retail news in context, analysis with attitude

I love it when I get emails like this one, from MNB reader Steve Ritchey, who wanted to comment on four different stories that we've run lately:

In reading your comments about 15 minute grocery deliveries in New York, I have a bit of criticism for your comments.  I think you may have taken the comments about that being, "Our market" a bit too seriously, and maybe they didn't use the right terms.  I  understand  your feelings on the matter, but at the same time, I think what they meant was that this is "our neighborhood" and they had outsiders not from the neighborhood taking their business away from them.  Besides, I have to wonder if 15 minute delivery will really work that well.

I do have some issues with Wal Marts use of autonomous vehicles.  Maybe I'm just an old guy, but I have to wonder what will happen if we start to see accidents caused by these driverless vehicles.  I'm not predicting that they will happen, but, how will people react to it if they do.  OR, what happens when some nerd hacks into them for fun, or profit, or maybe just pure meanness and sends goods to an entirely different location where they are sold on the black market.  If there are people smart enough to write the code for them to work, there are people smart enough to hack into them, think an ex employee who he has been or thinks they have been mistreated.

On the ongoing vaccination debate, my company has not decided to mandate a covid vaccination for it's employees, yet, but, we do have to declare our vaccination status, and provide proof of vaccinations if we claim to be vaccinated.  Plus, if you are not vaccinated there will be a surcharge on your health insurance premiums, just as there is for smoker and those who vape.  While I tend to not side with large insurance companies, I can certainly understand this.  As a matter of fact, if you have not been vaccinated, and if you either smoke or vape, it will add $250.00 per month to your health insurance premiums.  I don't know if our insurers have added this surcharge, or if the company has done this to give us an incentive to be vaccinated and or to not smoke or vape.

Finally, on the subject of manual transmission vehicles.  I really don't care if I drive an automatic or a manual transmission, as I have one of each.  One is a 1991 F150 that mostly is parked in front of the house, the other is my daily driver, the truck is the one with the stick.  My brother and I were taking one day about our surprise at the people who never learned to drive a manual, and they are people you would think could, valet car parkers, auto mechanics and a few others.  We decided that being able to drive one isn't really a special skill, and wasn't difficult to learn.  But, we both just like the idea that whatever someone may toss us the keys to, we can drive it. as both of us have driven pretty much everything that has a stick shift from VW Bugs, to full sized trucks, wreckers with two speed differentials up to tractor trailer rigs.  But then, we are old enough to come from a time when that was mostly what was available to drive, and both learned to drive on a 1965 ford Sedan with a three on a tree.