business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Meijer "is trying to reduce the stigma of being a plus-size shopper - and boost its apparel sales - by bringing larger sized clothing into the rest of the store. The story says that Meijer "will integrate its plus-size department into the women’s department, placing so-called straight sizes and extended sizes on the same racks. The concept, already in practice in 15 stores, will be rolled out to all 230 stores by early 2017. It means the majority of styles will be offered in everything from a size small to XXXL.."

“We really felt all customers should have the exact same experience at Meijer,” said Annette Repasch, vice president of softlines for the chain. “Not only by style, but by price and by location.”

• The Sacramento Business Journal reports that Raley's is building a new concept called Market 5-ONE-5 that will take inspiration from farmers' markets, focus on healthy eating, "stand on its own and operate independently of Raley's." It is slated to open next spring in Sacramento.

• The Lakeland Ledger writes that Publix has posted Q3 sales of $8 billion, 2.4 percent higher than the $7.8 billion posted during the same period a year earlier. Net earnings for the third quarter were $421.1 million, up 2.1 percent from last year’s $412.3 million. Same-store sales were up 0.9 percent.

However, the story also notes that despite the increases, the chain's "$40.15 per share stock price, effective Nov. 1, is down 4.2 percent from Publix’s $41.90 valuation in August. It is the third straight quarter the stock price has decreased."

• The Salem News reports that the conservative Center for Consumer Freedom has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General claiming that Whole Foods and its CEO, John Mackey, "will benefit financially from a ballot question banning the sale of eggs and meat from cage-confined animals."

According to the story, the complaint says that Whole Foods "conspired to reduce the supply of eggs and pork in Massachusetts, which would violate both federal and state antitrust laws" and that "Mackey's supermarket will benefit if voters approve the ban."

Mackey, the story says, "is a co-founder of the Global Animal Partnership, a leader in the 'cage-free' movement, and a board member of the nonprofit Humane Society of the United States, the main supporter of Question 3 on next Tuesday's statewide ballot. Under IRS rules, nonprofit leaders are prohibited from using an organization’s funds for personal or business matters."
KC's View: