retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune reports that when Dan Cathy, president of the Chick-fil-A fast food chain, said that the company is "guilty as charged" for being anti gay marriage - a position at odds with the company's previously stated stance as not being anti anything - he managed to stir up a controversy that spilled out onto social media networks all over the internet.

According to the story, "Social media circles were buzzing Wednesday about the company's very public stance, with many users feeling obliged to pick a side. And did they ever. Many thanked the fast-food chain for voicing its support for traditional marriage, while others called for a boycott."
KC's View:
He can say anything he wants as long as he is prepared to live with the reaction and possible collateral damage to sales. Which I suspect he is.

I personally disagree with his position. Too many people I love are affected negatively by such an attitude, and therefore I'll be avoiding Chick-fil-A for the foreseeable future.

As I say, he has a right to his opinion. I have a right to mine. He'll have to deal with losing my business (no big deal, trust me), and I'll have to deal with finding someplace else to buy slightly-better-than-mediocre chicken while traveling on road trips between Mondays and Saturdays. And I am sure that there are plenty of folks out there who will have exactly the opposite position to mine, and will find his position to be a rallying point.

My point is this. When a retailer stakes out a political or cultural position - on either side of an issue - he has to be prepared for the potentially divisive impact. That's not usually what retailers want to do, because disenfranchising a percentage of the potential base is not usually seen as good business.

That's unlike someone like me, who is in the business of trading in divisive subjects and isn't doing his job if a certain percentage of readers don't disagree with me. What makes MNB a community is that we all think differently about things and exchange ideas in a rational and usually civil manner.

Dan Cathy is taking a risk. This might be a tempest in a teapot, and could go away. Or it might not.