retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Kroger Co. announced that associates working at four distribution centers and two dairy manufacturing facilities have ratified new three-year labor agreements with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Facilities included in the agreement are located in Hutchinson and Goddard, KS; Houston, TX; Memphis, TN; Indianapolis, IN; and Livonia, MI.

• Kellogg Co. announced this morning that it is acquiring the Pringles brand from Procter & Gamble for $2.7 billion.

The move comes as P&G and Diamond Foods said that they were mutually agreeing to call off their $1.5 billion deal which would have had Diamond getting Pringles. According to the Associated Press story, “the news comes a week after Diamond Foods said it was replacing its CEO and CFO after an internal investigation found that the company improperly accounted for payments to walnut growers and it needs to restate two years of financial results.”

• The Boston Globe reports that Friendly’s, which has been closing stores and dealing with bankruptcy issues lately, seems to be doing better outside its four walls, “signing ice cream contracts with major retailers such as Walmart and Food Lion. In the past eight months, Friendly’s products have been added to the freezer aisles of 3,200 more supermarkets, a 40 percent increase.

The company sees that lessening its dependence on its own retail units is a “huge opportunity.” Analysts agree ... though they say that Friendly’s moves are long overdue.
KC's View: