retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Supervalu announced yesterday that its board of directors has approved a $70 million stock buyback plan, which replaces a similar plan announced a year ago.

• Winn-Dixie is trying to reason with hurricane season, and is out with recommendations to Florida and Gulf Coast shoppers, urging people to “have a ‘hurricane kit’ with enough bottled water, canned and non-perishable foods, paper products, flashlights and batteries to last at least three days in case a tropical storm knocks out power. Experts suggest keeping on hand one gallon of water per person per day, along with food and first aid supplies.”

And, Winn-Dixie announced that it “has equipped its regional distribution centers in Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Hammond, La., and 82 stores throughout its operating area with 500-kilowatt, diesel-powered generators in areas that have been affected by power outages associated with hurricanes and tropical storms in recent years. All of the generators have been tested and are ready for use.”

Bloomberg reports that Starbucks is pushing some of its U.S. landlords “for as much as a 25 percent reduction in lease rates, taking advantage of a declining real estate market to save on rent.” The move is part of the company’s broader effort to cut expenses.
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