business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email from MNB reader Frank Squilla regarding the apparent return of Toys R Us to the bricks-and-mortar wars:

Ever since their demise, I have been an advocate of saving a portion of Toys, but they have to do this right. Retail, as you know is rapidly changing and in order to be successful in this environment, I believe a chain can succeed in drawing families and kids as an interactive store. It cannot be just a place to buy toys. I believe you are right with that comment.

However, if it’s interactive, Testing new Toy concepts, play areas, birthday Parties, manufacturer sponsored events to promote new launches, fun play dates for kids in a safe environment, strong web presence, I believe a scaled down version can be worth the effort. I wish them luck, but as you state, let’s see what they come to the table with.

One other add on. What about also having a cafe for the parents to have a coffee while the kids play, under staff and or parent supervision. It’s different, but you have to be different today.

Regarding the possibility that the Los Angeles market could see another supermarket strike, MNB reader Jeff Weidauer wrote:

I remember the 2003 strike very well. In my case, we had to go to Dallas to shoot a new TV commercial because the Teamsters wouldn’t work in Los Angeles. But I remember it more because of the friends who lost everything – cars, homes, and in many cases, friendships. If there is another strike, both sides will lose, and lose big. And if it goes on long enough, the SoCal market will never be the same. Let’s hope they can settle this, and soon.

Responding the contretemps over “Good Omens,” the new TV series on Amazon that a religious group would like to see taken down (though the petition it circulated mistakenly identified Netflix as the streaming service that carries it), MNB reader Eric Carlson wrote:

Kevin, I came across Good Omens a couple of weeks ago, and enjoy it very much it. It's tongue-in-cheek parody, and points out some of the incongruous stories in the Bible … The whole show reeks of George Carlin, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and Monty Python rolled into a big ball.

It's not a slight on religion, it's a slight on people who don't think for themselves. And who can't take a joke.

Thanks. I’m now officially looking forward to watching it.

Finally, I made a movie reference yesterday in a commentary about the surveillance culture in which we live, prompting MNB reader Steve Panza to write:

My dad introduced me to The Conversation 30-odd years ago, and it is one of my favorite movies. In this day of movie reboots, I'm surprised no one has updated this one. Cameras are everywhere, and our electronic devices can listen in (when my dad and I talk on the phone, we always greet any listeners, partly in jest, partly because you never know who is listening in).

You dad is a man after my own heart.
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