retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that J. Crew "is developing a new store format aimed at budget-conscious shoppers." Called J. Crew Mercantile, the store "will feature merchandise and prices closer to what shoppers would find at J. Crew Factory, the retailer's outlet stores, than what is available in its full-line stores," the story says, adding that the new format is designed to "help the company broaden its reach to discount-seeking shoppers while in theory not hurting the pricing power of its mainline brand."

Mickey Drexler, the J. Crew CEO, did much the same thing when he was at Gap and he launched the Old Navy brand. He's one of the smartest retailers out there, and so it'll be very interesting to see what he comes up with in designing this new brand.

CNN reports that the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division has determined that Subway franchisees were found to have violated wage and hour rules more than 1,100 times between 2000 and 2013, earning the dubious distinction of being the fast food brand with the most infractions.

McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts came in second and third, respectively.

They'll just have to try harder, I guess.
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