retail news in context, analysis with attitude

•  Bloomberg reports that two pension funds are suing Walmart, accusing it of illegally mishandling opioid painkillers sold through its in-store pharmacies for years.  Both funds are Walmart shareholders.

According to the story, "Media reports and information revealed in a mass of opioid lawsuits in federal court show how Walmart failed to comply with laws mandating monitoring of sales of the highly addictive painkillers, attorneys for the Norfolk County Retirement System and the Police and Fire Retirement System of Detroit said in their suits."

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said that "there is no credible basis to conclude Walmart or its board engaged in any misconduct. We will respond in court as appropriate.”

In addition to the lawsuit, "Walmart and several U.S. pharmacy chains face a November trial before a federal jury in Cleveland in which states and municipalities will seek billions in damages for the companies’ alleged failure to recognize “red flags” about heavily repeated sales of the painkillers."


•  Reuters reports that "Walmart's Mexican unit has launched a mobile phone service available throughout the country, the retailer said on Wednesday.

Called 'Bodega Aurrera Internet y Telefonia,' or BAIT, the service offering prepaid calls and internet usage is available at Bodega Aurrera, Mi Bodega and Walmart store formats … Walmart de Mexico, known as Walmex, said in a statement that the offering is meant to help populations in rural areas, and that shoppers at its stores would receive additional 'megas' of data usage."