retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Alibaba, the Chinese Internet behemoth, yesterday filed for an initial public offering in the US, which is expected to raise as much as $15 billion. The numbers being bandied around suggest that Alibaba could end up with a higher market capitalization even than Google, and Alibaba described itself in its filing as "the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world."

• The Associated Press reports that Nestle Purina PetCare Co. has filed a lawsuit against Blue Buffalo Co., accusing it of false advertising, disparagement and unjust enrichment and saying that it has been "misleading consumers about the ingredients in its dog and cat foods."

According to the story, "Blue Buffalo advertises that its pet foods contain natural ingredients and do not contain chicken or poultry byproduct meals. The company also says the pet foods do not contain corn, wheat or soy - potential allergens for some pets. The suit claims that testing by an independent lab and funded by Purina showed that several Blue Buffalo products contained 'significant' percentages of poultry byproduct meal and corn. The suit also says several products promoted as 'grain-free' contain rice hulls."

USA Today reports that Office Depot plans to close at least 400 stores by the end of 2016, resulting in annual savings of about $75 million. The story says that "the company's merger with OfficeMax resulted in an overlap of retail locations that needed to be consolidated."
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