retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• In Minnesota, the Pioneer Press reports that Iowa-based Hy-Vee has announced its intention to open stores in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market, opening several of its 90,000 square foot stores each year for the next several years. Specific locations and opening dates have not been announced.

Hy-Vee already has 16 stores operating in the southern part of the state.

The Twin Cities region is considered to be one of the most competitive markets in the country, featuring local names such as Lunds/Byerly's, Cub, Target, and Rainbow, as well as national players such as Walmart, Aldi, Costco and Whole Foods.

• The New York Times this morning reports on how "lost in the turmoil over the immense theft of Target’s customer information in the United States has been the remarkable failure of its Canadian expansion. Instead of reaching profitability by the end of the year, as Target had hoped, analysts expect that the company will report this week that the Canadian operations produced an $8 billion to $9 billion loss."

The story goes on to say that "the causes of Target’s stumble in its first foreign excursion are varied." Some suggest that the company should not have tried to open so many stores (124) so quickly. There also are criticisms that there are out-of-stock problems, and that Target's prices are too high.

None of the problems are seen as "irredeemable," the story says, but "exactly how quickly the company can achieve profitability and by what methods it can do so remain unclear."

Advertising Age reports that the Milk Processor Education Program is abandoning its "Got Milk?" ad campaign replacing it with a new slogan, "Milk Life," which "puts emphasis on milk's nutritional benefits, including its protein content," and which the industry group hopes will "return the sluggish dairy milk category to growth."

According to the story, "The national group, known as MilkPEP, plans to spend more than $50 million on the campaign, which will include TV, print, digital, retail promotions and PR."
KC's View: