retail news in context, analysis with attitude

We had a story recently about how some localities are trying to ban - or at least charge for - reusable paper cups, and I agreed.

One MNB reader responded:

Interesting conundrum. The waste of a disposable cup vs. an establishment refilling a customers reusable mug. I have seen some hygienically questionable coffee mugs being passed back to a barista for a refill. Might be even worse for self serve..... 

From another reader:

Seems to be plastic water containers are a far greater hazard. You seldom see headlines about those except when are rivers and oceans have a mass accumulation?

And another:

I'm not sure I want the general public bringing their own mugs to refill coffee. How long has that sat in their car unwashed and what about the food safety issues involved with that? The general public has no idea how to prevent foodborne illnesses. A paper cup that's recyclable is just fine thank you.



On another subject, from MNB reader Kim Cates:

Something struck me as I read your recent article about Amazon employees knowing the addresses of some Alexa users. In the article it minimizes the number of users who's personal information is accessible by saying, " a limited number of employees who require these tools to train and improve the service by processing an extremely small sample of interactions”.

I'm curious, if there are 100 MILLION Alexa devices out in the world, just how many would it require to  be considered "an extremely small sample"? I'd consider 1% to be an extremely small sample, but in  this case, that's 1 MILLION devices being monitored. In this case, I think, size DOES matter…….




On the subject of Marvel’s remarkable movie universe, MNB reader Monte Stowell wrote:

Congrats to Marvel for having a 22-0 winning record. They obviously have a product that today’s customer wants and is willing to get, and paying the cost of admission and overpriced concessions. I have a friend who works for Regal Cinemas, and told me that concession sales account for over 65% of this profits. Streaming, for most people to watch movies is convenient, less costly for a movie ticket, and the cost of concessions is negated. The movie buying experience to watch first run movies is much too costly for most families today. Showing my age, I remember My parents and my three siblings going to the movies every Friday night. The cost was $1.00 for mom and dad, and $.50 for us kids, and about $1.00for goodies, mom always brought along a big bag of M&M’s for everyone. Mr. Rose, the manager, always saved the same six seats for us. Good old fashioned customer service. Saturday matinees were $.45 for us kids and a Sugar Daddy was $.05. A Coca Cola was a dime and a Carnation ice cream bar was Also a dime. The Saturday morning cowboy movies, the comedy shorts, and the serials. Ah yes, the good old days to go to the movies.
KC's View: