business news in context, analysis with attitude

  • Tesco in the UK reportedly is anticipating a pretty busy holiday season…so much so that it plans to hire as many as 12,000 temporary employees for its 780 stores. In fact, checkout personnel at Tesco units have been instructed to keep an eye out for likely candidates, and to recruit them when shoppers seem particularly cheerful and solicitous.

  • Kmart has completed a deal to sell 50 stores to Sears Roebuck for $575.9 million, including $172 million in cash.

  • At the same time, the Detroit News reports that starting next year, Kmart plans to match employee contributions to 401(K) plans on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to 3 percent of their total earnings and 50 cents per dollar on contributions beyond 3 percent up to 8 percent. This represents an upgrade of the company’s current program, and suggests that since emerging from bankruptcy, Kmart is putting a greater premium on attracting and keeping top talent.

  • CVS CEO Tom Ryan said yesterday that the company plans to close 160 of the 1,260 recently acquired Eckerd stores, and convert at least 300 of the acquired stores to the CVS banner by the end of the year.

  • Donald Trump’s casino business may be in financial trouble, but he apparently still can sell toothpaste. Last week, when reality television program “The Apprentice” featured the contestants developing a marketing program for Procter & Gamble’s new Crest Refreshing Vanilla Mint toothpaste, the company’s website logged 4.7 million hits.

KC's View: