retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email from an MNB reader concerned about some of the things other readers have been saying (negatively) about the new Haggen stores:

I have never worked in a grocery store but I have been in quite a few so I think that makes me an expert (haha).  I think people are being hard on Haggen. I can’t imagine the amount of work involved in changing over the sign on the front of the store let alone the signs and the shelf tags inside the store.  Asking them to change the lighting overnight is expecting too much. When a store does a remodel and changes where things are, I get a little frustrated because I can’t quickly find what I want.  It is now unfamiliar to me.  I think we should give Haggen the benefit of the doubt and give them time to chew a little bit of the big bite they just took on.  They have just forked over a ton of money for the increase in store count and now they need time get settled.

All true.

Except that, as one reader said, one rarely gets a second chance to make a first impression. And it may be that an expansion and transformation of the size that Haggen is attempting may be ill-conceived.

On another subject, one MNB user wrote:

I find myself at an awkward crossroad. On the one hand, I agree with scientists when it comes to climate change and the need for vaccines. On the other hand, I just can’t buy into the GMOs-are-perfectly-safe thinking. There’s been a plethora of GMOs-are-safe info flooding the airwaves of late, and some of the speakers have caused me to question my own assumptions — mostly because the speakers seem legit and because I’m not close-minded. I’d like to hear from scientists who aren’t tied to Big Ag, who are neutral in this discussion. I'd still support labeling and may still think that more time is needed (after all, the discussions around climate change and vaccines have been going on for decades at this point), but neutral reports would go a long way in helping me — and I’m sure other people — reconcile the dichotomy of rejecting science in one area while accepting it in others.

And regarding "Deflategate," I got the following email from MNB user Tim Pramas:

I am writing in reaction to your take on the Wells Report ("Report").  With respect to Mr. Brady, the Report vaguely references that "he was generally aware of" something, and then condemns him for this "general awareness."  But the specifics of what he was "generally aware of" are in short detail in the Report.

The Report references that in October, 2014 Mr. Brady was upset that balls inflated to 16 psi (well-above the maximum allowed of 13.5 psi) were used in a game the Patriots won against the Jets (where Mr. Brady threw three touchdown passes).  He then communicated with an equipment person to make sure the game balls were inflated toward the lower range of allowed psi (12.5 being the minimum allowed psi).  His interest in the inflation pressure of game balls is not atypical of other NFL quarterbacks, past and present, who also communicate with equipment personnel about their preferences for the inflation of game balls (some quarterbacks prefer a higher psi, some a lower psi). There is no evidence of any prior awareness on Mr. Brady's part, general or specific, that an equipment person may have deflated game balls right before the AFC Championship to a level slightly below 12.5 psi.  To suggest that he needs to "act like a man" (whatever that means) and "stand with the" equipment manager presupposes some similar level of culpability that not even a most pessimistic view of the evidence supports.  Also, there is no mention in the Report of anyone communicating with Mr. Brady by e-mail so your reference to him not turning over e-mails is unclear.  

The Patriots defeated the Colts by a final score of 45-7.  In the second half, using balls re-inflated at halftime, the Patriots outscored the Colts by a margin of 28-0.

I'm not arguing that the Colts would've won. But I think there was cheating going on ... and it remains inconceivable to me that low level employees would have touched those balls without Brady's approval or at least tacit knowledge.

I understand that many Patriots fans are in denial. But I feel very strongly about this stuff - I hate cheating by professional athletes, mostly because it sends such a horrible message to kids. I hated it when Pete Rose gambled on baseball, I hate it when athletes do steroids, or when they cork their bats, or do something that affects the ball.

Here's the deal. If this happened to someone on a team I rooted for, I would call for even tougher penalties ... because I'd feel betrayed.

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. (And, of course, keep your eye on the sparrow...)

KC's View: