retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday we had a story about how the Unknown Brewing Co. in North Carolina recently came up with an ingenious and Eye-Opening solution when somebody stole the company’s van … it offered to host a keg part for whoever found it. The move worked - 45 minutes later, the van was found.

Prompting this terrific - and inevitable - email from MNB reader Mitzi C. Everhart:

And just like that, they are now the “KNOWN Brewing Company”. 

Boom! Drop the mic. Wish I’d thought of that line.

On another subject, the new Harvest Market developed for Niemann Foods by Kevin Kelley, from MNB reader Rich Juliano:

It has been a long time since I first worked with Kevin Kelley at Genuardi’s Family Markets. In fact it was around 20 years ago. Kevin, even back then, was always thinking about the future and the store we developed with him we felt was years ahead of it’s time and positioned us to compete against any competition including the numerous small specialty markets that existed around Philadelphia at the time. I haven’t been in Harvest Market yet, but after reading your article I will definitely make it a point to visit. I applaud Rich Neiman for taking this step and he couldn’t have picked a better partner than Kevin Kelley to help him create a vision for the future.

Genuardi’s is, in my opinion, one of the lost and largely forgotten jewels of food retailing - a great company with terrific stores, way ahead of their time, that was not well served after being acquired. (That’s probably the understatement of the year.)

Finally, an email from an MNB reader about Michael Sansolo’s column this week about a bad travel experience:

I was surprised that Mike was surprised regarding the airline's lack of empathy and service recovery.

I could write you examples all day long with that industry on service. They all suck for the most part and we have no choices. That's the issue. They don't need to be nice.

That was a waste of my time. Sansolo speaks the obvious.

I’m sorry you found the column to be a waste of your time. I would, however, disagree with you on this one. Michael’s column made an important point that I think all businesses should be reminded of - that problems often are less significant than how we respond to them.

It’d be nice if we lived in a world where we didn’t have to remind folks of this fact (which is a corollary to the one about how “the cover-up always is worse than the crime”). But we do. Because too many companies and leaders keep making the same damned stupid mistakes.

KC's View: