retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

•  From the New York Times:

"Leslie H. Wexner will step down as the chief executive and chairman of L Brands as the company announced Thursday that it would sell a majority stake of its crown jewel, the lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret, to a private equity firm. The sale came after months of scrutiny of Mr. Wexner’s close ties to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and questions about the company’s internal culture.

"L Brands said it would sell a 55 percent stake of the lingerie brand to Sycamore Partners, a firm that specializes in retailers, for $525 million. Mr. Wexner will become chairman emeritus of L Brands when the deal is finalized, which is expected this spring. Bath & Body Works, also owned by L Brands, will become a separate public company."

I think a lot of folks are supposed to feel sorry for Wexner because of what is an inglorious end to a long and successful career, but they lose me at "Jeffrey Epstein."

I am so done with companies and executives that have cultures that prey on the defenseless, and as far as I'm concerned, anyone who was doing business with Epstein ought to be drummed out of polite society.  I'd send them to a leper colony, but lepers shouldn't have to be anywhere near these people.  Same goes for the enablers of people like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, and, while we're at it, how about anyone in a management position who moved a member of the clergy from one church to another so they can victimize more kids.  Shut all these institutions down, and send the people who ran them to jail.

•  From the Wall Street Journal, a story about how garlic prices are rising, up 29 percent in February compared to the same month a year ago.

"The reason: the widening coronavirus outbreak is causing disruptions in the supply chain in China, the world’s largest producer of the vegetable."  Largest is right - China grows about 80 percent of the world's garlic.

The impact is likely to felt in the US, where the average citizen consumes about two pounds of garlic a year.

•  From USA Today:

General Mills said this week that it "plans to bolster sales by offering a ready-to-eat breakfast meal complete with real maple berries, dried cherries and almonds. The catch: A box is priced at more than double the cost of an average box of cereal in the U.S.," or about $13 a box.

According to the story, "The cereal (is) aimed at health-conscious consumers also contains organic coconut oil and pumpkin seeds. For sweetness, General Mills added dried sugary cranberries and dried cherries to the blend.

"The sales price is part of a strategy to offer 'compelling innovation' and 'health benefits' that give consumers a reason to walk down the cereal aisle at grocery stores."

General Mills may want to consider funding defibrillators from supermarket cereal aisles, because a $13 box of cereal is going to give a lot of folks a heart attack.