business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email from an MNB reader:

I will use a foreign policy comparison coined a few years back. The Grocery industry is playing checkers and Amazon is playing chess. Since early 2017 the Grocery industry has been on defense, reactive and distracted. And all the while they have abandoned their own people, their core business, their suppliers and their loyal supporters. In the article, Grocery Wars Turn Small Chains Into Battlefield Casualties is mentioned, I profess that the power chains Kroger, Safeway, Publix, Meijer should all be included. They are all spending and adjusting their businesses while hanging on to every announcement and article related to Amazon. I would agree totally that Amazon should be observed and in many cases followed, but not at the expense of the core business and values.
What is the difference between a Leader with great management staff and a Grocery business with great employees, great suppliers and great support businesses? In both examples all are needed to be successful!
Last word, how long will a business last of any size when doing business with them is not profitable, not worth it and not a collaboration, and let me add not fun for anyone?

Speaking of competition, MNB reader Steve Ritchey wrote:

I still think the best thing food markets can do is hire knowledge.  It  used to be all stores cut their own meat, now in the interests of efficiency, now,  much is cut and packaged before arriving at the store, meat market personnel are glorified stockers.  Have people working the meat depart, the deli, produce, really all over the store that know the products they sell, who can help consumers make decisions of what to buy, how to use them, how to prepare them.  Teach employees how to merchandise, I see so many schematics in stores that make no sense, so many store layouts that make no sense, and far too many displays that have no cross merchandising on them.  This is all grocery 101 in my world, it's basics.  It's also one of the things we tend to lose when we chase efficiency over effectiveness.  There is no magic formula, you have to think and you have to be willing to work, and you have to look at your store through your customers eyes.

On an other subject, from MNB reader Craig Bolton:

I have to tell you about my recent experience with my very first In-N-Out.

I was in Vegas last month and was going to find a way to make it happen. What a great experience. The place was packed, the menu was easy to understand.

Got to the counter, ordered the #1 Combo, the very nice young man taking my order says is this your first time? I thought I had rattled off my order so it wasn’t that obvious. He asks where you from, I say Chicago, he says, I hear Portillo’s is not the same anymore since they sold. I said that’s what I hear too. He says were making your sandwich now, call you soon. The sandwich was perfect, everything was fresh and tasty. Next time I get the triple.

Animal-style, I hope.
KC's View: