retail news in context, analysis with attitude

One MNB user had a response to yesterday's story about how REI had a great year, building both sales and goodwill when it decided to shut its stores on Black Friday, instead encouraging(and paying) its employees to take a hike that day:

I was a contributor to their sales increase. When I heard what they had done, I immediately made a plan to shop REI for Christmas gifts.  We bought several hundred dollars worth and covered 3 presents on the list and one unplanned purchase for ourselves.  And we loved giving those particular gifts!  They are refreshing and daring heroes in the sea of stupid anti-social greed.  AND I boycotted anyone who was open on Thanksgiving!

In the continuing discussion of mandated GMO labeling, I commented yesterday:

Let's be clear. It isn't so much that these food industry interests don't want state-by-state labels as much as they don't want mandated labeling at all. And they can talk about the high costs of labeling, but that strikes me as a non-starter - if manufacturers discovered that sodium would help people be taller, thinner and more attractive, you can be damned sure that they'd figure out a way to say so on their labels virtually overnight, and products wouldn't cost a penny more because of it.

One MNB user responded:

Great comment!!  The salt example is perfect - you hit the nail on the head. Love your commentaries.  They "trump" others.

From MNB reader Gregg Raffensperger:

I agree that transparency in labeling is a good thing.  However I also side with the manufacturers that are nervous if this is to become a state by state mandate.  That could lead to specific packaging for each state, which could lead to different packaging with each multi state retailer.

Even though I am not a proponent of “big government”, my vote is for US standards.  In this case it fits.

Agreed. I think manufacturers and GMA are being disingenuous when they push for a ban on state-by-state labeling, because what they really want is a ban on all mandated labeling.

From another reader:

Interesting that some of the votes to block state GMO labeling came from senators who express a strong "States' Rights" voice; but only for certain things.


And from another:

I predict that in the short term, the people of Vermont are going to have to learn to live without things like corn flakes or coca cola or foods from a factory because no (non-Vermont based) company is going make Vermont-specific labeling.  It may be temporary but there is going to be this window of time where Vermont is all alone.  One could argue that this is a great public health outcome, since those foods probably kill you.
However, on a more pragmatic level, if my toddler couldn't have dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, all hell would break loose.

KC's View: