business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Ohio Grocers Association has announced that it will file a legal challenge to a state business tax on food consumed anywhere other than where it is bought. The Dayton Daily News reports that the trade association maintains that the new tax violates the state constitution. The suit is slated to be filed in early February, before the first payment is due.

• The Financial Times reports that UK retailers Tesco and Asda have been funding their expansions through the use of “free credit” granted to them by suppliers; payment terms, according to FT, are far more generous in the UK than elsewhere in the world.

Tesco, however, says that the conclusions is not entirely correct – that it is merely taking advantage of longer payment terms offered by nonfood manufacturers as well as foreign suppliers.

• The Financial Times reports that the Japanese government is considering new regulations that would create new obstacles for foreign retailers looking to begin operating there. The regulations would make it difficult for these retailers to build on large plots of land formerly used for agricultural purposes, and would be perceived as being anti-development. reports this morning that Tesco is testing what it calls a “musical sandwich,” which comes in a small box with a musical chip that plays when the customer opens it. "It's designed to provide busy office workers with relaxing music to make eating lunch at their desks more enjoyable than ever before," says Tesco spokesman Jonathan Church.
KC's View: