retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to Michael Sansolo’s column yesterday about Google, MNB fave Glen Terbeek wrote:

One reason for Googles success is that they expect employees to spend 20% of their time on any project that they believe will help the company long term. So 80% of their time is doing their normal work, and the rest is exploring new ideas. Sounds like a good idea.

Maybe the supermarkets could learn from this!

On the subject of the FTC scheduling an administrative hearing into Whole Foods’ acquisition of Wild Oats for next February – a year and a half after the deal was closed – and my comment that the FTC seems like a rabid dog with a hunk of raw meat, one MNB user wrote:

They are delusional. The only other explanation besides that one: Someone is greasing some palms somewhere. These are the only two explanations that would motivate this action and waste of tax dollars.

Lots of reaction to yesterday’s piece about Aldi. One MNB user wrote:

Having been in the grocery business 41 years and working for the supermarket, club and mass trades, I would tell you that Aldi is what Price Club was in the 70-80's. Aldi has done a great job of staying under everyone's radar just as Price Club did in the early days. Aldi more the Tesco will be the 3 largest chain and will have some pretty good quality in the next 5-8 years.

Another MNB user chimed in:

Last year I was on a plane next to a man who designs shopping centres in Holland. He explained that they always want an Aldi and an Albert Hein to drive traffic in each development. That way shoppers can come to Aldi for the prices and to Albert Hein for the things that Aldi doesn’t stock.

Another MNB user wrote:

Right now, Walmart seems to reaping the benefit of the loss-of-home-equity induced economic slowdown. With their home as a piggy bank, people felt prosperous and thought they deserved the niceties of places like Target and Starbucks. The piggy bank is gone and , so far, Walmart is the big beneficiary. It would seem logical that a hard discounter like Aldi should also benefit. After all, where does the life loyal Walmart shopper go to save money ? Aldi, unlike its sibling Trader Joe’s, doesn’t seem to worry about things like “shopping experience,” “category depth” and “brands”. It is a bare bones shopping environment that basically says, “you just get the basics, but they’re really cheap”. It was a formula born in Germany as it emerged from the rubble of the Second World War. Given that we are in another stressful time, it may be a formula whose time has come, again.
KC's View: