business news in context, analysis with attitude

We got a number of emails yesterday responding to Michael Sansolo’s column about how his local bank sent his going-off-to-college son a booklet explaining the basics of personal finance, like how to write a check. And he suggested that supermarkets ought to be doing the same thing, sending kids booklets about how to cook and feed themselves..

MNB user Allison Beadle wrote:

I think you've hit the nail on the head--what shoppers need is a comprehensive guide giving them the ABC's of food. But I do have a question…

Did your 18-year old son read the book provided by the bank on his own volition? I ask this because I'm started to get very interested in the way Generation Y (and beyond) absorbs information, particularly as it relates to food … I'm afraid that the days of “printed pieces" are numbered and that we're going to have to be increasingly more innovative in the way we communicate with younger generations.

Another MNB user wrote:

Thought-provoking article and I love to hear how your family/home life inspires your thoughts.

However, I will go one step further with the next generation... would a book reach them? I love to read books but as a working mother, if I need to learn something, I go on-line. While I still love to look at the pictures in my recipe books, I tend to go right to a recipe website when I’m trying to decide what to cook for friends or what I can do with my leftover cilantro.

Just a few thoughts as I read through your interesting idea... Good luck with freshman year!

MNB user David Zahn wrote:

Your idea can be classified in the "why didn't I think of that" genre. You are correct and while it seems so simple, it had not occurred to me or anyone I have spoken with about ways that retailers and CPG mfrs. can improve the business.

BRAVO for recognizing an idea that should be mandatory for all grocers starting at noon today!

And another MNB user wrote:

Another insightful lesson on taking what we adults take for granted & providing an alternative use. Nice work & THANK-YOU!!!!

You’re welcome.

We had a story yesterday about some of the challenges facing companies investing in the in-store health clinic business, which led MNB user David Livingston to write:

It doesn't surprise me to see these in-store clinics shutting down. First of all they are not cheap. The price of a flu shot or tetanus shot is higher compared to the county health department. When going to one of these clinics with some illness, they charge you $59 and tell you that you need to see a doctor. They do provide some basic tests but cannot perform any meaningful medical procedures. I've been to an in-store clinic one time but should have known better. I was referred to a specialist. Heck, I could have done that myself. Everyone I've seen I see a nurse sitting at a table reading a magazine bored out of her mind. One area they do get some business is from local schools that will accept the results of physicals for students.

But another MNB user disagreed:

My daughter and husband were driving back across country last year from Virginia. They stopped in Tennessee to visit some friends, and my daughter was complaining about pain in her ear. My husband was able to take her to an in-store clinic in a CVS on a Sunday night. She was given copies of all the paperwork, with a recommendation to follow up with our family doctor once she returned home. After being home about a week, she even received a post card in the mail from the nurse who had met with her, checking in to make sure her ear infection had cleared up and she was feeling better. At $40-$50, this was far better than an ER visit—traditionally your only other option on a Sunday night or finding a doctor willing to take in a one-time-only patient. I’d definitely recommend them to my friends and family, especially if they found themselves in a similar situation—miles from their regular doctor.

And MNB user Bob Vereen wrote:

A personal experience. Last fall, my wife wasn't feeling well at all, but couldn't get an emergency appointment with our regular physician so we went to one of those new Walk-in Clinics.

The doctor examined her, did an x-ray and said she had pneumonia and sent us to a local hospital.

Thankfully, after about 6 weeks in the hospital, she was released, but it caused us to change doctors.

I think clinics like that serve a genuine purpose.

I agree.

They aren’t for everything or for everyone. But they can be a terrific first line of defense.

KC's View: