retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Washington Business Journal reports that Wegmans, which currently operates 72 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland, is focusing its future growth plans on the mid-Atlantic region…with plans for six new stores in the Washington, DC, area…though opening dates have not been announced or scheduled. The company currently has four stores in the area.

Newsday reports that in New York, Westchester County has levied fines totaling almost $60,000 against 21 supermarkets accused of selling food past its expiration date. More than $12,000 in fines were against a single Whole Foods store in White Plains, New York, which had 156 outdated items – a number that the company said was “simply unacceptable,” and that it would investigate.

• The Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal reports that General Mills has decided to stop using milk in its Yoplait Yogurt that is from cows treated with bovine growth hormone (rBGH). At the present time, 0 percent of the milk it uses in the yogurt is from cows not treated with rBGH, but it says the complete transition will be completed by August.

The use of rBGH has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but General Mills said it was making the decision in response to consumer preferences.

• The Chicago Tribune reports that Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld said yesterday that she and 18 other company execs will have their salaries frozen as a response to the recessionary economy. The freeze does not affect potential performance-based bonuses.

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