retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday, the MNB Eye-Opener was about how Ed Hennessey, 45, a Florida man who spent 20 years as a high school teacher but never made more than $50,000 a year, and always had trouble supporting his family and paying off his college loans, has found a new career as a shopper for Shipt.

I commented, in part:

Not that it is a bad thing that Hennessey has found a way to better support his family. That’s a good thing. I just think it is a shame when talented teachers can no longer afford to follow their passions because our culture so devalues the importance of great teachers. I think it is a shame when teachers have to work a second job in order to pay their bills; keep in mind that these same teachers work late into the night grading papers and preparing lessons, and that many teachers reach into their own pockets to pay for supplies because school district budgets are insufficient.

This is the stuff I mind…Some may read the story and think it is cute. Some may read it, shrug, and move on. But I see it as an Eye-Opener of the worst kind, spotlighting exactly how crappy our society’s priorities often are.


MNB reader Linda Porritt responded:

I think this is a very sad testament that our society values having someone perform our own mundane tasks over someone who could make all the difference in a child’s life.  My only hope is that some of Ed’s customers are taking the time they save by having Ed doing their grocery shopping now on their children and helping to teach them life lessons.

MNB reader Kathleen Ottaviano wrote:

Couldn’t agree with you more, Kevin.  Like the often repeated saying, “I’m looking forward to a time when schools have all the money they need and the Pentagon is having bake sales.”

And MNB reader Melissa Setser wrote:

Let’s add:  Teachers are the people that we trust our precious children with, and certainly for more awake hours each day than parents spend with them.  And we can’t “afford” to pay them a good, fair wage?  Devaluing education’s importance has led and will continue to contribute to the decline of our civilization.  We have a reality TV star as President.  Enough said.



Regarding the innovative small store formats cited in a New York Times story, MNB reader Lisa Malmarowski wrote:

You mean like food co-ops? Locally-owned by the community stores have offered some of these things for years. But carry on talking about the ‘big guys’, we’ll just go about our business 😉



We had a story about Kroger buying a shopping center in Florida, which prompted MNB reader Jerry Heck to write:

I’m hearing they are buying the property for Lucky’s Market, who you probably recall they are investing in.

Certainly possible.

MNB reader Mark Albright wrote:

Interesting about Kroger buying some real estate in Palm Beach County. If it is for a full line store, that would be new because their nearest distribution center is around Macon, Ga., a good 120 miles north of the Florida border. However, Kroger’s Lucky’s Market unit slipped in a couple of years ago, now has a dozen stores in Florida and is opening half dozen more a year. Their latest in St. Petersburg opened a month ago and is constantly packed. Granted, that’s a different brand and formula operated out of Colorado. But they do have quite a bit of Kroger private labels. And the money ends up in the same till.



Finally, yesterday an MNB reader wrote in yesterday to compliment a Michael Sansolo column:

Wow! Someone at your place with a sense of reality.  A really refreshing change from all that holier-than-thou “you have no right to feel that way” commentary we’re so accustomed to in MNB.

My response:

Good thing that the Content Guy has a thick skin…

This all prompted MNB reader Terry Pyles to write:

I have been reading MNB virtually every morning since its earliest days. I enjoy the insights, commentary, occasional offbeat articles and sharing of opinions. So thank you for all of that.

And sometimes I just have to laugh out loud. Today was one of those days. That exchange was the very definition of pithy.


Ah, but not everybody enjoyed it. The fellow who wrote in followed up with another email, saying:

And an even better thing that the dictionary features your photo in its definition of the word “prig.”

Prig? Really? Moi?

Oh, well. Could’ve been worse. He could’ve used another one syllable word starting with p-r-i, but ending with two other letters…
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