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• The Tampa Tribune reports that Publix continues to have a dominant market share in Florida, with 41.4 percent of supermarket sales there. Walmart is in second place, with 24.7 percent, and Winn-Dixie is in third with 13.3 percent.

However, the paper also reports that Walmart’s market share was up by 0.7 percentage point since March 2009, while Publix was down 0.5 percent and Winn-Dixie was down 0.2 percent.

The only exception to this trend is the Tampa market, where Walmart’s market share is down a bit while the Publix share is up.

• The Columbus Dispatch reports that the recession has forced central Ohio supermarkets to adjust their pricing: “Kroger, Giant Eagle, Meijer and Walmart have lowered prices on staple foods such as milk and eggs to keep and attract price-sensitive customers.”

According to the paper, the chains are absorbing some of the costs because they are cognizant of the tough times that have affected local residents, and they have been aided by dropping commodity costs – which is a marked difference from a year ago when both costs and prices were increasing and some analysts and pundits were predicting that they were unlikely to come down.

• Interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal this morning, noting that “the deep discounts that restaurant chains have been offering to lure cash-strapped customers out of their kitchens are coming back to bite them” in the form of lower profits and sales and not necessarily increased traffic.

The question seems to be whether rather than building sales and profits, these discount programs actually may have hurt some chains’ brand equity, though it remains possible that during a recession the eat-at-home trend is simply too strong for customers to resist.

• The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Burger King franchisees have voted to reject plans to dell a $1 double cheeseburger, an idea that was hatched after McDonald’s eliminated the double cheeseburger from its Dollar Menu late last year. It is the second time that the franchisees have rejected the proposal.
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