retail news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which used to be the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) is no more. Its latest change of name - to the Consumer Brands Association (CBA) - took effect this week.

Under its new mandate, CBA says it plans to focus on HBC and GM, expanding on its previous focus on food and beverage.

CBA CEO Geoff Freeman tells The Hill that "CBA's main goals will involve championing smart regulations for the industry, building frictionless supply chains, enhancing packaging sustainability and building consumer trust."

“We are looking at issues through the lens of the totality of the industry. To think of the metaphorical grocery store, we are looking at aisles one through 15 and we’re saying, ‘what does the industry have in common?’ That’s our sweet spot,” Freeman says.

Well, this time they're going to have to get new towels. I also hope they get a different attitude toward consumers, because where GMA got in trouble - and lost members - in my opinion, was when it seemed to lose touch with consumer priorities. The industry isn't worth a hill of beans if it is seen as being out of touch with the folks it supposedly serves.


• The Houston Business Journal reports that Belden's, described as a Houston institution serving the city's Jewish community, is closing after a half-century in business.

At least in part, the closure is blamed on Hurricane Harvey, which forced a lot of its customers to leave the area, the story says.

At the same time, Albertsons-owned Randalls in the Houston market is closing five stores, which will leave it with 17 in the area.

"In such a competitive environment, our company must sometimes make tough decisions to close underperforming stores so that we can reinvest in our remaining stores in the marketplace," Randalls said in a statement.

The Business Journal writes that this is just the latest Randalls' closing over the past few years, as the company has consolidated its operations.
KC's View: