retail news in context, analysis with attitude

In response to yesterday’s story about how some supermarkets are endeavoring to turn their stores into community centers and even a place to find romance - assuming that this is something that e-commerce can’t offer - MNB reader Ben Ball wrote:

Hilarious how old becomes news again, eh?  As a young professional in Minneapolis in the 70’s, the Lund’s on Lake Street was generally recognized as the place to go on Thursday evening if you didn’t have a date for the weekend yet.  And I’m not surprised to see Mariano’s picked as one of the sexy supermarkets of choice. With sushi, roses and a wine bar – what more do you need?

From another reader:

When I was living in DC as a young'un after college, there was the Single Safeway near Dupont Circle. It was a great place for meeting Of course, its other nickname was Soviet Safeway after the long lines and bare shelves. 

And, from MNB reader Mary Schroeder:

The Marina Safeway in San Francisco has been the place to meet for over 50 years.

And, from MNB reader Beatrice Orlandini:

There is a supermarket in Milan - the Esselunga store in Viale Papiniano - which has built its popularity partly due to its fame of being a great place for single consumers to find non only their grocery but their perfect match as well.

This reputation dates years back.

When you're in line, just peeking into someone else's cart and making a quick assessment of their eating habits gives you a good idea of how compatible you could be on such an increasingly important issue for many consumers.

Maybe less intimidating than trying speed dating….

But isn’t everything in Italy more romantic?

Of course, sometimes these days even a casual remark hits a nerve. Yesterday, when talking about romance in the produce aisle, I mentioned the “classic” movie Animal House and the scene there between Otter and Mrs. Wormer.

This prompted MNB reader Matt Erickson to write:

Animal House as being “classic” seemed a bit incongruent.


The thing is, current circumstances mean that we all are going to have to rethink long-held opinions. It is an ongoing struggle of conscience.

I know for example, that I’m probably never going to be able to watch a Woody Allen movie ever again. Just too weird. And yet, that doesn’t mean that movies like Annie Hall and Manhattan were any less important to me when they came out, and I’m not prepared to say that they were. On the other hand, modern context makes them kind of creepy.

I have fond memories of Animal House. It certainly was a classic of its genre. But you’re right that watching it today might be a little discomfiting.

I suspect that I’m going to make these kinds of mistakes from time to time,, and that the MNB community will call me on them, and I’m going to try to demonstrate personal growth.
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