retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Re/code reports that in 2016, Apple Pay will be available for use at Starbucks, Chili's and KFC.

According to the story, "When Apple Pay was first launched in October 2014, critics pointed out that it didn’t work at many stores. Over the past year, the company has slowly brought on more merchants — although its coverage is still far from comprehensive — and integrated store loyalty programs to woo customers."

Re/code notes that "Starbucks already has a hugely successful mobile payments service built into its own app, which accounts for 20 percent of all Starbucks in-store transactions. That service is connected to Starbucks’ loyalty program, meaning people who use their app to pay earn rewards in the process." There is no word about whether Starbucks customers who use Apple Pay will get Starbucks reward points.

• The Baltimore Sun reports that C&S Wholesale Grocers plans to close two Maryland distribution centers that have been serving Safeway stores in the region and move those operations to other facilities. The decision is likely to affect as many as 700 full-time and part-time employees, the story says.

• The Teamsters said yesterday that it has reached a tentative agreement with Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons, and that unionized employees will vote on the pact at the end of next week. The new deal would avoid a strike that was authorized a couple of weeks ago.

The announcement notes that the pact, if approved, would cover more than 8,000 drivers, warehouse, dairy and manufacturing workers at the three chains.
KC's View: