retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Detroit News reports that Kroger “is introducing an incentives program to boost its cut of the state's fuel sales.” The retailer “rolled out a program Monday that helps customers save at the pump. Kroger shoppers receive one point for every dollar spent at Kroger fuel stations; 1,000 points would mean $1 off per gallon for each fill-up. Customers can also knock 10 cents off each gallon per fill-up at one of Michigan's more than 150 Shell gas stations.

“The program will help Kroger compete against its two biggest grocery contenders in the state, Meijer Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Kroger, which has 30 fuel stations in Michigan, partnered with Shell to increase its presence in the local fuel market.”

• The San Francisco Chronicle reports that “Target is making moves to open its first San Francisco store as part of the company's campaign to occupy urban locations in the Bay Area and across the United States ... Target has considered locations in San Francisco for several years and is widely believed to be discussing with the city the possibility of opening a store in the Metreon mall at Fourth and Mission streets, which despite its busy downtown location has seen numerous vacancies in recent years.
“The company already has scores of stores in the Bay Area, including Daly City, Colma, San Bruno, San Mateo, Albany and Novato. It has acquired sites in Oakland and San Jose for stores that may open as soon as 2011.”

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “the European Court of Justice Tuesday ruled that European Union patent law can't be used to bar imports of products made from biotech ingredients that are patented in the EU but not in the exporting country. The decision could open the door for increased exports to the EU by producers of biotech products in emerging-market countries that have weaker patent protection.”
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