business news in context, analysis with attitude

In the news this morning…

  • Shaw’s Supermarkets reportedly will acquire 18 former Ames Department Store sites in New England for $48.5 million.

  • In the UK, Safeway Plc is spending the equivalent of $3.1 million (US) to build brand loyalty among existing shoppers, preferring to grow through larger transactions and new customers as opposed to acquiring other businesses.

  • C-store chain 7-Eleven plans to change its marketing approach next year to compete on price with US supermarket chains, as well as focusing on private label and fresh food offerings.

  • In news related to our Stew Leonard’s piece above, the word is out there that his youngest son, Tom Leonard, plans to open his own spinoff store in the Richmond, Virginia, market -- putting him into competition with such companies as Ukrops, Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Food Lion. As reported on MNB back on October 25, the competition in Richmond is getting increasingly tough -- which means that Tom Leonard is going to need more than just a little of his father’s magic touch to succeed.

  • A report from the British Food Standards Agency reveals that only a third of employees working in the catering industry there think that hygiene is important to their business, half do not wash their hands before preparing food, and more than a third do not wash their hands after going to the bathroom. (So maybe it’s not British cooking that’s been a problem all these years…?)

  • Blockbuster announced that will set aside floor space in almost 1,000 of its US stores to target Hispanics, incorporating Spanish language signage and increasing the selection of Spanish language products for sale or rent. The Hispanic market is estimated to have about $500 billion in annual purchasing power, and by 2005 Hispanics are expected to be the nation’s largest minority.

And the beat goes on...
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