• The Seattle Times reports that a lawsuit has been filed in California charging that Safeway has engaged in illegal practices, jacking up prices on items just before launching Buy-One-Get-One Free promotions on those items.
The lawsuit, for which the plaintiff is seeking class action status that would cover close to one million shoppers, contends that "California’s unfair-competition and false-advertising laws make such practices illegal." It also suggests that the practice is contrary to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidance.
It was just last month that Safeway and its parent company Albertsons agreed to write a $107 million check to settle a lawsuit charging that stores in Oregon deceptively inflated meat prices before launching a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) promotion.
• Axios reports that the Federal Reserve yesterday "held off on hiking rates for the first time since its historic campaign to cool inflation began 15 months ago. However, officials anticipate they still have to do more to slow the economy as prices continue to rise quickly … Officials on the policy-setting committee unanimously voted to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 5% to 5.25%, marking the first time since last March that the Fed has concluded a policy meeting without raising interest rates."
In a policy statement, the Fed said that "holding the target range steady at this meeting allows the Committee to assess additional information and its implication for monetary policy." And, in opening comments Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that "nearly all" policymakers "expect that it will be appropriate to raise interest rates somewhat further by the end of the year."
• Axios reports about a Deloitte survey of 122 CFOs in North America, revealing that "executives' optimism about the future took a step down in the second quarter … Just 34% rated current economic conditions as good or very good, down from 40% in the first quarter."
This survey, the story suggests, "shows a wariness among execs after living through the many gyrations of the past few years and as future financial conditions look uncertain."
• From the Washington Post:
"Overstock offered Bed Bath & Beyond $21.5 million to acquire the housewares chain’s intellectual property and other assets, court documents show.
"In a statement, a Bed Bath & Beyond spokesperson said Overstock’s stalking horse bid includes 'business data, rights to mobile applications, and certain contracts and other related assets, and to assume certain specified liabilities of Bed Bath & Beyond.' It does not include brick-and-mortar stores.
"The company is soliciting bids until the deadline on Friday. If there are more offers, there will be an auction on June 21."