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• In the UK, Tesco announced that it plans to close two distribution centers and overhaul its distribution network in a way that will reduce overall staffing by about 500 jobs, according to a story in the Guardian.

At the same time, Reuters reports that the Kantar Worldpanel figures say that Tesco had a pretty good holiday sales period - "Tesco sales grew 1.3 percent during the 12 weeks to Jan. 1, outperforming no.2 chain Sainsbury's, whose sales fell 0.1 percent, Asda , down 2.4 percent, and Morrisons, up 1.2 percent.

"Kantar's data also showed that inflation returned to the market with underlying grocery prices rising 0.2 percentage points during the period, the first increase in prices since 2014."


• The Wall Street Journal reports that "the National Fisheries Institute, six seafood companies and two other seafood industry associations have filed a lawsuit to prevent the Obama administration from implementing a final rule to crack down on seafood fraud." The coalition of groups " accused the administration of failing to disclose the data it used to draft the rule, which it said is a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act."

The Journal writes that "the lawsuit was filed because the rule fails to adequately take into account the cost and impact of complying with the rule for seafood companies that are 'doing the right thing,' NFI, the leading U.S. seafood industry trade association, said in a statement issued Monday." The coalition says that the government's “shift from targeted investigation of the suspected guilty to arbitrary and massive data collection from the innocent creates an enormous economic burden on American companies that import and process the seafoods that families enjoy nightly."


• Candy company Mars Inc. said yesterday that it is acquiring pet health care company VCA for about $7.7 billion, including $1.4 million in debt.

The New York Times reports that this is an expanded focus on pets for Mars, which currently has 39 pet-oriented brands in its portfolio and soon will have a majority of its business focused on pets; VCA "owns about 800 animal hospitals, a lab business and dog day care franchises that operate under the name Camp Bow Wow." VCA will operate as a separate and distinct business, the companies said.
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