retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that "Giant Eagle's promotion promising to 'lock' prices on certain items -- first introduced last October -- has resonated with consumers enough that the O'Hara grocer plans to try another round. The company today said it will guarantee that prices on certain items won't change at least until spring, although this time around the grocer isn't giving a specific cut-off date. The first promotion was officially set to end Jan. 2."

Giant Eagle has said that the price-lock program represents a "multi-million dollar investment."

• The Seattle Times reports that Starbucks plans to challenge the decision of a bankruptcy court to award ownership of Tully's Coffee to an investor group led by actor Patrick Dempsey that bid $9.15 million for the company.

According to the story, Starbucks says "it plans to back a filing in which Tully’s franchisee AgriNurture outlines why it believes AgriNurture and Starbucks’ bids should be accepted ... Together, Starbucks and AgriNurture have offered to buy all 47 Tully’s locations for $10.56 million. Starbucks wants 25 of those stores, which it would rebrand Starbucks ... The filing said that during last week’s auction, Dempsey’s lower bid was chosen because of concerns about whether Green Mountain Coffee Roasters would consent to the deal. Green Mountain bought Tully’s wholesale business and the rights to its name in 2009."
KC's View: