retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• Weis Markets today announced it will close on its purchase of three former Genuardi’s stores, located in Conshohocken, Doylestown and East Norristown, on Monday June 11th and that it will reopen these stores on Saturday, June 16 at 6am. In advance of these openings, each store’s pharmacy will re-open on Monday June 11th at 12 noon to minimize prescription service disruption.

To staff these stores, Weis Markets has hired 218 former Genuardi employees and has added 150 positions, which will allow each store to double the number of cashiers it employs and increase front-end service.

Always nice to see companies hiring employees. As opposed to, say, firing employees even while saying they are engaging in "customer-facing initiatives."

• The Chicago Sun Times reports that bankrupt Hostess Brands - maker of Twinkies and Ho-Hos - has informed all of its 1,380 employees in Illinois that the company could go out of business.

However, the story says, a spokesperson for the company said that the move was simply fulfilling a legal requirement, and that if the company is able to get its fiscal house in order, including getting wage concessions from unionized employees, it should be able to emerge from bankruptcy “as a growing company with a strong future.”

• The Boston Globe reports that the future of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' K-Cup single serving business may not be okay.

According to the story, "K-Cups, which produce one cup of coffee at a time in Green Mountain’s Keurig brewers, are the most profitable segment of the company’s business, accounting for about three-quarters of its net sales. But when the K-Cup patents expire this fall, a stream of grocery and retail stores are expected to produce lower-priced, store-brand coffee pods that can be used in Keurig machines and cut into Green Mountain’s earnings."

That's what happened yesterday, when Kroger announced that it would begin selling a private brand K-Cup coffee later this year, a declaration that sent Green Mountain's stock price down almost eight percent.

• Maurer’s Foods has entered into an agreement of intent to open a full-service grocery store in the proposed 720 Northwestern development in West Lafayette, Indiana, which will be designed to be, according to the company, "a food destination for Purdue students, University faculty, staff and local residents. The market will offer a fresh food and grocery alternative with affordable prices." This concept will be replicated at the new location and will operate under the name of Fresh City Market.
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