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    Published on: October 6, 2014

    by Kevin Coupe

    It was a matter of too little, too late, and probably too poorly conceived.

    Redbox and Verizon announced over the weekend that their Redbox Instant service, designed to compete with Netflix's streaming service, is being shut down as of tomorrow.

    "The joint venture partners made this decision after careful consideration," the statement said. "The service had not been as successful as either partner hoped it would be."

    I dedicated an Eye-Opener to this story last spring, and think it is worth returning to the subject this morning because it serves as a cautionary tale about competition and disruption.

    Here is sort of how it all played out.

    Blockbuster pretty much owned the national video rental business, and didn't pay much attention when Netflix got into the category with its rent-online-and-deliver-via-mail model, which, from the beginning, seemed like a placeholder while at-home technology capabilities caught up with the video streaming business model. While Blockbuster's market share was eroding, Redbox got into the business, offering cheap DVD rentals from a rapidly expanding number of kiosks.

    Blockbuster went belly up. (Not fast, and not right away, but inevitably.) But as Netflix continued to evolve its business model - moving both to streaming and original content as a way of differentiating itself to an audience with an increasing number of options, Redbox didn't.

    It was that simple. The disrupter got disrupted.

    Not to say that Redbox is entering Blockbuster territory. Far from it. But it certainly isn't growing the way it used to, and Redbox will need to figure out where it evolves from here and how it can differentiate itself.

    Interestingly, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Verizon Communications announced that it "could launch a digital video service over the Internet by the middle of next year," as the company nears "agreements with major content companies, which until recently were more skeptical of licensing content for delivery over the Internet." And, as the article makes clear, the move is seen as positioning Verizon against Netflix …

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

    How consumers consume - everything - seems to change and evolve with almost every passing day. Retailers and marketers also have to change and evolve if they are going to be relevant to these shoppers.

    Otherwise, obsolescence beckons. Resistance may be futile. The danger - to every business - is that even the disruptors can be disrupted.

    It is an Eye-Opener.
    KC's View:

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    The Chicago Tribune reports that while Roundy's-owned Mariano's will embark on a slower expansion schedule in 2015 and 2016 - it plans to open five stores each year, up from the 16 it has opened this year - CEO Robert Mariano says the chain has some work to do, ranging from transformation to tweaking, with the existing fleet of units.

    The slower pace of openings should be "a walk in the park, somewhat," Mariano tells the paper.

    According to the story, "Mariano said the chain would renovate some of the stores that opened in shuttered Dominick's locations. At some of those locations, it did not have time to build amenities found in a typical Mariano's, such as the station where fish and meat can be grilled to order.

    "It is also testing some prepared foods, such as stuffed peppers, created by chefs from Salero, a modern Spanish restaurant on Chicago's Randolph Street, to see if it can entice shoppers with some new hot entrees."

    Perhaps most importantly, the story also notes that "Roundy's has hired consulting firm AlixPartners to help figure out ways to keep costs under control and enhance profitability."
    KC's View:
    The one thing I keep hearing from folks in the Chicago market, as well as informed observers, is that profitability is likely to be the biggest challenge to Mariano's - they've spent a lot of money in a short time, and a lot of folks think that there's no way they can keep prices as low as they've been to this point.

    I guess the question is whether the solution to the profitability question will do anything to diminish the value proposition that Mariano's has established to this point.

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    Wells Fargo is out with a "large scale retail pricing analysis which tracked daily pricing for over 25,000 items at Amazon, Walmart and Target, with the help of 360pi, a product pricing big data firm," concluding that "mass retailers WMT and TGT have lower online prices than AMZN in the four categories we watched, and that this spread has widened over the past year (note this analysis does not include shipping costs and sales tax). This is particularly true for WMT, which went from being priced 1% lower than AMZN six months ago, to approximately 10% lower in the most recent quarter."

    The study goes on:

    "Looking at four key retail categories (clothing/shoes, electronics, housewares, and health/beauty), WMT’s price advantage vs. AMZN (on over 20K overlapping SKUs) was about 10% as of Aug. 2014, vs. only about 1% six months ago. Interestingly, the widening of this spread can be attributed to both AMZN raising prices and WMT lowering prices, though our data shows higher prices at AMZN have been more of a factor. Overall, TGT’s online prices are also lower than AMZN, but to a lesser degree (roughly 4% lower) and the spread has not changed as much over the past 6-12 months."
    KC's View:
    I'm about as dedicated an Amazon shopper as you're likely to find, and even I find myself wondering if perhaps the company has been distracted from its core mission. After all, we've all been trained to expect the best selection and low prices when we shop at Amazon … but lately they've not been selling everything (like Hachette books and Disney videos) and now there are questions about its low prices.

    Have to wonder what's going on here…

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    In the UK, the Telegraph reports on how Tesco has supplanted RBS as the nation's most reviled company, managing to treat suppliers with disdain and employees as if they are disposable. You can't upset that many people without it eventually affecting your financial performance," the story says. "However, once it was okay to dupe suppliers it wasn't such a leap to shareholders too. So when performance started to skid, the deceit continued. If (former CEO) Philip Clarke didn't know what was going on, someone was too frightened to tell him, which tells you all you need to know.

    "The most pressing challenge for Dave Lewis, the new CEO, is to change Tesco's culture."

    It won't be easy … especially because in some ways it would appear to be Tesco's culture that got it into all this trouble to begin with.

    "Great British corporate renewals," the Telegraph writes, "from Aston Martin to Jaguar, Burberry to Clarks, may nod to their heritage in slick advertisements, but in every other respect they've shed the past and are now thoroughly modern companies.

    "Changing company culture doesn't have to take long, but it does require leaders to be unequivocal about what is and isn't acceptable. Supposedly loyal lieutenants will warn you that it's not how things are done around here and you risk making things worse. Ignore them.

    "Every decision needs to be explained with reference to the new culture. People should be appointed to new roles because of how they act not just what they've done. Transgressors must be dealt with.

    A new chief executive has the added challenge that you can't really measure changes in company culture. He or she may win investor plaudits for divestments, strategic partnerships, price cuts and restructuring, but they won't for a campaign to change employees' hearts, minds and everyday behaviour."

    Another story, from GulfNews, makes clear how far Tesco may have to go:

    "Tesco has taken delivery of a new Gulfstream 550 corporate jet, valued on the open market at more than $50 million, just days after revealing it had overstated its profits by £250 million," the story says. "The latest addition to Tesco’s fleet landed on British soil even as the struggling supermarket group pledged to put all its executive jets up for sale in a bid to rebuild investor confidence.

    "The new long-range aircraft - ordered early last year, as the group was cutting global operations - will raise more questions over the tenure of Philip Clarke, the former chief executive ousted in July. A person close to the company said: 'If you want an indication of what has gone wrong at Tesco [it was that] we ordered another Gulfstream'."
    KC's View:
    What a mess. The jet thing is mostly symbolic - they probably ordered the thing a long time ago - but it just speaks to the levels of self-delusion that must have infected the folks at Tesco. Getting beyond that, and making people both accountable and respectful (of suppliers, employees and investors) and not afraid to speak up when things are going wrong is going to be an enormous challenge for the new CEO.

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    Not everyone in the MNB community will agree with this list, but I think it is worth checking out this blog posting on Grist, a site that specializes in environmental news and punditry. The title: "10 things That Would Fix The Food System Faster Than GMO Labeling."

    Read it here.
    KC's View:
    I certainly think it is worth asking whether we reward and encourage all the wrong things in this country … and whether there are some simple things that might address not just some of the obesity and nutrition-oriented problems in the US, but also some of the economic and national security issues that some experts say they create.

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    Less than two weeks ago, Walmart announced that it was teaming with a company called Green Dot to offer low-cost checking accounts to anyone over the age of 18 who passes an identification check, with no fees for overdrafts or bounced checks and no minimum account balance.

    Today, the Washington Post reports, Walmart announced that it is teaming with, described as "an online insurance comparison site and independent health insurance agency," to "allow customers to compare and enroll in health insurance plans in thousands of its stores … The program, known as Healthcare Begins Here, kicks off Oct. 10 and will run in stores through Dec. 7, closely tracking with the Medicare open-enrollment period and partially overlapping with the open enrollment period for federal health insurance exchanges. The company said it will monitor the success of the program and potentially bring it back next year."

    The story notes that "Wal-Mart first began hosting agents from individual insurers in its stores in 2005. The newly announced offering expands on that, with the agents able to guide customers through thousands of plans from hundreds of carriers. Direct­ agents will receive a commission if they enroll an in-store customer in a health plan."

    “Our goal is to be the number one health-care provider in the industry,” said Labeed Diab, president of health and wellness for Wal-Mart U.S. “And the more we broaden our assortment, the more we broaden our offering, the more we educate the customer Wal-Mart is a great place to create a one-stop shop.”
    KC's View:
    There are two things going on here. One is that Walmart needs to keep expanding its offerings in order to maintain its consumer relevance as a one-stop shop. And the other is that as retailers such as CVS and Walgreen begin to define themselves more clearly as being part of the health care system, and not just as HBC retailers, that creates a potential threat with which Walmart has to deal.

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    The BBC reports that Andy Street, CEO at UK-based retailer John Lewis, has had to apologize for comments he made about the French in an interview.

    According to the story, Street was returning from a meeting of the World Retail Congress in Paris when he let loose on the host country.

    "You get on Eurostar from something I can only describe as the squalor pit of Europe, Gare du Nord, and you get off at a modern, forward-looking station (St Pancras)," he said, suggesting that in France, "nothing works and worse, nobody cares about it." He described the country as "hopeless and downbeat" and suggested that people with investments there needed "to get them out quickly."

    After his comments - made at a technology dinner where he was getting an award - were publicized, Street backed off them. "The remarks I made were supposed to be light-hearted views, and tongue in cheek," he said. "On reflection I clearly went too far. I regret the comments, and apologise unreservedly."
    KC's View:
    At least he didn't call the comments a gaffe … which, as the great writer Michael Kinsley once said, is when someone accidentally tells the truth.

    I am reminded by this story of the great line uttered by Popeye Doyle in the terrific, under-appreciated French Connection II: "I'd rather be a lamp post in New York than the president of France."

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    The New York Times reports that RadioShack management on Friday said that it had obtained $120 million in short-term financing that will allow it, at least in the short term, to restructure part of its debt and avoid bankruptcy.

    According to the story, "The refinancing package will give RadioShack enough cash to finance its inventory for the holiday season, the company said. RadioShack warned last month that it would soon run out of cash and could be forced to file for bankruptcy unless it found a way to buttress its finances. Though the deal carries RadioShack into next year, the retailer will likely need further refinancing to stave off a bankruptcy filing, analysts said. In a filing last week, Standard General said a broader recapitalization would likely be complete by early next year."
    KC's View:
    It is almost a year ago that RadioShack produced a great TV commercial for the Super Bowl, promising that it was emerging from a long period of competitive doldrums and entering the 21st century. Great idea … lousy execution. (Or, at least, limited execution, which is almost worse because it managed to over-promise and under-deliver.)

    Seems to me that it is quickly becoming a matter of "when," not "if," RadioShack gets consigned to the same Retail Hall of Ignominy occupied by the likes of Blockbuster, Circuit City, Borders, and A&P. (Whoops! Did I get ahead of myself there…?)

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    The Associated Press reports that "Marriott International will pay a $600,000 fine for jamming conference attendees’ own Wi-Fi networks at its Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, forcing them to pay hefty prices to use the hotel’s own connection … While jamming personal Wi-Fi connections, Marriott was charging conference organizers and exhibitors between $250 and $1,000, per access point, to use the Gaylord’s Wi-Fi connection."

    The story notes that "frequent travelers often carry personal Wi-Fi hotspots — tiny devices that can connect to the Internet via cell phone towers. For $50 a month, they can connect to the Internet on the move, often avoiding hefty fees charged by hotels, airports and conference facilities. Some people upgrade their wireless data plans to make their smartphones into hotspots."

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) got involved after a guest/attendee complained. In a statement that accompanied the ruling, the FCC said that "it is unacceptable for any hotel to intentionally disable personal hotspots while also charging consumers and small businesses high fees to use the hotel’s own Wi-Fi network. This practice puts consumers in the untenable position of either paying twice for the same service or forgoing Internet access altogether.’’

    While Marriott will not contest the fine, it urged the FCC to clarify its rules in this area, saying that part of its goal was to protect against "rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber-attacks and identity theft."
    KC's View:
    This reflects a level of denial on the part of at least some Marriott staffers - they were charging outrageous fees for a service, and when customers figured out how to obtain the service for far less money, they threw up a blockade … rather than actually dealing with the situation. And then, they get caught, which makes them look even worse.

    Good lesson here - everything you do should be customer-centric, even if it doesn't help your bottom line in the short term. Other important lesson - don't do anything that gets in between people and their Wi-Fi signal.

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    The New York Times writes:

    "Step into a Colorado pot dispensary at random, and you’ll long for the luxuries of the D.M.V.
    Metal bars cover windows. Vinyl signs are tacked to walls. Guys in hoodie sweatshirts greet you from behind the counter. Even the act of ordering the product itself is borderline absurd. What grown adult can respectfully walk into a store and ask for an eighth of Green Krack and a nub of Big Buddha Cheese, please?

