retail news in context, analysis with attitude

CNBC reports that both Kroger and Walgreen announced yesterday that they will be ending the sale of electronic cigarettes as soon as current stocks have sold through, joining the ranks of companies like Walmart and Rite Aid making such decisions.

According to the story, Kroger said the move was due “to the mounting questions and increasingly-complex regulatory environment" surrounding vaping products that have "have come under regulatory and public scrutiny as a mysterious, deadly vaping illness continues to claim lives.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified at least 18 confirmed deaths and 1,080 probable cases across 48 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands as of last Tuesday. Most patients identified vaped THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, according to the CDC. Seventeen percent said they exclusively used nicotine."

Walgreen said that "it made the decision 'as the CDC, FDA and other health officials continue to examine the issue.' A spokesperson for the grocer added that the decision is 'reflective of developing regulations in a growing number of states and municipalities'."
KC's View:
There would appear to be no upside for any retailer continuing to sell this crap, and so I'm glad we are seeing all these retailers not even waiting for municipalities to decide to ban vaping products.

One other thing, and this is just an observation, not a criticism. But I was interested to see a story yesterday about how Dick's Sporting Goods did not decide to sell through its inventory of assault style rifles after announcing (after the mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.) that it would no longer sell them because of concerns about the epidemic of gun violence in this country. No, Dick's actually destroyed more than $5 million worth of assault-style weapons … preferring, as it were, to bite the economic bullet rather than feel complicit in future mass shootings.