business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• Kroger said yesterday that associates working at the company's Fry's Foods division in Arizona have ratified a new agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 99" that covers more than 20,000 associates working at 122 stores there.

"This new contract provides wage increases, affordable health care and ongoing investment in our associates' pension fund to support their retirement," said Steve McKinney, president of Fry's Food Stores.

• In New York's Westchester County, the Briarcliff Daily Voice reports on how shoppers at Mrs. Green's Natural Markets there "say that the shelves are empty and the store has blamed its vendors; the company says its stores are not closing, even though consumers say that the situation resembles a going-out-of-business sale.

According to the story, a spokesman for the company said that Mrs. Green's is "working to resolve the issue. He said it was a supply side problem and not related to the company's finances."

However, Mrs. Green's has closed at least four stores in over the past year or so, even as it keeps others open in New York and Connecticut.

Not sure how vendor issues would not be related to financial problems. I think Mrs. Green's is going to have to come up with a better story.

Business Insider reports that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has written an open letter to company employees decrying what he called am "epic, unseemly" election season, and saying, "Let's each embrace the universal virtues of respect and dignity, refusing to allow the hatred on cable news, the ugliness of our politics, and the lack of political role models for our kids to define us and to dictate how we treat each other."

The story says that while Schultz has endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton - even while acknowledging that she was not a perfect candidate - he did not ask his employees t vote for anyone specifically.
KC's View: