retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Business Courier of Cincinnati reports that “a plea by Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and other City Council members to keep the Kroger grocery store in Roselawn open for a few more months fell on deaf ears,” as the retailer has announced that the store will close on April 25 because it is unprofitable.

The city had maintained that the closure will negatively affect low-income residents.

• The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P announced that it is lowering prices on more than 400 generic prescription drugs to $3.99 for up to a 30-day supply that are sold by its A&P, SuperFresh and Waldbaum's stores.

• The Los Angeles Times reports that CKE Restaurants Inc., parent company to the Carl’s Jr. hamburger chain, will be acquired by an affiliate of the private equity group Apollo Management for about $694 million.

Bloomberg reports that “Honest Tea, partly owned by Coca- Cola Co., may increase sales by at least 70 percent within a year as it becomes available throughout the U.S., said Seth Goldman, the tea maker’s co-founder and president ... Honest Tea sold about 5 million cases last year, for revenue of $47 million.”

“You’ve got a ship leaving the port, now you’ve got a turbo-charged engine,” Goldman said of the national distribution.

• The Hollywood Reporter says that singer/songwriter Carly Simon has filed an amended complaint against Starbucks, in essence appealing last week’s judge’s decision to throw out her complaint.

Simon had sued the coffee company for unspecified damages related to the failure of her last CD, “This Kind Of Love,” in 2008. The album was produced by Starbucks’ Hear Music division, which had turned albums by artists such as Ray Charles into hits. However, shortly after Simon signed her deal with Hear Music, the company reduced its involvement in the music business as it dealt with the erosion of its core business because of economic challenges created by the recession; Simon’s suit charged that not only did the company not pay her an agreed-upon advance, but Starbucks didn’t even initially stock the CD at all of its stores and when it finally did, it was at a discount price that Simon says stigmatized the album.
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