Kroger Delays | Diamond Prices Slashed | BJ’s Likes M&Ms


Washington state sues to block proposed merger of Kroger and Albertsons grocery chains at AP. “In a statement Monday, Kroger said it was pushing back its timeline for closing the deal due to ongoing dialogue with regulators, including state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission. It now anticipates the closure may occur in the first half of its fiscal year, which ends in mid-August.” Read more


Canada’s December inflation rose 3.4% – dashes hopes of early rate cut at Reuters


De Beers’ slashes diamond prices by as much as 25% at NY Post. “The hefty price reductions come as natural diamonds lose market share to their lab-grown counterparts…Lab diamonds are typically 60% to 85% cheaper than mined diamonds…” Read more


Hasbro’s shift from China is no child’s play at Reuters. “India accounted for only 1% of U.S. and EU toy imports over the past five years, according to Panjiva’s data. “The issue in India is really the gridlock of moving even from one state to another. There are so many crazy regulations,” MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian told Reuters.” Read more


BJ’s Wholesale Club aligns with Mars at NRF. “I challenge you to find better product than peanut M&M’s, by the way,” said Bob Eddy, BJ’s chairman and CEO. The 62-ounce jar of the candy is not just a Halloween bonanza; it was the club’s second-best selling SKU last year, with strong sales all year long. It’s also Eddy’s favorite, as well as his family’s.” Read more


Shoppers Prefer Staying Outdoors. That’s More Trouble for Malls. at WSJ. “You know where your customer is buying and where they live,” said Scott Lipesky, chief financial and operating officer for Abercrombie & Fitch. “We’re looking at this digital shipping data, and we just plop a store down in the middle of it.” WSJ subs.


Another ship comes under fire in Red Sea, disruption seen pushing up prices at Reuters. “The U.S.-led coalition meant to safeguard commercial traffic in the Red Sea is weak because regional powerhouses Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have not taken part, Yemen’s vice president said on Tuesday.” Read more


How Walmart is fighting back against gift card scams at Fox Business. “…with Redemption, Walmart can spot red flags for gift card fraud and effectively stop the crime during the transaction. “Where we really invested was creating a technology to try to spot gift card risk at the time of the transaction so that we could freeze the funds in the gift card process so the bad actors wouldn’t get their money,” Lundeen said.” Read more


Loblaw ends 50% discounts on food nearing expiration date – will now offer 30% off at Financial Post


Former Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO defends stance on gun restrictions at Fox Business. “Stack spoke candidly at NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show in New York City on Monday, saying he firmly believed it is important for the sporting goods retailer, in certain issues, “to really step up and make a statement.” Read more


Costco stores in Las Vegas add new item to food court menu – A double chocolate chunk cookie at Las Vegas Review-Journal


Tencent sees a future where everyone gets by with just a swipe of the hand at CNN. “In the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, more than 1,500 7-Eleven stores have rolled it out. At Supermonkey, a trendy Chinese gym chain, about 2,000 users have signed up to use palm scanning to check in and out of facilities for workouts…” Read more


FedEx announces its own commerce platform for merchants at TechCrunch. “The company said that FDX is currently in private preview with plans for a wider launch in fall 2024. Businesses can register their interest in trying it out through a form. The company didn’t mention any brands that are part of the pilot program.” Read more


Underwear and socks are the latest items to be locked up in shoplifting crackdown at Daily Mail


Crop-killing weeds advance across US farmland as chemicals lose effectiveness at Reuters. “We’re in for big problems over the next 10 years for sure,” said Ian Heap, director of the International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds, a group of scientists in over 80 countries that maintains a global database. “We are in for a real shake-up.” Read more