retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Washington Post reports that retailers in South Korea finally are selling US beef again, after years of the product being banned because of concerns about mad cow disease, and months of consumer resistance that persisted even after the ban was lifted earlier this year. According to the story, “Fifty tons of U.S. beef disappeared from shelves the first day it was offered for sale” by three major food retailers there.

• The Los Angeles Times reports that for the first time in a decade, Italian wine production may exceed French wine production – largely because of better weather in Italy, but also because of improved methodology and quality.

• Office Depot has announced that it will close 112 of its North American stores, or about nine percent of the fleet, and eliminate 2,200 jobs over the next three months. The goal is to cut costs and try to close the gap with Staples…though analysts seem to remain skeptical.

KC's View: