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•  Lowe's and Petco have announced an expansion of a program that has pet product boutiques installed inside Lowe's home improvement stores.

The program started with a single Texas store in 2022, and then expanded to a number of other Texas stores, plus units in North and South Carolina, later that year.  Now, the goal is to have the pet stores inside close to 300 Lowe's units around the country by the end of this year.

The innovation is part of what Lowe's has referred to as a rural strategy that features "broader product offerings in categories such as pet, livestock, trailers, fencing, utility vehicles, and specialized hardware -- plus new Carhartt® apparel in select stores and the expansion of Wrangler® in all rural stores. These merchandising moves are designed to meet the unique needs and preferences of rural homeowners who work and play outdoors. The company also plans to add more national apparel brands to its rural assortment in coming months."

•  Axios reports on the "Luna," described as "a new variety of avocado that's grown on a smaller tree and easier to harvest than the dominant Hass breed … The Hass, with its creamy texture and wonderful taste, has fueled our love affair with guacamole and avocado toast. A competitive alternative could make supplies of the fruit more plentiful."

It has taken 50 years to breed and develop the Luna, the story says.