retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The St. Louis Business Journal reports that Schnucks has opened its newest store – a 21,000 square foot downtown store that goes under the name Culinaria – A Schnucks Market. According to the story, the store is the only full-service grocery store in downtown St. Louis, and “boasts wine tasting, a Kaldi's coffee bar, downtown’s first pharmacy, tables and chairs, prepared meals and a salad bar for the downtown lunch crowd.”

• Kraft Foods said this week that it has cut its water use worldwide by 21 percent, reducing its usage by three billion gallons over the past three years. The achievement is in line with environmental and sustainability goals set by the company in 2005.

• The Chicago Tribune reports that a slowly developing trend in cities from New York to San Francisco has been the usage of vacant or underutilized property to grow fresh produce or raise chickens. Part of the movement may be related to the recession, which may be making people more self-sufficient than in the past; there also seems to be a sense that at least some of these community gardens can provide product to under-supplied facilities catering to the homeless.
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