retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Ahold Delhaize-owned Martin’s Food Markets "announced that the eight remaining Martin’s stores in the Richmond area and one in Williamsburg not being sold to Publix Super Markets will close July 10 and Aug. 2 ... Publix is buying 10 Martin’s stores, seven of which have already closed and are undergoing renovations before reopening."

The story notes that "last year when Royal Ahold NV merged with the parent company of Food Lion, Belgium-based Delhaize Group, federal antitrust regulators required the merged entity to divest itself of stores in markets where their business overlapped. Ahold Delhaize sold 10 Martin’s stores to Publix and put the others up for sale."

Eater reports that the iconic Portland, Oregon-based ice cream chain Salt & Straw has gotten a "substantial investment" from Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group, which created and grew the Shake Shack brand.

According to the story, "Perhaps America’s most famous restaurateur, Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group are clearly poised for expansion, eyeing up-and-coming franchises molded after his company’s vision. Union Square Hospitality Group invested in California’s Tender Greens in 2015 and New York’s Joe Coffee in January 2017."

Eater says that despite the investment, Salt and Straw CEO Kim Malek and her cousin, ice cream maker Tyler Malek, retain majority ownership.

• Last month, MNB took note of an Associated Press report that Greek yogurt company Chobani has filed a lawsuit against Alex Jones, the right-wing radio host, and his InfoWars website, charging that Jones posted fabricated stories "that linked Chobani owner Hamdi Ulukaya and the company to a sexual assault case involving refugee children."

Now, to resolve the suit, Jones has gone on the air and said, "During the week of April 10, 2017, certain statements were made on the InfoWars Twitter feed and YouTube channel regarding Chobani L.L.C. that I now understand to be wrong. The tweets and video have now been retracted and will not be reposted. On behalf of InfoWars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did.”

Chobani released a statement saying that the lawsuit has been resolved.

I said then that I wished Chobani luck in smacking down a bully who "manages to consistently combine ignorance with inflammatory rhetoric, resulting in nothing more than verbal flatulence. (His claims about 9/11 and Sandy Hook are particularly reprehensible.)" I'm glad they got an apology. The story doesn't say anything about a financial settlement, but I hope they also got a big check.
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