business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that “in the first six months of 2017, Best Buy spent $1.71 million lobbying, twice as much as it spent the entire year in 2016. Target Corp. spent $1.48 million lobbying from January through June 2017, only slightly less than it spent all of last year. The numbers, drawn from government records, show the Minnesota companies’ determination to kill a border adjustment tax on imports that House Republicans made a centerpiece of their Better Way tax reform plan.

The story also notes that the “National Retail Federation (NRF), which spent $7.3 million lobbying in the first six months of 2017, more than it did in all of 2016.”

The spending seem to have worked. As reported here on MNB and elsewhere, Congressional Republican leaders have said they will not pursue a border adjustment tax as they seek consensus around tax reform later this year.


• Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage announced that promoted by minimal same-store sales increases in recent quarters, announced that it will focus more on operational efficiency than new store growth. Kemper Isely, co-president of the company, released a statement saying that “looking ahead, we have moderated new unit growth to reflect the challenging competitive environment and have no additional new store openings planned for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.”


• The Houston Chronicle has a story about how real estate information company Attom Data Solutions has done a study and concluded that Houston “residents near a Trader Joe's saw an average home price appreciation of 67 percent in the last five years, compared with 52 percent for homeowners near a Whole Foods Market and 51 percent near an Aldi.”


Fortune reports that “Starbucks is shutting down rumors that the coffee giant will offer discounted beverages and foods to undocumented immigrants this month. The company is also going after fake Starbucks advertisements calling Aug. 11 ‘Dreamer Day.’ The false ads, which spread across Twitter, said undocumented individuals will receive 40% off any menu item on Aug. 11.”

These rumors no doubt are being spread by people who don’t know the difference between an undocumented immigrant and a refugee. The latter is a group that Starbucks has tried to help on an international basis, because it is, by definition, a group that has had to leave home to escape war or persecution.
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