retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Kroger Co. said yesterday that it is establishing "two new supermarket divisions, a Dallas division and a Houston division. Previously, both markets were served as part of Kroger's Southwest division." The Dallas division includes 105 stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth and in the Shreveport and Alexandria, Louisiana area. The new Houston division includes 109 stores in the greater Houston region, as well as stores in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

"Kroger also announced that Dana Zurcher has been promoted to serve as president of the company's new Dallas division. Bill Breetz, who has been serving as president of the Southwest division since 2002, will continue to oversee operations in Texas and Louisiana for the remainder of the year, and serve as president of the new Houston division."

• The Chicago Sun Times reports that as part of an ongoing restructuring and cost-reduction plan, Walgreen plans to eliminate about 370 corporate headquarters positions.

According to the story, spokesman James Graham says that "employees who will be cut will be told throughout the month ... there are no plans for additional staff cuts in the near future."

Betcha this is doing wonders for the morale at Walgreen HQ ... everybody is going to be watching the door, wondering if George Clooney or Anna Kendrick are going to walk in...

CNN reports that the number of US Starbucks locations serving beer and wine during the evening hours has grown to 70, with the company "expanding the menu to include booze at coffee shops in New York City, Denver, Miami, the Orlando suburbs and northern California ... The drinks are served alongside dishes that are not the usual Starbucks fare. Small plates include truffle mac & cheese, chicken skewers, artichoke & goat cheese flatbread, meat balls with tomato basil sauce, bacon-wrapped dates, a cheese plate and truffle popcorn."
KC's View: