retail news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Publix Super Markets announced that "as a token of appreciation for their service, Publix will offer veterans, active military and their families a 10% discount on their groceries on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11.

"To receive the discount, at checkout customers must present a veteran or military ID card discharge document or driver’s license with veteran designation.  This discount is for in-store purchases only."


•  The New York Times reports that "Macy’s, the largest department store in the United States, plans to invest $30 million over the next five years into three financing channels meant to support businesses run by people from underrepresented groups in the retail industry. It is working with Momentus Capital, which will oversee the loan fund. The retailer, which brought in $25 billion in annual revenue in 2021, said total financing for these programs would equal $200 million.

"The money will be offered in the form of loans for working capital and commercial real estate, as well as growth equity capital. Macy’s executives said they wanted both the vendors it works with now and new ones to be involved with the program. They expect the initiative to boost profits for the company, they said, in part because they believe their customer base will expand and diversify."

The program began to stake shape when, "a year and a half ago, while analyzing spreadsheets and data, Macy’s executives determined that something didn’t add up. They saw that some vendors from underrepresented groups were well regarded by Macy’s merchants and consistently provided quality service, but were only doing less than $10 million in business with the department store when they could have been doing more.

"For example, Macy’s wanted to grant a Black female-owned trucking company more business to transport goods from its distribution centers to the stores. The company was unable to take on the extra business because it could not afford to buy the additional trucks it would need, according to Adrian Mitchell, Macy’s chief financial officer.  'It became very, very apparent that the combination of capital and support were in the way,' Mr. Mitchell said."

It is called putting your money where your mouth is.  Good for Macy's.


•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"Blue Apron Holdings Inc. on Monday cut its target for fiscal 2022 after the online meal kit company posted lower-than-expected revenue for the third quarter and awaits funds from its largest stockholder.

"Shares of Blue Apron fell 15% Monday to $1.77 after the company withdrew its revenue growth target of 7% to 13% for the year. The company had forecast revenue growth between $503.3 million and $531.6 million.  It reported $470.4 million in revenue for 2021. Its shares are down 73% year to date."