retail news in context, analysis with attitude

A note from MNB reader Monte Stowell:

My wife sent me out to buy 2-3 packages each of hand sanitizer bottles and 2-3 packages of wipes for each of our cars. After spending an entire morning going to Costco, Fred Meyer, Safeway, Target, Walmart, etc., my hunt ended up with nothing. It is laughable that retailers are putting limits of 4-5 each of the aforementioned items.  You cannot buy those amounts when there is literally zero product on the shelf. The average case pack has 8-12 units, and the stores are lucky if they get a couple of loads a week, thus it is a true treasure hunt to find these high demand items. Also, the demand for bath tissue reminds me of the so called TP shortage in 1973 when Johnny Carson made a remark about there being a TP shortage. There is no shortage of this item when the consumer demand exceeds the ability of the manufacturer to supply.  When there is hoarding by the consumer, it takes a long time for the supply chain to get back into normalcy of having these sanitizers and TP back on the shelf. In the meantime, happy hunting.

Regarding how some movie theatres are trying to compete in a streaming world, one MNB reader wrote:

Every time I have gone to a movie over the past year, I find myself amazed at the poor customer service for food and beverage.  The limited number of lines are 6-8 people deep and the act of scooping popcorn or pouring a soft drink take a shocking amount of time.  The movie is going to play regardless of whether the audience is 5 people or 100 people.  The ability to more effectively serve at the counter is the path to improved profit, especially at the ridiculous prices charged.  The first theater to figure this out has a real opportunity to appropriately differentiate.