business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary...

• The Charlotte Observer reports that "Publix Super Markets Inc. revealed plans Monday for a new store in Mint Hill, marking the fifth time in less than two years that the privately held supermarket has announced expansion plans in the Charlotte area ... Publix expects the new location to open in late 2014."

The story notes that "The planned 49,000-square-foot store ... again suggests Florida-based Publix is serious about expanding into Charlotte ... Publix comes to the area as competition in the Charlotte grocery market stiffens, at both high-end and low-end segments. Walmart Neighborhood Market and Whole Foods have opened Charlotte locations, while Target and Family Dollar have renovated their stores to offer more food selections. The new store also comes on the heels of news earlier this month that Matthews-based Harris Teeter is being acquired by Kroger. Competition from rival grocers such as Publix was said to have influenced Harris Teeter’s decision to sell."

• Taco Bell said yesterday that it will stop offering kids' meals and toys at all of its US restaurants, saying that the items were inconsistent with the brand image it is trying to communicate.

“As we continue our journey of being a better, more relevant Taco Bell, kids' meals and toys simply no longer make sense for us to put resources behind,” CEO Greg Creed said in a prepared statement.

Taco Bell also said that the kids' meals and toys had an “insignificant impact on system sales.”

And it is this last part - that kids meal sales were insignificant - that really propelled this decision. No matter what they say.
KC's View: