Published on: December 13, 2019…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…
• The Richmond Times-Dispatch
reports that Wegmans plans to build a $175 million, one million square-foot grocery warehouse in Virginia's Hanover County "to support the Rochester, N.Y.-based chain’s growth as it continues expanding into the South with more grocery stores.
"The family-owned retailer entered the Virginia market in 2004 and now has 12 stores in the state. It opened its first North Carolina location three months ago — in Raleigh — and has announced plans for at least five more stores in the Research Triangle area of the Tar Heel state."
There will be three buildings - one for dry groceries, one for refrigerated perishable foods and a third one for frozen foods - all built in a single phase and expected to be fully operational in three years.
• National Public Radio
reports that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled yesterday that McDonald's cannot be held responsible for the labor practices of its franchisees.
The story says that this is "the latest ruling in a years-long union case that sought to hold the fast food chain liable for the treatment of all workers at both corporate and franchise locations. The agency … The case was closely watched because it had potential implications for a vast array of companies that rely on franchising and contracting for work, such as janitorial services, trucking, construction and warehousing."
An appeal is expected in the "long and bitter litigation" that "began in 2015, when the Service Employees International Union accused McDonald's and its franchisees of retaliating against hundreds of workers who supported the Fight For $15 labor movement."
• The New York Times
this morning reports that "the family behind Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Panera Bread and Pret A Manger is donating 5 million euros, or $5.5 million, to an assistance fund for Holocaust survivors after learning that the family business once used forced labor and supported the Nazi regime.
"The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which seeks reparations for Holocaust survivors and funds social services, announced the donation on Thursday.
"The donation was made by the Reimanns, one of Germany’s richest families, through the family foundation, the Alfred Landecker Foundation. The family controls the JAB Holding Company, which is worth more than $20 billion and also owns or has controlling stakes in Peet’s Coffee, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Keurig and other breakfast brands."
reports that Pepsi plans to come to market with a limited edition coffee-cola beverage, Pepsi Cafe, which "will come in two flavors: original and vanilla. The coffee-infused cola beverage has nearly twice as much caffeine as regular Pepsi."
Coca-Cola has a version, Coke Plus Coffee, that it sells outside the US, but has not said when it may be available in the US.
• The Los Angeles Times
this morning reports that SuperShuttle, "the shared van ride that has served passengers heading to and from airports around the world," is going out of business and will close down at the end of the year.
The reason: competition from Uber and Lyft made the business increasingly unprofitable.
Some context from the Times
story: "Shared van services such as SuperShuttle have been hit hard since the advent of ride-hailing services. At LAX, shared van rides plunged by two-thirds in the first half of this year compared with the first half of 2016, the first full year that Uber and Lyft operated there, according to city data. Trips on LAX’s FlyAway buses also sank by two-thirds during that time; taxi trips fell 39%; and courtesy shuttles to car rental facilities, parking lots and hotels saw a 20% decline. The number of Uber and Lyft trips, meanwhile, more than doubled."Yet another example of how disruptors can bring down a business that doesn't do anything to adapt to changing consumer preferences.
reports that ride hailing service Lyft is starting a car rental business, "allowing customers to rent a vehicle without having to go to the counter … The service is initially available for select customers in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Users tap the key icon on their app to start the process.
"The rental option includes unlimited miles, and Lyft said it will handle refueling at market price … vehicles come equipped with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and phone chargers,” with free add-ons "like ski racks, car seats, and tire chains."And the disruptions continues…