retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Content Guy’s Note: Stories in this section are, in my estimation, important and relevant to business. However, they are relegated to this slot because some MNB readers have made clear that they prefer a politics-free MNB; I can't do that because sometimes the news calls out for coverage and commentary, but at least I can make it easy for folks to skip it if they so desire.

• It is a presidential campaign season, and so it probably was inevitable that someone would weigh in on the recent announcement that Kroger would be laying off hundreds of middle managers throughout its various chains around the country.

In this case, it was Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), currently a front runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, who weighed in on Twitter, saying that unions are "fighting for Kroger's success, but who in Kroger is fighting for workers?"

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Warren also pointed to the fact that the layoffs come after a period during which Kroger invested in stock buybacks; last year, the story notes, "Kroger spent $2.4 billion repurchasing its stock." It is time, Warren wrote, "to return power to working people."

The Enquirer writes that Kroger responded to the criticism by saying that "Kroger is proud to be one of America’s largest employers. In addition to creating more than 100,000 new American jobs over the past decade, we continue to invest in our employees by both raising wages and through a new education assistance program called Feed Your Future…"
KC's View: