retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email from an MNB reader:

Thank you for your interview with Fawn Germer about how to keep ourselves relevant.   I am 59, and I have been “looking for a new opportunity” three times over the past 10 years, after an 18-year career with a major consumer products manufacturer.  I currently work for a great company in our industry.  Ms. Germer recommends continuous learning and marking sure we will be relevant in 5 years.  I have found that it is important to be aware of my personal brand, and specifically, how I am perceived by others.  We need to make sure we are part of the solution, and not part of the problem.  Most importantly, and perhaps a bit controversially, I have learned to actively listen and learn from others.  Many times when I know I am right, I am not.


Regarding McDonald's establishment of diversity goals and then linking management bonuses to achieving those goals, one MNB reader wrote:

I have a hard time with companies "mandating" a certain percentage of different races should be in management roles. How can you put a hard number to that? What if there's no qualified applicants for a particular role. You just pick anyone, qualified or not to fill in the numbers? That's what will happen when you tie bonuses to this kind of stuff. Then what happens to the overall health of a company. 

I find this to be just as much of a problem as a lack of diversity. Now a white person is being discriminated against because a company has too many "white" people in charge.

Coke has already got themselves in a mess with their antiracist training that tells the associate to "try to be less white".

What the hell does that mean? If they said " try to be less [pick your ethnicity)" there would be riots and Coke Cola plants being burned down all over the US. (A whistleblower posted screen shots of that training.)

We've gone FAR left here and it concerns me that reality has left the building.

I'm a little unclear, based on my reading, the degree to which the stuff posted by the whistleblower reflects the totality of the Coke training program.  I gather that some of the criticisms are coming from quarters that are opposed to what's called "critical race theory," which among other things posits that one has to acknowledge that white supremacy exists and that existing law often serves to reinforce it.  (I don't think there's much question that white supremacy exists, and it certainly seems to me that white supremacists are being more public about it than ever.  But then there are some folks that argue that white supremacy doesn't exist.  I'm confused.)

Sometimes the language we choose can be problematic.  In the end, I try to be understanding of the ultimate goals involved - that we all need to be less rooted in our own perspectives and biases, and more open to the views of others.

I like to think of it as avoiding "epistemic closure."

But that sometimes gets me in trouble with the radical empiricist crowd.


On another subject, from MNB reader Robert Dyer:

I also wanted to comment on that great story from the Austin HEB.  After viewing your video commentary, I copied the link to my peers at my company.  I noted that this was a great example of servant leadership and yet another indicator as to why HEB continues to own the Texas market.  I worked with HEB, Central Market, and their Monterrey division for a few years in my role as an a strategic consultant, and this type of an action is not surprising considering their focus on their markets, customers, and the spirit of Texas.


And regarding Supermarket Employee Day, a new holiday proclaimed by FMI—The Food Industry Association "to recognize employees at every level for the work they do feeding families and enriching lives," MNB reader Jackie Lembke wrote:

My husband, who is a produce manager at a local store, was given a t-shirt, is eligible for prize drawings and lunch/dinner will be provided today. It is a nice gesture for a group that is frequently overlooked. Thanks to all grocery store employees and the great job they have done during a very difficult year.