retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to our piece about - and criticism of - Walgreen’s new “Nice!” private brand entry, one MNB user wrote:

I haven’t seen the “Nice” design but a color scheme of Black and White harkens back to the old Generic labels which were nothing close in quality to branded.

My guess is the packaging folks have never been to a Trader Joe’s.  They just opened one up in my area and the lines were out the door at first, now about month later the busy times right after work are still very much busier than my local supermarket.  But then they don’t just have a product line or  just a brand, it’s sort of a whole philosophy.  And an inviting, enticing, and exciting one at that.

MNB user Richard Lowe agreed:

I agree with you! The only one who gets private brand right is Trader Joe’s. You cannot tell and each product is better quality.

We took note yesterday about a story that celebrated the growth of the coop grocery movement, and I noted that if I had one near me I’d be a member...but I don’t.

Which led MNB user Brian Peat to write:

It may not be extremely close, and I have never visited this place, but there is one that I know of.  Fiddleheads is a co-op in New London (I’m a CT native but never spent much time in that part of the state). 

I may be partial to co-ops since I am the grocery manager at one, but at “most” co-ops I have visited, and I have toured many, customer service (mainly friendliness, willingness to help and product knowledge) outshine 90% of the “conventional” stores I have shopped at.  Neatness seems to have been the common thread of deterrents to co-ops but I have seen that improving in many areas as they get more competitive.

And, responding to Michael Sansolo’s piece about Michael Eisner’s speech to the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) this week, one MNB user wrote:

I was fortunate enough to have worked for a man named Bobby Horowitz who was our President.  We were a VERY large successful company and his guiding philosophy was   “It is all right to make mistakes.  It means you are trying something new and different.  Just don’t make the same mistake twice.”  Somehow that was within the box and yet let us get creative also.  No appointments to see him.  Just look over your shoulder.
KC's View: