business news in context, analysis with attitude

  • Whole Foods has launched a “School of Fish” campaign designed to educate shoppers about how to choose and cook seafood – looking to demystify a category that remains something of a challenge to many consumers.

  • The US Bankruptcy Court has approved the plan submitted by Winn-Dixie that will distribute retention bonuses totaling $12 million to almost 300 so-called “key employees.

    The company is scheduled to reveal later this month how many of its 918 stores will close and how many of its 78,000 employees will lose their jobs.

  • Spartan Stores announced the ratification of a five-year labor contract for bargaining unit warehouse employees and drivers at its Plymouth, Michigan distribution center, providing for what it says are “significant improvements in scheduling flexibility and work rules that are expected to better serve customer needs and enhance the distribution segment's labor productivity and operating efficiency.”

  • A new study by the Associated Press and America Online reveals that three quarters of Americans would rather watch a movie at home than go to the theater – which, according to the AP, may explain why “Hollywood is in the midst of its longest box-office slump in 20 years, and 2005 is shaping up as the worst year for movie attendance in nearly a decade, if theater business continues at the same lackluster rate.”

    However, the poll also found that “people who use DVDs, watch pay-per view movies on cable, download movies from the Internet and play computer games actually go to movies in theaters more than people at the same income levels who don't use those technologies. That suggests the technology may be complementing rather than competing with theatergoing.”

  • The Lakeland Ledger reports that Crispers, the restaurant chain owned by Publix Super Markets, is about to expand its menu of sandwiches, salads, wraps, soups and cookies so that it includes flatbreads, baked potatoes, vegetarian selections and toasted sandwiches. The chain also is adding a children’s menu.

    Analysts say that the improvements can be traced to Publix buying into the company and working to make it more strategically positioned to compete.

  • Whole Foods Market announced that it has opened its first market on the New Jersey Shore, a 48,000 square foot unit in Middletown.

KC's View:
We’ll have to go see this store…if only because this means that it is located just 26 miles from the town of Bay Head and Mueller’s Bakery, which, it is commonly known, makes the finest crumb cake on the planet.

Just thought we’d mention that…in case you’re in the neighborhood and get a hankering…