business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From the Associated Press:

"Slightly fewer Americans applied for jobless claims last week, further indicating that the labor market remains strong in an era of high interest rates.

"Applications for unemployment benefits fell by 3,000 to 217,000 for the week ending Nov. 4, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

"Jobless claim applications are seen as representative of the number of layoffs in a given week."

•  In Ohio, the Dayton Daily News reports that "after months of site preparation and infrastructure work, Dorothy Lane Market broke ground Thursday afternoon for its upcoming fourth location in Mason … DLM Mason will be the grocer’s largest location. The space will encompass an approximately 50,000-square-foot main level and a 9,000-square-foot mezzanine, which will include an on-site Culinary Center."

According to the story, "The Oakwood-based gourmet grocer held a small, private gathering at the construction site to commemorate the milestone … The planned grocery store is part of the Mosaic, a $150 million project that will include residential, office and other retail development in Mason … Dorothy Lane Market, which has three locations in Oakwood, Washington Twp. and Springboro, was founded in 1948 by the Mayne family and continues to be locally owned and operated by the family."

When one of the country's best food retailers goes from three stores to four, that's a momentous event - and the folks in Mason, just a couple of dozen miles north of Cincinnati, will find their gastronomic lives to be immeasurably richer once the store opens.

•  USA Today reports that McDonald's and Krispy Kreme are discussing an expanded partnership, building on what they say has been a successful test  of stocking selected McDonald's locations with flavors that include original glazed, chocolate-iced with sprinkles and raspberry-filled.

The story notes that "the partnership is part of a broader strategy to increase the number of places you can get your sugary glazed fix … Krispy Kreme is learning how to stock fast-food restaurants with fresh doughnuts the same way it does shelves and kiosks in grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations."

When Krispy Kreme got into trouble a number of years ago, there were two reasons.  One was the anti-carb movement (which, let's face it, can kill the pleasures of a great, warm doughnut).  But the other was that Krispy Kreme got so focused on having its products in multiple locations that the quality declined, which corrupted its core value proposition.  I'm all for smart growth, but they have to be careful about maintaining quality - otherwise, they are sacrificing long-term viability for short-term cash.