business news in context, analysis with attitude

We got the following email from MNB user Claire Burbage:

I am but one of many who has finally quit shopping at Shaw's since it was purchased by Albertsons. In the past year the Middletown, RI store where I'd shopped since its opening, has been completely re-vamped. And now the customer can find nothing!

The more expensive, all natural type foods are at the beginning of the store where they are easily obtained by the young and healthy who generally purchase them, while the disabled and elderly have to travel across the entire, newly enlarged store for a loaf of bread.

What finally did it for me is the lack of caring about the needs of those of us who need the electric carts to shop.

The same two broken down carts haven't been working correctly for years and the majority of the time they don't work at all. I know I've gone in, filed a complaint about them not working and gone to shop else where more times than I can count.

There comes a point in time when money has to be spent for new ones which will pay for themselves as people will be able to purchase groceries but Albertsons apparently doesn't care about people like me who have the money to spend but need assistance getting around.

There are many of us who've simply decided to no longer shop their store.

It is clear that this consumer has a problem with Shaws…but we’re not sure that blaming Albertsons for the problems is fair. After all, the ink is hardly dry on the sale agreement.

We had a piece Friday about a Wall Street Journal story noting the generosity of Coca-Cola’s severance agreements. “As a result of management shake-ups and with the approval of a star-studded board,” the WSJ reports, “Coke has agreed to give a total of more than $200 million to two exiting chairmen CEOs, two presidents and a handful of other Coke officers since the end of 1999.”

To which one MNB user responded:

Shame on us and shareholders...We have let CEOs prove that they only care about themselves. They lie, cheat and steal from us and get away with it. How much money does it take to live a "wonderful life." Do they take pride in the companies they work for or the products they represent? No...they are only there for their GREED...more and more you hear about "corporate greed." How of the many give back to their communities? How many give back to their employees (the people on the front lines)?

They hire lawyers for thousands to find loopholes to hide, keep and pay minimum taxes. Everyone looses when they don't help or do their fair share for society. They want us to think its o.k.

Another MNB user chimed in:

Who's minding the stockholders interests? Why is all this after the fact? Why is it not based on results?

In response to our piece about supermarket competition in Acton, Massachusetts, one MNB user wrote:

I live in Acton (and have also lived / shopped in several markets around the country). You are absolutely right about the impact of competition on the marketplace. Acton has the best set of food options that I’ve seen, for such a comparatively small community.

Roche Bros. is superb, with great prepared food offerings, numerous programs designed to engage kids (my daughter’s class did a field trip to Roche Bros!), escorts helping you to take groceries to the car, etc. Their cashiers actually walk out from behind the register to great you, or bring you over from a slower moving line! In response, Donelan’s has made major upgrades to their store, buying up adjacent space and turning it into a dinette, improving cheese and bakery offerings, etc. (Part of the Donelan’s response is due to Roche Bros., part is due to the Trader Joe’s that just opened up less than a mile away)

So, where we do we shop? We’re in the process of moving to another part of town, where the closest store will be a Stop & Shop. Yet my wife and I have already agreed that we will drive out of our way to get to Roche Bros.

And before everyone jumps down your throat for your (expected? obligatory?) Wal-Mart reference, you make a good point. Wal-Mart has made an impact - the new space that Roche Bros is adding is due to the closing of Ames…. It would be interesting to see what would happen if a Wal-Mart SC came to this area. My sense is that the Donelan's, Roche Bros., and Trader Joes folks have nicely insulated themselves. For my family, Wal-Mart can open wherever they want to --- someone else has earned our business.

And finally, continued discussion of the game of golf.

One MNB user wrote:

The best thing about "watching' golf is not the "competition", the "suspense" or the performances of "world class athletes", its that it provides the perfect "white noise" for a nice mid-afternoon nap!

But another MNB user observed:

Playing golf takes 4 hours…about the same amount of time it takes to sit on your duff and watch a football, basketball or baseball game. However, golf is just too challenging for most people and therefore many simply say it “takes too long”.

Which makes us wonder…if it is the rest of us who are sitting on our duffs, how come they call golfers “duffers”?

Just curious…
KC's View: