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CNN reports on speculation that Costco "may be planning to increase the cost of becoming a member in 2017." A UBS analyst, the story says, is predicting that "the retailer will increase the annual fee for its basic Gold Star Membership to $60 from $55, and raise its Executive Membership price to $120 from $110." The prediction is contingent on economic factors that would make such an increase palatable remaining in place, CNN writes.

• Kroger announced last week that it plans to invest more than $250 million over the next two years on its Nashville division, with plans to open, remodel or expand 40 percent of its store fleet there by the end of next year.

• Apollo Global Management, LLC said on Friday that "certain funds" that are affiliated with it have successfully completed the acquisition of common stock of The Fresh Market. The company said that "concurrently with payment for the tendered shares, Apollo and The Fresh Market intend to complete the acquisition of The Fresh Market by merging it with an affiliate of Apollo. As a result of the tender offer and the merger, The Fresh Market will become a privately-held, indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of the Apollo funds and certain other investors."
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