retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Albertsons said yesterday that its third quarter sales were up 1.9 percent to $14.1 billion, driven by a 2.7 percent increase in same-store sales - the eighth consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth. Q3 net income was $54.8 million compared to $45.6 million during the same period a year ago.

The retailer said that Own Brands sales penetration reached a new high of 25.6 percent, while online home delivery and Drive Up and Go sales growth was 34 percent.


• The Washington Post reports that Walmart, CVS, Walgreen and Rite Aid have all filed suit against physicians in northeast Ohio, charging that they "are the real culprits" in the nation's opioid epidemic.

All four of the retailers are facing "an October trial in the mammoth federal opioid litigation," the Post notes, but now are trying to redirect some of the attention.

The Post writes that the retailers say that "opioid prescribers bear responsibility for the prescription narcotic crisis, but unlike the drugstores, have not been sued by Cuyahoga and Summit counties. In legal papers filed Monday, they contended that doctors and other prescribers should have to pay some of the penalty if the drugstore chains are found liable at trial."

Specific doctors are not named in the suites, with the retailers saying that they will be named " if it became apparent during legal proceedings who they are."


USA Today reports that Macy's plans to close at least 19 stores over the next few months, though the company has not confirmed the number. Among them is the company's store in downtown Seattle, which has been shrinking in recent years as floors formerly devoted to retailing were leased out to Amazon.

Accumulating local media reports, USA Today says that stores will close in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington State.
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