business news in context, analysis with attitude

We took note last week of a Boston Globe story about Addie's, a new independent pickup-only grocery store that has opened in Norwood, Massachusetts, about 20 miles south of Boston.  Addie's goal is to open 2,000 stores in 10 years, which led me toi comment:

I would suggest that McQuade check out a company called J. Bildner & Sons, a Boston-based retail chain that was way ahead of its time during the eighties when it came to fresh food marketing that catered to what then were called "yuppies."  It was a terrific format, and I really liked Jim Bildner … but they expanded beyond their ability to deliver on their value proposition, and the company eventually folded.

I could be wrong about this, and maybe it is too early to make such a prediction, but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that if the software is as good as McQuade says it is, he'll either end up licensing it to other companies or will sell the concept to someone with deep pockets and a strategic mindset.

One MNB reader responded:

Two observations from reading this article:

1. Expansion strategy of that speed/magnitude/physical locations has never succeeded in retail nor in foodservice ( those of us with 30+ years retail/ foodservice experience read similar announcements and see failure looming)

2. Retail now has data that e-commerce orders do not deliver comparable profit as in store and in many instances deliver no profit…….so he will need to find another source of revenue….membership fees, advertising $ from manufacturers, etc.

MNB reader Howard Schneider had a thought about a New York Times piece suggesting that many retailers are going into a "defensive crouch" for the post-pandemic era:

The best “defense” is to make customer engagement, loyalty, and retention a priority every day. Building customer loyalty – which actually means a brand being loyal to its customers, not the other way round – isn’t a “program.” It should be a business strategy.

We had a story last week about how the increasingly troubled  "Bed Bath & Beyond doesn’t have the funds to repay its banks after they determined the retailer has defaulted on its credit lines," making it even more likely that the company will declare bankruptcy.  One MNB reader responded:

Sounds like a great investment opportunity for Fast Eddie Lampert!  Maybe open some new Sears or Kmart combinations!