retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Bergen Record reports that the troubled Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) has confirmed another round of layoffs at company headquarters. While the company would not divulge details, sources tell the paper that some 40 people lost their jobs, including a senior vice president, a vice president and five department directors.

The story notes that "in July, the company confirmed it would be eliminating an unspecified number of accounting and finance jobs over six months because it had decided to outsource those jobs to India — part of a deal with the outsourcing firm Wipro. About 700 people worked at the headquarters before the layoffs."

A&P might as well outsource additional functions, because at this point it already has outsourced a lot of its customers...

• The Associated Press reports that "salmonella has been found in a New Mexico plant that produces nut butters for retailer Trader Joe's and several other large national grocery chains, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday. The Trader Joe's peanut butter is now linked to 35 salmonella illnesses in 19 states — most of them in children under the age of 10 ... the government findings have prompted New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. to recall everything made in the plant since March of 2010 — a total of 240 products. The company last month recalled 101 products that were manufactured in the plant this year ... The recall includes nut butters and nut products sold at Whole Foods Market, Target, Safeway, Costco, Fresh & Easy, Harry and David, Sprouts, Heinen's, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, Giant Food of Landover, Md., and several other stores since 2010 ... The products recalled include peanut butters, almond butters, cashew butters, tahini, and blanched and roasted peanut products."

• The San Jose Mercury News reports that "federal immigration agents launched an audit of the 21-store Mi Pueblo supermarket chain in mid-August after hearing complaints about suspected illegal immigrant workers, the company announced Friday. The audit of I-9 forms, known as a 'silent raid,' was the reason the San Jose-based grocer voluntarily joined the federal E-Verify system a short time later to check the immigration status of all new hires ... The announcement comes days before a threatened boycott is to begin at noon Monday, led by a union trying to organize Mi Pueblo's more than 3,000 workers and demanding that the company stop using E-Verify ... The union said Friday it is backing off on the E-Verify demand amid news of the ICE audit, but is proceeding with the boycott because Mi Pueblo refuses to sign a labor agreement."

Reuters reports that just days after being spun off by Kraft Foods, Mondelez International "is buying Italy's Vitasnella snack business from French foods maker Danone for an undisclosed sum as part of its consolidation plans in Europe."
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