business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  MLive reports that "Meijer customers picking up groceries at their local stores were surprised when they got them for free this holiday season.

"The company announced that it gave more than 200 customers free groceries when they came to pick up their orders last weekend ahead of Thanksgiving … Team members shared the good news about the Meijer Pickup surprise when customers arrived for their groceries. They were wished a Happy Thanksgiving and given $50 coupons towards their next order."

The company said that the initiative was its way "of showing its pickup customers “how much they’re appreciated especially during a pandemic when the company has seen an unprecedented increase in the use of the program."

•  CNN reports on how "Rite Aid is betting that new stores that put pharmacists at the front instead of the back will help it draw customers at a time when competition from online shopping is surging."

The story says that Rite Aid recently opened such a store in Moscow, Pennsylvania, "the third store of its kind for the chain, and Rite Aid (RAD)has plans to open two more next year."  It is described as including "lower shelves to improve visibility and more natural light, with signs and display fixtures moved away from windows. In addition to a new location for the pharmacist that makes the person more accessible to customers, the store has a 'wellness room' where customers can schedule a visit with a licensed clinician."

CNN notes that "its opening comes at a time when drugstore chains are facing growing competition from online retailers like Amazon as well as big box stores like Walmart and Target that are drawing more customers in the pandemic. That makes it more critical for Rite Aid to make its stores more of a destination."

•  The Wall Street Journal reports that DoorDash "plans to sell 33 million shares in an initial public offering that could give the food-delivery company a valuation of as much as $32 billion.  The San Francisco company said it expects an offering price of between $75 and $85 a share, adding that a pricing at the $80 midpoint of that range would yield net proceeds of about $2.54 billion."

The story says that "in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, DoorDash said co-founders Tony Xu, Andy Fang and Stanley Tang will still hold 69% of the company’s voting power after the IPO.

"DoorDash said it would use proceeds from the offering for general purposes, including working capital, operating expenses and capital spending."

Including, I would guess, the development of retailing businesses like DashMart that will compete directly against DoorDash's  retail clients.

•  From the New York Times:

"Arcadia Group, the British retail company owned by Philip Green that includes the Topshop clothing chain, has gone into administration, a form of bankruptcy, the company said Monday. It is one of the biggest retail collapses in Britain since the start of the pandemic.

"Deloitte has been appointed as the administrator. Arcadia, which has 444 stores in Britain, 22 overseas and about 13,000 employees, said it would keep operating during administration … No layoffs were announced Monday, but it remained unclear how many jobs could be saved as the administrator deals with the group’s finances."