retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Dallas Morning News reports that "German grocer Lidl has started seeking approvals from local cities for new stores and has purchased land in North Texas as it prepares for its U.S. expansion. A search of area county records found a half dozen locations where Lidl has either purchased land or set in motion planning and zoning requests in Frisco, McKinney, Little Elm, North Richland Hills, Rockwall and Wylie ... So far, Lidl has spent more than $10 million on land purchases in North Texas, according to county records."

• The Financial Times reports that China's largest dairy company, Yili Group, plans to bid $850 million to acquire Stonyfield from Danone.

Danone said last month that in order to satisfy antitrust concerns about its acquisition of White Wave Foods, it would sell the Stonyfield organic yogurt business.

Fox Business reports that Macy's has reported yet another tough quarter, with same-store sales that were down 5.2 percent, "marking the ninth straight quarter that same-store sales have fallen."

Of course, Macy's is not alone: "Kohl's Corp., Nordstrom Inc. and Hudson's Bay Co., which owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, also reported declines in same-store sales for the three months ended April 29."

Successful Farming reports that Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, two weeks after taking office, has proposed "the first reorganization of USDA since 1994 ... The Perdue package creates a new position, undersecretary for trade; this abolishes the undersecretary for rural development so Perdue would directly oversee economic development programs and puts one undersecretary in charge of farm subsidies and land stewardship, responsibilities now split between two undersecretaries."

Unaffected by the reorganization, the story says, "are USDA wings devoted to public nutrition; food safety; agricultural marketing and regulatory programs; and research, education and economics. Three-fourths of USDA spending flows through public nutrition programs such as food stamps and school lunch."
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