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  • Trader Joe’s will open its first Chicago store next week in the city’s North Side Lakeview neighborhood, adjacent to Crate & Barrel’s alternative CB2 unit.

    The California-based retailer already operates eight units in the Chicago suburbs, but this is its first downtown store. Lucky Chicago. Trader Joe’s continues to be a great success story, with just the kind of differentiated format that can break through the sameness and clutter that affect so many US supermarkets.

  • While McDonald’s has been cutting back on its openings of late, and even eliminating poorly performing units, the BBC reports that it will spend as much as $400 million (US) to open 100 new restaurants next year in China. There are now some 500 McDonald’s outlets in China.

  • Kmart Corp. asked the court overseeing its bankruptcy to approve a half-million dollar settlement with one of its unions, related to one-day layoffs as four distribution centers. If the settlement is approved, Kmart in the future will be allowed to selectively institute one-day layoffs at facilities where volume is low and some workers aren’t needed.

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