Published on: March 29, 2006
We had a story yesterday about an in-store video provider signing a deal with CBS to run clips from the networks’ various shows on in-store networks, and we expressed some concern that much of this footage would become just so much noise that does nothing to improve the shopping experience.MNB
user Glen Terbeek observed:I find this very interesting. Shouldn't retailers be focused on making their stores the center of entertainment through innovative products, merchandising, services and fun shopping experience? Instead, they are relying on an outsider to introduce programming that may not even be relevant?
Isn't this another example of the retailers abdicating their responsibilities to their shoppers for the sake of the almighty trade dollars?
user Gary Cohen wrote:That is EXACTLY what those in store networks are…more noise, to go with the cell phone noise, the PA announcements noise (which in many cases either drowns out the TV noise or is drowned out by the TV noise…
On the subject of certain groups attacking Wal-Mart for its willingness to sell the new DVD edition of “Brokeback Mountain,” MNB
user Andrew Hartnett wrote:I think these action groups need to ask themselves what it is about this film that upsets them so much. Is it because it is a Gay love story or is it because it represents the iconic American cowboy as a homosexual?
We’re not sure that this is an either/or situation.
And another member of the MNB
community wrote:Do you think that the same people who are protesting Wal-Mart's decision to sell “Brokeback Mountain” based on "family values" are the same ones who bought their unrated version of “Old School” at Wal-Mart?
There’s plenty of hypocrisy to go around.
We were wondering if maybe Wal-Mart would allow DVD department managers to decide not to sell “Brokeback Mountain” if it offends their personal sensibilities…
On the subject of the USDA deciding not to cut back on mad cow inspections – at lest for the moment – MNB
user Denise Kaplan wrote:It's nice to know the only reason the USDA has reversed their opinion on BSE testing is to ensure Japan will accept our exported meat....and that it has nothing to do with keeping the people in the US healthy and out of harm’s way.
Regarding the possible resurgence of craft beer even as bigger beer companies are suffering sales declines, one MNB
user wrote:We have 4 craft breweries in our small town of 15,000 souls. Two of them bottle and sell out of the area. When traveling, I always look for a locally brewed beer when it's "beer:thirty." However, I weary of the ales that compose the bulk of the offerings. Every brewery everywhere focuses on ales. I understand why, but it is nearly impossible to create different ales.
They end up, nearly, all tasting the same because they all work from the same recipe book. It's time for the thousands of craft brewers to buck up, take some chances--a lot of chances, and make their own recipes, to celebrate what makes their town/brewery unique with methods other than crafty (excuse the pun) labels. That will bring the regionality that micro-brewers can really sell. I can see a new travel industry tour based on sampling regional brews.
On the subject of Sears trying to use its Sears Grand format to replace what it views as a failed Sears Essentials format, one MNB
user wrote:Fast Eddie and his minions are taking a "Field of Dreams" approach to retailing: If we build it they will come. What they consistently fail to understand is that no matter what you build, if you provide the same poor customer service AND raise prices no one will come. From the first day Fast Eddie took over his mantra has been Increase Share Holder Value. When he gets tired of playing retailer there will only be one way to do this...For Sale by Owner.MNB
user Bob Vereen wrote:Having been in both stores several times observing and taking pix, I found little difference. I think Sears Essentials suffered because it converted old and declining Kmart locations to Sears Essentials and used a layout that tucked strong Sears brands like Craftsman and Sears paints into the far corner, whereas Sears Grand played them strong up front.
However, having said that, Sears Grand seemed to me to be a cross between a Target and a Wal-Mart, somewhat more upscale than Wal-Mart but not as classy as Target.
What these conversions do, however, is bring Sears brands closer to customers. Whether doing this will attract more consumers to become Sears brand boosters is yet to be proven, I think.
And, we continue to get emails responding to our anti-screw top diatribes.MNB
user Wayne Wood, who hails from Melbourne, Australia, wrote:You can stick your Corks where it will not harm the wine.
Australia has swung to screw tops and I for one am pleased, nothing makes me angrier that having a $90 bottle of wine corked by the seal.
It is amazing what we eventually adapt to when we get over the snobbery of "Old World Heritage". - "I would rather drink the wine than sniff the cork".MNB
user John Crowell wrote:I, like you do not care how they market wines, if wineries feel gender based marketing is the way to go so be it. I buy based on recommendations from friends and others, like yourself, who enjoy what they drink. But I must take exception to your comment "spare us from the screw-top bottles" what difference does it make whether we pull the cork or twist the cap", good wine is good wine. In fact, I served a friends mother, who is visiting from France, she turned her nose up too when she saw the screw top, but had nothing but praise for the wine once she tasted it. A great everyday White Table Wine called Conundrum from Caymus Vineyards. Whether it’s a pull cork or a screw cap, who cares, enjoy the moment, the person your with and wine.
The accusation seems to be that we are out of step…something we cheerfully admit to on a number of levels. (We’ve been driving the same car for 12 years and wearing the same watch for 25. The other day we told Mrs. Content Guy that we are finally beginning to like men’s sports jackets with three buttons in the front instead of two…and she said that this is clear and inarguable evidence that three-button jackets are on the way out.)
But there’s something else here. We keep arguing that for us, the sound of a cork being removed from a wine bottle is one of the great sounds on the planet – it evokes more than just a beverage, but rather suggests romance and magic. It heightens the experience rather than diminishing it or making it common.
We recognize that not everyone feels this way. However, we think that allowing wine to be opened like a bottle of soda only helps to eliminate one of its differential advantages. It makes the category less special rather than more so.
Here’s a metaphor that will probably get us in trouble…
The difference between a bottle of wine with a screw top and a bottle of wine with a cork is the difference between sex and love.