retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Post City Daily reports that Publix plans to open its first store in Wilmington, North Carolina, in late 2016.

The story says that the store will be sandwiched between a Harris Teeter and a Food Lion, and is part of the company's "aggressive" drive to open stores in North Carolina.

That's a helluva retail sandwich ... Publix, Harris Teeter and Food Lion.

Fascinating piece in the New York Times about why Starbucks recently raised the price of sups of coffee purchased from its stores at a time when wholesale coffee prices actually have been dropping significantly.

The reason, it seems, has very little to do with coffee, which represents less than 10 percent of Starbucks' expenses - a lot more money goes into real estate, wages, extensive employee benefits, equipment, distribution, marketing, and technology. In addition, Starbucks made the determination that it needed to wring a little more profitability out of its stores, which meant raising prices a little bit ... which delighted the investor class and didn't seem to have much impact on its core customers.

Speaking for myself, if spending an extra dime or so on a latte allows Starbucks to treat its people better and offer stronger benefits, I'm okay with that.
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