retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Los AngelesTimes reports that, as expected, "Grocery workers across Southern California voted to authorize a strike against Ralphs and Albertsons, which includes Vons, Pavilions and Safeway stores ... The vote by 47,000 United Food and Commercial Workers members gives union officials the power to call for a strike if the supermarkets don’t back down on their demands. The grocery companies and union have 10 meetings scheduled through the end of July."


• The Dallas Morning News reports that employee-owned WinCo Foods "is building an 830,000-square-foot distribution center in Denton. That’s big enough to supply between 25 and 35 stores, depending on each store’s volumes, said spokesman Dave Butler."

WinCo currently has seven stores in Texas, and two more in the works.


USA Today reports that Trader Joe's "has agreed to a $500,000 settlement arising from leaky refrigeration systems that contribute to global warming under an agreement with the federal government. The chain is expected to spend an additional $2 million over the next three years as part of a settlement announced Tuesday by the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency to improve the equipment at 453 stores nationwide. The stores have been leaking a coolant called R-22, which government attorneys say depletes the ozone layer and is a greenhouse gas. They had alleged the leak violates the Clean Air Act and federal stratospheric ozone regulations."


• The Wall Street Journal reports that "UK sporting goods retailer Sports Direct International PLC is in talks with Modell’s Sporting Goods about a potential deal to acquire as many as 200 Sports Authority stores out of the retailer’s bankruptcy, according to people familiar with the situation ... Bids for Sports Authority store leases are due Thursday, and stores with leases that go unsold are in danger of going dark. With going-out-of-business sales in full swing at some 450 Sports Authority stores, the possible deal could be the last hope of saving anything of the ailing business. Sports Authority filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in March and is expected to wrap up its liquidation by the end of July."
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