retail news in context, analysis with attitude

An MNB user yesterday criticized the media for focusing too much on the Walmart bribery scandal, which prompted another reader to write:

The issue at hand is the conduct of Wal-Mart.  The person who made the comment about probing others because they might be guilty of similar misconduct is simply deflecting the issue.  Wal-Mart, one of the largest companies in the world, has reportedly made one of the biggest legal blunders in recent business history.  Fairness demands a thorough investigation by all concerned which includes the appropriate federal agencies as well as the media.

We had a story earlier this week about Hasbro was going to bring out a gender-neutral Easy Bake Oven, which while a good idea, struck me as a little late in the game.

One MNB user wrote:

Last week, my son (age 46) did a public call out thank you on FaceBook to me, his mother, for talking my husband into acquiescing to his Christmas request at the age of 4 for the Suzy Homemaker Easy Bake Oven.  [Of course, it helped that he was also asking for Fort Apache.]  The call out was a result of his reading about the petition you reference for a gender neutral version of this oven.  My son remarked in the post that the irony was that his Dad became more involved in cooking as the children grew up.  Anyway, the result was hours and hours of fun spent baking w/the oven.  My son grew up into an absolutely incredible cook and cooks/bakes w/his kids everyday.  It all started w/this oven.

Good for him.

Regarding IGA's decision to return to South Africa, one MNB user wrote:

IGA South Africa started in in the late 90’s, but really didn’t get necessary traction to compete when modern trade retailers were building their presence in & around townships. Historians would say this had a lot to do with the wholesaler (Metro C&C) but in reality there was little differentiation between IGA and other banners.

It’s hard to fathom how IGA will differentiate itself, competing against Shoprite & Massmart’s own brands that do very well. This feels like a repeat of Tesco F&E to me….

We had a piece yesterday about how there is an online petition circulating to get regulators to ban the sale of lion meat for human consumption. I had no idea this was even an issue ... but apparently it is.

I commented yesterday:

The question I keep asking myself is whether, if I were in a restaurant serving lion tacos, I would order them.

For better or worse, the answer probably is yes. But I'd do so with the fervent hope that I was not eating Simba.

(Years ago when my kids were little, I went on a trip to Stockholm and, for the first time in my life, ate reindeer. Which was really good. But my kids were horrified when I told them about the meal, and reported that when I was almost finished, I found this little red bulb at the bottom of the plate...)

One MNB user responded:

As a very frequent traveler to South Africa, I have very rarely seen lion meat on the menu in any eatery.  We see a lot of what the lion eats on the menu, but not lion (or leopard) meat.   Good marketing effort by someone – but won’t it just taste like chicken?

From another reader:

Go on safari, see these creatures in the wild, and I think you might lose your appetite for lion.  They, like many of the animals in Africa, are endangered.  Look into this female’s eyes. Perhaps if you don’t eat her, she won’t eat you. Fair enough bargain?

Rhinos are projected to be extinct in 7 years as they are worth $500,000 dead, just for their horns, in Asia, where they are believed to have medicinal value (scientifically proven false) and as a status aphrodisiac.

I signed the lion petition a while ago. Please, skip the lion burger…do you want to eat the last lion on the planet?  Caribou may be farmed, so no issues there. Enjoy your burger, with or without the rubbery red nose.

Wait a minute. Perhaps if you don’t eat her, she won’t eat you...

I'm perfectly willing to make that deal. But you might not get the lion to sign on the dotted line...

And MNB user Robin Russell wrote:

It is so OLD SCHOOL to brag about being a carnivore!!   Eating Simba and Rudolph?  Not funny.   You're more hip than that.

Thanks ... but let's not overestimate how hip I am.

Finally, yesterday we had a story about how Fresh & Easy had picked a new reusable bag design created by a customer, and I joked that now that Fresh & Easy has a reusable bag, what it needs now is returnable customers.

 MNB user Marcia Wiener wrote:

New Fresh and Easy reusable bag….a guaranteed collector’s edition for sure!  Wonder how much that’ll get on eBay?

More in a few months, I'd guess.

But another MNB user thought I was being a little uncharitable, especially considering the season...

Kevin, I find it not only an unfortunate truth that F&E didn’t work out in the US, but also unfortunate that you go with a “kick them while they are down” view.  Let’s not forget there are people behind this target of yours who have invested and put at risk a lot into trying to make this company work, people with families that now have uncertain futures.  So Happy Holidays Kevin, and may you have better Karma than what your cynicism at times emulates...

C'mon, now. It was a little joke. We kid because we love.
KC's View: