retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The bankrupt Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) said yesterday that it is seeking approval from the court overseeing its finances to put 25 more stores on the market - all Superfresh units, with 22 in Maryland, two in Delaware and one in Washington, DC.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “Kraft Foods Inc.'s Gevalia coffee will go head-to head with its one-time partner Starbucks Corp. in supermarkets starting in August. Kraft plans to sell Gevalia as its premium coffee brand at more than 20,000 retailers, marking the first time the nearly 160-year-old Swedish coffee brand, which has been primarily sold in the U.S. through online and mail orders for the past quarter-century, will be widely available at U.S. retailers.

“Gevalia will replace Starbucks as Kraft's entrant in the premium coffee category. Kraft had exclusively sold Starbucks products in the high-end coffee category until March 1, when the distribution pact was dissolved in what became a messy and public divorce in court. The two sides are still involved in arbitration over the breakup, and whether Starbucks may have to pay Kraft more than $1 billion for terminating the agreement.”
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