business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…
• The Associated Press reports that Walgreens has agreed to pay a half-million dollars "to settle the latest case of a company accused of duping New York consumers over prices." The drugstore chain was accused of using misleading advertising and overcharging customers, hitting them with higher prices in-store than had been listed in ads. The company said it is working with the NY State Attorney General's office to "make improvements in how it communicates in its stores and with advertising."

Bloomberg reports that "the US lawsuit to block Staples Inc. from buying Office Depot Inc. now rests with a judge who has undercut the government’s case throughout the trial," challenging "how the agency prepared a witness statement, whether it shared certain information with the companies, and why it didn’t allege harm to consumers who buy pens and Post-its. In fact, the FTC said the merger would harm competition in sales to corporate customers — not retail consumers — in its suit to block the $6.3 billion proposed merger."

• Add Alex Lee to the name of retailers that have announced "their goal to transition its grocery stores to a 100 percent cage-free egg supply chain by 2025, subject to regulatory changes. This step is an outcome of the company’s independent review of industry capability and readiness, and represents a commitment to continuously improving the food supply chain while maintaining the affordable prices that customers expect."

Y'think chickens everywhere read this torrent of stories and breathe a sigh of relief?

• Weis Markets said yesterday that the company "plans $140 million in cap ex investments in 2016 for new stores, remodels, supply chain improvements and continued information technology upgrades.

Chairman/CEO Jonathan Weis said that "over the next year, we plan to build three new stores and complete 20 remodels. We will also build three Gas N’ Go locations. Our budget also includes record technology investments."
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