retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• Standard & Poors said yesterday that it expects Supervalu's "sales and profitability to erode more than we anticipated in fiscal 2013 and 2014 due to intense competition and the rollout of its more aggressive pricing strategy." The S&P said that the outlook for Supervalu is negative, and that this "reflects our view that execution risks related to its new pricing strategy could result in a greater-than-expected fall in profitability if sales improvement does not materialize; or a transaction to enhance shareholder value could further erode SUPERVALU's credit protection measures."

I think they are grading on a curve.

• The vast majority of consumers responding to a new survey by health and wellness manufacturer Vitacost.com, Inc. said that "they choose to eat gluten-free foods. Close to half of the 1,484 individuals who responded said they follow an exclusively gluten-free diet, while 38% choose 'some' gluten-free products. Those who don't eat gluten-free foods say the products are too expensive."

According to the survey, "31% choose gluten-free foods because they see them as the 'healthier' option. Only 13% of those taking the survey said they had celiac disease."

Also, I suspect, grading on a curve. Or at least working from a possibly non-representative sample...

USA Today reports that Lay's potato chips "plans to cook one consumer's recipe into a potato chip and pay $1 million for it — or 1% of the flavor's net sales in 2013. It's the winner's choice." The story says that this effort described as "the ultimate crowd-sourcing stunt," will have a winner selected by a Facebook vote.

Convenience Store News reports that Alimentation Couche-Tard plans to acquire 27 c-stores in eastern Washington State, from Sun Pacific Energy, which operates under the "Sun Mart" banner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed; the deal is expected to be finalize in November.
KC's View: