retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday I did a FaceTime video about a special Surprise & Delight program at the Apple Store - polite and well-mannered customers get breaks from employees.

MNB reader Glenn Cantor wrote:

Surprise and Delight.  Grocery store managers and key store-level personnel should make it a point to know their best customers when they come into their stores.  They should great these good customers, and give them some kind of tangible benefit or gift from time to time, to express their appreciation.

We have two really good chain c-stores in my town, Wawa and Quick Chek.  I am in both of their loyalty programs.  Recently, Wawa sent me a cooler basket filled with gift items, including a $25 gift card.  I think it was sent because I responded to their customer survey.  Guess what, I haven’t been back to Quick Chek since getting the Wawa basket.

Another MNB reader wrote:

Kerby Lane Café in Austin, TX does this too. A party of mine once got 50% off of a 6 person tab from the server because we were nice and happy one night after ACL when the place was slammed.


Regarding our coverage of Amazon's labor policies, one MNB reader wrote:

I like Amazon.  They are definitely my go-to place to shop, but when I read about how they treat their delivery drivers, I want to not shop with them anymore.  The problem is, I like shopping at Amazon!   Every time I get a delivery, I get an email asking me to rate the driver and the delivery.   I think next time I am going to see if there is a place where it lets me ask if the driver had lunch, or a break, or was treated fairly.  


Yesterday, in the MNB Covid-19 Coronavirus Update, I took note of two different stories that I found concerning.

One had to do with the fact that, even as more and more people are getting vaccinated, Axios wrote that "it's the unvaccinated in some cases who are returning to activities outside the home at the highest rates … 52% of unvaccinated Americans reported seeing friends and relatives outside the home in the past week, compared with just 41% of those who'd been vaccinated.

"The share of Americans saying they are 'not at all' likely to take the vaccine remained steady at around one in five."

And then, there was an Associated Press story about how "more than 1.5 million people streamed through US airport security checkpoints on Sunday, the largest number since the pandemic tightened its grip on the United States more than a year ago. It marked the 11th straight day that the Transportation Security Administration screened more than 1 million people, likely from a combination of spring break travel and more people becoming vaccinated against COVID-19."

And then, I commented:

It isn't what Shakespeare was referring to, but "Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

Which prompted one MNB reader to respond:

Are you saying we are all fools for traveling? Again - what is the point. You seem to make a lot of bold statements that are baseless. So now you should tell who us who should travel and when.

They told us that asbestos was safe - and that the food pyramid represented the best nutritional balance (funded by food companies). They told people 500 years ago that the sun revolved around the earth (Science). Please. Its science until it is not.

I also see that you wrote a follow up that more women have left the work place more then men.. Again  who cares. As long as we have a work force that produces innovative products and services there will be shifts in demographics. Who cares. Maybe we stop counting how many colors we have and we start focusing on if we are doing the right thing. That is the choice we make everyday - not the color of our skin or if we are male or female.. 

Back to travel. Some people walk backwards through life. Some walk forwards.. and some run. Keep traveling folks. 

"The greatest indignity placed on an individual is not loss of one's dignity as one might presume - but it is the loss of liberty."  (Source unknown)

I tried to find the source of that quote, just because I was curious.  But I struck out, too.

So, let me take your comments one by one.

First of all, I would not say that anyone who travels is a fool, though I can understand why someone might take that from yesterday's comment.

But … I do think that people who do not take the pandemic seriously are being foolish, and personally, I'd be careful about non-essential travel until we get to the point where more people are vaccinated and we get that daily case load under 20,000.

If you want to dismiss the recommendations of the CDC and Dr. Fauci based on geocentrism, which went out of fashion in the 16th century when it was disproven by Galileo - though it took the Catholic Church a little longer to come around - then that's your privilege.

The food pyramid … well, your very comment suggests that it wasn't the science that was wrong, but the scientists willing to take money from the wrong folks.

As for the safety of asbestos … the whole point of science is that scientists continue to learn.  Good science is good science, but it isn't stagnant.  Which is why official advice and guidance continues to evolve with time.

I believe that the end of the pandemic is in sight … but that our ability to get beyond it will be compromised if we behave irresponsibly.  I think the opening up of the country as has been taking place lately runs the risk of being irresponsible.  I hope I'm wrong, and that the numbers won't spike.

I think liberty carries with it responsibility.

It also means we get to disagree.

We also disagree on the subject of what has happened to women in the workplace.

I care about the things you say you do not.  I think that it is worth paying attention to pushing for diversity in the workplace, because greater diversity inevitably leads to greater innovation.  If the pandemic has caused shifts in the workplace that leads to less diversity, well, that's a problem worth addressing.

The only people who think it is appropriate for the nation's economy to be a zero-sum game are those who are benefitting from addition, as opposed to suffering from subtraction.

Can you really call it an economic recovery if only some of the demographic segments hit hard by the pandemic are able to experience as revival in their fortunes?