retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• There was a story the other day in the Toronto Globe and Mail saying that Walmart’s activities in Canada is driving a broader price promotion approach across the market, which in turn “ is leaving little room for supermarket retailers such as giant Loblaw Cos. Ltd. to gain sales.”

Galen G. Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw, told a Scotia Capital conference that “we do have what I would consider to be a disruptive entrant in the marketplace – in the fresh-food segment in particular – and that is Wal-Mart, the great retail bogeyman ... [It] is a real and material force, has been for 15 years. But their presence in the market today really is having an impact on the fresh business.”

• The Financial Times reports that Procter & Gamble “has thinned the ranks of senior managers by 10-15 per cent and is considering ways to restructure further as investors press it to improve profitability.

“Bob McDonald, P&G’s chairman and chief executive, told the Financial Times that P&G was also examining possible broader changes after several quarters in which its profit margins and share price have stagnated, while analysts clamour for it to shift its centre of gravity to emerging markets.”
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