he high cost of iceberg and other lettuce prices, which have topped $50 a case, the highest prices in at least 15 years. Many supermarkets have put up signage explaining to customers unusually cold weather in the growing areas of California and Arizona is responsible for pushing prices up to $3 for a head of lettuce. The crunch is expected to ease by early April, when the harvest shifts to less-affected growing regions, industry officials say.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here said last week it has agreed to purchase what it termed a "strategic stake" in Seiyu, Tokyo, a Japanese retail chain with $8 billion in sales. Wal-Mart said it would pay $46 million for 6.1% of Seiyu's stock. Under the agreement, Wal-Mart can invest over time up to $2 billion in Seiyu, which would give it a 66.7% share of the company.