retail news in context, analysis with attitude

We continue to get email about people with tattoos, the stores that employ them, and the generational issues that they force us to face...

One MNB user wrote:

The issue of tattoos should be governed by the positioning of the store, and the target clientele.  To a certain segment, they can be seen as cool and indicators of being with a trend -- positive characteristics that attract customers.  It's like playing head-banging music -- some customers will love it; others not.

That said, tattoos should also be seen as possibly off-putting by other segments.  Clientele "of a certain age" from Japan and Korea associate tattoos with yakuza, or criminal gangs.  If you've traveled in those countries, you'll know that visible tattoos will bar you from many Japanese baths, hotel pools and fitness rooms, etc., because they disturb the harmony of the guests.

Personally, I dislike tattoos.  It's like being stuck with the same handbag for 17 years.


Another MNB user chimed in:

Your piece on changing attitudes toward tattoos got me thinking about food trucks.  Not the kind that deliver merchandise to our stores, but the kind  that drive to a popular event and sell hot food.  Very recently food trucks were considered ‘roach coaches’ and something to be patronized only if you were a construction worker or on the verge of starvation.  Now, people go out of their way to visit what is now a new generation of gourmet traveling restaurants. 

There was even a ‘reality’ TV show on the food network that chronicled competitions between food trucks, all of which sold very high end and unique offerings.  It just goes to show that looking at something that has been around forever through a new lens can reveal opportunities that others have ignored.


And another MNB user wrote:

Hey, my Jewish, white, 25 year old boy is three for three when it comes to tattoos, body piercings and dreadlocks. Yet he is one of the most considerate, hard-working (most of the time ---he is, after all, 25) and trustworthy workers at his retail (merchandising) job. He’s always said to me “as long as someone treats me with respect, that’s absolutely the way I would treat them”.  I guess what I’m trying to say (and what almost every parent knows) is  try getting past what they look like and get to know “who they are” because their generation will be running the world in the not-too-distant-future.

You sound like a great dad. I hope he appreciates you.




Another MNB user had some thoughts about the new Walmart healthy eating initiative:

So let me get this straight.  Walmart sells goods made in China which strengthens China’s economy but does little to improve ours.  This in turn will help China achieve their ultimate goal of surpassing the United States as the world's dominant super-power.  Walmart now wants to make Americans healthier with their "healthy eating initiative."  If it works (which I doubt) there will be more healthy Americans available for the draft when we have to fight a war against China.  Does that sound about right?

It certainly sounds cynical...
KC's View: