retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Washington Post reports that Ahold-owned Giant Food of Landover has given verbal notice to the Teamsters union representing workers at one of its Maryland warehouses that it plans to close the site.

According to the story, “The area's largest supermarket chain agreed in April to have Jessup Logistics, an affiliate of C&S Wholesale Grocers, assume operations of its dry-groceries warehouse in Jessup starting Sunday. This month, the operator began meeting with Teamsters Local 730, representing 430 workers there, to negotiate the contract set to expire May 14. Union president Ritchie Brooks said that Tuesday, officials from Jessup Logistics informed him that the plant would shutter.”

• World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced a new collaboration with Costco Wholesale to assess its source fisheries and further develop the company’s wild-caught seafood sourcing strategy.

According to the announcement, WWF is undertaking assessments of ten of Costco’s wild-caught species and is using that information to help develop sustainable sourcing strategies for the company’s seafood purchases that includes Marine Stewardship Council certification.   WWF will also work closely with Costco to advise as to how the company and its suppliers can engage in select WWF fishery improvement projects.

• Published reports say that Publix Super Markets has unveiled its first charging station for electric cars, at a store in Belle Meade, Tennessee - a test to see how many customers use the free service before the company rolls out additional charging stations at other locations.

Drug Store News reports on a new study from Mintel saying that “69% of consumers believed that how you age is mostly genetic. Eight-out-of-10 consumers also thought that diet and exercise are the most important factors associated with aging skin, and 78% believed that using sunscreen is the real key to preventing visible signs of aging.”

This means business of a certain kind: “Currently, 24% of consumers reported using anti-aging skin care products,” Drug Store News writes. “Another 21% have used wrinkle-reducing facial skin care products in the past year, and 18% reported using skin-rejuvenating products. Meanwhile, 39% of consumers who are concerned with aging have not taken any action to prevent or reverse the signs of aging, according to Mintel.”

USA Today reports that a number of supermarket chains are moving away from offering rebates to customers who bring in their own reusable bags, but instead are moving toward educational efforts to teach consumers about the environmental importance of getting away from single-use bags.’

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “U.S. sales of Diet Coke overtook those of Pepsi Cola for the first time in 2010, making the diet soda the No. 2 carbonated soft drink in the country behind Coca-Cola ... Occupying the top two rankings would mark a historic win for Coca-Cola Co. in its decades-old rivalry with PepsiCo Inc., which has seen its market share slip in recent years and is trying to retool its marketing.”
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