retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Discover Magazine reports in its online blog that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “has completed its analysis of the first genetically modified animal likely to hit supermarket shelves: the AquAdvantage salmon, made by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies, Inc.,” which “grows 2-6 times the size of a normal Atlantic salmon in half the time, promising some respite for the planet’s heavily taxed natural fish stocks.”

At the same time, Talking Points Memo reports that the FDA has concluded that the genetically modified salmon will not have a negative impact on the environment, and has passed that assessment on to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

• Food Lion announced that two of its green grocery stores in North Carolina have been awarded LEED Silver certification. Food Lion stores at 1738 Bingham Drive and 5555 Waldos Beach Road, both in Fayetteville, N.C., feature a number of environmentally friendly construction and energy-efficient services, including an on-site recycling center, an educational kiosk and preferred parking for carpool vehicles.

• The Bergen Record reports that Kantar Retail is projecting that 2011 “holiday spending will be significantly weaker than last year, and shoppers are becoming less confident about their spending power.” One wild card in the assessment is oil prices; if fuel costs stay relatively low, it is believed that it could prime the pump and convince people top spend a little more for the holidays.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that William Morrison Supermarkets in the UK says that it has “deepened its own price cuts in response to a new round of price promotions by competitors.”

CEO Dalton Philips said that the company “has been ramping up its own nine-month long price cutting campaign since last week,” though he would not say how much Morrison’s has invested in price cuts.”

Tesco precipitated the newest price wars just several weeks ago, as it looks to reverse small but consistent slippage in its UK market share.
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