retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Wednesday morning news briefs…

  • Healthnotes, Inc. signed a deal with Wild Oats Markets to integrate its health and lifestyle content both on kiosks in the retailer’s brick-and-mortar units as well as on its website. According to the company, Wild Oats is the first national supermarket chain to implement Healthnotes kiosks in all of its stores and on its Web site. We know this sounds like a commercial, but we mention it because it 1)represents a synchronized marketing approach between the physical and virtual store, which makes sense, and 2) because it speaks to the power of information…which we believe is the next great frontier to be explored as relationships develop between shopper and shopkeeper.


  • In the UK, The Guardian reports that Wal-Mart’s Asda Group opened has opened six new stores this month, rebranding two of them with the Wal-Mart name. Wonder how long it will be before the Asda name fades into memory, and the Wal-Mart banner replaces it throughout the country?

  • McDonald's reportedly is considering shutting down six of its flagship London units, a recognition that its “you deserve a break today” approach to fast food isn’t cutting it anymore in certain areas. Maybe the people who really deserve a break today are the consumers, who really deserve better. Ironically, with offerings like Pret A Manger and Chipotle, McDonald’s is proving it can offer better.


  • The high-fat, low-carbohydrate Atkins diet is beginning to get new endorsements, as a controlled study at Duke University suggests that it is a better approach to weight loss that a low-fat diet. The only thing that makes us suspicious of this study is that it was financed by the Robert C. Atkins Foundation…, which may suggest a bias. (In academia? Horrors!) If we underwrote a diet study, you can bet a lot of money that it would support the careful use of beer and Krispy Kremes as a mechanism for weight loss…


And the beat goes on...
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