business news in context, analysis with attitude

We heard from MNB user Marv Imus about our story regarding Wal-Mart getting into the wholesaling business:

“As an Independent I can easily see us buying from them! Would I like to buy my Tide 100 oz from our wholesaler at a cost of $6.50 or from Wal-Mart at a cost around $5.50 (cost based on retails at various Wal-Marts in our area) ? Would I not be better off buying the fast moving items at the lowest cost I could get from the lowest cost provider, even if that was Wal-Mart ? Then buy the organic / specialty foods / unique items that gives us what we want our identity to be from other suppliers (that Wal-Mart probably WON’T carry) as we do now ? We have found that If we are within 10% of a supercenter’s retails, the draw is substantially reduced. Of course buying from a Wal-Mart brings all sorts of other issues, such as private label, technology efficiencies ( I’m sure they would NOT deliver to a store that does not have the capability to link electronically and that would mean MANY small Independent’s would be left out ) but as for linking our systems we already have that to some extent with our wholesalers now … what difference would it make to WHOM we are sending it to ? We compete with our current wholesaler now!”

Good point.

In response to Tuesday’s piece about how VHS tapes are being phased out by studios and retailers, in favor of DVDs, MNB user Westall Parr writes:

“If VHS is going the way of the do-do bird, what do those people with large VHS libraries do? Convert the tape to DVD. Now there is a nice niche opportunity for someone.

“NetFlics could offer that as a side line.

“It's out there - someone should grab it.”

The opportunity really only exists for people who want to convert their VHS tapes with what used to be called “home movies.” A business can’t convert, say, a taped copy of “Citizen Kane” to DVD format; there are copyright protections.

This is why the introduction of DVD recorders will be such a success…you’ll be able to do it at home simply by connecting the recorder to a VHS player.. (We have about a dozen classic episodes of “Mannix” that we can’t wait to transfer from tape to DVD…)

Another MNB user wrote:

“…in 25 years, VHS will just be another bad joke on the Fox network's ‘That 00's Show.’”

Scary thought.

Regarding our story about Kroger opening a Food 4 Less store in Chicago, with plans to open more, one MNB user wrote:

“Just wondering if the Kroger announcement about entering Chicago with a Food 4 Less is a bargaining chip in reducing the asking price for Dominick's.”

Our brief piece yesterday about more chains jumping on the irradiated ground beef bandwagon prompted a quick note from a member of the MNB community:

“Personally, I like my burger ‘Cold Pasteurized.’”

Still, isn’t it remarkable how the whole irradiation issue completely shifted gears in less than a year. This time last year, nobody liked to use the “I” word. Now, it seems to get bandied about with complete and utter ease…
KC's View: