retail news in context, analysis with attitude

On the subject of whether economic realities and the recession will lead to a permanent “new frugality,” one MNB user wrote:

I’m a little mixed yet on how long-term much of this new found frugality will last. One thing I am interested in  though is the change in available money this recession has produced as a result of at least short-term frugality. Many people I know have been cutting down on the amount of debt they have, mostly on credit cards; I’ve even seen this supported in some news articles. What I’m wondering is how many people will have more money to spend than they did before the recession with basically the same income? I’ll use my girlfriend as an example (please don’t tell her!). She had large balances on several credit cards, but over the last year she has really buckled down (been frugal) and paid them off. So even though her income is the same she now has much more money to spend every month, even after putting some away in a new savings account.

So will the ‘new frugal’ be the new wave, or will it be ‘lesson learned’ from past mistakes of credit card debt? Retailers surely hope for the second where more people will buy their goods instead of sending money off to credit card companies.

Regarding the closure of the Hollywood Video chain, one MNB user wrote:

Your story reminded me of one of Netflix's newest innovations that I don't believe you've written about.  Netflix is now offering discs to be used with Wii consoles.  Netflix users could always log in to their accounts and choose titles to watch instantly online (the selection is limited, but includes many older offerings).  However, now the Wii disc is available and makes it incredibly easy to watch Netflix's instant offerings on TV instead of on the computer.  Most of my favorite TV shows are available in the instant offerings selection, so I've been working my way through seasons of my favorite shows in addition to watching the occasional movie.  I like it enough that I cancelled my cable and now pay less than $15/month for Netflix instead of $80/month for a very basic cable package.  Looks like I'm one consumer who's helping to make traditional cable and movie rental services obsolete.

The lesson is an important one. There is no such thing as an unassailable advantage.

We had a story the other day about the so-called “post privacy era,” which allows companies to create virtual portfolios about how specific people shop, behave, travel, etc...

Which led one MNB user to write:

Seems to be a two way street. People willingly join  social media like Facebook and Linkedin. They want people to track them and see their every move. Also, when the story about the failed bombing attempt in Times Square broke , they allowed as how there were several hundred private and public surveillance cameras in that area . They were confident that they would catch the bad guys. And, as the Goldman Sachs hearings showed, reasonably smart people still don’t understand that “ private” e-mails are the first thing to be grabbed by the authorities. I guess the message is, if you don’t want to spied on, don’t make it so darn easy to track you.

Finally, responding to Michael Sansolo’s column yesterday, MNB user Dan Jones wrote:

Great insight on the complexity of research.  I hope next week you follow up on the “50 Great Things To Do With Your Breasts.”

And if you don’t get the reference...check out our archives.
KC's View: