retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

Dow Jones reports that Target plans to extend its summer "online-only 'Bonus Black Friday' sale to two full days and will hold its first-ever 'Summer Cyber Week' sale" as a way of combatting lagging sales in a still-stagnant economy.

The story says that "the summer Black Friday sale, which Target started two years ago, is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, and the Cyber Week sale will go on all next week. The retailer said customers will find 'Black Friday-like' deals on more than 2,000 items on, including toys, movies and apparel."

• The Associated Press reports that Costco has "joined a growing list of retailers and restaurants in asking suppliers to phase out the use of small pens for pregnant sows, as an animal welfare group prepared to release an undercover video showing conditions at one of its suppliers.

According to the story, "National restaurant chains that have asked their suppliers to stop using gestation stalls include McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Hardee's. Joining the list this week were Sears Holding Corp., which owns Kmart Corp. and its 25 Super Kmart stores that sell groceries, and ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co., which also makes a variety of frozen foods and sauces that contain pork."

Mercy for Animals, the group that has been pushing for the elimination of the gestation crates, now says it will turn its attention to Walmart.

I'd make a "when pigs fly" joke here, but it would be inappropriate. Also probably wrong...because Mercy for Animals seems to have been very effective in this particular fight.

• United Fresh and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) said yesterday that they have ceased merger talks that would have created a single, unified trade association for the category, and now will continue pursuing their own separate agendas.
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