retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to a recent story about how much more expensive some take-out restaurant meals are compared to when you eat-in, MNB reader Joe Axford wrote:

Hey KC, I used GrubHub for the first time last week.  A small Chinese food takeout order, 3 appetizers, total cost $28.10.  After fees from the restaurant, GrubHub, taxes and tip the total ran to $45.00.  Should have picked it up myself, lesson learned!

On another subject, from MNB reader Jim Antrup:

Enjoyed your FaceTime about Dixie cups,  (I missed yesterday as I took a couple of days off), but hearing you this morning I just had to share this.

I work for a Pie company and we previously produced  a Bourbon  Chocolate Pecan pie, several years ago when the decision was made to remove the Bourbon the name was changed to Dixie Pie (nobody seems to remember why Dixie was chosen)). I can’t count the number of  questions I have encountered as to what a Dixie pie is (it is a Pecan base with Chocolate and Walnuts). We have even received comments on our website from consumers who inadvertently picked up the wrong pie (they look very similar) and questioned who  changed the formula of Pecan pie and added chocolate. Anyway to make a long story, last month we made a decision that Words do matter and we changed the name of our Dixie Pie to Chocolate Walnut Pie. We explained to customer that  by being descriptive we now are communicating to the consumer what is actually in the pie. I think a win on both parts.

Another MNB reader had another take:

Thanks for the video on Dixie Cups… you are ahead of the curve. When does this insanity stop? Someone will likely call for a name change on Dixie cups. I hope the owners have the courage to push back. Accusing Trader Joe’s of racist labels by using some fun, entertaining names like Trader Jose, Trader Giotto, etc is absurd. Capitulating to the mob must stop.

I want to be clear on something here.  I was not saying that the "dixie" in Dixie Cups was inherently racist or not racist.  I was just curious about its origins, in view of recent events and increased (and often appropriate) sensitivities.

I have no problem with Trader Joe's changing the names of some of its ethnic products, if the conclusion is reached that they suggest cultural stereotypes that are inappropriate as we move into the mid-21st century.  They're not capitulating.  Just trying to be sensitive.

I think we need a little more of that in our world, not less.

Responding to my criticism of a TV commercial for a office park company that seemed oblivious to current realities, MNB reader Michael Fetterer wrote:

As a Norwalk (CT) resident (and a resentful subscriber to Optimum / Altice), I’ve seen those RD Scinto ads as well.  The one you spotted was posted to YouTube in May 2019, and obviously produced before that, long before COVID-19 even spawned.

Yes, ads like that are a bit awkward now, and they really stand out when others have launched new creative with current messaging about how the business is looking out for your health.  Scinto is probably much more worried about how the heck they’re going to get their occupancy rates back up in a post-COVID world.  But to your point, perhaps pulling the old ad campaigns and replacing with more timely content is exactly what they need.

Which is all I was arguing.

On another subject, from MNB reader Monte Stowell:

First, it is great to have Major League Baseball back. I hope we can get through the original 60 game schedule, the playoffs, and hopefully, a World Series. MLB has done the best they could do with all the safety protocols they have in place. Despite that, the Miami Marlins have had several players test positive for the Covid-19 virus, and several games have been cancelled. 

Imagine now, the NFL games. A heavy contact game, especially on the defensive and offensive lines. The sweat, the spitting, saliva, the physical contact, etc. I cannot imagine the NFL having a full season with  the aforementioned ways of players getting the Covid-19  virus. Stay tuned, we shall see. Maybe there is just too much money at play not to have a season.

Regarding the Universal-AMC agreement that will get more movies onto TV faster, MNB reader Dan Blue wrote:

As someone who’s using the months of lockdown to finish my basement to put in a home theater, I am very happy to hear this.

MNB reader Richard Lowe sent me the following email:

You do a great service for us all every day!  Like CBS Sunday Morning, I love reading MNB everyday!

So what Jeff Bezos needs to do and must do is step up to the plate with his billions that have been made off the backs of his employees is pay every last one of them a reasonable living wage too they can all hold their heads up high!!!!!!

Can you get this message to him?

You may be overstating my access.  On the other hand, it is possible that you just delivered the message yourself.

And finally, this email from a reader about my suggestion that Walmart's new "Ask Sam" voice assistant for employees ought to adapted for consumer use:

I agree with the guy who puts together and writes this daily newsletter.  WM should develop this app for their shoppers and create using Sam’s voice.

I agree with him, too … at least most of the time.  But I'll certainly let him know.