retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• Interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal about how Delhaize is doubling down on its Greece investments, opening new Alfa Beta stores there despite the country's dire financial situation.

The reason? According to the Journal, "several factors have allowed the company to prosper amid the current plunge in Greek consumer spending: a local brand identity, a range of cut-price day-to-day products and better access to financing than its Greek competitors." Delhaize's size, the story says, has allowed it to keep its stores stocked while other, smaller competitors suffer from out-of-stocks. Inevitably, this means that Delhaize's sales, customer count and market share all are going up.

• Bed, Bath & Beyond is about to have a baby. Several of them, in fact, as the company opens what is expected to be a number of Bed Bath & Beyond /Buy Buy Baby prototype stores that will offer a section dedicated to a wide range of baby-related products. The stores will be about the same size as traditional Bed, Bath & Beyond units, but will have a section carved out for the "Buy Buy Baby" offering.

I think that the idea of a baby-related store-within-a-store could be a workable idea, but I have to say that I think calling it "Buy Buy Baby" seems like one of the worst names I've ever heard. Having babies is expensive enough ... I'm not sure that it makes a lot of sense of focus on the transactional nature of the experience. They couldn't come up with something a little more uplifting and aspirational?

Reuters reports that Kraft Foods is selling its majority stake in the Back to Nature brand to Brynwood Partners, a private equity group. terms of the deal were not disclosed. Kraft said it was selling the brand because it was not big enough to warrant the kind of attention from Kraft that would enable it to grow.
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