business news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to my comments yesterday about Super Bowl 50, MNB user Michael Stephan wrote:

I like Peyton Manning.  I too was pulling for the Old Gunslinger.

It's just unfortunate that he chose to "sell out" to Budweiser.  Peyton's end of the game interview will forever include his comment, "now I'm going to drink a lot of Budweiser".  How stupid.  How in appropriate for a world class athlete.  For him, I hope the payday is enough money that he can afford to have those words engraved on his headstone.

During the game I hummed the tune to "Nationwide is on my mind".  Now I get to associate Peyton with a last ditch "money grab" from Budweiser.  This totally changes my opinion of him.

For the record, Manning did not get paid to make the Budweiser reference ... and Budweiser execs apparently were surprised (but delighted) by his comments. Manning does, however, own several Bud distributorships ... so the comment was natural.

I understand why folks might be a little put off by his comments, but athletes get paid all the time to say they are going to Disney World. Maybe I'm just becoming numb to it all.

MNB user Craig Bower wrote:

While I didn’t see all of the Super Bowl commercials you referenced in your piece today, I did see the Prius one featuring bank robbers. I recall thinking as I watched it, “What idiotic car company executive approved the ad campaign that ties the Prius to criminal activity (even in jest)?” What was the message – buy our vehicle and outsmart the cops? Why didn’t the ad team film a computer generated sequence in which a Prius is substituted for O.J.’s Bronco? I didn’t like it!

I think that's a little harsh.

I thought the ads were funny, and I have no problem with crooks and thieves being portrayed in a humorous or even sympathetic light. I submit for your approval Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, To Catch A Thief, "It Takes A Thief," Out of Sight, Ocean's Eleven, and The Sting, to name just a few.

Maybe we have to lighten up a bit.

From MNB reader George Denman:

Why isn’t anybody tweeting about the lack of respect by Cam Newton in not taking his skull cap off during the singing of the national anthem?  Being the son of a veteran that served in two wars I was raised to know better.

I missed that, but I think you;re right. He should've taken it off, unless there is some cultural thing going on there about which I am unaware.

I was too busy loving Lady Gaga's rendition.

MNB reader Scott J. Proch wrote:

I’m a 54 year old conservative, who wouldn’t know a Lady Gaga song if it blared from my daughter’s I-phone.  This was the greatest rendition of the national anthem maybe EVER.  I kept my emotions in tact at the party, but looked it up and listened again after the game and it made me cry!

A gentle word of advice if you don't want to look like a 54-year-old conservative. It is spelled "iPhone," not "I-phone."

I'm just trying to help here.

And from another reader:

Ditto on Lady Gaga and the national anthem. Didn’t see it coming. Never would have guessed it – and absolutely loved it.

On a more serious subject, got the following email from MNB reader Tom Murphy responding to a number of stories on MNB:

Anyone besides me seeing a pattern here?  Haggen, Sports Authority, now Fairway…all retail companies with past histories of success getting help from private equity and investment firms.  Maybe this business is a little tougher than just cutting costs to the bare minimum and then throwing out a bunch of growth capital?  Go figure!


MNB reader Howard Carr had some thoughts about Fairway management saying it doesn't have the resources that its competition does:

As a retail real estate practitioner for more than 48years, I find this statement by management most interesting. Not only has the current management team lost focus on how to get out of this dilemma, but it hired a law firm that has had great success (the A & P result would certainly gain my confidence)!!!!!!  To think they cannot compete because their competition has more capital is like telling Google they could not compete vs Microsoft 10 years ago.

This company was focused on its customers and through that concentration became a very serious player in the metro NYC grocery market. Following the buyout, the focus became profits and not the customers. A sure fire route into the bankruptcy courts. Lawyers and fund managers that have no idea on how to run a grocery operation cannot be counted on to run a business like Fairway was. This is like asking a plumber to perform brain surgery.

What a loss!

And, on another subject, MNB reader Karen Shunk wrote:

Your comment about how Amazon should integrate other aspects of the business such as lockers and click and collect into their planned stores is spot on.  I heard Uwe Bald of Hermes Logistics, a division of the OTTO mail order company in Germany, do a presentation at the NRF Big Show in New York last month on the importance of return logistics to a cross-border e-commerce business model (you have to make it easy). 
OTTO competes in a number of markets such as Brazil and Russia where cash on delivery is common.  To facilitate this, they have locker rooms where customers can try on or inspect the merchandise and decide if they will keep it.  If they decide to send it back, the “store” takes care of it right then and no cash changes hands.  I think this would constitute a significant differentiating factor for Amazon stores, who could also incorporate Zappos and marketplace partners into the mix, too.
KC's View: