retail news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief and occasional commentary...

• Weis Markets announced it has lowered the prices on 1,700 staple items and that it will freeze the prices of these products for 90 days through April 2, 2011. It is the Company’s eighth 90-day Price Freeze since 2009; the current freeze includes 1,700 brand-name and private brand products in grocery, frozen, dairy, meat, health, beauty care and general merchandise.

“Our prize freeze savings are significant,” says Kurt Schertle, Weis Markets’ Senior Vice President, Sales and Merchandising. “Over the past three years, our Price Freeze program has collectively saved our customers more than $35 million.”

• The Financial Times reports that Tesco says its same-store sales in the UK were down 2.3 percent in the six weeks ending January 7 - meaning that the Christmas shopping season was not kind to the world’s third biggest retailer. The company now says that it expects only “minimal” profit growth for the current fiscal year - a prediction that sent Tesco’s stock price tumbling more than nine percent yesterday.

• As expected, Hostess Brands - maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs - has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, just three years after it emerged from an earlier bankruptcy.

• The New York Times reports that Hostess has an $860 million debt load and as many as 100,000 creditors.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Coors Light has passed Budweiser to become the second best-selling beer in the US by volume, behind only Bud Light.

• Jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. has reported that its sales growth “weakened” during the just completed holiday shopping season, with US revenue in November and December up 4 percent to $503 million and same-store sales up just 2 percent.

I did a little quick checking because I was curious. It appears that there are no Tiffany’s stores in Iowa or New Hampshire. Newt Gingrich spent most of November in Iowa and New Hampshire. Coincidence?
KC's View: