retail news in context, analysis with attitude

MNB yesterday took note of a Los Angeles Times report that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation requiring “that eggs sold in California come from hens that are not crammed into cages. The law requires all eggs sold in the state as of Jan. 1, 2015, to come from hens able to stand up, fully extend their limbs, lie down and fully extend their wings without touching each other or the sides of cages.”

We also noted that the Humane Society of the United States has been supporting the legislation.

Lots of reaction to this one.

From one MNB reader:

Wow, be ready for over $5.00 per dozen commodity eggs. This may be a good move to protect the egg producers in California but this is doing nothing for the consumers in California and is in effect moving a great source of protein out of their reach. The HSUS is trying to change everyone to vegans, whether we want to or not.
Another MNB reader observed:

The left coast wonders why business is leaving the great state of California; this bill will put the producers at a cost disadvantage to compete in the egg business. The large producers will either close up shop or relocate to another business friendly state. Will California wake up before it is too late?

MNB user Ron Kelleher wrote:

Now what Californians need is an advocacy group as effective as the Humane Society to protect us from the state legislature!

And, from another MNB reader:

Maybe the Terminator and the Obamantor can get this same law passed for people flying on airplanes! Just fully extending my legs would be helpful.

On another subject - SKU rationalization - MNB user Jim Swoboda offered the following thoughts:

One of yours and my favorite company, Apple, is a perfect model for efficient assortment.  Consider the following points:

Apple...Each year, they discontinue the BEST selling music player in the world and replace it with a new model, improved and more highly coveted.

Typical CPG...innovate a new an improved product that may or may not be more highly coveted, introduce it AND KEEP THE OLD product on the shelf.

Apple...limit the SKU proliferation to just a few colors arguably needed as the old Model T approach, you can have it in any color you want as long as it is black, does not work in today's world.  The only other choice is amount of memory.

Typical CPG...add four sizes, maybe five; four scents, one with added benefit X, another with added benefit Y and pretty soon, that one item has 30 different SKU's.

Our retailers are bombarded with too many selections in sizes, colors, scents, attributes because the game is to monopolize shelf space.  Apple's approach is minimalistic, a few great items that consumers covet and an environment where the consumer can feel, touch, play, experience the product.

Clearly selling electronics is different, but there are many aspects to their model that could, and maybe even should be, adopted by our industry.

KC's View: