retail news in context, analysis with attitude

On the subject of Wal-Mart’s unbridled growth, MNB user Frederic Arnal wrote:

While reading and enjoying the spirited views regarding this issue, it occurred to me that...

It's a distraction to attribute motivation or intent to a retail phenomena like Wal-Mart (the blind watchmaker theory). They are and have been brilliantly focused on a business model. They impact their environment in doing so... often incidentally or inadvertently. While this may detract from the quality of life for those who share the environment, the only rational response is not to bemoan "what is" but rather to determine what is good for ourselves in the current system. Ultimately, institutional responses to societal needs (like Wal-Mart) eventually sow the seeds of their own demise while creating new competitive variants. As for the morality of corporate entities, I'll leave that for the philosophers.

MNB user (and industry wise man) Glen Terbeek wrote:

Wal-Mart isn't the company that should be ashamed of their practices and success; It should be the established and mature retailers that existed when Wal-Mart started in the 70's who let Wal-Mart enter, dominate and take market share.

Wal-Mart's "net cost, shopper focus" for national brands attacked the antiquated business practices that were and continue to be out of sync with today's saturated marketplace; namely trade dollars. No wonder the manufacturers jumped on the Wal-Mart bandwagon; it is the most "Frictionless" route to the shopper.

Maybe the industry should worry about business practices synchronization first before they worry about item synchronization. Before it is too late!

About the book “The Case Against Wal-Mart” by Al Norman, which was the subject of much debate on MNB, Glenn J. Rosati wrote:

Interesting subject. Great debate.

Will I be able to buy the book at Wal-Mart?


But you can order a copy of “The Case Against Wal-Mart” by going to:

We got several emails about our story last week about the opening of Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market in Richmond; Leonard is the son of industry icon Stew Leonard.

MNB user Kerley LeBoeuf wrote:

Why Richmond?

To serve the 350 or so Philip Morris employees who transferred?

Maybe. We think that Richmond was his choice because that’s where he lives, not for any specific strategic reason. We also think it has another advantage – being hundreds of miles away from the original, which means that comparisons won’t often be made except by those who have relocated there.

And another MNB user chimed in:

As you well know, Richmond is Ukrop's. I am from there but haven't lived there for over 20 years. Several folks of high end markets have moved to Richmond, then closed up shop. I go home every year for the Holiday's, and my bet is he's closed by then.

Finally, we had a story last week about Tesco rolling out (pun intended) a new shopping cart that is designed to provide resistance when it is pushed, therefore giving shoppers a workout as they go up and down the aisles.

To which MNB user Joyce Mann responded:

Let me understand - after a hard day at work, I have dinner to prepare and the housework and laundry await. I stop at the grocery on the way home, and I'm going to be given a cart that pushes back??

No thank you! I am thankful for one that has been recently oiled so all the wheels point in roughly the same direction.

Joyce, you made us laugh out loud! Thanks for that...
KC's View: