retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg Business Week reports that while a recent poll by BIGresearch indicated that most shoppers plan to spend less money during the upcoming holiday season at chains ranging from Best Buy to Gap to Toys R Us, they are planning to spend more at one chain: Costco.

And, the story says, “While purchases are expected to increase from last year -- the National Retail Federation forecasts a 2.8 percent gain in sales in November and December -- that spending may be targeted toward items such as Costco’s home decorations and clothing rather than pricier electronics.”

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Procter & Gamble “s offering its staff an early-retirement program,” which it expects to be completed by June 2012, as part of what some analysts say is a broader restructuring the company.

But that doesn’t mean the company has stopped hiring. “We will continue to hire throughout this process and you will see modest enrollment increases in come part of the company and modest decreases in others depending on the needs of the business," says Paul Fox, a company spokesman.

• Food Lion-owned Bottom Dollar Food, a discount grocer with expansion efforts underway in the greater Philadelphia market, is scheduled to open a new store there today - a 15,400 square feet unit that will be the discount grocer’s 24th location in the region.
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