retail news in context, analysis with attitude

One MNB user had a great thought about Michael Sansolo’s column yesterday using the voice mail hacking scandal in the UK as an example of how silence about ethical breaches can threaten to bring down a company - in this case, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which seems increasingly likely to be the subject of government probes on both sides of the Atlantic.

The column, at one point, noted:

The story isn’t likely to go away, and now the whispering extends to Murdoch: “What did he know, and when did he know it?” is the familiar question being asked, one that we’ve gotten used to in some of the political and personal scandals that have unfolded recently here in the US.

Which led to the following email:

How is that CEOs and other executives often justify their compensation, which can be hundreds of times more than their average employees’, by stating that they deserving because they are responsible for the entire organization.  But, when things like this come up, they are just as likely to state something like, “This is a large organization, with many other leaders.  How was I to know?”


Damn right. Great point.

On the subject of extreme couponing and its growth in popularity, MNB user Amber Hartman wrote:

I can understand the “thrill of the deal” that goes along with extreme couponing.  If I had more time on my hands I would probably do it as well.  However, the difference would be that I realize I could not possibly use 1,000 tubes of toothpaste in a lifetime and would get more of a “thrill” out of donating the free merchandise (that is basically hoarded) to those that could use it and may be less fortunate.  I wish there was a way of contacting these people asking for donations of their over abundance to organizations or individuals in need.

MNB user Laurice Burdick wrote:

Watching the show on extreme couponing, most of those individuals were giving to charities because they know they can’t possibly use the product before it expires. Some supply their families with groceries they need and a lot if it is GHBC.

I believe this is much better than having something sit on a shelf and then thrown out. The US is a large nation of wasters. Just look at our landfills. What these people do is not easy and not everyone is doing it.

Given a choice between watching a show about extreme couponing and having a proctology exam, I wouldn’t even think twice. I’d have the latter.

We had a piece yesterday about a study saying that putting supermarkets in food deserts may not be the best way to get them eat healthier food, which led one MNB user to write:

Kevin, looking at the statistics you provided I wonder what the correlation is between when we allowed “food stamps”  to be used for any products the person shopping wished to buy and the rise in obesity for welfare recipients.  Possibly we should have prepackaged food plans for families seeking welfare, which are based on nutrition for the family.  The government may be the major contributor to obesity, and if they were serious about reducing obesity and not keeping votes could be part of the solution.

Two examples:

Recently, I was told that students on the breakfast program in a district in Illinois receive mainly sweets, pop tarts etc, so they then go into the classrooms all buzzed up on sugar.  Where are the school nutritionist weighing in on this issue.  The argument will be that kids don’t like oatmeal and other healthy foods.  Also, pop tarts are certainly more expensive to the states than a 5 pound package of oatmeal or cereal. 

Second,  awhile ago I was in a food bank dropping off some items in one area the recipients were allowed a choice of M&M’s or cereal, you can guess which one was going faster.  And the cereal would have fed the family for a few days, M&M’s consumed in a few minutes.  I am not blaming the food bank because they are subject to donations by the local supermarkets and wholesalers.

I agree. Taxpayer dollars ought to be used only for products that are healthful.

Try getting that through the US Congress.

Regrading yesterday’s piece about the growth of medical marijuana shops in Colorado, one MNB user wrote:

Sounds like a good place to open a 24-hour pizza shop or some sort of Potato Chip and Doritos “boutique”.


Though maybe not in line with our general anti-obesity, pro-good nutrition stand.

And finally, thanks to all of you who wrote in early to note that I had quoted the Los Angeles Times as writing about the “University of South Carolina in Chapel Hill.”

I fixed it as fast as I could, but not fast enough.

The thing is, the Times had it wrong, and I repeated the mistake. I know better, but it was 3:30 am (I had an early flight to catch) and the brain wasn’t firing on all cylinders.

Sorry about that.
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