business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  The Washington Post has a piece about how a number of retailers - not just Amazon, Walmart and Target - are launching major promotions this month, hoping to jumpstart their end-of-year holiday sales a month or more before they usually would begin.

"Most large retailers are going dark on Thanksgiving Day, reversing a years-long tradition of kicking off the holiday shopping season with a rush of 'doorbuster' deals," the Post writes.  "It’s part of a larger reimagining of the retail experience because of the pandemic, one designed to accommodate social distancing and new safety protocols, and minimize long lines, crowded malls and repeat shopping trips."

The stakes are high, the story says, since so many retailers this year have filed for bankruptcy.  Better to lock in sales early and minimize the risk that the end of the year could be a business killer because other retailers co-opted the consumer.

Meanwhile, CNBC has a piece in which it points out that retailers not named Amazon are likely to make a big point of their curbside pickup options … which they perceive as being a strategic advantage.

•  Hy-Vee announced that it "has joined the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag as a Supporting Partner, alongside Founding Partners CVS Health, Target and Walmart, and joined by Dick's Sporting Goods, Kroger and Walgreens.

"Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy launched the Consortium and it’s Beyond the Bag Initiative earlier this year with the aim of identifying, testing and implementing viable design solutions and models that more sustainably serve the purpose of the current retail bag."

•  The Washington Post reports on a nationwide shortage of cans - the US may be 10 billion cans short of demand just in 2020.

There are a number of factors in play - tariffs that have hurt aluminum supply, lack of manufacturing capacity, and higher demand as beer manufacturers have transitioned from bottles to cans.

The problem is that craft beer makers are getting squeezed more than big brewers, simply because the bigger companies are seen as preferred customers because of their size and the amount of money they spend.

•  The BBC reports that Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the billionaire brothers who last week said they would acquire, with private equity company TDR Capital, a majority stake in The Asda Group from Walmart, were listed on this year's Queen's Birthday Honours list.

CBE, the BBC says, "stands for Commander of the Order of the British Empire."