retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• Wholesaler Unified Grocers announced that "it is offering independent retailers an exclusive 'eShop-Rewards' program that allows consumers to earn points toward a $25 prepaid Visa Rewards card (in addition to their regular credit card points) while shopping online at more than 1,000 of the nation's top online merchants ... When consumers accumulate 27 points on the eShop-Rewards website, they simply click on the "earnings" button and a $25 Visa Rewards card is mailed to them. The reloadable Visa Rewards card may be reloaded in $25 increments with each additional 27 points earned by clicking on the "earnings" button.

The rewards website identifies some of the online merchants involved, and they include Macy's, Target, Best Buy, iTunes and Staples. One of those online merchants - Target - competes with independent food retailers. Staples will now be hosting Amazon Lockers, and Amazon competes with independent food retailers. The question is whether those independents are going to find themselves sleeping with the enemy...

Reuters reports that "Americans will be able to enjoy relatively cheap Thanksgiving turkeys this year, thanks to many retailers locking in their costs before a drought this year drove up U.S. feed prices. And retailers are determined to keep prices for the traditional Thanksgiving main course as low as possible, even though sky-high corn prices have nearly doubled the cost of producing a pound of turkey meat this year."
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