retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• Analyst Michael Douglass writes in the Motley Fool that he believes that the Harris Teeter acquisition by Kroger is going to be good for both companies - especially because tougher competition from Walmart was inevitably going to make it tougher for Harris Teeter.

"As the largest grocery chain in the U.S., it can bring scale advantages and additional capital resources to protect and increase Harris Teeter’s market share in the Southeastern U.S.," Douglass writes. "Given Kroger’s track record of business management, which includes 10 consecutive years of positive comps and eight consecutive years of lowering costs, Harris Teeter will have additional resources and management talent to compete and retain and grow market share.”

Douglass's comments were relayed by the Cincinnati Business Courier.

I'll be shocked if this deal doesn't work out well for both Kroger and Harris Teeter. The synergies - to use an overused term - dimly make enormous sense.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that the $1.2 billion sale of Dole Food to its CEO and founder, David Murdock, has been narrowly approved by a vote of shareholders; it is the second time Murdock has taken the company private in a decade. However, the story also says that "several large holders plan to seek a second opinion on the deal price from a judge … Judges in appraisal cases have often awarded more than the offer price, especially in buyouts by large shareholders like Mr. Murdock. An appraisal could result in petitioners receiving a lower as well as a higher price, and a decision often can take years."

• The Wall Street Journal reports that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has okayed the $1.2 billion merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, an approval that "comes even as antitrust authorities under the Obama administration have stepped up efforts to block so-called horizontal deals that leave industries more consolidated … The merger green light means the pair likely will announce a new CEO to oversee the combined enterprise."
KC's View: