Published on: March 6, 2013
Regarding Whole Foods' plans to open a store in Detroit, one MNB user wrote:Opening a store in Detroit make no sense for the people there.... Whole Foods offers nothing to the community other than a perception of good will. Their pricing is off the charts. Detroit would be better off talking with regional chains that can offer the same selection but with better value.
I wrote the other day that I thought that based on some terrific food stores that I've seen in Detroit, Whole Foods may actually find a consumer base there. Which led an MNB user to write:Thank you for your continued kind words about your visits to Metro Detroit. Westborn Market is one of the most exciting food places I've visited throughout our state. On my last visit there wasn't an item in the store that was not presented in such a way that you simply wanted to buy it. A fair warning however, if you purchase anything from their incredible bakery you may not return from orbit for a while and you might be able to predict the future! I can vouch for that personally...:-)
There are some great food retailers not only in Metro Detroit, but throughout the state, such as Holiday Markets, Russo's, Papa Joes, Horrocks, just to mention a few of the unique stores. There are many others as well.
It is easy to bash Detroit. Yet, in Michigan we are ALL Detroit. Whole Foods will do just fine in the section they are located in Detroit. Just fine. There are a lot of underlying great things happening in Detroit with the continued investor passion of Dan Gilbert, the Illitch family, and others.
Thanks for coming and taking a real look.
My pleasure. I had a great time there.
We've been having some discussion about new fee policies being implemented by airlines and the impact they may have on frequent flyers and best customers.
One reader wrote:In the 'your views' area an MNB community member complained that after the door closed he asked if he could move to an exit row and was told no because there was a fee for the seat. You commented that the airline should let the folks in back have a free upgrade now and then.
First off as one from the back of the plane I am overjoyed that you frequent fliers feel that we should occasionally be thrown a bone I would feel lucky to benefit from your benevolent attitude. But more to the point if you were not a frequent flier and actually had to pay for your upgrade would you want the airline to refund your fee if a member of the cabin crew allowed someone from the back of the plane to have the seat next to you for free???? Policy is policy and to protect those that actually pay for upgrades the cabin crews cannot and should not allow people to use an upgrade seat for free.
I would actually argue that it is on the airlines' long-term best interests not to charge fees for better seats in coach, but rather to give those seats to best customers and then, if there are any left, offer them to folks further back. It creates good will, which can create loyal customers.
By the way, you call this "throwing a bone," like I'm somehow being condescending. Which strikes me as totally uncalled for.
Another MNB user wrote:Since the airlines are now making flying all about price and not the total experience the consumers are starting to decide which airline to fly as determined by PRICE. Live by the sword, die by the sword. What happened to the Price/value relationship?
Responding to Michael Sansolo's column yesterday, one MNB user wrote:Michael, you nailed it about the boomers, birth rates, and growing Hispanic influence all going on at the same time. I recently heard an alarming statistic about the price of gasoline. A study was done by Deutsche Bank that found that for every penny increase in a gallon of gas it takes $1.4 billion out of the economy. We saw an average increase of $0.46 over the past year which equates to $46.4 Billion fewer dollars in circulation. The discontinued Social Security tax relief has ended taking additional funds out of every pocket and the economy. Furthermore the Fed’s continues its policy of quantitative easing that keeps borrowing rates artificially low further hurting seniors and will eventually lead to inflation.
And, all of this on a day when investor groups are predicting a record day on Wall Street that will surpass the previous record set in 2007.
Is there a disconnect on Wall Street as well? I’m not so sure what news they are looking at to be so enthused about our future? But I sure hope they are right!
MNB user Elaine Howard wrote:Great brief and to-the-point summary of the tidal wave heading our way. I haven’t seem a more accurate and succinct summary of facts that support what I have been feeling and reading is coming. As a boomer, I ‘m afraid to say many of my friends are in the very bleak economic picture you paint. And as a speaker of Spanish, I have been recruited spontaneously in doctor’s offices, banks and other businesses when I have stepped in to help translate for a struggling Hispanic trying to do business with a Caucasian in charge… All the while I am eating mango and guava and watching the explosion of tropical and spicy foods out there…My friends kids are all over 25 and most over 30, and only one I can think of is married, and she is childless. I think you are right on.
On another subject, MNB user Clay Dockery wrote:This morning’s Eye Opener was a fascinating article on many fronts, but none particularly more so than the comment below.
And the thing is, to a large degree the traditional networks did not see the fresh competition coming, and have been in denial about the impact it could have on their businesses.
Why do I say this? After a year of watching an outstanding cable program, "Sons of Anarchy," I was simply amazed about the use of profanity, sexual situations, violence, etc. There is still a regulatory body that will tell the traditional networks what they are allowed to do and not do and yet the cable stations have license for far more provocative programming. So a question has to be asked; are the network channels in denial or is the FTC preventing them from following the consumers changing expectations? Is a level playing field being prevented and if so, why?
Translating the same thought to our industry, we are facing unprecedented scrutiny over the obesity epidemic while only a handful of states are trying to understand how the other 50% of food dollars in the food away from home segment are impacting the same issue. It is sad commentary to recognize that it was less than 50 years ago that McDonalds developed a hamburger for the hearty appetite; the Quarter Pounder. A quick reference to average hamburger sizes today make a quarter pound patty seem like an appetizer!
Yesterday's MNB had a basketball story with a baseball movie reference, and MNB user Steve Yandel got it:
Despite the “mixed metaphor” so to speak of quoting a baseball movie in a story about high school basketball, I love that you snuck in a reference to Bull Durham in your “Business Lesson from the MNB Sports Desk” this morning (“Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains.”)
Just remember – You're gonna have to learn your clichés. You're gonna have to study them, you're gonna have to know them. They're your friends.
Hey, it's an simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball.
And most important? It is a game that you have to play with fear and arrogance.
And finally, from still another MNB user:I used to work in the grocery business on the PR side of things which is where I first learned about MNB. Now, I am just being a stay at home mom for awhile but I still keep up with my morning news beat updates, and I just think you do an awesome job. Not only do I love your constant commentary on the USPS and frequent flier programs but this mornings piece about the basketball player who hit the final shot was awesome. What a great reminder of what we should all strive for everyday. Thanks again for your great wit and unique perspective. You are really great at what you do!
I always say that one of the reasons that I enjoy MNB so much is that I get more positive reinforcement than anyone has a right to expect.
And that in itself is a great business lesson.
Almost everyone has a person who reports to them, or who works with them. When was the last time that you looked at that person and complimented them on their efforts?
Because let me tell you ... just a simple word of encouragement, or a moment of connection, can serve as fuel that can propel a person for days and weeks and sometimes months.
It's one of the things that defines leadership.