retail news in context, analysis with attitude

  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC) reportedly estimates that 76 million people in the USA get a food-borne or diarrheal illness each year, with children particularly at risk – but that cases of five of the most common food-borne maladies have declined.

  • PepsiCo Inc. announced that the US Securities and Exchange Commission might file civil charged against the company, alleging that Pepsi executives signed documents acknowledging payments of $5.8 million, which Kmart used to improperly record the timing of revenue.

    Pepsi says its people were not involved with any alleged accounting misdeeds and that it is cooperating with the investigation.

  • The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that the US Attorney’s probe into “whether Coca-Cola Co. engaged in accounting fraud is intensifying, with a federal grand jury scheduled to hear testimony from company employees later this month and securities regulators issuing subpoenas to employees for information.”

    At issue is whether Coke shipped an excess of soda concentrate to bottlers and other distributors as a way of hyping financial results.

  • The US Department of Agriculture reports that price inflation is affecting grocery products that include milk, meat, eggs, oil and produce – and that things are expected to get worse (meaning higher prices) before they get better.

  • There are published reports suggesting that a coalition of Texas businessmen is looking to try and acquire Core-Mark, the c-store wholesale business, for $315 million.

    Core-Mark is pretty much what remains of Fleming, which went bankrupt and out of business.

    One of the names mentioned in the reports is Bill Fields, a former Wal-Mart executive.

  • Fred Meyer Jewelers, a division of Kroger Co., announced that it has entered into a relationship with The arrangement will make its jewelry available via the website.

    According to a statement released by the company, Fred Meyer Jewelers is the nation's fourth largest fine jewelry retail chain, and currently operates 440 retail locations across the country under the Fred Meyer Jewelers, Littman Jewelers, and Barclay Jewelers banners.

  • Royal Ahold announced today that a legal challenge to its management practices that had been mounted by an investor lobbying group in the Netherlands has been postponed. No reason was given for the postponement, though analysts believe that the move will help Ahold management by focusing their efforts on rebuilding the company’s reputation in the wake of a billion dollar accounting scandal.

  • Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. reportedly paid the convicted felon who founded the company a $500,000 bonus-- $200,000 more than called for in her contract.

    This was in addition to her regular salary of $900,000 a year.

    No word on what her compensation would have been if she had not been convicted of a felony.

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