retail news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Forbes is out with its annual "best places to work for women" list - looking at employer "culture, opportunities for career development, image, working conditions, salary and wages and diversity" - and concluding that a retailer, REI, is best-in-class.

There are, in fact, several retailers on the list - Ulta (#3) and Best Buy (#8) make the top 10 - and three supermarket companies:  Save Mart at # 35, Whole Foods at #39, and H-E-B (#82).

Probably is best to take some of this with a grain of salt - these lists tend to be made up of the companies that want to make them.  Also, there are at least a few companies - JC Penney, for example - that may not be good long-term bets for employment, no matter what your gender.

But it is better to be a great place for women to work than not.  So I don't want to be too cynic al about this.

•  Three months after its originally scheduled opening, delayed because of the pandemic, Wegmans is scheduled to open its first store in New York's Westchester County tomorrow.

The 121,000-square-foot store is in Harrison, a stone's throw from White Plains … about 30 miles north of New York City … and just seven miles or so from the New York-Connecticut border.

It is going to be very interesting to see the impact of Wegmans on the local market.   There's an Ahold-Delhaize-owned Stop & Shop about three miles away with terrible parking that I have toi imagine is really going to feel it.

Stew Leonard's has two stores almost equidistant from Wegmans - one in Yonkers, New York, and the other in Norwalk, Connecticut.  One would imagine that they'll take a bit of a hit, but I also think that Stew's has been raising its game almost from the moment that Wegmans announced it was coming to the market.   The potential is there for some pretty intense competition.

•  Publix Super Markets is out with its quarterly numbers, saying that "sales for the three months ended June 27, 2020 were $11.4 billion, a 21.8% increase from $9.3 billion in 2019. Comparable store sales for the three months ended June 27, 2020 increased 19.9%. The company estimates its sales for the three months ended June 27, 2020 increased approximately $1.5 billion or 16.1% due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Net earnings for the three months ended June 27, 2020 were $1.4 billion, compared to $661.1 million in 2019, an increase of 106.8%."