retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Orlando Sentinel reports that “Publix Supermarkets made $8.8 billion in the third quarter, even though it struggled to match big sales from Hurricane Irma last year … Sales increased 3.2 percent, but same-store sales were up just 0.6 percent because the company saw a massive boost last year from high demand because of the storm.”

The story notes that “even so, net earnings soared for the Lakeland-based supermarket chain to $677.7 million, up 42.7 percent from last year’s third quarter. Much of the sales increases came from new stores opened over the last year. It also benefited from lower corporate income tax rates passed last year.”

• In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that United Natural Foods Inc.-owned Supervalu has no intention of closing its Cub Foods chain, though it is on the sales block: “The process of finding a buyer is likely to take several months, but executives at Cub, Supervalu and United Natural Foods have started. They aim to sell the 78-store chain as one unit rather than in pieces.”

Engadget reports that Sears is asking the bankruptcy court overseeing its operations for permission to sell its home improvement business to, an Airbnb-like service that helps home owners find contractors, for $60 million.
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