retail news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Boston Business Journal reports that Target has yet another "flexible format store" - less than one-third the size of its traditional stores, with a far more curated and customized selection - slated to open in the Boston market.

The Stoneham, Massachusetts, store will join one scheduled to open in Cambridge in March, and two small Target stores that already have been opened downtown, near Boston University and near Fenway Park.

The story notes that "Target is planning to open 27 flexible format stores in the next three years."


• The Associated Press reports that Chipotle co-CEO Steve Ells said this week that while the company seems to be regaining some popular mojo as it resolves the food safety issues that roiled the company's reputation, the company "obviously" has a long way to go.

According to the story, "Ells said that half of the burrito chain's more than 2,100 restaurants have less-than-excellent customer service and that the company is now training employees to clean dirty napkins off tables, make sure the soda fountain is organized and keep the glass on its front doors free of fingerprints. Ells said at a conference Tuesday that the company let customer service slip as it focused on adding new food safety protocols after an E. Coli outbreak last year sickened some customers. It is now turning to improving its customer service to try and win back customers."

Call me crazy, but if you're in the restaurant business, I think it ought to be in your wheelhouse to provide safe, tasty food and clean tables.
KC's View: