business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that a close reading of Target’s annual filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suggests that the retailer is increasingly depending on non-discretionary products (such as household goods and food) “to drive sales at the expense of discretionary items (everything else).”

According to the story, “This is remarkable for a couple of reasons. Target has significantly adjusted its sales mix without altering its image as the ‘cheap chic’ retailer of choice for designers like Michael Graves, Missoni, Liberty, and Jason Wu. Target may hang out with the fashionistas in New York but it’s mainly selling toilet paper and cat food to everyone else.

“What’s driving this shift is Target’s strategy to induce more of its most loyal customers, who tend to be higher income shoppers, to buy more stuff versus attracting new customers.”

• At this point, it seems reasonable to suggest that the new iPad tablet computer is a success.

It went on sale last Friday, with pre-orders being taken for about a week beforehand. Experts projected that Apple would sell between two million and three million of them by the end of March ... but yesterday, Apple said it already has sold three million of them.

The iPad does not go on sale in some 25 global markets until this Friday.

Reuters Health reports on a new study by the Harvard School of Public Health concluding that “eating more blueberries, apples and pears may be linked to lower risk of diabetes” because they “are loaded with flavonoids, a natural compound present in certain fruits, vegetables and grains, which some research has tentatively tied to heath benefits such as a lower risk of heart disease or cancer.”

The finding, according to the story, “show an association ... but don't prove the fruits, themselves, prevent diabetes.”

The only thing that disappoints me about this story is that nowhere is the word “pie” used. Because I really, really love pie. Especially blueberry and apple pie. And if eating more pie could be proven to have health benefits, well, I’m there. Totally there. Just saying...
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