retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email from an MNB reader about Albertsons' quarterly sales and profit increases:

The increase in $$ sales by 7.4% seems to be lacking the price increases of over 13%.  This is just accounting gymnastics.  Where it appears, the story is that unit sales are down so less goods are being purchased.  My question is will they be able to maintain strong $$ numbers when pricing starts to decline?  I would think the fall may be greater than the rise. 

We've had a lot of conversation recently about inflation and recession - I can't imagine why - which prompted this email from MNB reader Tony Bartys:

I can’t help but remember that inflation was rampant in Germany particularly before Hitler came to power. He offered simple solutions to complex problems. They didn’t work, but at the time he was raising a fervor and the people followed him. 

With what’s happening in Ukraine, I pray Europe is not on the precipice of a repeat. King Solomon, with all his wisdom, recognized that there is nothing new under the sun,

Wow.  Hitler and King Solomon in the same email.

There is a basic truth in there, though - there are no simple solutions to complex problems.

No matter what some people say and think.

Nuance is to be celebrated, not demeaned or dismissed.


On another subject, from an MNB reader:

Here's a topic to mull over for you.  Many retailers and food service operators ask you if you want to round up for a cause, Red Nose Day, Breast Cancer, or round up to help the coin shortage with the round up being donated to charity.  As a consumer I wonder if this is actually going to the charity, they are supporting.  Does anyone track what this number is?  It would make sense to make this information available and a great PR tool. Your thoughts?

My thoughts are that I think it makes total sense, from both an ethical and public relations point of view to be transparent about these numbers.  Maybe I'm naïve, but it never has occurred to me to question whether retailers actually are donating said funds as promised.