business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional and sometimes even gratuitous commentary...

• It was interesting to see a story in the Los Angeles Times noting that “Kohl's Corp. is opening its first-ever California design center in Santa Monica with an eye toward spotting West Coast trends while also expanding its New York design office. The 6,000-square-foot design studio, opening Monday, will house a team of 20 graphic designers who will focus on creating prints and embellishments for a variety of brands for the department store chain.”

I found this story intriguing because it was not that long ago that Walmart decided to close down its New York fashion office and move its people and functions to Bentonville, Arkansas. And I just saw this as a curious juxtaposition. I think that companies are healthier for having diverse points of view that gather expertise from a variety of sources. It isn;t just a matter of dollars and cents; it is a matter of understanding that ingenuity and imagination need different kinds of care and feeding. IMHO...

• The New York Times reports that CVS Caremark has agreed to pay $5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it “misrepresented the price of certain prescription drugs in one of its Medicare drug plans, causing many older consumers to pay significantly higher prices than advertised.”

According to the story, the move comes after two years of being investigated by the FTC.

The Times notes that CVS says that “the settlement related only to the practices of RxAmerica, a subsidiary of Longs Drug Stores, that took place before CVS Caremark acquired Longs in October 2008,” though the FTC “asserted that some continued after the acquisition.”

Reuters reports that the Coca-Cola Co. says that only a “relatively small number” of consumers have contacted the company to express concerns about low levels of a fungicide called carbendazim had been found in orange juice products imported from Brazil, a discovery that led the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to halt all orange juice imports while inspections are made.

The story notes that “Coca-Cola's Simply Orange and Minute Maid, along with PepsiCo Inc.'s Tropicana, are the major U.S. brands currently made in part with Brazilian orange juice ... The FDA initially didn't say which company reported finding the fungicide, but Coke stepped forward to identify itself Wednesday after PepsiCo said it hadn't contacted the agency.”

Just like to use this moment to thank the dozens of folks who wrote in yesterday about the Randolph and Mortimer Duke reference I made in my commentary about the orange juice story. Yes, I agree that “Trading Places” is a terrific movie,. And no, I don't want to bet you a dollar that the Dukes are involved in this new situation...
KC's View: