retail news in context, analysis with attitude

•  The Associated Press reports that "a military plane carrying enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived Sunday in Indianapolis, the first of several flights expected from Europe aimed at relieving a shortage that has sent parents scrambling to find enough to feed their children … The formula weighed 78,000 pounds, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One as Biden flew from South Korea to Japan.

"Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Indianapolis to greet the arrival of the first shipment.

"The flights are intended to provide 'some incremental relief in the coming days' as the government works on a more lasting response to the shortage, said Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, on Sunday."



•  The Wall Street Journal reports that "small businesses are flashing warning signs on the U.S. economy as inflation, supply-chain snarls, a shortage of workers and rising interest rates darken the outlook for entrepreneurs.

"Fifty-seven percent of small-business owners expect economic conditions in the U.S. to worsen in the next year, up from 42% in April and equal to the all-time low recorded in April 2020, according to a survey of more than 600 small businesses conducted in May for The Wall Street Journal by Vistage Worldwide Inc., a business-coaching and peer-advisory firm.

"The measure is one part of a broader confidence index that in May posted its largest year-over-year drop since the Covid-related shutdowns of April and May 2020. Despite rising prices, the portion of small businesses that expects revenue to increase in the coming year fell to 61%, down from 79% in May 2020."

•  From the Boston Globe:

"It’s a common complaint this spring among businesses that rely on teens for seasonal summer help. The labor market for young people to scoop ice cream, wait tables, and watch over a pool from a lifeguard chair is, like so many things, out of whack in the wake of the pandemic. Even before summer hits, teens are working in large numbers. After a sharp drop early in the pandemic, more than one-third of people aged 16 to 19 held jobs in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the highest teen employment rate since before the Great Recession of 2008.

"And that’s good news for young people who want to make some extra money, with more opportunities and higher wages compared to past years."