retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Kroger "plans to open a culinary training facility at the downtown building it acquired in February." The company "plans to spend $2.5 million to remodel the building at 901 Elm St. to turn it into the Kroger Culinary Center, according to plans disclosed in a recently filed memo from Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black to city council members and Mayor John Cranley."

According to the story, "Kroger plans to remodel the property into a culinary training and education center for its employees. In addition to training Kroger employees, the facility will serve as 'testing ground for new food products and trend research'."

• The Associated Press reports that Albertsons-owned Shaw's "has agreed to reverse a policy and resume contributions to food pantries throughout New England." The story says that Shaw's changed a longtime donation policy in 2013 when "re-evaluating a number of our business processes." Now, apparently, that re-evaluation has come to an end, and the company in jumping back into the food donation business with both feet, and will be working with Feeding America to roll it out chain-wide.

Biz Times reports that following Kroger's $866 million acquisition of Roundy's, "some changes are expected this year at Wisconsin Pick ’n Save and Metro Market stores. Chief among them are what the stores look like and which products they carry, at what prices."

"Among the changes coming down the pike this year are store remodels, as well as pricing and product shifts," James Hyland, vice president of corporate communications and public affairs at Roundy’s, tells the site, adding, "“There’s obviously going to be changes in product that people will see and there will be pricing changes and there may be some changes to the store. We have committed to increase our capital spending throughout all of our Wisconsin banners. While we don’t publicly disclose our spending plans, over time our customers will notice changes in merchandising, pricing and store aesthetics.”
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