retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Washington Post has a review of one of Chick-fil-A’s new meal kits, which cost $15.80 and are not, contrary to expectations, take-home versions of the fast feeder’s signature sandwiches. Rather, they “provide the templates for other meals starring the company’s signature ingredient.”

While the kits include a lot of plastic, the reviewer says that the chicken parmesan version that was tested “was quicker and easier to cook than Blue Apron,” and “surprisingly good.”

However, there was a downside: “Then we looked at the nutrition facts and realized that we had each consumed 77 percent of our recommended daily allowance of saturated fat, and 74 percent of our daily sodium.  The ingredient list was novella-length, and packed with preservatives — though a news release proudly points out that, as in Chick-fil-A restaurants, none of the chicken contains antibiotics. Regret set in, as did thirst. We spent the rest of the afternoon chugging water and feeling vaguely puffy. I thought ahead to my next meal. It would definitely be salad.”


• The Oregonian reports that the Orchard Supply hardware store chain, a subsidiary of Lowe’s, is being shut down. All of its stores will be closed by the end of the year.

Originally a non-profit cooperative, Orchard Supply at its height had 99 stores, but has been through bankruptcy and store closures, and earlier in its existence was owned by Sears.

Liquidation sales are slated to begin shortly.


• The Columbus Dispatch reports that the BrewDog Brewery, in Canal Winchester, Ohio - about 15 miles southeast of Columbus - is about to open its DogHouse hotel there, adjacent to the brewery.

Big selling point: Each of the 32 rooms has a beer tap.

Other selling points: “A workout facility with Rogue Fitness equipment, a lobby bar, daily breakfast, and a few dog-friendly rooms, because, of course, its the DogHouse. The hotel also happens to be next to the huge outdoor patio of BrewDog’s pub in Canal Winchester and the company’s dog park.”

They had me at “beer tap.”


Willamette Week reports that Keizer, Oregon, about 45 minutes south of Portland and a little north of Salem, soon will be home to an In-N-Out fast food restaurant. It will be the company’s third Oregon location; the other two are in Medford and Grants Pass, in the southern part of the state.

In-N-Out has not confirmed the opening, but city officials have said that meetings have taken place with the company to discuss ordinances and signage.

No information is available about possible opening dates.

Perfect. A little wine tasting in the Willamette Valley, and then a Double-Double, animal style, on the way home. It really doesn’t et any better than that. I’m estimating that I’ll be in Portland for the summer 2019 semester at Portland State University on or about June 22, so the clock is ticking…Be still my heart.
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