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    Published on: August 8, 2008

    The Financial Times reports that Walmart expects its new small-store Marketside format, slated to be unveiled this fall, to eventually grow to more than a thousand units and generate annual sales in excess of $10 billion. The expectations, FT writes, are laid out in a job advertisement posted by the retailer; however, once queried about the ad, Walmart reportedly took the posting off its website.

    According to the story, Walmart plans to open 10 Marketside stores initially, with at least four in the Phoenix market, where they will go head-to-head against Tesco’s Fresh & Easy small-store format.

    Marketside has been described by Walmart as a 15,000 square foot store that will cater to “the needs of a time-starved, higher-income consumer that is interested in convenience and premium fresh, natural and organic offerings”. This would distinguish the format from the company’s Neighborhood Market format, which has always been more along the lines of a traditional supermarket.

    There currently are about 140 Walmart Neighborhood Markets operating around the country, and the chain has not expanded the concept more because the ROI on the format has not been as high as on its supercenters. Presumably, Walmart believes it has resolved the ROI problem…and it wants to use the Marketside format at least in part to serve communities that have been resistant to its efforts to open a larger superstore.

    KC's View:
    Kudos to FT for tracking down the job posting. Phoenix may indeed be a “pilot,” but this is akin to sending in a small assault team. If it is successful, the full might and force of Walmart will come to bear on the small store segment of the business.

    Published on: August 8, 2008

    The Lakeland Ledger reports that Publix Super Markets “appears to be battling its high-price reputation with a new effort to cut prices on staple items,” with what are being termed ”dramatically lowered” prices for items such as milk.

    While the company doesn’t address the overarching strategy, spokeswoman Shannon Patten does say, "We understand that people are feeling the crunch of the economy and we are always trying to find ways to save customers money. So what you will see is we've lowered prices on items that customers use the most.”

    In addition, the Ledger notes, Publix has been increasing its “buy one, get one free” promotions.

    “The new strategies are somewhat of a departure for Lakeland-based Publix, which has largely built its reputation on customer service and clean, attractive stores rather than sharp discounts,” the Ledger writes, adding that the entry of discounter Aldi into the Florida market, plus the trend by some shoppers to “trade down” to Walmart during times of economic stress, has forced Publix to adjust its approach so as not to lose market share in a state that it has dominated for decades.

    KC's View:
    Nothing wrong with being flexible…as long as you don't lose touch with core values and dilute your primary branding message. There isn’t any sign that Publix is in danger of making these mistakes…though it is something about which the chain must remain vigilant.

    Published on: August 8, 2008

    The Los Angeles Times this morning writes that a staple of New York City retailing life – the bodega – is struggling to survive in a time of economic crisis.

    “Across the city,” the Times writes, “a food crisis is unfolding in low-income neighborhoods, as one-third of New York's supermarkets have closed over the last five years, according to a recent city report. Most New Yorkers don't own cars; having a nearby store is important when grocery shopping means traveling by foot, cab or subway. Well-to-do residents who don't live near a supermarket can pay extra to order groceries online and have them delivered; poor residents must turn to the closest bodegas.”

    However, some of these same challenges are hitting the city’s 11,400 bodegas: “A weakening economy and rising rents and food prices have forced many to close … the number of bodegas in New York has decreased by nearly 1000 from two years ago.”

    The problem is this. Bodegas serve poor people, who can’t afford to pay increased prices for food. But in order to stay in business, the bodegas have to raise their prices. Which leaves the poor people with no place to shop, or being able to buy less food for their families than they are accustomed to purchasing.

    KC's View:
    It would be ironic if a city bearing the nickname of a fruit – the Big Apple – were unable to sustain food businesses that serve the poorest of its citizens.

    Published on: August 8, 2008

    The Daily Comet reports that Louisiana-based Rouses Supermarkets is acquiring and converting two Choice grocery stores in Long Beach and Diamondhead, Mississippi, which will bring its total in that state to four.

    According to the paper, “It’s been less than a year since the Thibodaux-based chain’s last acquisition, in which it bought out 18 Sav-a-Center and A&P stores in Louisiana as well as the two in Mississippi, nearly doubling the size of the chain and making it the largest Louisiana-owned grocer.” CEO Donald Rouse has said that his goal is to grow the company, which generates $700 million in annual sales, to a billion-dollar company within five years.

    KC's View:

    Published on: August 8, 2008

    If you own or operate a grocery store, it seems like there is a pretty good chance you could be seeing presidential candidate John McCain wandering your aisles between now and Election Day on November 4.

    According to a McCain campaign memo that was obtained and published by the Huffington Post, the GOP “has pinpointed grocery stores as an important venue for the Senator to push his economic agenda.” To do this, the memo says that “McCain's camp plans to utilize a number of tactics, including ‘family budget roundtables, grocery store visits,’ and ‘roundtable events heavily tilted towards women to discuss the pressures the economy is placing on family finances and how McCain's plan would help’.”

    KC's View:

    Published on: August 8, 2008

    • Walmart said that its total company July sales were up 9.4 percent to $30.2 billion, on same store sales that were up three percent. The company’s US division accounted for $18 .7 billion in sales, with same-store sales up three percent; its Sam’s Club division generated $3.5 billion, with same-store sales up 3.5 percent, and its international division had $7.9 billion in sales, with same store sales up three percent.

    • BJ’s Wholesale Club said that its July sales were $773.25 million, up from $650.49 million last year, on same-store sales that were up 16.7 percent. Excluding gasoline, same-store sales were up seven percent.

    • Target Corp. said that its July sales were up 4.7 percent to $4.57 billion, on same-store sales that were off 1.2 percent.

    • Longs Drug Stores said that its July sales were off 1.6 percent to $353 million, on same-store sales that were down 3.5 percent.

    • PriceSmart, which operates membership club stores in Central America and the Caribbean, reported that its July net sales increased 25.4 percent to $95.2 million from $75.9 million in July a year earlier, on same-store sales that were up 19.1 percent.

    • Sara Lee reports that its fourth quarter revenue rose 12 percent, to $3.51 billion, from $3.13 billion a year earlier, but that it lost $695 million during that period, compared with a profit of $117 million a year ago. The company blamed rising ingredient costs for the change in fortunes, and expressed confidence that new price increases will compensate and turn things around.

    KC's View:

    Published on: August 8, 2008

    • The Times Colonist reports that Canada Safeway has been served with a 72-hour strike notice by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), though union officials say they believe that a settlement can be reached before any job action is taken. A mediator has been appointed to work with the two sides on reaching a negotiated settlement.

    • The Los Angeles Times reports that California-based S&S Foods “is recalling 153,630 pounds of frozen ground beef after an E. coli outbreak shut down a Boy Scout camp in Virginia this week and sickened at least 22 people.” The meat “was intended for institutional use and food service companies, which normally supply restaurants, and wasn't sold at the retail level. Before the recall, the beef was shipped to distribution centers in Milwaukee and Allentown, Pa., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

    MSNBC reports that the French government is considering an increase in sales taxes on extra-fatty, salty or sugary products – a move that is being contemplated because of lack of satisfaction with previous efforts to combat the nation’s burgeoning obesity rate.

    HealthDay News reports on a new study saying that Americans are drinking less alcohol than they did 50 years ago – with more people saying they don’t drink at all than would have said the same thing back in 1958. In addition, it appears that moderate drinking is on the rise, while heavy drinking is down. However, the same study suggests that alcoholism has not shown a corresponding decrease.

    KC's View:

    Published on: August 8, 2008

    • Spartan Stores announced yesterday that its president/COO, Dennis Eidson, has been appointed CEO, affective October 15. Craig Sturken, currently the chairman/CEO, will then continue in his role as executive chairman of the board

    • Food Lion announced that it has promoted Carol Herndon, currently executive vice president of Accounting & Analysis and Information Technology for Food Lion LLC, and Chief Accounting Officer for Delhaize America, to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Administrative Officer, with continuing responsibility for all of Accounting & Analysis, as well as Information Technology. In addition, she will now be accountable for Corporate Development, which includes real estate, store development, mergers and acquisitions, construction, maintenance, equipment procurement and energy management.

    • Jamba Inc., owners of the Jamba Juice chain of smoothie shops, reported that CEO Paul Clayton and CFO Donald Breen have left the company, and that chairman Steven Berrard has taken over as interim CEO. Controller Karen Luey will serve as interim CFO.

    No reason was given for why the two men quit, but published reports note that Jamba has been losing money for some time.

    KC's View:

    Published on: August 8, 2008

    Got a number of reactions to yesterday’s MNB Radio piece about the need to educate young people with much technological ability but few social skills about the need for clear and open communication, so that they can drag us into the future in ways that can only help our businesses.

    MNB user Lari Perkiss wrote:

    Randy Pausch, of “The Last Lecture,” had the same experience with arrogance as your young geek did when explaining technological advances. One of his Professor’s explained to Randy that undergraduates found him a challenge to work with and that “When you’re perceived as being arrogant it really limits what you can accomplish.” Kevin, doesn’t this really apply to everyone? As a recent graduate starting a second career I’ve found that many executives don’t often practice their active listening skills. Result-oriented and time sensitive, it’s a challenge to manage the volume of information we’re pummeled with.

    Next time grab the geek by the sleeve and ask them to write that down for you. And to all the executives and managers what simpler and effective way to pass on experience and leadership and create loyalty than to have a conversation.

    Referring to my feeling that a young techie with whom I had an encounter viewed me as a dinosaur, MNB user Linda Wish wrote:

    While you are picturing the ice flow that you are doomed to be dragged out on and left toothless because you are no longer able to able to help support the tribe or chew your own seal blubber.....

    Picture the geek- who will NOT get hired- not because we don't value his ideas, and knowledge of current and future technology, but because his lack of interpersonal communication skills have dropped to a level that he is unbearable to be around.

    I have been reminded recently that we need to blend our tech information with personal interaction- because in a "pure" tech message- tone is lost- and can be misinterpreted very easily.

    Another MNB user wrote:

    In your commentary this morning about the 25-year-old dissing your recent speech concerning what he felt were soon-to-be largely obsolete forms of tech-based communication, you mentioned that our industry has two responsibilities here: the first being to hire (young) people like him to help facilitate converting their professional elders into the fast-moving world of 21st century technology, and the second being to help round out these (young) people's minds and attitudes so they become more accepting and less dismissive of (older) colleagues who don't have the tech background they do. (But certainly, are anything but altogether worthless, nonetheless.)

    Might I also suggest that the to-be-hired people in question also have two responsibilities, essentially the mirror images of the above? Specifically, one, to simply do what they may be best equipped to do (convert their less tech-savvy elders to appreciate & better understand the brave new tech world) and two, to simply be more respectful and tolerant of the less tech-savvy colleagues they will be brought in to educate? (Let he who is without fault cast the first stone.)

    The responsibility paradigm here shouldn't be -- and shouldn't even be characterized as being -- a one-way street. Political correctness, perhaps, might cause one to suggest that "the industry" has two responsibilities, whereas the (young) futurists have none; in reality, though, I can't help but think that both the industry and the tech-savvy generation in their 20s have arguably equal and opposite shared responsibilities. If "the dinosaur class" doesn't make this point, and in essence, insist that it be acknowledged & agreed upon, I don't think we can or should expect the Gen Y'ers to pick it up and own it voluntarily.

    I never meant to suggest that the responsibility solely lies with older people. But I do think that we are the adults…we are supposed to be the mentors, and therefore I do think that we have a greater responsibility … especially because we also have the responsibility for making sure that our businesses remain relevant and vibrant, and these younger people are the key.

    MNB user Steve Sullivan wrote:

    Kevin, don’t feel bad about standing all a-blither after talking to a YOUNG geek. I’ve been in the IT world now for 30 years (man, that makes me feel old saying 30 years!). The computers I first worked on (IBM370 for you IT folks out here) took up a whole room and had less storage and processing capability – by far – than the PDAs and iPhones carried in folks’ pockets today. Today, even within my own workgroup there are technologies being used by others that are outside my realm of knowledge. And once I get up to speed on one thing, it gets replaced by something new. You think it’s tough keeping up with technology as a user? Try doing it for a living – especially if you fall into the ‘old dog, new tricks’ category! It can be frustrating, but then I take a step back and see the AMAZING things that have been accomplished technically in the last 10 or 5 or 2 years and say ‘WOW!’ Yeah, we have a few gray-beards that remember using 80 column punch cards, but they can still keep up with and teach them young whipper-snappers a few things (say that in your best Walter Brennan voice). Computers are tools. It’s the same as going from Alley Oop’s hand-held sharp rock to the modern titanium ax with energy-absorbing fiberglass handle. Same job accomplished, but so much easier.

    Our company has made some amazing strides in marketing, supply chain and logistics in the last few years. None of it would have been possible without the use of bigger /better / faster technologies. Heck! I’m working from home today as part of an energy conservation initiative. I can actually access files sitting on my desktop PC at the office at a speed comparable to being there. That would have been difficult a few years ago.

    But, you get the idea. Well, gotta go. I have a video teleconference coming up on my cell phone with the office and others in Maine and Europe. Now, if we could just get that matter transfer device working…

    Another MNB user wrote:

    I just wanted to pipe in with my personal opinion about those "young people" and "tech geeks" that you referred to in your MorningNewsBeat Radio. Your comment about the youngster struck me in many different ways. First of all, I agree with you – he was rude, inappropriate, and totally out of line. That's one of the characteristics of people in my generation -- they feel like they're so in touch with the world as it is today and anyone who isn't totally "in" is considered, well, "out" and therefore not worthy of our time.

    Here's the other thing though -- that kid probably wasn't as geeky as you think he was. People who throw around a lot of names of technologies with little explanation are often the ones who are passionate users of the technology, but totally oblivious to the mechanics and actual technology being used. Why am I in a position to talk about this?
    Well, because I am traditional geek: I have an Electrical Engineering minor and have watched the internet grow from what it was 10 years ago to what it is today. The transformation in communication technologies and methods has been nothing short of phenomenal. I can't claim to be on top of all the technology that youngsters use today (I am, at the ripe age of 24, sadly too old), but I try my best to keep myself abreast of them.

    This quote to me was the most interesting:

    "However, I do want to suggest that as an industry, we have two responsibilities here. One is to hire more people like this young computer geek, because they are the ones who will drag us – sometimes kicking and screaming – into the future. Without them, we may spend more time looking backward than forward, and that's no way to run a business."

    Here's the main point that I have written to talk to you about. I work in the grocery industry at one of the larger supermarket companies in the US. I've been here for 1.5 years, and unfortunately, all of my already-outdated opinions about technology have fallen upon deaf ears. It's a serious problem -- you have young people with simple ideas that could transform the way you do business, but the company doesn't bother to leverage the expertise, instead boxing them in and trying to fit them to a traditional mold. Maybe it's just the company I'm working at, or maybe it isn't. In any case, young people leave this company in droves because only the opinion of the older and more experienced is respected. I am a food expert, a technology guru, and I do finance at a supermarket company. Unfortunately, this company only knows how to leverage my technology skill set insofar as my finance job. None further. In meetings, I feel like it's always, "age under 30 not permitted to speak".

    If the industry doesn't try harder to acquire, retain, train, AND leverage the young talent that they think will transform their companies, then they will lose them all. This is especially important in the age of young, easily distracted, short-attention-spanned generation X/Y/Z/AAers. Oh, and yes -- they do need to be constantly online and always text-messaging everyone else. While it looks distracting, that's the lifestyle that they're used to. If you want them, you need to be willing to see things their way.

    Anyway, I discovered your site a few weeks ago. I really enjoy it. Keep up the good work.

    I’m flattered that someone like this would read and enjoy MNB. But more importantly, supermarket industry executives need to read and reread this email and talk about the challenges that it poses to every company in the industry.

    And finally, there was a commentary yesterday on MNB that I ended by quoting Jimmy Malone, who once said, “Here endeth the lesson.”

    To which one MNB user responded:

    Who in the world is HE?????

    Jimmy Malone is the Irish cop played by Sean Connery in the move version of “The Untouchables.” If you’ve never seen it, go rent it or download it and watch it this weekend. It is a great American movie, filled with terrific performances, scintillating action sequences, and a backbone message about the importance of ethics and honor and friendship. The dialog is by David Mamet, the direction is by Brian DePalma, and Connery, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro and a host of other wonderful actors bring it to full and robust life.

    KC's View:

    Published on: August 8, 2008

    I have friends who live in Florida who told me about a local Publix that apparently is offering a new service for local consumers.

    Since it now costs so much to bring luggage on airplanes, people who are sending their kids back to college are now bringing the bags into the Jamestown Publix to weigh them before going to the airport. This way, there aren’t any surprises when they get to the terminal…and the Publix is getting a reputation for being very parent-friendly. So much so, in fact, that this week there has been a line at certain times of the day of people waiting with their luggage to use the scales.

    Customer service can come in some pretty strange packages, but it still is customer service.

    We may be in a recession, but that doesn’t mean that indulgence has become a dirty word.

    The Boston Globe reports that a new movie theater is opening there this week where “moviegoers will have a choice to make at the ticket counter: coach or first class.

    “Just like coach-class airfare, a standard ticket will reserve a seat inside the new Foxborough movie theater, which houses a restaurant, food court, several conference rooms, seating areas for children, and a reading room for adults.

    “But for an extra $10, patrons can upgrade: securing a spot in leather loveseats, where hosts serve cocktails, and gaining access into the Lux Level, a posh upstairs lounge overlooking the lobby's baby grand piano.”

    I may be alone in this, but I’d actually pay more if they’d actually guarantee me a good movie.

    It is hard to make sense of the marketplace sometimes.

    This week, for example, JetBlue announced that it will begin charging $7 for blankets and pillows. (They’ll be better than the crusty specimens that fliers are used to, and jetBlue says you’ll be able to take them with you when you leave. Because what everybody wants to do is carry more stuff when leaving the plane.)

    That’s the budget approach to flying.

    At almost the same time, Delta announced that it will begin making WiFi available to passengers while in flight. No prices have been announced yet, but this clearly is perceived as a luxury perk that’s going to cost already burdened passengers even more money than they’re already paying.

    I have to admit, though, that I’m willing to pay for WiFi. And I’ve never used an airline pillow or blanket in my life.

    So maybe this makes sense.

    Go read Sally Jenkins’ column about the Olympics that appeared in the Washington Post this week. Jenkins, who when she is on her game can be a terrific writer, delivers a tough and unsparing look at the upcoming games and the corporate/political gamesmanship that is going on in Beijing.


    • “You only have to breathe the air to understand that these Olympics aren't about sport. They're about corporate profit, a propaganda stage for the Chinese government, and the moral collapse of the Olympic movement, but the very last thing they're about is excellence or the well-being of the athletes. The real interests, the real priorities, are in the air … Beijing has its splendors: ambrosial pear juice and duck skin in coarse sugar, ancient gnarled cypresses, bending willow trees, palaces with concealed courts, and sprawling districts in which nationalities blend into a worldly sauntering crowd. But the air is not one of those splendors. In fact, depending on which way the wind blows, it can seem as if the countryside is burning, or as if you are standing behind the tailpipe of a bus.”

    • “So what is this Olympics really about? It's about 12 major corporations and their panting ambitions to tap into China's 1.3 billion consumers, the world's third-largest economy. Understand this: The International Olympic Committee is nothing more than a puppet for its corporate ‘partners,’ without whom there would be no Games. These major sponsors pay the IOC's bills for staging the Olympics to the tune of $7 billion per cycle. Without them, and their designs on the China market, Beijing probably would not have won the right to host the Summer Games … Anyone who believed the Chinese government would use the Olympics as an opportunity to become a human rights beacon and environmental model was either softheaded, or lying. Capitalism is not the same thing as democracy. China's interest then and now was the consolidation of state power via economics. The government is merely behaving as it always has.”

    • “But the bad air here has shown the IOC and its commercial sponsors in an especially ugly and damning light. They have been conspicuous cowards in dealing with Chinese officials, and maybe even outright collaborators, on every issue from human rights to the environment to censorship. The silence of IOC President Jacques Rogge in the face of the continuing dissident sweeps amounts to complicity. ‘In view of my responsibilities, I have lost some of my freedom of speech,’ he said last week. Rogge's idea of a solution to the thorny problems of these Games is to hope ‘the magic’ will take over once they begin.”

    • “Most disgraceful of all is the fact that six of the 12 worldwide Olympic partners are American companies. This has to heart-sicken any patriot. These companies will reap the full exposure of the Summer Games, swathing themselves in the flag, and rationalizing that their business is helping uplift the Chinese people. Don't buy it – or them. You should know exactly who they are: General Electric (which owns NBC), Coca-Cola, Visa, McDonald's, Kodak, and Johnson & Johnson … When these acquiesced to the Chinese government's crackdown, and effectively accepted the censorship of the press during these Games, they fell into a special category of profiteers that Franklin Delano Roosevelt described in his ‘Four Freedoms’ speech.

    "’We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American eagle in order to feather their own nests,’ Roosevelt said.”

    I am torn about the political implications of these games, and wonder if they will serve to nudge China to improve its environmental and human rights policies, or simply stand as proof positive that China is so big and powerful that it cannot and will not be moved. I fear the latter, and believe that the political and news coverage during the next two weeks may end being far more interesting than the games themselves.

    If there is one thing that all the political analysts (at least the ones I’ve been listening to) seem to agree on this year, it is that more than ever you can't trust any of the polls.

    That’s because pollsters only survey via landline phones.

    And the federal government has just come out with a survey saying that upwards of 20 percent of the population no longer has a landline.

    That seemed outrageous…until I realized that I was part of the 20 percent. I use a cell phone most of the time, and both the house and office have VoIP Internet broadband telephone services.

    This has enormous implications for marketers…if only because it places so many people out of reach when it comes to traditional marketing efforts.

    Very funny line from comedian Lewis Black on “The Daily Show” this week, commenting on the horrendously high prices being charged for food in Zimbabwe:

    “A trillion dollars for baked beans? I didn’t know they had a Whole Foods in Zimbabwe!”

    Mackey and Mugabe. Together again for the first time.

    Don't know if you saw this or not, but Reuters had a story the other day about a new restaurant in Sydney, Australia, that serves 20 different kinds of water from around the world, charging premium prices and matching waters to foods in the same way that many establishments develop food and wine pairings.

    The main reason behind launching the water menu is because we are finding more and more of our guests are increasingly health conscious," a spokesman for the restaurant, Kables, tells Reuters. "Often people feel pressured into ordering a glass of wine with their meal but now customers have a choice. Our customers are really enjoying the novelty and experiencing the water as they would wine."

    Just when you thought the world couldn’t get any crazier…

    Playing on my iPod this week – the new Randy Newman album, “Harps and Angels,” which won’t disappoint Newman fans. He hasn’t released an album of originals in almost a decade, but this one was worth the wait – especially a remix of a song he released on iTunes a couple of years ago: “A Few Words In Defense Of Our Country.” As always, the satire is scathing, the melodies remind one of a club in New Orleans, and the voice is one of a kind.

    A movie that is doing almost no business at all, but deserve a better fate, is ‘Swing Vote,’ starring Kevin Costner as a down-on-his-luck New Mexico resident who finds himself, through circumstances both improbable but oddly logical (especially in view of recent history) as the person who will decide the results of a presidential election between Republican incumbent Kelsey Grammer and Democratic challenger Dennis Hopper. Costner is perfect as a character with a certain empty charm who finds himself able to exploit an historic moment for personal gain; the extraordinarily talented Madeline Carroll plays his daughter, who is both more mature and intelligent than her father, and who plays a key role in how the election is decided.

    This isn’t a perfect movie; there are times the tone veers too erratically from political satire to madcap comedy. But “Swing Vote” is very good when it gets it right – especially when it shows the two candidates and their political consultants (played by Stanley Tucci and Nathan Lane as if they were born to the roles) completely changing their positions to get a single vote. And, the soundtrack is great.

    “Swing Vote” isn’t a four-star movie, but I liked it a lot. No explosions, no special effects, and no super heroes – just an intelligently written comedy with strong performances and a good message. Can't ask for more than that.

    That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.


    KC's View:

    Published on: August 8, 2008

    MorningNewsBeat. For almost seven years, MNB has been providing its readers news in context, analysis with attitude, experience, perspective, and irreverence for sacred cows…all of which separate it from every other business communications vehicle.

    What defines MNB?
    • An expanding range of voices (75-100 new subscribers, including top ranking industry leaders, sign up every week)
    • Unparalleled engagement (hundreds of emails exchanged weekly on a variety of topics…and more than 10,000 emails since MNB was launched)
    • Intellectual and emotional intimacy that reflects & creates compelling content.

    Who reads MorningNewsBeat?
    • Executives from virtually every major retailer and manufacturer in the world, from CEOs to senior marketing and merchandising leaders, to store and department managers – all of whom matter most to your business, and who turn to MorningNewsBeat for the edge that can make the difference in their businesses.

    Who writes MorningNewsBeat?
    • “Content Guy” Kevin Coupe brings two decades of experience and passion to MorningNewsBeat. Even after more than 20 years of writing about the food business, Kevin likes nothing better than getting on a plane or behind the wheel of his convertible and traveling to someplace he hasn’t been before, where he can eat the local food, taste the local beer or wine, and find out what makes the local retailers tick. He’s reported from 45 of the United States and from some two dozen different countries around the globe.

    • Michael Sansolo, the long time senior vice president of the Food Marketing Institute and past editor-in-chief of Progressive Grocer, who each week offers a diverse and unique view of the changing nature of today’s shoppers and their impact on the food retail industry. Through countless studies and work with some of the world’s most innovative retailers and manufacturers, Sansolo has an excellent perspective on the changing nature of shopping, cooking, eating and competition.

    “I am a regular reader and really like the short, to the point summary of industry news. I always get a "kick" out of your comments, as they are not filtered and a little on the edge. Not always flattering, as we have taken our fair share of criticism, but candid and full of common sense. You tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. Keep up the good work, we like our dose with our morning Java!”

    -Eric Claus, President and CEO, The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company


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