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• The Ottawa Citizen reports that negotiations have broken down between Loblaws and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) over a new contract covering almost 30,000 employees for the chain. Strike votes are expected be taken during coming weeks, ands the union says that there is “no economic case” for the concessions being demanded by Loblaws.

• The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the City Council there is considering a proposal that would require big box stores looking to open within the city limits to provide economic impact statements. The proposal has been turned over to the city attorney’s office, which will render an opinion on the legality of the proposed ordinance.

According to the paper, “The proposal is viewed by critics as an attempt to thwart efforts by Walmart to build in the city, and the company has been running full-page advertisements in the San Diego Union-Tribune to combat it.”

• Crest Foods reportedly is getting ready to open its newest Fresh Market store, in south Oklahoma City, a 95,000 square foot unit with several features new to the company - a sushi bar, drive-through pharmacy, and wellness clinic.

According to The Oklahoman, the new features will not change the company’s “rock bottom prices” approach to grocery that is in its six other stores.

• Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has launched an investigation into whether the possibility that CVS Caremark could end its CVS Health Savings Pass in the state could violate state law by depriving residents of discounts. The threat by CVS came as the state demanded access for medicaid patients.

CVS has responded by saying that the program is a voluntary one, not required by any state law.

Bloomberg Business Week reports that Procter & Gamble “has ended testing of a lower-cost ‘basic’ version of Tide laundry detergent but hasn't decided what's next.” Tide Basic, introduced at a time when the recession seemed to be turning some consumers in the direction of private brands, “cost 20 percent less than regular Tide but lacked the latest cleaning technologies.”

Earlier this week, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that “Tide detergent, Procter & Gamble's signature brand, will undergo a change in formula later this summer ... Called Tide ActiLift, the new variety will include three new ingredients and is formulated to better remove stains and also prevent them.”

• The National Retail Federation (NRF) is out with a new study saying that “nearly 144 million Americans or 61.9 percent of adults over 18 years old will celebrate the holiday the traditional way by attending or hosting a cookout/barbecue or picnic, which is the about the same as last year (62.6%).

• Published reports say that quick service chain Friendly’s has a new item almost certain to make nutritionists’ heads explode - an Ultimate Grilled Cheeseburger, that has a cheeseburger wedged between two grilled cheese sandwiches, and consists of 1,500 calories, 97 grams of fat and more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium.
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