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Fortune has an piece about Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walmart's Sam's Club division, in which she says that she is looking to grow the business by focusing on digital retail, an area that she says rival Costco has ignored. Costco's admirable discipline in its model, she suggests, has left it slow to invest in new areas, which opens a hole for Sam's.

"Attempting to capitalize on that opening," Fortune writes, "Brewer has made major investments in digital, ploughing resources into the company’s mobile app, which allows customers to pick up at stores within two hours of placing an order and notifies the store as soon as customers arrive in the parking lot. In the past 24 months she’s hired only decision scientists for the membership team—professionals skilled at using analytics to bring in new members.

"To her mind, this the future of retail, and she’s focused on how she can 'build this for the long haul, not just for today or tomorrow'."

Brewer also suggests that Amazon's plans to expand its private label food offerings may be a case of biting off more than it can chew, noting that "private label takes a lot of time and focus, adding that retailers who pursue it rashly risk diminishing their relationship with national brands. Sam’s Club at one time had 20 private label brands that Brewer has since brought down to one. Having its own brand has helped Sam’s Club push its suppliers to innovate because if they won’t do it, Sam’s Club will with its own label."

• The Washington Post reports that Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser will not get the opportunity to confront Walmart real estate executives as she'd hoped at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) conference this week in Las Vegas.

According to the story, Bowser had hoped to confront Walmart execs there about two stores that the company had promised to build in her city, but then cancelled them because of what it called high building and labor costs that it said would make the locations unprofitable.

However, Walmart decided not to end its executives to the conference this year, which means that Bowser will have to spend her time looking for other retailers to move into the two DC locations.
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