business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Austin Business Journal reports that HEB has opened "its most sustainable store ever" with a new 83,000 square foot store in the Mueller development northeast of downtown Austin.

According to the story, "After extensive collaboration with neighbors, HEB decided to create a casual restaurant in the store dubbed Cafe Mueller. The store also has a community meeting room, sushi bar, tortilleria, cheese shop and olive bar, meat market, deli, wine shop, flower boutique, pharmacy and kitchen demo area.

"HEB has registered to become LEED certified and expects that the new store will exceed the silver level. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and measures the sustainability and energy efficiency of buildings and various developments. The store also will be certified by the Austin Energy Green Building program."

Fast Company reports that Kmart has announced that it is "adopting in-store payments for items purchased on their website. The functionality is baked into the Shop Your Way loyalty card program, which gives Kmart e-retailer-style deep analytics about their brick-and-mortar customers.

"Customers reserve their goods online and travel to their local store, where they pay in cash (or pay via card for customers averse to entering credit card numbers online) and receive their purchases. The program ... also allows them to pay in-store and have deliveries sent to their home for furniture or other big items."

• The Wall Street Journal reports that "after watching the so-called King of Beers falter badly for years, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is trying to go where no beer maker has even come close before - creating the world's first big global beer brand.

"Already, the Belgian giant has launched the beer in Russia, Ukraine and Brazil in recent years, while deepening Bud's distribution in nearly 90 countries and doubling the number of the beer's overseas breweries. Now, the company is making a bold move into China, the largest and most elusive prize in the business, with a population that consumes a fourth of all beer and is expected to deliver more than 40% of the industry's growth this decade."

CNBC reports that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, when asked if he is concerned about Dunkin' Donuts' plans to expand rapidly, especially with new stores in California, responded that he's not really worried: "We respect all of our competitors but I think Dunkin' and McDonalds, they're in another business, they're in the fast food business ... I'm not losing any sleep over Dunkin Donuts."

Schultz is taking the same position that Shelley Broader is taking in Canada. It is standard CEO-speak. And I'm reasonably sure that Schultz would love to crush Dunkin' when it starts opening stores in California. Just to show he can.
KC's View: