retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Politico.com reports that "the farm bill collapsed in the House Thursday, the victim of continued divisions over food stamp cuts and the shape of future agriculture subsidies.

"The 195-234 vote is an embarrassment for the Republican leadership and caps a remarkable year in which the GOP first blocked any farm bill floor action last summer and now was unable to prevail even after Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor won key amendments in the final hours.

"Both amendments contributed to a deterioration of Democratic support even as the GOP still lost 62 of its own members on the right."

According to the story, for many legislators "the 'last straw' had been a Cantor-backed amendment that opened the door to states imposing more work requirements on able-bodied food stamp recipients."

The story notes that "at a time when sequestration is bleeding government agencies of discretionary funds, the farm bill had been one of the few examples of the parties working together to reduce mandatory spending. The Senate version promises more than $24 billion in 10-year savings; the House, $39.7 billion. Even a split would have been the first real progress on the deficit prior to the appropriations and debt battles that will follow after Labor Day.


• The St Louis Business Journal reports that The Fresh Market has signed a letter of intent that should allow it to open its first store in St. Louis.

The company is said to have been looking at the market for some time; so far, the story says, "The Fresh Market has opened two locations, with another 32 slated to open by the end of 2013."


• In Toronto, the Globe and Mail reports that Loblaw Cos. has "rolled out a 10,000-square foot outlet in Calgary called the Box by No Frills, which is a smaller version of its discount outlet that it started in Ontario and has expanded to western provinces. Now the Brampton, Ont.-based retailer is experimenting with a new twist to its high-performing No Frills stores for city locations in a race among all grocers to find coveted urban locations to respond to growing demand from consumers who are moving back to cities."

The story says that The Box offers “a quick and convenient shopping experience with low prices on fresh food, grocery and general merchandise items," and even "highlights $1 items in most aisles."


• The Los Angeles Times reports that Sun Capital Partners, parent company to Boston Market, has acquired hamburger chain Johnny Rockets, which has 300 restaurants in 30 states and 16 countries.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

I'm always amazed to find out that Boston Market is still in business.
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