    "But that experience is changing, thanks to a new breed of entrepreneur in Colorado - young, ambitious and often female - that is trying to reach a more sophisticated clientele in everything from language to packaging to social events."

    The story goes on: "So where do branding specialists begin? For starters, they would like to stop calling it pot, thank you very much. Better to call it cannabis, the plant’s scientific name. (Less aggressive.) Rather than 'smoke,' one 'consumes' the 'product.' (Subtler.) For those in the business — or cannabusiness, as it’s known — 9-to-5 chic is crucial, said the Cannabrand owners: no sweats, no tie-dye, no Bob Marley T-shirts."

    It is a fascinating story, not least of all because the young women leading this charge seem very focused on making both the product and the way it branded relevant to people like them. In other words, the target consumer.

    Which is something that every brand needs to do.

    You can read the entire story here. (You'll have to get deal with the munchies on your own…)
    KC's View:

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    GeekWire reports that Neil Ashe, CEO of Global E-Commerce for Walmart, talked at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle about how the company's online business is integrated with the bricks-and-mortar business.

    "When asked about how small Walmart’s e-commerce business is compared with Amazon’s, Ashe said that he didn’t consider the chunk of the company he oversees to be separate from its physical retail operations. Moreover, he said that the future of retail won’t be online-only or only in stores. 'What’s interesting about the general conversation about the future of commerce is that it’s a conversation of ‘or,''Ashe said. 'Are you buying online, or are you walking into the store?' He disagreed with that sentiment, arguing that consumers buy where it’s most convenient, either online or in retail.

    “'We want you to shop at Walmart because we want you to trust Walmart and Walmart can serve you better than anyone else,' he said."
    KC's View:

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    • The Wall Street Journal reports that BuzzFeed has "debuted its first foray into e-commerce-enabled branded content with a L’Oreal USA sponsored post that features a click to buy button for readers to purchase the cosmetics and beauty company’s products referenced in the post … As marketers question if sponsored content is really working, an e-commerce capability can help BuzzFeed better quantify the business impact of sponsored content. BuzzFeed is providing the technology integration but all revenue through the e-commerce test goes to L’Oreal."

    The story goes on to say that "BuzzFeed has been successful in producing and distributing highly viral content: the site attracted about 69 million unique visitors in the U.S. in August, according to comScore,  and BuzzFeed says it gets about 75% of its traffic from social media sources. BuzzFeed said it wanted to experiment with whether consumers would use its site to not only read entertaining content but to also buy products for brands they like."

    • The NW News Network reports that Amazon "has asked the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to test drones outdoors and is awaiting an answer.
    Amazon asked federal regulators for a limited exemption from the current ban on commercial use of drones. The company seeks permission to conduct flight tests over private property it owns outside Seattle.

    "Amazon's legal department assured the FAA that the testing can be done safely. Small, battery powered drones would fly no higher than 400 feet off the ground, remain within line-of-sight of the operator, and have a kill switch if something goes wrong."

    In addition, the story says, Amazon "has also joined a new lobbying group for companies interested in drones." The group, called the Small UAV Coalition, is urging the FAA "to accelerate testing approvals."
    KC's View:

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    Last week was a little heavy on travel, which made it hard for me to keep up with the email. So, let's see if I can catch up a bit…

    Responding to the decision by California Gov. Jerry Brown to sign legislation that bans the handing out by retailers of free single-use plastic bags, one MNB user wrote:

    What is disappointing about this is that the only people who will suffer is the consumer. This is “feel good” legislation that will affect jobs, that’s right KC, these evil plastic companies have actual people working for them. If you would know the real facts, you would see that this is nothing but bunk. All of the accusations about plastic grocery bags have been disproven by facts. There is no garbage island the size of Texas in the Pacific, no more wild life than ever before is dying because of grocery bags, they are not clogging up our storm drains, and they are certainly not a major part of the liter stream. What they are is lightweight and people who do not dispose of them properly are the blame for them blowing in the wind. They may be an eyesore in trees and wire fences but no reason to ban something because people are not educated about litter.  Most every city that has put this type of ban in place has seen costs to the consumer increase, cost to the taxpayer increase since now most have moved back to bags that are not recyclable and end up in landfills, reusable bags that need to be washed on a regular basis or they may be a haven for germs of all types, and not to mention we are back to cutting down trees, which is where this has all started….paper…which costs more to recycle, clean up, and adds 10 times the weight in landfills. Here is the kicker, there is more plastic by weight inside the checkout isle than there is with the plastic grocery bags…. Here is another kicker, heavier plastic bags are now being qualified that are within the parameters of these bans which means more plastic in landfills than ever.
    It is interesting that all the cities (and now California), that have banned plastic… never report about the follow up “independent studies’ that clearly show that there is no saving to anyone,… the consumer or the environment !  Next target…plastic water bottles!

    And from another reader:

    Bet you companies like Glad and Hefty are loving this ban because now people will have to buy bags to put in their smaller garbage cans instead of the ones that came free from the retailer.

    Regarding the continuing saga of Walmart vs. Tracy Morgan, one MNB user wrote:

    The legal proceeding surrounding the bribery scandal, and the lawsuit concerning the accident involving Tracy Morgan and their reactions to both just reinforce my belief they have no corporate moral compass, no sense of right and wrong.  I don’t make many mistakes on my job, but when I do, I have to own up to it.  Since I don’t try to pass the buck to someone else, I feel like those who work with me respect me more.  You have to own up to your mistakes,  when you don’t, people remember it and  you lose credibility.

    Got the following email regarding my piece last week about how businesses are looking for future employees who actually know how to write:

    Do u want to kno y execs r looking for strong writing skills? Bc writing skills in younger generations are limtd to 140 char.  IDK, maybe I’m old fashioned.

    Me, too. I even insist on proper capitalization and punctuation in my text and email messages.

    On another subject, a reader wrote:

    I ask this question in all sincerity as I may not fully understand the concept.

    Why would Wal-Mart build small warehouses with a depot attached, when they could just attach a depot to an existing store?  Even if it is a space issue I don't see how this differs from current methods of shopping on line and picking up at the store.

    There must be something here I am missing.

    Seems to me that there are a number of possibilities. One is that there definitely is a school of thought that store picking is less efficient than picking from a dedicated facility; that's what Tony Stallone, vp-perishables at Peapod, told me in a session we did together last week at the Category Management Association meetings in Orlando. By opening such a facility and testing it, Walmart can find out for itself … and then, depending on the results, can decide how to proceed.

    Down the road, there is nothing that would stop Walmart from opening depots in store parking lots and still pick from dedicated facilities.

    Responding to one comparison I cited here, MNB reader Philip Herr wrote:

    While 7-Eleven may sell more bananas than Snickers, what’s the comparison to total candy? Comparing a single SKU to an entire (sub) category is unrealistic. Like comparing apples to M&M’s.

    Actually, wouldn't the proper comparison be all candy to all produce?

    I recognize that if we cited another fruit, the results of the comparison might be different. But I still think it is interesting … and a reason that 7-Eleven might see fresh foods worthy of greater investment.

    Michael Sansolo cited a Bible passage last week about the size of Noah's ark, which prompted MNB reader David Pulsipher to write:

    I would argue that many of us, (at least us older types), know the dimensions of Noah’s ark, not because of the Bible, but because of Bill Cosby, “Right, what’s a cubit?”; once again proving the power of a story, and humor.

    One of the great comedy albums - ever.

    On another subject, from yet another reader:

    While I am many years removed from the buying/purchasing side of the business, I can't help but wonder what the major supermarket chain buyers think of Pepsi giving Amazon an exclusive on a product that will not be offered to them. In my day we would have a special carpet for them to be called in on.

    Got the following email from MNB reader Kelly Jacob:

    I am an avid MNB Reader, and I often use your website to update my organization on many of the latest retail subjects and trends since I think you have your finger on the pulse of the important conversations in retail…with attitude!!  Per the NYTimes report on the USDA and local farm support, I wanted to at least make you aware of the Pro*Act network.  We have been trying to be a solution for the local farm network for the last 2 years, but there are still some hurdles to overcome and thought you would be interested to know about them.

    Retailers don’t want middlemen and feel they can manage a myriad of farmers and have direct relationships with them.  They also think farmers delivering to the back door of their stores is the epitome of local, but in today’s atmosphere of food safety outbreaks and the recent Jensen Farm settlement by Wal-Mart, I think it might be changing…or should.

