business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Costco yesterday reported March net sales of $21.71 billion, up 0.5 percent from the same period a year ago.  Overall same-store sales were down 1.1 percent, with US same store sales down 1.5 percent, Canadian same-store sales down 2.4 percent, and other global same-store sales down two percent.

March e-commerce sales were down 12.7 percent.

•  From CNBC:

"Bed Bath & Beyond announced Wednesday it is working with Hilco Global to get merchandise back on its shelves in the company’s latest effort to stay alive and avoid bankruptcy.

"The home goods retailer has entered into a vendor consignment program with ReStore Capital, an investment manager under Hilco that provides 'creative financing solutions' to struggling companies.

"Under the agreement, ReStore Capital will purchase up to $120 million, on a revolving basis at any given time, of prearranged merchandise from Bed Bath’s key suppliers to boost inventory levels at its namesake chain and Buybuy Baby. 

Bed Bath has been struggling to stock its shelves after its vendors tightened their credit terms, cut limits and required prepayments before agreeing to fulfill orders, the company has said previously."

Sounds like good money after bad to me.  I cannot for the life of me figure out what viable niche Bed Bath & Beyond's can occupy in the modern world.

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"A battle over burrito bowls has begun. 

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is suing Sweetgreen Inc., saying the salad chain’s latest menu item - the Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl - infringes on its trademark and is confusing customers.

"The burrito chain alleges in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, that Sweetgreen is using the word chipotle in capital letters, mimicking its trademarked logo. 

"Chipotle said it recently sent a letter to Sweetgreen asking it to use lowercase letters in chipotle and to rename the bowl, even offering other possibilities … Chipotle is asking the court to stop Sweetgreen from selling the chipotle bowls and order the salad seller to pay it any profit it made from the new item, plus damages and lawyer fees."