retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• Target Corp. announced over the weekend that it will begin its Black Friday sales a few hours early this year, opening its doors at 9 pm on Thanksgiving. Last year, the Associated Press writes, Target opened its doors at midnight.

Walmart made a similar announcement earlier this month.

Again, I'm conflicted on this one. I hate that stores are opening on Thanksgiving, but I also get that they have to rethink traditional approaches since Amazon and other online retailers never close.

This is not a trend without a backlash, by the way. says says that more than 20 new petitions have been created on its site "calling on retailers to allow families to spend Thanksgiving together and stick to Black Friday opening times."

Good luck with that.

• The Chicago Tribune reports that "Edward Hospital will open two new health clinics in Jewel-Osco pharmacies in the southwestern suburbs Monday, as the Naperville medical center seeks to expand its reach and draw new patients. The outposts, dubbed Quick Care Clinics, will be staffed with nurse practitioners and physician assistants and offer routine medical treatment, preventive care, vaccinations and health screenings."

• The Associated Press reports that PepsiCo "plans to launch a version of its namesake soda with a fat-blocking fiber called dextrin in Japan. In an announcement on the company's Japanese website, PepsiCo explains how dextrin helps reduce fat levels in blood ... The drink, called Pepsi Special, isn't the first cola with fiber in Japan. The Japanese company Kirin also offers a sugar-free cola with dextrin. Kirin's website says the cola is targeted toward health-conscious men in their 30s and older."

Bad enough that people my age have to limit how much soda they drink because, among other reasons, our bladders aren't what they used to be. Put fiber in our soda, and suddenly all sorts of other problems are going to emerge...

• The San Francisco Business Times reports that Safeway "plans to hire at least 1,000 military veterans in 2013.

"The new workers will join the other 1,300 vets hired to work at Safeway this year. The move is part of a longstanding effort by the Safeway Foundation to support the United States military. Over the past few years the foundation has donated and shipped over 2,000 care packages to soldiers overseas and raised money for a variety or charities helping vets."
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