retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Albertsons announced that it has joined the Solera Health network of National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) providers, offering the program in its 20 banners.

According to the announcement, the NDPP “uses the aisles of the supermarket to enrich the program material and experience. During the program, participants actively sample and discover new foods throughout the store while learning about healthier meal and snack options to complement their health and wellness goals.  Participants expand their understanding by tasting, touching, and seeing new and healthier foods. The pharmacy team continues service by being available every day to help participants better manage health conditions and medications.”

• The Boston Globe reports on how, in just two weeks, Boston will begin “its transition away from single-use plastic bags in favor of recyclable or reusable options … Only retailers 20,000 square feet or larger will need to have alternative options then, according to the city’s Department of Inspectional Services.

“By April 1, businesses at least 10,000 square feet will need to get rid of their plastic bags. The last start date is July 1, and that’s for all retail establishments less than 10,000 square feet.
There could be some lingering plastic bags after that, but that’s only for retailers that were approved for a one-year exemption because they proved ‘undue hardship’ by the ban.

“Customers can bring their own reusable bags. But if you forget, or just don’t have one, some businesses may begin to sell reusable, compostable, or recyclable bags. These will cost at least a nickel each, and customers will be able to see how much they paid for the bags as it will be broken out on the receipt, the city says.”

CNBC reports that Kraft Heinz “plans to buy paleo condiment and dressing company Primal Kitchen for about $200 million, as the ketchup maker looks for a platform to help compete against upstart brands … The acquisition marks a change of course for the company whose backers, 3G Capital, made a name in large-scale acquisitions and an aggressive approach to cost-cutting. It gives Kraft Heinz, which also owns Miracle Whip and its branded dressings, a foothold with which it will look to fend off competition from upstart brands like Sir Kensington's and Annie's Homegrown.”

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “Sears Holdings Corp. is considering offers from liquidators that would result in the closure of all its stores while Chairman Edward Lampert and Cyrus Capital Partners prepare a bid that would keep the bankrupt retailer in business, according to people familiar with the matter.

“Mr. Lampert, who believes a slimmed-down Sears can emerge from bankruptcy, and Cyrus are expected to make an offer for roughly 500 of Sears’s best-performing stores, the people said. The company’s advisers, however, have contacted a number of liquidation firms seeking offers to shut down Sears’s stores and sell off the company’s merchandise in case the takeover offer falls apart, the people said.”
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