retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. has agreed to pay $34.5 million as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over allegations that the company and two former executives misled investors.

“The SEC said it charged Gregory Wasson and Wade Miquelon, the company’s former chief executive and chief financial officer, with misleading investors regarding whether the company the giant drugstore chain would hit a financial target in 2016.” Neither the company nor the two former executives admitted any wrongdoing in agreeing to settle by paying the fines; the story says that Wasson and Miquelon “are both required to pay a $160,000 penalty as part of the SEC order.”

I’m always skeptical about the “we’ll write a check but we really didn’t do anything wrong” defense.

USA Today reports that Chipotle, still in the process of reversing the negative impact of a series of food safety issues over the past few years, is introducing a new frequent customer program: “Enrollees in the program who order online or via the app earn 15 points for every $1 they spend, while those who order in person receive 10 points, according to the company. A free entrée requires 1,250 points.”

The program is being launched in three markets - Phoenix; Kansas City, Kansas; and Columbus. It will roll out nationally next year.

The story notes that Chipotle tested a loyalty program in 2016 called “Chiptopia,” that didn’t end up going anywhere.
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