business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that organic products sold under kroger's private label Simple Truth brand are about to exceed $1 billion in annual sales.

According to the story, "The steady flow of new organic products and companies has led to lower prices across a range of organic categories, such as cereals, breads, and dairy. Given the enormous expansion of chains such as Whole Foods Market (WFM), and consumers’ interest in giving food labels much closer scrutiny than in years past, organics are no longer the domain of trendy, expensive specialty shops and farmers’ markets. They’re everywhere—what Kroger executives called a 'blurring of groceries and natural foods' - and most shoppers tend to purchase both organic and non-organic foods."

Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen says that "there’s more margin pressure now on natural and organic than there’s ever been … It seems that it’s becoming more and more of a competitive category, and so although margins tend to be better in natural and organic, I don’t know if that’s going to continue for the foreseeable future.”

Crain's Chicago Business reports that Sears Holdings has told the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it plans to borrow $400 million from the private hedge fund owned by its billionaire CEO, Eddie Lampert.

The story says that "the company expects to use the proceeds of the loan for general purposes, according to the filing."

"General purposes," in this case, meaning simple survival.
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