retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “for the second quarter ended Sept. 10, Supervalu returned to the black from a prior year weighed down by charges, but sales dropped 2.6% to $8.43 billion, reflecting a 1.8% drop in same-store sales, the 14th consecutive quarter of declines.”

According to the story, the company “expects its growth to be stunted this fiscal year given the rocky economic environment and its reinvestments in the business,” as it struggles to “reconcile rising food costs with its ongoing effort to reduce prices to levels more competitive with rivals like Kroger Co. and Safeway Inc.”

• The New York Times reports that as the Glad Products Co. introduces its new Glad kitchen trash bag, said to be made with less plastic and therefore more environmentally friendly, the company is talking more about the fact that it is stronger than the fact that it is made with less plastic. And, it is not charging higher prices for the new bags, which reflects a consumer reality - that they want to “make more responsible choices but they don’t want to make the tradeoffs if they involve either an inferior product or a greater price.”
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