retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Just a few notes as we go into the holiday weekend...

For the first time in several years, the National Retail Federation (NRF) annual convention in New York won’t be taking place at the same time as the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Midwinter Executive Conference ... which means I get to attend both.

But I’m curious. It has been years since I’ve been to NRF, and I’m wondering how many MNB readers might be planning to attend the convention in New York between January 9-11 ... in part because I’m thinking it might be fun to throw together one of those casual beer and wine events that we’ve done from time to time around the country.

So if you’re planning to attend NRF in January, just shoot me an email. It’ll help me figure out what’s might be possible in terms of a get-together.




Apparently, all you really need is love. And access to iTunes.

Apple says that since it started selling Beatles music downloads about a week ago, more than two million individual Beatles songs and 450,000 albums have bee sold.

The best-selling album, to date: “Abbey Road.”

The best-selling song: “Here Comes The Sun.”

What is extraordinary about this is the extent to which the Beatles still speak to young people four decades after they last recorded an original song together. I know my kids love the Beatles, and there is little doubt in my mind that their kids will love the Beatles.

So here is the question I would ask. Is there a single current young artist - in any genre - who you think will still have his or her music being played and adored in 40 years time?




Unstoppable is a pretty good movie. It has solid performances from Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, playing railroad employees intent on stopping a runaway train that is loaded with toxic chemicals. The direction, by Tony Scott, is much like the train - fast moving, never going off the rails, and generating plenty of suspense. If Unstoppable has a problem, it is that it doesn’t offer much in the way of surprise; everybody in the movie is concerned about what;’s going to happen when the runaway train hits a particularly sharp curve, but the movie doesn’t throw the audience any curves.

It’s a pretty good movie. Could’ve been better, but certainly worth seeing if you can’t get into the Harry Potter flick.



My wine of the week - the Parallele 45 Cotes du Rhone 2007 from the vineyards of Paul Jaboulet Aine in France. When Mrs. Content Guy and I were drinking it, it reminded us of wines we enjoyed with our friends Anne and Fiach at their house in France, and isn’t that what great wine is about? Sure, it’s about the beverage...but it’s really about the experience, the people with whom we share it, and the memories it creates.




May I take this moment to thank all of you who wrote in over the past week to congratulate me on nine years of MNB, and the beginning of our 10th year. I was genuinely moved by all the email, especially the notes that told me how important the site is to you. MNB “is as much a part of my AM routine as coffee,” one MNB user wrote.

That’s music to my ears. But I couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you.




Here’s hoping you have good memories - not to mention good food and wine - this weekend.

Have a great one. I’ll see you Monday.

Slainte!
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