retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Florida Times-Union reports that convenience store chain Wawa is breaking ground for its first two Jacksonville-area stores, with expectations that there could be as many as thirty more in the market.

Last year, Wawa indicated that it "plans to open six stores here in 2017, 10 in 2018 and two to four a year after that," the story says.

• The Associated Press reports that KFC has announced that by the end of the year, the chicken served at its more than 4,000 US restaurants will be free of "certain antibiotics."

According to the story, KFC "is working with more than 2,000 farms around the country to stop using antibiotics important to human medicine. Antibiotics specific to animals may still be used to treat diseases in the chickens."

The AP also says that KFC actually is a little late to the game, that "Chick-fil-A has said that by 2019 it will only serve chicken that has never been given any antibiotics ... and McDonald’s Corp. has stopped using chickens raised with antibiotics important to human medicine for its McNuggets."

While meat producers "give animals antibiotics to make them grow faster and prevent illness," the story notes, health officials "have said that it can lead to germs becoming resistant to drugs, making antibiotics no longer effective in treating some illnesses in humans."

Wait. I'm still trying to get my head around the notion that what KFC serves actually is chicken...

• The New York Business Journal reports that Fred's Inc. has "committed to buying up to 1,200 Rite Aid pharmacy stores," which should be "a big help to Walgreens, which needs to win Federal Trade Commission approval of its $9.7 billion mega-merger with Rite Aid."

Walgreens has set a three-month deadline "for the FTC to either block the merger or let it go forward."
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