retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The New York Times reports that “It wasn’t too long ago that McDonald’s, vilified as making people fat, was written off as irrelevant. Now, six years into a rebound spawned by more appealing food and a less aggressive expansion, McDonald’s seems to have won over some of its most hardened skeptics.

“The chain has managed to sustain its momentum even as the economy and the restaurant industry as a whole are struggling. Month after month, McDonald’s has surprised analysts by posting stronger-than-expected sales in the United States and abroad.”

• In the UK, the Sunday Telegraph reports that despite the recession, Tesco is saying that it saw an “unprecedented” trading up by shoppers to luxury foods, which supported CEO Terry Leahy’s contention that consumers would stretch their budgets during the holidays. However, it also is anticipated that with the new year will come at least some measure of a new frugality – the holidays, after all, are over.

• The BBC reports that in the UK, frozen food retailer Iceland has acquired 51 former Woolworths stores, just three days after the last of Woolworths’ stores went out of business.

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