retail news in context, analysis with attitude


•  Reuters reports that "U.S. senators are calling for investigations of record profit margins for beef processors like Tyson Foods and Cargill, after ranchers complained surging meat prices due to coronavirus hoarding did not translate into higher cattle prices.

"Futures prices for cattle have tumbled during the outbreak, worrying farmers as the U.S. economy heads into a downturn and fueling questions about whether the market run by CME Group is an effective tool for risk management.

Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa wrote on Twitter that U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice and Commodity Futures Trading Commission probes may be needed to determine why ranchers did not benefit from soaring meat demand."

Grassley wrote, ""Beef is flying off grocery shelves but farmers are seeing prices go down … If packers are illegally manipulating markets during crisis, we need USDA & DOJ & CFTC to investigate + help farmers. Four companies control 80% of market & they're taking advantage."


•  A sign of the times…

The Minneapolis /St. Paul Business Journal reports that "Delta Air Lines Inc. has ceased carrying its inflight Sky Magazine, which was published in Minneapolis by MSP Communications.

"A Delta spokesman said that the Atlanta-based airline has removed all non-essential items from its seat backs as part of a streamlined cleaning process aboard airplanes brought on by the spread of coronavirus. He would not say if the move is permanent or temporary."

I'd bet that this is permanent.  Airline magazines seem like an obsolete offering these days, a reflection of the past rather than the future.

But Delta, along with its airline brethren, has bigger problems - like getting its planes in the air again.