but warned of a challenging climate for the rest of the year based on consumer sentiment and macro signals, sending uneasiness through the industry and the markets.

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Marvin Ellison of Lowe’s Pushing for Greater Diversity

| Mike O'Brien

Marvin Ellison, chairman, president and CEO of home improvement retailer Lowe’s, credited a faith in God and a worth ethic instilled by his parents that helped him achieve far beyond his humble roots, going from a part-time stocking clerk earning $4.35 an hour at Target to heading up a Fortune 500 firm.

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Lowe’s Goes Nationwide Same Day with Instacart

| Mike O'Brien

Lowe’s may still be Avis to Home Depot’s Hertz atop the home improvement sector, but it has something the orange big-box giant doesn’t: nationwide same-day delivery through an expansion of a trial that began in February with formerly grocery-only service Instacart in select locations.

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Ecommerce to Top $1 Trillion GMV in U.S. in 2022

| Mike O'Brien

Ecommerce sales will top $1 trillion for the first time this year, while Amazon will become the biggest retailer in the U.S. by 2026, surpassing Walmart with a 14.9% market share vs. 12.7%, according to a new report from Edge By Ascential. Costco and Home Depot will hold the number 3 and 4 spots, respectively, the report states.

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Home Depot Customer Records Offered on Dark Web

| Mike O'Brien

About 6,000 customer records from Home Depot, acquired by a hacker in 2020, are being offered for free on the dark web, according to the company, while a firm that tracks such activity claimed a substantially higher figure. The information included addresses, phone numbers, delivery records, brands purchased and orders. sellers, possibly

Walmart Offers Discount to New Sellers

| Mike O'Brien

In an effort to lure in more third-party sellers as it battles Amazon’s dominant marketplace, Walmart is offering new sellers a 50% discount on commissions for 90 days, while also extending savings on Walmart’s version of FBA to new signups. Discount are available to new merchants who sign up by May 31 and start selling by June 30.

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Home Depot Names Decker New CEO

| Mike O'Brien

Home Depot has named president and COO Ted Decker, a 22-year veteran of the company, as its new CEO, replacing the retiring Craig Menear, who has guided the company through a phenomenal growth period, especially during the pandemic, while making over its supply chain operations.