"We're seeing cost increases starting to come through at a pretty rapid rate," Bill Simon says, and retailers are going to have to pass some of them along. Among the pressure points, obviously: Higher fuel prices, which then push up transportation costs.
There's more troubling news from Japan, which continues to struggle with the after-effects of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami that killed thousands on March 11 and triggered an ongoing emergency at a nuclear power plant.
Earlier this week, President Obama received an award for his commitment to openness in government. It came from groups that advocate transparency, including the Project on Government Oversight and the National Security Archive. Strangely, the award was presented behind closed doors at the White House and the press was neither informed nor invited. According to Politico, one presenter called all that secrecy of a positive event - baffling.