retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Columbus Business First reports that Lucky's Market, a 10-year-old organic and specialty grocer operating two stores in Colorado, has decided to make "a big leap into Ohio," with plans to open a store later this month in Clintonville.

The story notes that the Clintonville area is proving to be a magnet for foodie-oriented stores, with units operated by Whole Foods, Earth Fare, and Hills Market operating there, and with both Kroger and Giant Eagle upgrading existing stores there to include a stronger specialty foods and organic selection.


United Press International reports that Walmart, Amazon, Sears and several other retailers have pulled a Halloween costume from their shelves - an Osama bin Laden getup that generated complaints from the Sikh Coalition, described as "a U.S.-based Sikh advocacy group sent letters and made phone calls to retailers to ask them to remove the costumes."

“If you lost a loved one during the 9/11 attacks or during our nation's war against Al Qaeda, or if someone attacked your father in a hate crime because he wears a turban, I doubt this costume would make you comfortable,” Rajdeep Singh, director of law and policy at the Sikh Coalition, tells UPI.


• Guiding Stars, the food nutrition rating system pioneered by Delhaize-owned supermarket chains that was created a half-dozen years ago, announced that Concord Hospital in New Hampshire will implement the system in its cafeteria, hoping that it will help staff and visitors make wiser food choices.

Guiding Stars uses a patented algorithm to evaluate foods and then award qualifying foods with one, two and three stars based on whether they are good, better and best for the consumer.


• The Wall Street Journal reports that Starbucks "is beginning to kick some regulars out of its coffee shops.

"In recent months, Starbucks has replaced pastries it used to carry with baked goods made from recipes from La Boulange, a San Francisco bakery Starbucks acquired last year. The company also has been swapping out Kind granola bars, Peeled fruit snacks and Naked Juice in favor of products made by Evolution Fresh, a juice brand that Starbucks acquired in 2011. Under Starbucks, Evolution Fresh branched out and now produces Evolution Harvest snack bars and freeze-dried snacks."

The move is seen as part of Starbucks' broader strategy of converting itself from being a coffee-driven company to one with a broader - and potentially more sustainable - portfolio of CPG products.
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