retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Two trade associations, the National Grocers Association (NGA) and Retailer Owned Food Distributors & Associates (ROFDA), announced yesterday that they are putting their merger plans on hold, citing "unexpected circumstances."

No specific reasons were given, but the two groups said they would revisit the issue in meetings at NGA's show in San Diego next month. Both organizations' boards approved the merger last year.

In a joint statement, NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara and ROFDA Chairman David Bullard said that "our organizations will continue working closely on programs and initiatives that are beneficial and bring value to our members."

• Starbucks yesterday said that five years after it launched its Community Store Program initiative, it now will "increase its commitment to open 100 Community Stores dedicated to providing economic opportunity in underserved rural and urban communities across the country, an 85 store increase from its 2015 commitment. These stores will focus on hiring locally, creating dedicated space for communities to come together for events and working with diverse contractors for store construction and remodels. The company aspires to complete this goal by 2025."

• From CNN:

"Bose is significantly shrinking the number of retail stores it operates because of the 'dramatic shift' to online shopping, the company said in a statement.

"The maker of high-end electronics said it's closing 119 retail stores worldwide across North America, Europe, Japan and Australia. It will continue to operate about 130 stores throughout China, the United Arab Emirates, India and some Asian countries.

"Mirroring a broader shift in the retail industry, Bose said that it doesn't need brick-and-mortar stores because its customers are buying their products online. In addition selling products online, Bose products are sold by large retailers like Best Buy and Target, and it also has an Amazon storefront."
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