retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Regarding Walmart’s US same store sales increase, one MNB user wrote:

Is a 1.3% comp sales number really something to write home about when inflation is 3-4% at a minimum?  Don't think they are out of the woods yet, by any stretch of the imagination!

On the subject of escalating losses by the US Postal Service (USPS), one MNB user wrote:

Hope you have seen the USPS television commercial that’s been airing recently that discusses how (and I’m paraphrasing here) “customers appreciate getting paper billing statements for services, paying bills with checks through the mail, and receiving advertisements in the mailbox”, all while showing happy people placing the monthly statements neatly into a file cabinet.  Talk about being tone deaf and out of touch with today’s consumers, businesses, economy and environmental emphasis.

The only thing missing was the Packard automobile driving down the street.

They actually did plan to show a mode of transportation in that commercial. But they couldn’t get the horse out of the barn.

Another MNB user wrote:

Several years ago Ohio Gov. Taft eliminated the state liquor stores shifting that to independent agency stores - e.g. there are now "liquor stores" inside some supermarkets as well as free standing privately owned liquor stores.  This saved a lot of money and actually was more convenient for customers.  The US Postal Service should eliminate their retail operations and shift that to independent agency stores which might be located inside other retailers (e.g. supermarkets) or privately owned retail operations. 

The Postal Service would still ship the mail and parcels, and deliver the mail.  Service would also improve.  A long time postal clerk nearby retired and is now working part time as a cashier at a supermarket.  I can't help but laugh at the fact that this former Post Office employee moves a lot faster at this new job than I observed when that person worked at the post office.

We had a piece the other day about JC Penney’s reinvention efforts, engineered by the former chief of the Apple Stores. Which led MNB user Gary Harris to write:

Had a chance to sit in on a JC Penney presentation last week at the Learning2011 Conference in Orlando.

Two of their trainers gave a presentation on a new initiative for their 31 field trainers who used to schlep around with a bunch of 4” thick training manuals and hold product sessions at the stores. The content has been repurposed for (wait for it…) the iPad. (who knew?) Trainers now bring the content directly to the sales floor and teach employees between customer interactions.

It’s a start.
KC's View: