business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  Target Corp. this morning said that its Q2 comparable sales were up 2.6 percent, "reflecting comparable store sales growth of 1.3 percent and comparable digital sales growth of 9.0 percent. Total revenue of $26.0 billion grew 3.5 percent compared with last year, reflecting total sales growth of 3.3 percent and a 14.8 percent increase in other revenue. Operating income was $321 million in second quarter 2022, down 87.0 percent from $2.5 billion in 2021, reflecting a decline in the Company's gross margin rate.'

•  C-store retailer QuikTrip has opened a store in Tulsa powered by Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, the first time QuikTrip is using checkout-free technology.

According to the announcement, "Guests visiting the new store will be able to insert their credit card at the entry gate to enter, shop like normal, and then leave the store. Just Walk Out technology determines what items shoppers take from or return to the shelves, and when they leave, the credit card they inserted will be charged for the items they took."

•  Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) yesterday announced "a temporary reduction to fuel surcharges for their member-retailers through year-end and a one-time rebate for year-to-date activity. The company estimates the sum of the rebate and temporary reduction to exceed $9,000,000 for 2022."

The company said, “AWG is proud to be positioned to make this very significant investment to help our member-retailers maintain competitiveness and profitability, despite the ongoing fuel cost and inflationary headwinds and margin pressures; being driven by an increasingly price competitive retail climate.” 

Full disclosure:  AWG is a longtime and valued MNB sponsor.

•  The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that 13 Kroger stores in Ohio will offer sports betting next year, as it becomes legal in the state, effective January 1, 2023.

According to the story, "The law will allow both online and brick and mortar sports betting to take place, with betting available at a number of locations once it goes into effect. Locations like grocery stores fall under Ohio's 'Type C' category …  To be considered a Type C applicant, a location must hold both a valid liquor permit and lottery sales agent license. It must also have a current recommendation for licensure from the lottery and needs to be a for-profit corporation or association."

The story says there are "13 Kroger locations around Greater Cincinnati on the pre-approved Type C sports gaming list."

•  The New York Times reports that Trader Joe's has closed a popular wine store that it has operated in Manhattan's Union Square for more than 15 years, developing a "cult following for its bargains."

The closure reportedly came without warning or explanation, the Times writes, with Trader Joe's only saying that it plans to offer “an even better wine shop experience” at some point in the future.

Unconfirmed "theories about the reason for the closing abounded," the Times writes, and include "the impacts of the pandemic, the end of a lease, a new location."