business news in context, analysis with attitude

MNB reader Monte Stowell had a reaction to Michael Sansolo’s column yesterday about the Washington Post food writer who rarely cooks mostly because she hates food shopping in stores that she finds to be uninspiring and irrelevant:

My suggestion to the young millennial lady who hates grocery shopping. Find the pet food aisle and go buy a box or a bag of Meow Mix. Go to the dairy aisle, buy some milk, pour it over some Meow Mix, and enjoy your sorry life about how much you dislike grocery shopping. Count your blessings that you can afford the luxury of eating in restaurants as opposed to the thousands of people who cannot enjoy the luxury you indulge yourself in.

I actually think that’s a little harsh. It is fine to criticize the writer for being entitled and maybe a little spoiled, it actually misses the point that she - and Michael - were trying to make, that supermarket shopping has not changed as much as other retail channels, and is at risk at being disrupted out of business if it does not change. Sure, she has options, but she’s also not alone … and the industry ought to be grateful that she has the talent and the platform to say what needs to be said.

Don’t shoot the messenger.

On another subject, from MNB reader Jeff Folloder:

One cannot help but notice the myriad situation reports on MNB regarding the inexorable decline of Sears.  It is as if reading the morbid details is a required accompaniment to the morning coffee.  Yesterday I received my replacement Sears Mastercard in the mail.  Several details about this replacement were noted.  First, it appears that I have been a "member" since 1988.  Second, Sears has seen fit to upgrade me to "Platinum" status.  They also tucked in a 10% off coupon toward the purchase of any $500+ appliance.

None of this served as an impetus for me to go shop at Sears.  Frankly, I haven't made a purchase with this card in at least 20 years and I haven't even set foot in a store for at least 10.  I keep the card because there is no annual fee and having no balance keeps the credit report a bit rosier.  One would think that there would be some mildly imaginative effort that Sears could deploy to draw me in.  They are literally mailing it in, though.  There's no pity.  Let me know when the funeral gets scheduled.

KC's View: