retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Denver Business Journal reports that Safeway and Kroger-owned King Soopers and their unionized employees have agreed to extend their contracts until August 15, and will continue negotiations on a new deal to replace the one that expired officially on May 30.

• The Seattle Times reports that Starbucks is facing a labor organization effort at one of its Quebec stores, as workers there have aligned themselves with the Industrial Workers of the World and filed a request with the government to unionize.

Advertising Age reports that Reckitt Benckiser is changing its logo to its initials, “RB,” hoping that the simplified brand identity will improve both its image and visibility; the company bemoans the fact that its financial performance often is as good or better than its counterparts, but generates less public awareness.

• Interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal that USDA prime beef is becoming both more available and less expensive. Part of the reason is that people are eating out less, meaning that steakhouses and other restaurants have less call for the prime beef that many used to specialize in. That leaves more available to sell in supermarkets and other butcher shops, which seem able to sell it when consumers decide to invest in what are called “affordable indulgences.”
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