retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• Supervalu shareholders last week approved the proposed $3 billion acquisition of the company by United National Foods Inc. (UNFI). The deal is expected to close today.

CNN reports that as bad as things are for bankrupt Sears, things are even worse for its Kmart business - it faces diverse competition from Walmart and Target and Macy’s and Dollar Tree, it has had unsustainably thin margins, and has even fewer differential advantages than Sears (which at least had brands such as Kenmore and Craftsman to fall back on, albeit ineffectively).

The general consensus seems to be that Kmart was too far gone to be rescued when Sears CEO Eddie Lampert bought it out of bankruptcy in 2003. Another bad move by Lampert, who I wouldn’t trust to run a gas station.

• The Associated Press reports that “New York City has announced a national effort to reduce sugar in packaged foods by 20 percent. The city’s health department said Friday the endeavor is being undertaken by the National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative, a partnership of about 100 health departments and related groups … The initiative is urging the industry to voluntarily meet sugar reduction goals in 13 food and beverage categories by 2025.”
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