business news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday, we had a story about how a law firm has filed suit against Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. on behalf of investors who bought shares in the company between August 21, 2003 and May 7, 2004, charging that the company failed to disclose the fact that sales were being hurt by the low-carb craze.

Our comment: Maybe the suit should be amended so that it only represents investors who did not read newspapers, magazines, or have access to any of the millions of media reports on the low carb craze. Do that, and maybe we’ll be sympathetic.

This is just utter nonsense. Krispy Kreme has been a terrific market performer for years, but it is entirely predictable that the company might see some reverses because of current obesity concerns. Anybody who bought shares in the company over the past year had to know they were taking a risk…

The lawyers are being greedy opportunists, and the shareholders they represent are nothing but whiny crybabies.

To which one MNB user responded:

Careful, Kevin.

You might be sued by the whiners for being insensitive to their whiny needs! No need to worry, I'm sure that there is a shark bait / bottom feeder waiting to defend you.

And another MNB user wrote:

I know I keep mentioning this all the time - but our society has allowed the pendulum to swing so far in favor of lawyers and their nonsense litigation that it has really added a lot of cost as it becomes "fashionable" to just sue and sue. Imagine a business climate for just one year without any lawyers!

It is our experience that sometimes you need a lawyer who is a shark to defend you. (It tends to give you a new appreciation for the legal profession when you need that kind of help.) Someday we’ll tell you about the people who tried to use a lawsuit to stop MNB from existing. (Our lawyer was better than their lawyer.)

We had a story yesterday about Target’s new prototype, which has a greater consumables selection, and how the company seems to hope that the format will allow it to "continue to make up ground on Wal-Mart because it will draw people into its stores more often."

One MNB user responded:

Should help attract more shoppers but one wonders how much more often you can get shoppers into your stores…

Actually, we disagree. We think that more milk, eggs, and bread is a great way to get people into the store more often.

We had a story yesterday about how both Pepsi and Coke are introducing orange juices described as having less sugar and being healthier for consumers. Which led one MNB user to write:

Why is it that the corporate food giants aren't concerned about us" health conscious consumers" until there appears to be a buck in it ? Why isn't that the first choice to begin with?

Regarding Wal-Mart’s decision to expand its check cashing operations, MNB user David Livingston wrote:

I'm seeing more and more "money centers" inside of the new Wal-Mart stores. Check cashing is big business in the inner city urban areas. With Wal-Mart opening more and more stores near the urban cores, they have found this is a necessity. The money centers are the "banks" for the poor.

This is a smart move and will significantly impact the corner check cashing stores and independent supermarkets that cash government and payroll checks.

In a piece yesterday about McDonald’s CEO Charlie Bell’s battle with cancer, we urged members of the MNB community who are age-appropriate to get cancer screenings. Which prompted MNB user Richard Gramza to write:

I just had a colonoscopy on Friday. It wasn’t a memorable event in the greater scheme of things but it is over and I have peace of mind. I have a friend (an MD) who should have known better, at the ripe young age of 61 years will probably die this year from colon cancer. I have been told that it is one of the most preventable forms of cancer in that it is easy to test for and treat if caught at an early stage.

We had a story yesterday about McDonald’s Canada being accused of “poisoning” its customers because it hasn’t lived up to its promises about improving the nutritional content of its food.

MNB user Julie Cruz wrote:

Having lived in Canada for half of my life, I don't ever remember McDonalds forcing any of their food down my throat. Anyone who chooses to eat fast-food must take responsibility for their own actions.

In a story about the growth of the e-grocery business, we commented yesterday that the fact is that e-grocery isn’t going to take over the world…but for companies that embrace it as a weapon in their strategic arsenals, Internet grocery shopping is going to be a strong long-term weapon.

We’ve often thought that it is ironic that in an industry where big often slaughters small, e-grocery was to a great extent kept alive by smaller retailers – Harris Teeter, Lowes, Dorothy Lane, and the like – that saw the possibilities and didn’t lose faith.

That’s a good lesson.

To which MNB user Kenneth K. Boyer responded:

Exactly! Grocery home delivery is not for everyone, but then neither are the superstores that dominate the industry. Strategic use of tools to differentiate grocery offerings is an imperative for smaller grocers to compete.

Home delivery is a very convenient option for some customers – more importantly, it helps lock in customer loyalty.

And MNB user Mike Spindler, president of, noted that the sourced Associated Press article had a couple of inaccuracies:

Kroger DOES offer an online service at King Sooper (although the application is ...challenging) and seems to like it as expansion has occurred to much of Colorado and is rumored to be afoot for SoCal.

Wal-Mart does not offer online, but Sam's does offer order ahead through the Internet.

And then of course there is....MyWebGrocer, who just last week made its application even faster for customer convenience.

Thanks for making the corrections…we should have caught the AP mistakes…

Finally, we had a typo yesterday that needs to be commented upon. Referencing Randy Newman’s “Short People,” we accidentally typed “Shirt People.” Which prompted the funniest email of the week from MNB user Lisa Everitt:

I assume "Shirt People" is Randy Newman's tribute to The Gap.


“They got polo shirts for golfing
T-shirts too
Wear a muscle shirt to some bars
And they will 86 you
They got tiny tees for women
And baggy shirts for mens
Wear the latest fashion and impress your friends
They got hundred percent cotton
And nice cool rayon
They got itty-bitty shirts for those who write in crayon
They got lots of clothing options for you and me
Maybe made in sweatshops far across the sea.”

Lisa, thanks for finding the mistake and for brightening our day.

The way yesterday was going, we’re just glad we didn’t leave out the “r.”
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