business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Wall Street Journal reports that beer shipments in the US "are rising for the first time since 2008 in another sign that consumers—particularly young men—are slowly but surely emerging from the recession."

According to the story, "Much of the rebound is being driven by small-batch "craft'' brewers, reflecting shifting tastes and forcing dominant players Anheuser Busch InBev and Miller Coors to increasingly borrow from upstarts' playbooks. Big brewers also are rolling out alternative malt beverages after liquor companies swiped drinkers."

Just want to say that I've been happy to help...

KCOY-TV reports that "after nearly five-months of being empty, nationwide supermarket chain Albertsons is moving into the building once home to Scolari's in San Luis Obispo ... The store is scheduled to open for business the summer of 2013 and construction to remodel the 30,000 square foot store is scheduled to begin next spring."

The move by Albertsons is said to be the first time in years that it has acquired a lease from another company, and it comes just months after, as the story notes, "Albertsons announced it was laying off more than 2,000 workers at its stores in Southern California and Nevada."

• Kroger Co. associates working at Fry's Food Stores and Smith's Food and Drug in Arizona have ratified a new labor agreement with UFCW Local 99. The contract covers more than 15,000 Fry's associates working in 121 stores in Phoenix, Tucson, and throughout the state of Arizona. It also covers 427 Smith's associates working in Kingman, Bullhead City, Ft. Mohave and Lake Havasu.

• The Fresh Grocer will open its first New Jersey supermarket location on Friday, November 2nd in New Brunswick, NJ - a 50,000 square foot store that will serve, the company says, a community that "has been without a full service supermarket for over 20 years."
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