business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Wall Street Journal reports on how “the big three U.S. light-lager brands - Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite - are all losing volume as consumers shift to craft and Mexican import beers as well as to wine and spirits … Combined, the country’s top two brewers sold 2.6 million fewer barrels” during the most recent quarter, which one industry expert called “a shocker.”

• The Newark Star Ledger reports that discounter Lidl plans to open its first store in New Jersey on November 16, part of a broader US rollout that “plans to have 100 American stores up and running by next summer … Lidl is developing stores in at least six New Jersey counties, including Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester and Monmouth.”

• Add Gap’s Old Navy retail brand to the list of companies adopting subscription services.

CNBC reports that Old Navy has begun “selling a subscription box for kids, called Superbox,” described as “a quarterly subscription for kids ages 5 through 12. The boxes include six items and retail for $69.99, with more than $100 worth of clothes, according to Gap. The service is being marketed as a giftable option for shoppers, where customers are able to personalize the boxes without making too many selections. After choosing a size and gender, for example, shoppers simply pick a style — options include ‘preppy,’ ‘sporty,’ ‘cool’ or ‘classic.’ From there, Gap does the curating.”

CNBC reports that JAB, the Luxembourg-based investment firm that owns brands that include Krispy Kreme, Peet’s Coffee and Panera, may be interested in acquiring Dunkin’ Brands, parent company to Dunkin’ Donuts.

This sound suspiciously like a deal concocted by investment analysts who want to get their names in the Wall Street Journal. That doesn’t mean that it cannot or will not happen … I’m just a little skeptical.
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