business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Associated Press reports that Lord & Taylor is closing down its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, part of an overall strategy of shuttering 10 of its 50 units and focusing more on online sales, in part through a partnership with Walmart.

The AP notes that the move “comes about seven months after the company said it would sell the century-old building to office space sharing company WeWork,” and would downsize to the point where it would occupy just 25 percent of the building.

Not sure if WeWork wants to keep any retail space in the building, but how about a Jet store in which Walmart could give that segment of its online business the bricks-and-mortar treatment? Just a thought…

USA Today reports that when Bayer takes ownership of Monsanto this week, one of its first moves will be to get rid of the Monsanto brand name, while “acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio.”

The story notes that “Monsanto long has been a lightning rod for what critics say is its role in environmental degradation and perpetuation of harmful chemicals … Bayer signaled Monday that it would take steps to ‘strengthen its commitment in the area of sustainability’ after the Monsanto deal is complete.”

“We aim to deepen our dialogue with society," said Bayer Chairman Werner Baumann. "We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground. Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill.”
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