retail news in context, analysis with attitude

WLWT-TV in Cincinnati has a story about the newest Kroger store to open there, reporting that "the downstairs of the two-level store includes everything you'd need in a neighborhood grocery store. There's an abundance of fresh produce, frozen foods, spices and meats. Kroger executives also hope to cater to the people living in the apartments above the store with household items."

But above it is the real innovation, with the second floor featuring " a whole new world of the Kroger dining hall experience. On The Rhine Eatery is 7,000 square feet of restaurants, a bar and an outdoor patio space for entertainment."

CNBC reports that Inspire Brands, parent company to Arby's, is acquiring Jimmy John's and its more than 2,800 locations. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Other Inspire restaurant brands include Sonic Drive-In, Buffalo Wild Wings and Rusty Taco.

The story points out that "the acquisition comes as Jimmy John’s faces increasing competition from Potbelly, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Firehouse Subs. Subway, which remains the largest U.S. restaurant chain by number of stores, is trying to stage a comeback after a massive expansion across the U.S. and an unprofitable sandwich deal hurt its business."

The CNBC story also notes that unlike many of its rivals, which use delivery services like GrubHub and UberEats, Jimmy John's has its own in-house delivery service.

• In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that "Target’s checkout registers, website and mobile app went offline for a short period Tuesday afternoon, the third time in three months that a technical glitch affected its shoppers. The outage was brief and didn’t cause as much disruption to shopping as the lengthier shutdown on June 15 did … Target said the difficulty was not related to the security of its systems."

• The National Grocers Association (NGA) yesterday announced that the NGA Spirit of America Award has been given to Wettlin Treppendahl, owner of Treppendahl’s Super Foods of Woodville, Mississippi. The award recognizes him for "dedication and service to the independent supermarket industry" and for his "willingness to engage policymakers" and help shape public policy.
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