retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to our story the other day about retailers that made the annual Fortune list of best places to work, MNB user Mark Walton wrote:

I spent last Wednesday touring independent Retailers in the Sacramento area.  I understand why Nugget made the list.  I was warmly greeted by several employees in all 5 stores I visited.  It went beyond the normal “hello” and was more conversational and engaging.  It is obvious by the outstanding store conditions that employees take pride in such beautiful and polished stores.  A great example of happy employees making a difference.

On a different subject, one MNB user wrote:

Walking many retailers across the US and seeing that they are putting holiday items out on the shelf’s earlier this year the ever. Seeing all the free shipping, ad match, 5% off, etc etc., and given the fact that beside the Apple iPad mini there not much new, seems to me this is going to a soft holiday season. You have the fiscal cliff, more layoffs, smaller bonuses for most companies will also affect sales. The big hit will be on margin and profit, with add matching and free shipping. Plus pushing more to online will take away those impulse buys as well.

If we don’t get cold weather like last, apparel sales will also suffer. I now have seen all the toy catalogs and price will be the only thing that will make someone go to one retailer vs. another, and with price match, mobile online sales so much for that. You can bet that retailer marketing teams will be extra busy this year than last with Facebook and Twitter sending out there sales tweets to try to convince the customer to come to their stores (poor customers, thinking that these are real customers tweeting this). Nope, not seeing a great sales season.

I mentioned yesterday that I'd been to a Taylor Swift concert, which led one reader to shoot me the following email:

I have also been in the position of feeling like the oldest male at a concert attended with my college-aged daughter.  Those in clubs without assigned seats are the best.  My daughter goes her separate way and I find myself at the bar with other dads.  Concerts at clubs with bars (Stone Pony, here at the Jersey Shore!) that are attended by kids mostly under 21 are the best.  Only a few people can actually belly-up to the bar.
When all is said and done, I would rather see a good concert performed by energetic young musicians than over-pay to see over-aged rockers.

I don't know. I have a soft spot for overaged rockers.

And from another reader, an email that made me laugh out loud:

Good luck to you, and especially your family as Sandy approaches.
You know, I dated a girl named Sandy back in high school. It doesn’t sound like she’s changed much.

Been there.

And from another MNB user:

Your winning mantra so simple yet so profound.  Excellent choice.

Thanks to all of you who wrote in about the MNB Mantra Contest winner. I'm glad you like it as much as I do...

Think.  Provoke.  Laugh.  Repeat.

There was one reader who asked why "laugh" was relegated to third.

At one point, I actually considered a slightly longer version...

Think.  Provoke.  Laugh.  Eat. Drink. Repeat.

But I thought that was too many words for the back of a t-shirt.

Besides, I like simplicity and elegance. Which I think the winner has.
KC's View: