business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Bloomberg reports that Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market "was sued Monday by a group of former employees who say the grocer’s $1.9 billion retirement plan is plagued by excessive administrative fees."

According to the story, the complaint charges that "the Whole Foods plan paid between $31 and $34 per person in annual record-keeping fees to Fidelity Management Trust Co., when the true value of these services is likely less than $14 per person … these fees are unreasonable compared to the fees paid by similar plans, and they exceed Fidelity’s 'own admitted range of reasonable rates for plans of this size,' they said."

•  From the New York Times:

"WeWork, the real estate company that offered start-ups and individuals sleek quarters to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States on Monday after years of struggling to find its footing.

"The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New Jersey, as part of what it described as a “comprehensive reorganization” of its business.

"The company said creditors holding 92 percent of its secured debt had agreed on a restructuring plan that would include reducing its portfolio of office leases."

FYI, Scott Galloway argues that a terrific restructuring would involve WeWork moving to a franchise model, with individual owners/operators running profitable office sharing locations in specific markets, and with the unprofitable and overbuilt locations culled out.  Sounds like a very good idea to me.