business news in context, analysis with attitude

Regarding our piece about chain drug stores being held responsible for playing a role in the opioid crisis, MNB reader Mike Moon wrote:

My half sister Jenny was addicted to opioid painkillers, and lost her life to an overdose a couple of years ago, leaving behind 2 beautiful teenage daughters. Jenny would do anything to get her hands on a 'script; Back pain, migraines, joint pain, tooth pain, all real or imagined, would all be reasons to try to get a prescription, using different clinics, doctors, dentists, and pharmacies. 

I'm sure her behavior isn't unique among the addicted. How can you hold health professionals responsible when so many people are finding workarounds? (I do think the pharmaceutical companies bear some responsibility here. They knew from the beginning that their product could be addicting, yet they kept producing it, akin to tobacco companies and nicotine.)

I did a FaceTime video yesterday about creating retail environments with energy, prompting MNB reader Rich Heiland to write:

You are spot on about energy. Here in West Chester, PA the main drag, Gay Street, is shut down from early May until end of October. The restaurants and bars push out into the street for outdoor seating. It started two summers ago to allow them to better survive COVID. Many of us are hoping it continues.

BUT! Although the few blocks involved tilt toward bars, restaurants, offices, there are quite a few retailers. I noticed most close at the traditional 5 p.m. The streets are crowded with diners and drinkers who walk past their darkened doors. I wondered why they didn’t just go to 11 a.m. to 7 or 7:30 p.m. That would take advantage of all that energy, keep hours the same for staff availability. What a lost opportunity!

On an other subject, from another reader:

Black Friday is now Black Friday and beyond.  Then we get cyber Monday.  I did all my BF and beyond shopping while sitting on the couch with my wife, wine and a fire.  Greater selection, less agita.  Recipe for success.

Yesterday I had a piece about Canada dealing with a maple syrup shortage, and commented that I stick with Vermont syrup - specifically from Runamok, which for my money makes the best maple syrup around.

My comments prompted MNB reader Bill Malloy to take action, and write:

First, thank you for the excellent delivery of relevant information, you daily newsletter is a must read for me.

I was particularly interested in the piece on Maple Syrup.  Intrigued by the Runamok link, and interested in potential gifts for friends and family I checked them out.  They have a great story and lots of fantastic products.  As I was looking for things that are from “local” sellers rather than any kind of big box or online behemoth operation, this hit the nail on the head!  I proceeded to put an order together and found it quick and easy.  A glitch in the check out lead me to an even better experience.  I simply went old school and called them.  The service on the phone was outstanding.  No issues at all, and for sure, it was not a call center.  They asked what had happened on line, so they could address it if need be, took my order and I was off the phone in about the same time it I was online. 

Two lessons…  Products with a great story, ease of both information and ordering can win the day.  Second, great associates can make a difference.  Old school still works, I could have simply exited the browser and forgot all about it.  Well… I guess that was three…

Now I am really looking forward to trying the products and enjoying the reaction from those on the receiving end of our gifts.

Enjoy.  I think you'll be pleased.

MNB reader Howard Schneider wrote:

 KC, I would suggest that anyone interested in maple syrup, Canada, or twisted true crime stories, check out the documentary, “Dirty Money: The Great Maple Syrup Heist.”

Noted.  Thanks.