retail news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary...

• The New York Times reports that a federal judge has "struck down new regulations governing union elections, saying the National Labor Relations Board did not follow proper voting procedures when it approved the rules last year."

The legitimacy of the new rules was not addressed by the judge, who simply aid that when the NLRB voted, it did not have a quorum. The judge said that the NLRB was free to vote again.

The rule changes at issue would have sped up union elections in the workplace, which organized labor says is necessary to avoid stalling litigation; business interests say that faster elections don't give them time to effectively argue that union representation is not necessary.

• The Whole Planet Foundation and BlueAvocado announced that they have launched a "Make Change. Not Waste" mobile iPhone application that they say "rewards Whole Foods Market shoppers with coupons for green lifestyle actions, while raising awareness and funds for poverty alleviation.

"The app provides shoppers with badges and coupons from a catalog of 45 green lifestyle behaviors including recycling, using a reusable bag and biking to work. After completing 10 green actions, customers can unlock one coupon from leading green brands including: Nature's Path, Alexia Foods, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Stonyfield, Frontier Co-op and Organic Valley. Shoppers can also donate a percentage of the coupon value back to Whole Planet Foundation."

• The Chicago Tribune reports that "Denny’s Corp., the chain of diners known for its pancake stacks and discount menus, is joining major companies such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s to stop its suppliers from cramming pregnant pigs into tiny cages."

I'm glad they're advocating humane treatment of animals. Now, if they'd just be better at humane treatment of people b y serving them decent food...

• Safeway said yesterday that "after a three-month nationwide search, a People's Choice vote, three regional cook-off events, and one final cook-off event ... Dave Histed has won the "Search for Our Next Chef" competition, a first-of-its-kind opportunity in which chefs from across the country competed for a full-time position with the Safeway Culinary Kitchens and the chance to have their recipe sold as an Open Nature Skillet Meal in Safeway stores."
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