retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Got an email yesterday from a reader who thought I made a mistake in running an internal memo from Target that laid out their growth strategy and supplier plans. Which led another MNB user to write:

One of the areas Target needs to improve is to allow their medium and smaller vendors the same access (information, key decision makers) as they do the large vendor teams.  The larger vendors provide much of the thought leadership and contribution to Targets scorecard objectives, however, smaller vendors play an important role that isn’t always appreciated as much as it should be by senior levels at Target. Personally, I’m thrilled you posted the letter from Target as it will give all vendors an equal opportunity to information on how to build effective business plans with Target.  It’s in everyone’s interest to “Sell More” and to work on the right business building opportunities. Making public letters like this are a step in the right direction.

And, regarding complaints about Apple customer service from one MNB reader, MNB user Geoff Harper wrote:

Stories like that of Craig Espelian get my juices flowing.  In my varied retail management positions, I had many opportunities to answer customer complaints inquiries.  The guideline is simple:  The customer wants to talk to you; the customer is taking their valuable time to do so; take ownership of the issue and resolve it in a reasonable time (as defined by the customer).

On the flip side, I generally am patient with a rep trying to resolve my issue.  But if I feel that I am getting the runaround, I have a short fuse before I call the president's office.  Should not be necessary, but usually gets results.

Replying to my comments about the lack of leadership shown by that Italian cruise ship captain, and how it may reflect a broader societal trend, one MNB user wrote:

I read your article on leadership run aground and I completely agree with your assessment of current leadership.  I think it’s a sad time, and we need real leaders willing step up and do whats right!  I know that that is a little nebulous but I feel everyone is so focused on reporting INCREASED profits to Wall Street that we run aground and begin taking advantage of everyone they possibly can.  That’s why we find production/IT moving to China/India and then wonder why we get such poor product in return.

What’s wrong with a steady 5% profit year over year, you can only increase profit so much.

And another MNB user referenced one of my favorite cultural touchstones:

I think he definitely would have failed the Kobayashi Maru test.

No kidding.
KC's View: