retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Indianapolis Star reports that "Marsh Supermarkets will open kiosks stocked with Indiana-grown food in 50 of its groceries across the state.

"The kiosks will sell as many as 100 Indiana products, from raw vegetables to processed foods. Marsh will sponsor the kiosks with the Indiana Grown Initiative, a new state program that promotes Indiana foods. The kiosks should make it easier for shoppers to buy locally sourced ag products," according to the initiative.

I hope they do better than Tesco has done in the UK, where the British retailer has come under fire for creating a section called "the best Scottish lamb in season," but which includes lamb from New Zealand. Critics call it deceptive, but Tesco says that the signage makes no claim that all the lamb is Scottish, and that all lamb products are "clearly labeled" with their country of origin. It strikes me that once a company is on the defensive on an issue like this, it is really difficult to change the narrative ... retailers need to be consistent, transparent and accurate ... and two out of three, IMHO, ain't good enough.

Fortune reports that "subscribers to popular streaming services, including XBox Live and Spotify, have filed a lawsuit that claims the city of Chicago’s controversial tax policy on digital entertainment is illegal ... The controversy turns on Chicago’s recent decision to extend its existing 9% 'Amusement' levy, which applies to events like shows and baseball games, to a wide range of online services."

The story goes on: "In a claim that may have national significance, the lawsuit also says the Chicago streaming tax violates the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act, which forbids states and cities from imposing discriminatory internet-only taxes. Specifically, the Chicago subscribers claim the tax is illegal because it treats streaming differently from DVD-by-mail services and also imposes a higher rate than various live forms of entertainment."
KC's View: