retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Associated Press reports that "nearly a million jars of peanut butter are being dumped at a New Mexico landfill to expedite the sale of a bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall … Bankruptcy trustee Clarke Coll said he had no other choice after Costco Wholesale refused to take shipment of the Sunland Inc. product and declined requests to let it be donated to food banks or repackaged or sold to brokers who provide food to institutions like prisons."

The 950,000 jars of peanut butter weighs about 25 tons, the story says.

There are going to be some armadillos out there, I suspect, that are going to be scavenging for white bread and grape jelly.

• The Los Angeles Times reports that the manufacturer of Four Loko has "agreed to sharply curb its marketing of the fruit-flavored drinks as part of a legal settlement with 20 state attorneys general and San Francisco City Atty. Dennis Herrera. 

"The settlement comes nearly four years after Phusion Projects, based in Chicago, voluntarily removed caffeine from its drinks in 2010 shortly before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration definitively banned the stimulant as an ingredient in alcoholic beverages."

The agreement with Four Loko, which has "been blamed in scores of deaths and hospitalization of young people," also means that "the company cannot market Four Loko on college campuses or promote binge drinking and is forbidden from hiring actors under the age of 25 or who appear to be under 21 to promote its products. It also cannot use any college logos or mascots in its marketing materials and must monitor its social media feeds and remove any references or photos of people drinking caffeinated alcoholic beverages.

Reuters reports that "Target Corp and Trustwave Holdings Inc, which provides credit card security services, have been sued by two banks for 'monumental' losses they say card issuers will face because of the retailer's holiday season data breach … Trustmark National Bank and Green Bank NA accused the defendants of failing to properly secure customer data, enabling the theft of about 40 million payment card records plus 70 million other records, including addresses and phone numbers."

The story notes that while "Target already faces dozen of lawsuits over the breach," this new suit "may be the first to focus on Trustwave, a privately held Chicago-based company to which the banks said Target had outsourced some data security services."

• In Washington, DC, WTOP reports that Whole Foods Markets :"will open a monthly pop-up shop at the Gateway Pavilion on the east campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital. The shop will sell fruits, vegetables, meat and fish at the pavilion. The goal is to increase access to healthy foods for residents east of the Anacostia River …
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