business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got a number of emails responding to my dismissiveness of the Toys R Us experience, written in anticipation of the bankruptcy filing that actually took place last night.

MNB reader Gene Ford wrote:

This weekend, I walked the Toys R Us aisles with my grandson looking for new toy to celebrate a special accomplishment.  You can’t get that feeling and special time together from sitting in front of a computer looking at toys on Amazon.  Nothing can replace that instant happiness and satisfaction.

And MNB reader Rachel Steele wrote:

As a parent of young kids, I would be very sad to see Toys R Us go.  Are there stores in poor conditIon?  Yes.  Are they overpriced vs Target, Walmart and Amazon?  Yes.  But where else can you go to see such a large selection of toys, in-person?  One of my favorite yearly rituals is to spend a couple of hours in Toys R Us with my husband Christmas shopping for our kids.  Cleaner stores and eliminating the standard 20% mark-up would go a long way.

Responding to the story about how US food companies are exporting fatty, unhealthy foods to the rest of the world, one MNB reader wrote:

When I travel internationally I see a lot of “American” fast food chains and I ask myself, “Is this the best we can offer the rest of the world?”

Also got several emails responding to my commentary about what Amazon ought to look for in a new home. I wrote:

I know it is unlikely, but I actually think it would be a great message if Jeff Bezos were to make a public statement that the choice of a location will not depend on tax breaks and incentives, but rather on the degree to which localities invest in public services, especially public education. I’d like it if Bezos would say that he wants to know that the school districts serving the HQ2 location believe that there is nothing more important than having elementary, middle and high schools that put academics first (certainly ahead of putting lights in the high school football field), that emphasize math and science, that are inclusive of minorities of all kinds, that don’t engage in the kinds of stereotypes that slot boys into certain categories and girls into others, that hire and invest in administrators and teachers who understand that it is critical to teach the child, not just the subject and to the test.

Tax breaks and incentives will be important, and at least the initial reports suggest that Amazon is not focused on opening its HQ2 in an area that requires remaking and rehabilitation. But Amazon will do best if it has an educated workforce and consumer base, and I think this would be a terrific place and time to drive this fact home.

One MNB reader wrote:

Great synopsis and thoughts on Amazon's HQ2 this morning!

 I think it's safe to say that, when the winner is announced, there will be quite the land rush--it will be interesting to see how many folks, vying for opportunity, move to that lucky city after it's decided!

And MNB reader Brian Carpentier wrote:

On the HQ2 Amazon article sites, I must say, your response Kevin is a home run!
KC's View: