retail news in context, analysis with attitude

In a story about how companies were reacting to the making of Juneteenth into a national holiday, I commented, in part:

I have to say that this year has been a real education when it comes to things like Juneteenth and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre - things I was never taught in school, and knowledge of which gives me greater understanding of what some of this nation's citizens have endured.  Though, of course, I can never really understand it … which is part of the problem that endures.

One MNB reader wrote:

Thank you, Kevin for your comments about Juneteenth & educating yourself about the black American experience.  If you want to read more, I highly recommend reading "Uncomfortable  Conversations with a Black Man" by Emmanual Acho - best book I’ve read about black culture lately!!! Keep shining light on this issue - the holiday is great, but learning and understanding the true history of our black citizens is critical toward making racial equality in this country a reality! 

I will add it to the list.  Thanks.

I had a piece on Friday about why companies should have people designated to create climate-related strategies and tactics, and noted that it was just a couple of years ago that it was so hot in Phoenix that planes couldn't take off or land at SkyHarbor Airport.  I said that the runways were melting, but I got that wrong, as one MNB reader wrote:

That is not correct, the reason is hot weather causes thinner (less) air which impact the “lift” on the wings.

It is my understanding that once the temperature hits 117 degrees the airports stop take offs and landings.  

Thanks for correcting me.

By the way … I think it hit 115 degrees over the weekend in Phoenix.

On the subject of millennials hating the traditional car buying experience, MNB reader Monte Stowell wrote:

I had a company car for over 48 years. When I retired 3 years ago, I knew what kind of car I wanted by checking out the reviews on 3-4 brands and checked out availability of the model I wanted. I found the car at a semi-rural dealership in Sandy, OR. My wife and I drove to the Chevrolet dealership, met with a sales professional, took the car for a test drive, got the thumbs up from my bride, and told the salesman I will buy the car. After agreeing on the price, the whole transaction took about 30-35 minutes to complete. Some dealerships understand how to make buying a car a very pleasurable experience.  Kudos to Suburban Chevrolet and Jim, the salesman.

We're not saying the car buying experience has to be awful.  Just that it often is.

Last week we reported on how the about-to-be-spun-off Victoria's Secret will have a newly constituted board - seven women, one man - and I suggested that this may be an example of choosing leadership that reflects the consumer base as opposed to, at least in this case, is more interested in objectifying the people who purchase its products.

We also posted an email from a reader who said that the company had not traditionally objectified women, but rather allowed them to celebrate their sexiness, and called me "a liberal coastal boomer whining in his rosé."

I responded that I was pretty confident in my assessment, and that the evening I recorded the commentary, I'd had a Tito's and soda with lime.

One MNB reader responded:

As a conservative, midwestern boomer that whines in my beer, I completely agreed with your comments regarding the new board for the Victoria’s Secret spin-off. I’m pretty sure those that disagree with the comments gives credence to why the new board is a good thing.

Another MNB reader chimed in:

KC, had to comment on this after reading the response from the reader (loved how you handled it and your come back!)

Bottomline, time will tell.  If the business model is turns out to be “successful” (granted, more than one definition) from the changes then they did well.  If not, I think we’ll see more changes!  Corporate America will need some time to figure out what’s “woke” vs what consumers actually want to see.  Sales & profits will almost always be the deciding factors!

To be clear, it isn't like Victoria's Secret was a thriving retailer in recent times.  There'a s reason there is so much sturm und drang at the company - they're trying to map out a viable future.

If this works, the strategy will be proven to have worked.  If not … well, it may just be that the company has passed its expiration date.