Grocery inflation remained high in July with consumers paying 13.1 percent more for food at home than they did in the same month last year. Prices were up 1.1 percent compared to June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Workers at Starbucks have held 55 different strikes, claiming that the company is retaliating against pro-union employees by cutting hours, firing them and closing stores. Starbucks disputes the assertions. “We currently have strikes happening outside store locations in specific locations in the US. Starbucks has great partners and we value their contributions. We respect our partners’ right to engage in any legally protected activity or protest without retaliation.”
Bottlenecks in the global supply chain have eased in recent months as demand has slowed and overseas factories operate without COVID-19-related interruptions. “It’s a massive traffic jam that is now unclogging,” said Phil Levy, chief economist at Flexport.
Kroger is introducing self-checkouts with conveyor belts like conventional registers into 20 additional stores in the Cincinnati area.
Lower prices at the pump helped to modestly lower the rate of inflation in July to 8.5 percent year-over-year following a 9.1 percent gain in June. “One in a row is not a streak — but it is a start,” wrote Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride in a note.
Consumers are looking to stretch their food dollars, choosing Applebee’s and IHOP over pricier alternatives. Sales at the two chains for the three months ending June 30 rose about six to eight percent among households earning more than $75,000 a year.
Ralph Lauren and Capri, the parent company of Versace and other brands, posted strong revenues and earnings as luxury goods sales continue to grow in the face of inflationary prices. Ralph Lauren’s sales were up 8.3 percent and Capri’s rose 8.5 percent.
Danny Meyer, the founder of Union Square Hospitality Group, said that inflation-fueled tips are bringing workers back to the restaurant industry. Inflation has caused menu prices to rise and that means “if you do have a tipping model in your restaurants, servers are making more money than they’ve ever made before,” said Mr. Meyer.
Sweetgreen is cutting about five percent of its support center staff and moving to a smaller office building after posting weaker than expected sales in the most recent quarter. The salad chain has cut its annual revenues and earnings forecast.
Chipotle Mexican Grill has agreed to pay up to about $20 million to 13,000 workers in New York after being accused by the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection of violating their rights under the Fair Workweek and Paid Safe and Sick Leave law. “We’re pleased to be able to resolve these issues and believe this settlement demonstrates Chipotle’s commitment to providing opportunities for all of our team members while also complying with the Fair Workweek law,” said Scott Boatwright, Chipotle’s chief restaurant officer.