business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Kroger is being sued for $85 million by K7 Design Group, which charges that the retailer refused to accept delivery of hand sanitizer that it ordered.

""Because Kroger reneged on a purchase order, K7 has been left with a tremendous quantity of hand sanitizer for which K7 has no other use and which it has been forced to store in its overflowing warehouses. And, after it had refused to take delivery, Kroger tried to use its immense market power to force K7 to absorb losses that, both in equity and because of K7 and Kroger's contract, should be borne by Kroger," a press release put out by K7's lawyers said.

Kroger says that it is "disappointed" by the vendor's suit, and plans to defend itself "vigorously."

• reports that three Kings Food Markets stores in New Jersey - in Maplewood, Gillette and Hoboken South - that were not included in the $96.4 million acquisition of Kings and Balducci's by Albertsons now have either closed or are slated to close.

•  The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that "Ascena Retail Group Inc. has won court approval to sell its Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, Loft and Lou & Grey retail brands out of bankruptcy to private-equity firm Sycamore Partners in a deal valued at about $1 billion … The deal, which could close by next week, will preserve the business as a going concern with at least 900 stores. As of late August, Ascena operated 1,500 retail locations throughout the U.S., down from its previous roughly 2,800 stores."