retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Washington Post reports that "the average cost of a full turkey dinner for 10 people will be $49.04, which is 44 cents lower than a year ago, according to an annual survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation, a trade group. Last year’s tally of $49.48 was the highest in the 28-year-old survey’s history."

Cheaper turkeys are said to be mostly responsible for the drop. Booze is not included in the calculations.


• The Associated Press reports that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that "Starbucks baristas must share their tips with shift supervisors who do much of the same work."

According to the story, "Citing the findings by the New York Court of Appeals, the three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit noted that it was undisputed that Starbucks’ shift supervisors spend a majority of time performing the same duties as baristas: serving food and beverages to customers.

"Shift supervisors assign baristas to particular duties during their shifts, administer break periods and provide feedback to baristas about their performance. They also can open and close stores, change cash register tills and deposit money in the bank. But the appeals court said those were limited supervisory duties and do not include hiring and firing employees," which mans that they should be allowed to share in tips.


Time reports that "two groups representing major retailers in the United States and Europe, including Walmart, said Wednesday that they had agreed on stricter inspection standards for thousands of garment factories in Bangladesh. The new requirements, including more sprinkler systems and fire doors, come amid concerns over garment worker conditions following a series of deadly incidents, including the collapse of a factory building in April that left more than 1,130 people dead.

"The two groups were formed after that disaster, representing stores like Walmart and Gap in America, and H&M and Carrefour in Europe, to help determine industry standards amid pressure from labor and consumer groups."
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