retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

Reuters reports that Sobeys, the Canadian supermarket chain that acquired Safeway's Canadian assets last year, is selling 30 stores in western Canada as part of its agreement with that nation's antitrust regulators. Twenty-nine of the stores are being sold to Overwaitea Food Group, for $391 million (US), and one is being sold to Federated Co-operatives Ltd.

Reuters reports that Mexico's Grupo Bimbo will buy Canada Bread Company for $1.66 billion (US). The acquisition, the story says, "builds on Grupo Bimbo's large U.S. acquisitions in recent years and strengthens its position as a top breadmaker in North America

• Jos. A Bank Clothiers said yesterday that it will acquire Eddie Bauer for cash and stock based on the outdoor clothing retailer's "enterprise value" of $825 million.

The combination will create “substantial opportunities for growth and synergies while allowing two iconic American brands to share core competencies and demographically similar customer bases,” Jos. A. Bank said.

While acquiring Eddie Bauer, Jos. A Bank also has been fending out attempts by Men's Wearhouse to acquire it, which came after its own failed attempt to acquire Men's Wearhouse.

This is all exhausting. Though the good news, as I've pointed out before, is that it seems likely that we'll all be able to go to Eddie Bauer and buy one down jacket and get three for free.

BTW … here are two interesting though probably useless facts about Eddie Bauer, a company that has been in and out of bankruptcy and owned at various times by corporations such as General Mills and Spiegel. One is that it LL Bean considered buying it a few years ago, which strikes me as a much better fit, but didn't make the deal because it did not make economic sense. The other is that it was run about a decade ago by a well-respected marketer and Harvard Ph.D. named Jack Sansolo … who is a cousin of our own Michael Sansolo.

KC's View: