business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The National Retail Federation (NRF) is predicting that “an estimated 164 million people are already planning to go shopping Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday … The survey found that of those planning to shop during the long holiday weekend 21 percent (34 million) plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day, but Black Friday will remain the busiest day with 71 percent (116 million) planning to shop. Forty-one percent (67 million) are expected to shop on Small Business Saturday, and 78 percent of those say they will do so specifically to support small businesses. On Sunday, 20 percent (32 million) are expected to shop. The shopping weekend will wrap up on Cyber Monday, when 46 percent (75 million) are expected to take advantage of online bargains.”

• The San Diego Union-Tribune has a story about Jen and Farzan Dehmoubed, “co-founders of Lotus Trolley Bag, a company that makes a popular set of four heavy-duty grocery sacks that hang like accordion files in a shopping cart. Before and after use, they can be folded up into a 2-pound over-the-shoulder carrier that resembles a yoga mat. The couple designed the shopping bags with pockets for things like eggs and wine, and a cooler bag for frozen items.”

According to the story, “the product is going gangbusters, selling in 500 stores, including retailers such as Ralphs, Vons, Jimbos and Albertsons. This is their first venture, and the couple is still reeling from success. After designing the bags, they placed an order for 5,000 units, hoping to sell that many in three months. Instead, the bags sold out in two weeks.” And, the story says, the bag is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the trend toward checkout-free stores, whether it is with Amazon Go-style technology or the use of handheld scanners.

• The Associated Press reports that “Florida is suing the nation’s two largest drugstore chains, alleging they added to the state’s opioid crisis.
Attorney General Pam Bondi announced late Friday that she has added Walgreens and CVS to a state-court lawsuit filed last spring against Purdue Pharma, the maker of oxycontin, and several opioid distributors.”

According to the story, “Bondi said in a press release that CVS and Walgreens ‘played a role in creating the opioid crisis.’ She said the companies failed to stop ‘suspicious orders of opioids’ and ‘dispensed unreasonable quantities of opioids from their pharmacies’.”

CVS and Walgreen have not commented on the suit.

Bloomberg has a story about how small turkeys - as opposed to the enormous, Norman Rockwell-style birds - are becoming more popular. That’s because “smaller families, growing guilt over wasteful leftovers and a preference for free-range fowl have all played roles in the emergence of petite poultry as a holiday dinner centerpiece … Smaller families are fueling the trend. Last year, 62 percent of American households had just one or two people, compared with 41 percent in 1960, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The proportion of single-person homes has risen, too.”

The story goes on: “Don’t call them capons. They’re not castrated chickens. Nor are they chicks. They’re not babies. They’re just turkeys that weigh in the neighborhood of six pounds.

Thanksgiving leftovers? I always thought that was a feature, not a bug. Though I may be the wrong guy to walk about this, since our Thanksgiving meal this week will be ribs, short rib mac and cheese, and some sort of vegetable (to assuage our guilt over all the ribs). And, of course, pie. The only thing I’ll miss about not having turkey, in fact, will be the leftovers…
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