retail news in context, analysis with attitude

USA Today reports that Procter & Gamble plans to divest its worldwide bleach business, delivering on a pledge by CEO AG Lafley to get out of non-core businesses. (P&G is not in the bleach business in the US.)

In a meeting with analysts this week, Lafley also announced the reorganization of the company's global business units, "reshuffling its market development organizations and renaming them sales organizations. The switch includes consolidating Eastern and Western Europe, while India will be combined with the Middle East and Africa."

According to the story, "Lafley said the company 'wasn't ready to make announcements' about selling other unnamed businesses. Iams pet food, Duracell batteries and Braun small appliances top many analysts' short lists of candidates for sale."

• President Barack Obama this week announced "the development of tough new fuel standards for the nation’s fleet of heavy-duty trucks as part of what aides say will be an increasingly muscular and unilateral campaign to tackle climate change through the use of the president’s executive power," the New York Times writes. "he new regulations, to be drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department by March 2015 and completed a year later so they are in place before Mr. Obama leaves office."

The story goes on to say that "the limits on greenhouse gas pollution from trucks would combine with previous rules requiring passenger cars and light trucks to burn fuel more efficiently and pending rules to limit the carbon emissions of power plants. Cumulatively, experts said the à la carte approach should enable Mr. Obama to meet his target of cutting carbon pollution in the United States by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. But they said he would still be far short of his goal of an 80 percent reduction by 2050."

The Times notes that while environmentalists have endorsed the President's plans, car and truck manufacturers have said that such rules could make vehicles more expensive and less safe, while Republicans have criticized the President for single-handedly imposing "what they consider onerous requirements on vast swaths of the energy economy when Congress has opted against its own intervention."
KC's View: