retail news in context, analysis with attitude

I commented the other day that supermarkets need to do a better job of explaining results of initiatives - such as the shift away from single-use bags to reusables - to shoppers, which is a great way of getting them on board.

Which led MNB user Elizabeth Archerd, of Minnesota’s Wedge Co-op, to note that the following information was provided on the cover of Wedge’s October/November newsletter:

Just say NO to...bags?

Between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, $11,952.10 was taken by customers as credit for not using a bag. That's 119,521 bags (of whatever size) NOT used.

In addition, customers donated $18,515.60 in green patches. That's 185,156 bags NOT used.

So Wedge customers just said NO to 304,677 bags in the last fiscal year. Way to go, Wedge shoppers!


How Local did we go?

During the Eat Local, America! Event in August, we sold $911,957 worth of locally grown or locally produced items - 37 percent of all our sales that month!

Way to go, Wedge shoppers!


MNB noted the other day that despite all the accolades, Southwest Airlines has lost a step when it comes to on-time performance, which led us to suggest that even the most lauded of companies has to work hard to avoid complacency.

Which led an MNB user to write:

Southwest may be getting there a “little” later but my wallet is arriving a “little” heavier, they still have the best customer service and they still do not charge for bags…..I am more than willing to give them a pass on this one because I believe that your article mentions that Southwest will fix this and fix it fast. You know why? Because they have done it in the past.

I agree.

We had a piece here on MNB about Supervalu lowering prices to compensate for declining market share and sales, which led MNB user Joe Ciccarelli to write:

Another MNB user wrote:

Super Valu is coming out with more reinvention ideas than A&P.  Price cuts, layoffs, fewer SKUs, and putting hopes on Save-A-Lot, a format that Aldi and Wal-Mart are making sport of.  Can't be as low as Aldi and Wal-Mart regardless of format.  Can't provide high levels of service because of mass layoffs.  Can't compete on variety because of fewer SKU's. Losses now in the billions and a CEO that comes out with a new press release every month.  We've seen this before right?

And another MNB user chimed in:

I heard a rumor that there is a potential deal between A&P and SVU – from some support services all the way to A&P becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of SVU. This of course coming from some of the 100ish people that were let go over the past month including the 33 Sr Directors on Friday. But honestly, can you imagine a more terminal relationship?

And, on another subject to close to my heart, MNB user Steven Ritchey wrote:

Did you ever think you would see this from the Texas Rangers?  I was 13 when they first played in Arlington.  The lowly Rangers, who’d only been to the post season three times, and before this year had never won a post season series are playing the vaunted Yankees to go to the World Series.  I don’t know if they will win this series or not, but I’m glad to see them giving the Yankees a run for their money.
There are so many lessons to be learned from the Rangers season:

Don’t ever give up.

It’s not how much money you have, but how you use what you do  have.

Success can come from the most unlikely of places.

A good manager puts his  people in a position to succeed, and creates an environment that fosters success.

A good manager holds his employees accountable.

Sometimes success happens  because you had the ability to seize the moment and run with it.

I agree. And I admit it. I am rooting for a Giants-Rangers World Series. Because as a Mets fan, another Yankees-Phillies series would simply be the source of too much pain. (While the Rangers and Giants have been doing well, by the way, I have too much respect for the Yanks and Phils to think that they’re going away any time soon.)

Yesterday, MNB posted a short obit for Tom Bosley, the “Happy Days” actor who passed away. Which led one MNB user to write:

What does Tom Bosley’s passing have to do with Retail News in Context, Analysis with Attitude. Please keep your news relevant to the topic. We can learn about Tom Bosley’s passing in other news channels.

It has been a tradition here on MNB over the past nine years to mention prominent deaths of people when a) it interests me, b) I think it will interest baby boomers (many of whom make up my audience), or c) I feel like it.

I do this for the same reason that I feature football scores on Mondays ... book, movie and wine reviews on Fridays ... and use as many cultural allusions as I can when discussing various topics (a percentage of which probably would not make the "strictly relevant" list).  My job (at least as I define it, and nobody else has written a job description) is to make sure MNB is as entertaining and engaging as possible, to try to surprise people whenever I can, and to keep in mind that as important as business is, it is not everything.

And to be honest, while I get criticisms and complaints for lots of opinions I express or post from other people, the wine and movie reviews, sports scores and occasional obits have rarely annoyed people.

But I do appreciate the criticism. I like it when people force me to consider and reconsider how I do things.
KC's View: