retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Seattle Times reports that Trader Joe’s plans to open its first store in West Seattle in 2011. The company already has 16 stores in Washington State; this new one will be down the street from a planned development where Whole Foods was seen as a probable tenant.

• The Los Angeles Times reports that the National Milk Producers Federation board of directors has voted to support “a plan called Foundation for the Future, which could change the direction of federal price support programs,” proposing a transition from federal financial safety nets “into a new Dairy Producer Margin Protection Program, which would guard against a collapse in producer prices. It would also establish a Dairy Market Stabilization Program to prevent imbalances in milk production and demand.”

According to the Times, “The federation's proposal to overhaul the federal safety net involves creating a sort of insurance program against fluctuating prices. If farmers chose to enroll in the program, they would receive indemnity payments during periods when their margins are ‘compressed,’ as they were in 2009. In addition, farmers would have the option of buying supplemental coverage to protect a higher margin level between feed costs and milk prices.”

CNN reports that “five months after Johnson & Johnson drugmaking division McNeil Consumer Healthcare recalled millions of Tylenol and Motrin products, store shelves across the nation are still bare of these medications.” Among the retailers reporting shortages are CVS, Walgreen, Target, and even Walmart, though the latter says that there has been a “tightening of supply” that isn’t as bad as it was.
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