Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Have a Coke and a confused looking grin


Check out the confused American consumer. COCACOLAENTERPRISES/

Coca-Cola Co actually saw sales volume rise in North America in the second quarter, a rare feat.

Now imagine what would happen if U.S. consumers could actually figure out if they can afford to keep spending the money on a soda, what with high unemployment and the jittery stock market.

The world’s biggest soft-drink company says it has the brands to grow in North America, the ability to spend to support those brands and other factors.

But one quarter of growth is not enough to make the folks in Atlanta jump for joy.

Coca-Cola’s tale of four cities


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …

muhtar-kentWhen trying to determine how and when consumers will recover from the downturn, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent sees the world broken into four quadrants.  It’s “A Tale of Four Cities,” he said.

Think of four different quadrants, Kent said on a call on Tuesday after the company reported second-quarter results.