retail news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Axios reports that "the Biden administration has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency — a move that gives officials more flexibility to tackle the virus' spread … Federal health officials can now expedite preventative measures to treat monkeypox without going through a full federal review."

The story notes that "New York, California and Illinois all declared public health emergencies related to monkeypox in the last two weeks. The World Health Organization has already declared monkeypox a global emergency.  Monkeypox has spread to more than 70 countries in the recent outbreak."



•  From the Associated Press:

"More Americans applied for jobless benefits last week as the number of unemployed continues to rise modestly, though the labor market remains one of the strongest parts of the US economy.

"Applications for jobless aid for the week ending July 30 rose by 6,000 to 260,000 from the previous week’s 254,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday … The four-week average for claims, which evens out the weekly ups and downs, also rose from the previous week, to 254,750.

"The total number of Americans collecting jobless benefits for the week ending July 23 rose by 48,000 from the previous week, to 1,416,000. That figure has been near 50-year lows for months."

"On Tuesday, the Labor Department reported that American employers posted fewer job openings in June as the economy contends with persistently high inflation and rising interest rates.  Job openings fell to a still-high 10.7 million in June from 11.3 million in May. Job openings, which never exceeded 8 million in a month before last year, had topped 11 million every month from December through May before dipping in June."



•  Axios Chicago has a piece about how "every quarter, Mariano's top bosses travel downtown from their suburban headquarters to listen to pitches from local businesses trying to get on their shelves … Called 'What's Next at Mariano's,' the reality-TV-like event gives about 20 locals roughly 15 minutes each to pitch their product and field questions from a panel of executives."

The goal, the story says, is to identify local businesses that can help the Kroger-owned retailer maintain local street cred, ax well as giving appropriate local vendors the opportunity to take the next step.

"Shoppers are always looking for local options," Mariano's division president Michael Marx tells Axios, adding, "We have to look at where they are with capacity and the process of production to make sure they can deliver the product.  The pitch is not the end. If we select your product, it's just the beginning."

Lots of retailers do similar things.  Every retailer should.