business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Wichita Business Journal reports that Kroger-owned Dillons stores are "lowering prices storewide while ending their double-coupon policy ... the price reductions will apply to thousands of items in the store, including produce, organics and natural foods."

Kroger has been rolling out this strategy to numerous divisions; Dillons is the latest to adopt the approach.

Bloomberg reports that in South Africa, Pick n Pay may cut its middle management team - described by one analyst as "a huge middle management bulge" - as one way of compensating for declining profits. The company's margin structure apparently makes it hard to compete effectively - presumably Walmart's majority investment in Massmart is creating new pressures - and so management is looking for ways to tighten things up.

According to the story, "The reductions will come in the form of so-called voluntary retrenchments and focus on head office and regional hubs."
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