Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: Consumers seek basics; retailers seek mergers
The “flight to necessities” by the U.S. consumer was on display as BJ’s — which sells food and fuel — posted a 26 percent jump in quarterly profit.
But for businesses steeped in discrection, the quarter was no cakewalk. Talbots posted sharply lower quarterly net profit; Charming Shoppes reported a quarterly loss and Brown Shoe posted a lower first-quarter profit.
Spectrum Brands announced plans to sell its global pet supply business to a subsidiary of Salton Inc; the Wall Street Journal reported that Barnes and Noble Inc is looking into a possible bid for competitor Borders Group; and Dutch office supplier Corporate Express is seeking to buy French rival Lyreco for 1.4 billion euros ($2.2 billion), as it fends off a hostile bid from U.S. rival Staples.