retail news in context, analysis with attitude

•  The Associated Press reports that "the number of Americans applying for jobless aid ticked up slightly last week but the total number of Americans collecting benefits remained at its lowest level in more than five decades.

"Applications for unemployment benefits rose by 1,000 to 203,000 for the week ending May 7, the Labor Department reported Thursday. First-time applications generally track the number of layoffs.

"The four-week average for claims, which evens out some of the weekly ups and downs, rose 4,250 from the previous week to 192,750.

"The total number of Americans collecting jobless benefits for the week ending April 30 fell by 44,000 from the previous week to 1,343,000. That’s the fewest since January 3, 1970."



•  Virginia Business reports that Publix Super Markets continues it march northward, as it announced that it will open its first store in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia.  No timeline has been set for construction and opening of the planned 45,000 square foot unit.



•  Advantage Solutions announced yesterday that it has acquired Brandshare, described as "a leading provider of omnichannel brand experiences through product sampling and digital engagement," from private equity investors Aperion Management, Leeds Novamark Capital and Ocean Avenue Capital Partners.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The announcement notes that "Brandshare partners with consumer packaged goods manufacturers, retailers and others to bring to life e-commerce, venue-based and event-based sampling; digital marketing campaigns; and consumer engagement initiatives, such as reward bags."