retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Troy Record reports that The Fresh Market is scheduled to open a new store today in Latham, New York, just north of Albany - the first unit opened by the company in the Empire State. The store will not lack for competition - it will be facing off against a Hannaford store, a Sam’s Club, and two Price Choppers.

• The New York Times reports this morning on the ongoing strike at the Mott’s apple juice plant in upstate New York, writing, “The union movement and many outsiders view the strike as a high-stakes confrontation between a company that wants to cut its labor costs, even as it is earning record profits, and workers who are determined to resist demands for wage and benefit givebacks ... For unions across the country, the stakes are high because if the Mott’s workers lose this showdown, it could prompt other profitable companies to push for major labor concessions. Such a lengthy strike is unusual at a time when work stoppages have become much less common than they once were.”

Making the scenario somewhat unusual is the fact that Mott’s is a profitable company, but is still looking for concessions because it believes that “Mott’s workers are overpaid compared with other production workers in the Rochester area, where blue-collar unemployment is high after years of layoffs at employers like Xerox and Kodak.”
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