business news in context, analysis with attitude

  • Ahold-owned Tops Markets announced that it will sell a dozen stores in the Adirondacks to C&S Wholesale Grocers, part of a previously announced decision to sell 31 stores. The deal is expected to close early next year.

  • Published reports say that D&W Food Centers will eliminate about eight percent of its workforce, or about 150 jobs, as a way of cutting costs. The cuts reportedly will be across the board, affecting both stores and headquarters personnel.

  • Commercial Alert, a consumer activist group backed by Ralph Nader, as asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Procter & Gamble’s Tremor division – which specializes in “buzz marketing” – for paying minors to spread the word about P&G products.

    The illusion is that viral marketing is spontaneous and unpaid,.

  • The British Parliament has begun an inquiry into the dominance of the nation’s grocery business by a few supermarket chains. David Rae, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores and the Forum for Private Business, launched the hearings by saying, “It is critical that the Government uses its powers to stop the Tesco/Asda/Sainsbury juggernaut from eradicating high street shops altogether by 2015…Unless something is done, there will be a lot of communities left without a local shop."

  • Meanwhile, Tesco is expected to continue its expansion into new and unorthodox services. A new law in the UK allows supermarkets and other businesses to own and operate law firms – which Tesco is expected to do, offering legal services from the same stores where it sells produce, seafood and canned goods.

  • Supervalu’s Cub Foods stores plan to provide Chicago-area customers with biometric payment systems, using the Pay By Touch system to allow shoppers to pay for their groceries with the scan of a fingerprint.

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