    Although local farmer relationships are definitely important, some farmers don’t have the proper food safety programs, IT capabilities or cold chain warehousing and transportation that could be better served by someone who can help them.  Pro*Act launched “Greener Fields Together” in October 2012 as a sustainability program that supports local farmers with a focus on food safety as well as a website for their farm bio’s and nation-wide exposure for local.  Our network of over 70 distribution points of individually owned and operated distributors are local businesses themselves and are structured to handle these smaller-scale growers.

    With the changing consumer demands for fresh foods, our distributors have diversified into supporting both foodservice and retail with logistical solutions for small sized orders.  Since 2012, we have approached many retailers and local farmers with consolidation solutions, but the retailers don’t want to enforce food safety expectations on their local farmers out of fear they might sell to someone else, and the local farmer doesn’t feel they need to go to the added expense because the retailers are buying from them without it. 

    After this latest Spring/Summer season, a lot of retailers are just now starting to require a minimum of GAP certification, and they have felt some backlash for it.  After the Jensen settlement, some might be going all the way to GFSi certification which will really be difficult for the local farmer.  Right now, even GAP is nominal and one outbreak affects a whole industry that is also made up of the larger growers that are doing the right things with food safety audits, etc and are actually monitored by the USDA unlike local.

    The NYTimes article hit home for me since we have tried to get the word out, and many of the Pro*Act locations have had success with their local farmers, but we have only scratched the surface.  As a result, the only way we can help is letting people like yourself know that we exist and whenever you get any inquiries asking for solutions, please keep us in mind.  We know the world is changing and just trying to stay a few steps ahead of it!!

    Thanks for putting MNB out every day… helps the rest of us drag our companies into the future!!

    My pleasure.

    Some folks have questioned my use of of certain words in our MNB Sports reports…

    MNB reader Ron Pizur wrote:

    I find your use of the term "decimated" interesting.

    To decimate means 'to select by lot and kill every 10th person of'. Did that really happen to the Patriots?

    Sorry to be critical, I just think people are over-/misusing this word.

    And, from another reader, about a different word:

    After the Peterson incident we Viking fans feel the terms spanked or whooped are inappropriate although your cheek was probably bulging as you typed the word.

    We also think the nick name “Vikings” sends a stereotypical and incorrect meme about those  decedents of Nordic decent. Based on our state of mind after last nights game and the previous actions of the NFL a better name for the team and its fans would be the Minnesota state bird, the Loon. Go Loons.

    And from another:

    Your use of 'spanked' in today's sports news put a grin on my face.  Good choice!
    KC's View:

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    In Week Five of National Football League action…

    Chicago 24
    Carolina 31

    Houston 17
    Dallas 20

    Buffalo 17
    Detroit 14

    Baltimore 13
    Indianapolis 20

    Pittsburgh 17
    Jacksonville 9

    Tampa Bay 31
    New Orleans 37

    Atlanta 20
    NY Giants 30

    St. Louis 28
    Philadelphia 34

    Cleveland 29
    Tennessee 28

    Arizona 20
    Denver 41

    NY Jets 0
    San Diego 31

    Kansas City 17
    San Francisco 22
    Cincinnati 17
    New England 43

    And, in Major League Baseball, the American League Divisional Series were wrapped up over the weekend as the Baltimore Orioles swept the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals swept the California Angels in their best-of-five match ups.

    Over in the National League, the San Francisco Giants hold a 2-0 lead over the Washington Nationals, while the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals are tied 1-1 in their best-of-five series.
    KC's View:

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Pancake Syrup is a first-of-its-kind syrup:

    • Made from organic sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup
    • Free of preservatives and other hard-to-pronounce ingredients
    • Perfect for waffles, crepes, French toast, oatmeal, sausages and bacon
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    Give your customers the option of trading up to Organic Pancake Syrup. Add it to your set today! It’s available through key natural distributors or by contacting Wholesome Sweeteners’ Customer Service at 1(800) 680-1896 or

    KC's View:

    Published on: October 6, 2014

    Join independent retailers and wholesalers, food/CPG manufacturers, and service providers for unparalleled opportunities to learn, network, and drive profitable growth in the independent supermarket sector at the 2015 NGA Show, February 8 ­ 11, in Las Vegas!

    Over the course of four days, attendees have the chance to take part in more than 30 education workshops on issues impacting their bottom line such as: consumer engagement, digital marketing, technology, food safety, data security and more!

    The 2015 Expo Floor will have even more exhibitors and pavilions in categories such as produce, meat, technology, and GM/HBC, and numerous opportunities to see the solutions you'll need all in one place!

    For more information, click here.

    KC's View: