business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Texas Tribune reports that "grocery retailer H-E-B and the Butt Family have committed $10 million to the Uvalde school district to build a new school to replace Robb Elementary, the site of the mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers last month.

"The donations were made to the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s new nonprofit arm, the Uvalde CISD Moving Forward Foundation, which is seeking donations to make the district’s schools more secure, help build the new school and build a memorial park at the Robb location."

•  From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"U.S. household spending growth slowed in May as Americans faced historically high inflation with incomes that haven’t kept up with price increases.

"U.S. consumers boosted their seasonally adjusted spending by 0.2% in May, a slowdown from the revised 0.6% increase in April, according to a Thursday report from the Commerce Department.

"Personal income grew by 0.5% in May, the same as April’s rate. Adjusted for inflation, after-tax income declined by 0.1% in May, showing that wage increases have been struggling to keep up with price rises. Inflation-adjusted spending declined by 0.4% in April."

•  From the New York Times:

"Americans are becoming more pessimistic about the economy, more worried about inflation — and now, more anxious about the job market, as well.

"Fifty-two percent of American adults say they are worse off financially than they were a year ago, according to a survey conducted for the New York Times this month by the online research platform Momentive. That was up from 41 percent in April, and was by far the highest share in the survey’s five years. Only 14 percent of Americans said they were better off than a year ago, the worst in the survey’s history.

"The dour mood is also reflected in other surveys. The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment this month hit its lowest level in its 70-year history. Another measure of consumer confidence, from the Conference Board, has also fallen, though less drastically.

"There is no mystery as to what is causing consumers’ bleak outlook: prices that are rising at the fastest rate in a generation. More than nine in 10 Americans say they are concerned about inflation, according to the Momentive poll, including 70 percent who say they are 'very concerned,' up from 63 percent in April."

•  In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that "Target Corp. recently finished remodeling its 1,000th store, passing the halfway point in a chainwide renovation that began before the pandemic and has cost billions of dollars.

"This year is the most active yet in Target's massive program. Nearly 200 full-store remodels and 200 fulfillment-related remodels, which add features like canopies in drive-up areas, are scheduled for completion.

"Amid logistics challenges and ever-changing customer demand, Target executives say they remain committed to remodeling nearly all of its approximately 1,900 store locations."

•  The BBC reports that "Heinz has stopped supplying Tesco with some of the UK's family favourite products in a dispute over pricing.

"Baked beans, ketchup and tomato soup are among the cupboard staples missing from shelves in some Tesco stores.

"Kraft Heinz, which owns the brand, said its production costs were rising but it was working with Tesco to resolve the situation quickly.

"But Tesco said: 'We will not pass on unjustifiable price increases to our customers'."

The story notes that "earlier this year Colgate toothpaste disappeared from Tesco's shelves after a similar fall-out with US consumer products giant Colgate-Palmolive."

It send a powerful message to shoppers when a retailer stakes out a position as their advocate.  I think customers are willing to put up with a little inconvenience when the retailer explains the "why."