business news in context, analysis with attitude

  • Publix Super Markets announced that it plans to spend about a half-billion dollars to open 57 new stores this year, as well as remodel and expand existing stores and enhance its IT capabilities.

  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), the US-based private equity firm, says that it is not interested in making a bid for Sainsbury.

    The statement follows a report last weekend saying that KKR was beginning to formulate a bid for the chain.

  • Ahold -owned Giant Food announced that it will work with fair trade certifier TransFair USA to offer five varieties of Fair Trade Certified coffee in its Giant and Super G stores.

    Fair trade products guarantee farmers are paid a fair price, more than half the Fair Trade Certified coffee sold in the US is also certified organic.

  • The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the British Broadcasting Corp., "which licenses some of its children's-television characters for use in packaged foods, is cracking down on the sugar, salt and fat content of products that bear those names and images."

    This move actually combines two different issues - childhood obesity and the problems of marketing to children - and what some organizations, especially a publicly-owned corporation like the BBC, see as their responsibility to take the high road.

  • Supervalu has been hit with a $25.35 million personal injury lawsuit by a Virginia supermarket retailer who has retained OJ Simpson's former attorney, Johnnie Cochran, to represent him.

    The suit charges that Johnny Johnson, the owner of Marketplace Holdings - a four-store operator - has suffered health problems that include high blood pressure, bleeding ulcers, shingles and depression because Supervalu refused to help him acquire another company.

    Supervalu says the suit is false, and that it wouldn’t loan Johnson money because of debt problems.

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