business news in context, analysis with attitude

Regarding the question of what Albertsons and Rite Aid should do now that their merger has been called off, MNB reader Tom Murphy wrote:

I always thought the Rite Aid deal was about Cerberus, and it's long web of management/investors (think Bob Miller), finding an exit strategy for all of the SuperValu, Albertsons, Safeway and other convoluted deals over the past ten or so years. Looks like the WSJ has similar thoughts. Rite Aid is likely a dead-man walking and Albertsons needs to get its crap together quick...they have the man in place who can do it (Jim Donald) if the financier idiots will give him some room or even stay out of his way.

From another reader:

Or, Amazon buys Rite Aid.  Not the most dynamic buy, but it immediately gets a national presence in the retail drug prescription business.  Trim poor locations, tighten processes....or am I dreaming?  Without something dramatic, Rite Aid is dead.  Maybe Amazon waits for the fire sale.

As for what troubled Barnes & Noble should do, MNB reader Glenn Cantor wrote:

Barnes and Noble has a really good selection of educational toys, which they don’t effectively promote.  They try to clearly identify the age-appropriate toys and group them into sections that make shopping easier.
Now that Toys R Us is gone, they have an opportunity to expand their relevance in everything educational for kids and teachers.

In my commentary yesterday about Barnes & Noble, I wrote:

”I don’t think Barnes & Noble has much of a clue where it fits in any ecosystem at the moment.”

Prompting MNB reader Andy Barker to write:

I would say the same applies to most retailers in today's market!

On the subject of tattoos, apparently no longer taboo for many employers, one MNB reader wrote:

The artistry on some of the tattoos younger people have are really a thing of beauty. I wonder what they will look like 30-40 years from now, and will these folks have any regrets. The cost of having them removed is quite expensive.The people who remove tattoos will have a lot of business down the road.

MNB reader Larry Cobb had some thoughts about another story:
The Monsanto suit is more than one man’s case. This is right out of a John Grisham book. Try the first case in a liberal state to get it settled for large money then hit them with a huge class action suit nationwide. I would guess that many cases are being readied to be filed as we speak. Monsanto must win this case as it has sold so much weed killer over the years it will be exposed to much more and this could take them out. May I say like a bad weed?

And finally, from another MNB reader:

First off, thanks for doing what you do - I've been reading you for about 2 years now and really appreciate your candid commentary. I attribute my decent sense of the food/retail landscape to reading you on a weekly basis, so thanks for making me seem well-read to my colleagues!

On your "Offbeat" section from last Friday I really appreciated the humanity of your statement that we're all "that guy" from time to time. Lord knows I sure am. Recently learned of a mental model known as Hanlon's Razor that's helped me step back from assuming the worst intentions of people. I try to replace "stupidity" with " ignorance" or "busyness". It's all too easy to assume someone doing something inconsiderate is them being a bad person, when they may otherwise be uninformed or preoccupied. For me, it's increased my patience and empathy with others and decreased my paranoia.

KC's View: