business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Los Angeles Times writes that “McDonald’s Corp. and its franchisees plan to spend $390 million to update 550 McDonald’s restaurants in California through 2019. McDonald’s is modernizing its dining rooms, installing new digital menu boards and providing self-order kiosks inside its restaurants, among other improvements.”

The moves are part of “a systemwide upgrade of most McDonald’s outlets nationwide that will cost the company and its franchisees about $6 billion … The upgrades are part of the chain’s bid to maintain sales growth in the fiercely competitive fast-food business.”

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “Coca-Cola Co. is buying a stake in BodyArmor, the sports drink startup backed by Kobe Bryant and other athletes, marking the latest attempt by the beverage giant to break Gatorade’s lock on the sports market.

“In addition to taking a minority stake, Coca-Cola’s bottling system could soon begin distributing BodyArmor’s drinks, executives said. The deal would also allow Coke to later take full ownership of the upstart, they added. Financial terms couldn’t be learned.”

• In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that the “Mall of America will soon have another off-price concept joining Nordstrom Rack and Marshalls” - Macy’s Backstage, which is Macy’s version of an outlet store.

Prices at the format, the story says, “are typically marked at a 50 percent discount from the ‘compare at’ or manufacturer's suggested retail price.”
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