...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• Albertsons announced that it will sell 71 of its store locations to a Delaware limited-liability entity and then lease them back, a deal that is expected to raise as much as $720 million.


• The National Retail Federation (NRF) is predicting that holiday retail sales in November and December – excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion, up from $655.8 billion last year.

NRF says that “this year’s forecast would meet or exceed last year’s growth of 3.6 percent and the five-year average of 3.5 percent. While recent hurricanes are not expected to have a significant long-term effect on the economy, NRF is issuing this year’s forecast as a range rather than the usual fixed percentage because the impact of the storms on economic indicators has made it difficult to make a more precise forecast.”


• The New York Post reports that the Nordstrom family now appears unlikely to go ahead with an expected buyout of the 69 percent of shares that it does not own, largely because “interest rates were too high and terms too tough.” The high rates are said to be a result of the broader trouble facing the bricks-and-mortar retail sector.

The question is whether the lack of a buyout would affect an acquisition of Nordstrom by Amazon … which also is the subject of a lot of speculation.