retail news in context, analysis with attitude

•  Stamford Patch reports that the Fairway store in Stamford, Connecticut - the only store operated by the rapidly diminishing and bankrupt retailer in the state - now has signs saying that the unit is closing and that "everything is on sale."

While other stores have been sold by Fairway to the likes of Amazon and Wakefern-affiliated Village Supermarkets, this store has remained on the market with no apparent takers.

According to the story, closure is set for on or about August 20.

This store never really caught on - it was like a xerox copy of Fairway's better stores that lost definition in the translation.  Plus, it had strong competition from Stew Leonard's, which is just a few exists east on I-95, and is about to get even more competition from Wegmans, which has opened about a dozen miles away just over the Connecticut-New York border.  At this point, there were no good options.  There weren't even any better bad options.

•  Ahold Delhaize USA, the parent company of Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Hannaford and Stop & Shop, has announced "new sustainability policies for genetically modified food (GMOs) and farm animal welfare … Under the new GMO policy, Ahold Delhaize USA companies are requiring all private brand products to have clear on-pack Bioengineered Food labeling, well ahead of the Federal Bioengineered labeling deadline of January 1, 2022.

"All Ahold Delhaize USA companies support the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. The companies are also committed to monitoring science and assessing risk around GMOs and will look to organizations like the World Health Organization, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to continue to enhance the GMO policy."

•  The New York Times reports that "one of the nation’s largest egg producers has been accused by New York authorities of raking in $4 million in illegal revenue by gouging customers with exorbitantly high prices when the state was grappling with rising coronavirus cases.

"A lawsuit filed on Tuesday by Attorney General Letitia James of New York contends that the producer, Hillandale Farms, at times quadrupled the price of eggs to cash in on a surge in demand in March and April.

"In particular, Hillandale targeted distributors in New York City, as well as the military installations at West Point, Fort Hamilton and Fort Drum, according to the lawsuit.

"The company was not raising prices to offset increased costs, the suit says, but 'simply to line its own pockets and profit off New Yorkers during a time of crisis'."

•  The Seattle Times reports that "Sur La Table, the bankrupt upscale cookware chain, sold for almost $90 million and a promise to keep at least 50 stores open, according to court papers.

A joint venture between e-commerce investment firm CSC Generation and Marquee Brands topped an opening bid from affiliates of Fortress Investment Group at auction last week, according to court papers and a lawyer for Sur La Table’s junior creditors."

The story notes that "Sur La Table, known for its in-store cooking classes and pricey kitchenware, shut its stores as COVID-19 gripped the United States, then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July. The company was headed toward a full-blown liquidation until Fortress stepped in with a so-called stalking-horse offer, which sets the floor for further bids … The sale still needs bankruptcy-court approval."

•  The Wall Street Journal reports that "a venture backed by apparel-licensing firm Authentic Brands Group LLC and mall owner Simon Property Group Inc. has agreed to buy Brooks Brothers Inc. for $325 million.

"The proposed purchase of America’s oldest apparel company, which requires bankruptcy court approval, includes a commitment to keep 125 Brooks Brothers stores open. The retailer has roughly 200 stores in North America … Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy last month after more than two centuries in business, unable to withstand store closures because of the coronavirus pandemic. The company has struggled in recent years with a shift toward more casual dress styles at work."