retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email about the staffing cutbacks announced by Supervalu for its Albertsons stores on the west coast.

I shook my head again when I read the recent Albertson’s article and the majority of Supervalu articles in general. The direction they are taking seems as well planned as the one being taken by the USPS. I keep reading about reinvestment in the customer in one form or another.

It would be interesting to say the least Kevin, if you were to get feedback anonymously from a group of those company representatives that do business with some of the Supervalu banners. Some of these reps actually call on other reps in their offices as they “buy” for the banners buyer. They certainly are coming up monthly with new ways to get funding from those brands foolish or desperate  enough to keep giving. Their Store Support Center are the profit centers instead of the stores, and a select group of stores, but as fees and margins rise, we do not see it being reinvested back to Mrs. Consumer. So their period margin numbers may briefly improve, but where are the store profits and where is the long term strategy? How is the customer count Vs. YAG? What is the basket size Vs. YAG? The answers are obvious.

They are also losing their key players as they find more competitive retailers to jump over to. Is it any wonder why they continue to lose market share? Do you think the investors actually know this stuff?

Supervalu is going to have to spin something off soon. If you were a retailer looking for additional locations today, would you jump at it or sit, wait and watch the as price continues to go down? Who is in place in key positions for the long haul in SuperValu that could actually turn them around? Perhaps when Jim Sinegal finishes his project this year, they can convince him to join their board!

Also got an email about the errant "proud to be a Brit" posting that Starbucks put on its Irish site:

I hail from the UK (more specifically, England) and recently moved to the US.  Starbucks is not alone in its confusion over my home nation's nomenclature (and which territories are included), although you would have thought a quick glance at Wikipedia would have helped them out !  For those of you who are interested, the full terminology for the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  Great Britain, therefore, consists of the countries of England, Scotland and Wales.  Add Northern Ireland to the mix and you have the full UK.  As you point out, the Republic of Ireland is a separate nation with a separate currency (the euro).

I should add that the first visit of a British monarch to the Republic of Ireland only happened  in May 2011, a full century since a previous visit by King George V.

And, I got the following email from MNB user Mike Jackson:

I found your discussion of the move at Disney regarding “healthy advertising” and the action in New York to limit the size of sugary beverages to be interesting.

As a Florida resident living right next door to Disneyworld, I would suggest that Disney think about their priorities.

I applaud any efforts to curb obesity, but have to wonder why Disney still allows smoking on their property.

Obesity can lead to health problems; smoking does cause cancer and death.

KC's View: