retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Last week, MNB took note of a Wall Street Journal piece about Rosalind Brewer, president/CEO of Walmart's Sam's Club division, and her goal to turn it into a $100 million business and catch up to Costco; I suggested that Brewer, described as the first African American and first woman to lead a Walmart business unit, might well be the in the running to be the next CEO of Walmart, which would be an enormous cultural change for the company. (I probably should have said that she may be a future Walmart CEO; it seems to me that Walmart needs to be looking to people like Brewer and Shelley Broader, who runs Walmart Canada, to be the future of the company.

Not everybody shared my enthusiasm for Brewer. One MNB user wrote:

FYI....she is way over her head, and Sam’s has being trying since it started to be Price Club / Costco and it will never happen ...

The next CEO will either be Doug Mc Million or Rob Walton's son-in-law.

But another MNB user wrote:

Now wouldn’t that be a smart move on Wal-Mart’s part? Make a women the next CEO, it should help with image on several levels and give a new perspective missing from the Good ‘ole boys’ network. Plus at least from your excerpt, she sounds like a smart person with vision.

Regarding the ongoing resistance to the proposed settlement of the swipe fee lawsuit, MNB user Mark Raddant wrote:

I applaud the move by the retailers to resist this settlement.  The fees for your chosen mode of payment should be itemized on your bill.

No different than the price of the items you are buying.  The cost of the transaction should be itemized completely, and the fees should be shown, just like the taxes.

And just like the taxes, if the cost is too high, you can go somewhere the taxes are lower if you want to.

On another Walmart move - a growing use of self-checkout systems - one MNB user wrote:

This is rather interesting.  Wal-Mart Canada HAD self-service checkouts a couple of years ago and took them all out in favour of a single line express checkout with up to six cashiers.  I hate it.  As with any store, there are always those people who think that 13 or 14 or maybe even 18 items somehow qualify as 12.  What I truly dislike about Wal-Mart are the long lines at their checkouts; perhaps they simply do not staff enough but I have tried to limit any visits to their stores during hours that are less busy.
On the topic of self-service checkouts, there are times when I feel that one must be licensed in order to qualify as a user.  There is nothing worse than getting behind someone who has no idea what he/she is doing and your “express” checkout experience becomes interminably long.

And yet, there are young people - my 18-year-old daughter is one of them - who will choose a store based on whether it offers self-checkout.

Chiming in on our discussion of Target, MNB user Guy Wheeler wrote:

I made my first visit to a new Target that competes with Wal-Mart, Price Chopper and Hannaford for groceries within a half mile radius.

One of my objectives the day after Sandy passed by the Albany area was to get a 6 volt battery for our lantern.

One of the managers walked me over to the empty battery section. He asked if it was an emergency which it wasn't. He offered that had it been, he owned the same lantern, had it in the back room and would lend me the battery.

Couldn't be much better customer service than that!

Responding to a musical reference last week, MNB user Mark Walton wrote:

It took me about 3 seconds to recognize the “Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles” reference to Fiddler on the Roof.  A subtle reference to a great movie.  Keep the “tradition” going!

Hey, it ain't all Jimmy Buffett and Taylor Swift lines around here. We're big Broadway show tunes folks at MNB...

Finally, an email that made me laugh out loud ... coming in response to my note on Friday about going to Standard Time from Daylight Savings Time:

I wish my clocks were running so I would have a reason to reset them.  Maybe tomorrow.

I hope that by now they are.
KC's View: