retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Buffalo News reports that Tops Friendly Markets has decided to offer yet another "price lock guarantee" - which has been a centerpiece of its promotional campaign since early last fall - through March 7.

The story notes that "the list includes more than 300 items across several product categories, which will be sold at locked-in, discounted prices … That business strategy holds prices down across the board rather than using a 'high-low' strategy that marks some items up while offering sales and temporary deep discounts on others."

CBS News reports that area customers "have less than two weeks left to shop at Bottom Dollar Food stores. The company says all 46 stores in the Philadelphia area will close January 15th.

Bottom Dollar announced in November that the stores would be closing in early 2015 because its parent company is retiring the brand. Now, it has settled on a date less than two weeks away.

"Rival grocery chain Aldi has bought all the Bottom Dollar stores but has not committed to re-opening them or to rehiring any of the 2,200 employees who will be laid off. Aldi said Friday that those employees will receive severance pay, and some will get job counseling."

• Fast feeder Chick-fil-A said last Friday that it has gotten reports if what is called "unusual activity involving payment cards" used at some of its locations, leading to speculation that it may be the victim of a possible data breach. Company management said that it is working with tech firms and law enforcement officials to determine what happened and who was affected; “We take our obligation to protect our customer information seriously,” the company said in a statement.
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