business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Brookshire Grocery Co. (BGC) announced yesterday that "it raised wages for almost 13,500 hourly employee-partners which totals more than $33 million investment in salaries. Part of this investment is the company making the extra $1 per hour in COVID appreciation pay permanent for the hourly retail and logistics employee-partners along with raising the minimum pay for several positions in retail. 

"Most hourly retail jobs will now have a minimum rate of $11 per hour. More than 30 other targeted retail positions have additional increased new minimum hiring rates. Among these targeted positions are bakery, deli and market employee-partners moving to the new minimums which equal a $2.2 million investment in these positions so they will be more competitive with the market. BGC also recently raised the minimum wages for more than 1,000 logistics employee-partners."

•  CNBC reports that "Best Buy is starting to sell luggage and outdoor grills, as it tries to take advantage of the rebounding travel industry and the popularity of investing in the home."

The retailer says that "shoppers can now find Tumi suitcases, Weber grills and other outdoor items, from patio furniture to heaters, on its website and in select stores — along with its usual mix of laptops, videogame consoles and other gadgets. Some of those items are geared toward tech purchases, such as laptop bags and a new esports collection from Tumi that can carry gaming gear.

"With the move, Best Buy joins other retailers breaking into new categories and expanding the online assortment to capture more of consumers’ attention and dollars."

Some of this I understand - it isn't a long leap from buying an outdoor audio system, for example, to buying a grill or outdoor heater.  But the Tumi thing has me a little puzzled … I think of Tumi as being upscale, and have to wonder if having its suitcases (as opposed to laptop bags) sold at Best Buy somehow diminishes the brand.