retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Good piece in the Wall Street Journal this morning about how, "under growing pressure from discounters and online rivals, supermarkets are trying to transform themselves into places where customers might want to hang out rather than just grabbing groceries and heading home."

The examples include stores that feature yoga classes, cigar sections, putting greens and spa treatments - anything that draw the bricks-and-mortar stores are standing in sharp relief compared to the online shopping experience.

You should read it here.
KC's View:
I cannot help but think about this story within the context of this morning's Eye-Opener about random violence in the aisles of a supermarket ... especially because one of the stores cited in the Journal piece is a ShopRite (though not the same ShopRite in which the knife attack took place).

The argument here always has been that while I am not anti-store, I am not in favor of bricks-and-mortar stores that don't work overtime to establish a pattern of evolving relevance to a changing and highly diverse and differentiated consumer class. That's what the stores cited in the Journal story are doing, and I'm all in favor of it. But then I think about the random acts of violence that we see taking place across the country, and I wonder if an ever-increasing percentage of the population will prefer to stay at home, to shop online, to watch a movie or play a game in the safety of their living rooms. If so, these instincts will have an impact not just on the conduct of commerce, but also the fabric of our society.

Again, I have no answers. But I think that we all have to be thinking about these questions.