retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Wall Street Journal has an interesting nugget of information - that former Pepsi/Walmart/Safeway executive Brian Cornell, before he was offered and accepted the CEO job at Target, was offered the same job at JC Penney, which he declined because he did not think that retailer had much of a future.

According to the piece, JC Penney has been looking for a successor to current CEO Myron Ullman since he was hired back to replace Ron Johnson, the former Apple Store executive, who himself replaced Ullman.

• The National Retail Federation (NRF) is out with its annual listing of the fastest-growing retailers in the country, based on data compiled by Kantar Retail, and it shows that Albertsons - fueled by a "reassemblage of a supermarket empire that stretched from coast to coast in the early part of this century," especially by its acquisition of stores previously owned by Supervalu - is at the top of the list

SpartanNash was in the fifth spot, described as "an aggressively expanding group of traditional supermarkets centered in and around Michigan, (which) moved from gobbling up local grocers to taking over Nash Finch, a Minnesota-based grocery wholesaler and retailer."

CNN reports that things may only get worse for troubled electronics retailer RadioShack, which only has $62 million in the bank and could run out of money a year from now unless it is somehow able to restructure its business.

RadioShack executives have been looking to close stores, but creditors have rebuffed those efforts, and simultaneous moves to rehabilitate what may people see as an irrelevant brand have not gained needed traction.

• The New York Times reported over the weekend on how some entrepreneurs "believe protein-rich insects, and crickets in particular, are poised to ignite a quinoa-like food craze … (they) also think crickets could appeal to people concerned with environmental sustainability. The insects take just six to eight weeks to reach maturity and, because they don’t require much food, water or land and produce low levels of greenhouse gas emissions, they have a smaller carbon footprint than, say, a cow."
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