business news in context, analysis with attitude

On Friday, we took note of a Washington Post story about how, in trying to attract millennials to the ballpark, the Class A Lexington Legends instead condescended to them in marketing and promotion efforts that served only to annoy and alienate them.

MNB reader Eric Carlson wrote:

It seems every generation thinks the succeeding generation is a disaster. Aristotle said:

“They [Young People] have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things -- and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning -- all their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything -- they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else.”

Not to disagree with Aristotle, but it seems to me that the world would be a better place if young people did more useful deeds, and older people did more noble deeds.

MNB reader Jackie Lembke wrote:

WOW! As a parent of two millennials (age difference enough that they span the group), I am insulted and can’t believe that got past anyone who was thinking beyond “Aren’t we clever?”

I haven’t met many millennials who actually resemble the stereotype. Yes, they received participation ribbons, hardly their decision as they were children at the time. My daughters, their husbands and their friends are all hard working, intelligent adults who are fun to be around. I think this promotion says more about the marketing team and management who gave it the go ahead then it does a generation of people who are trying to make their way in a very complicated world.

MNB reader David Vincent Dec wrote:

I loved your piece on this. When I hear my (lazy thinking) baby boomer peers complain about millennials, I always tell them, "You know, you sound like your dad.”

From another reader:

Need to remember it was us that raised ‘em.

On Friday, we wrote about a new Relex Solutions survey, “Growing and Sustaining Competitive Advantage in Grocery Retail,” which concluded, among other things, that “only 2% of grocers feel helpless because of Amazon’s massive resources” and that “71% of grocers believe that omni-channel is now essential.”

I commented:

Only 71 percent of retailers think that omni-channel is essential? And only 2 percent feel threatened by Amazon? Yikes.

MNB reader Jesse Ehlen wrote:

I was puzzled by your comment to the Relex survey results. 
The quoted conclusion stated that, “Only 2% of grocers feel helpless because of Amazon’s massive resources.”
But you interpreted that as, “…and only 2 percent feel threatened by Amazon”
I read the conclusion as meaning that 98% of grocers don’t feel helpless in the face of Amazon’s vast resources, meaning they (at least think they) have a plan to compete, having not yet conceded victory to The Bezos.
Is my Millennial optimism clouding my view?

Nope. You are right. I misstated what I was thinking.

On the subject of now-safe romaine lettuce, MNB reader Gary Loehr wrote:

I have been shocked by the lack of POS in stores.  How can stores have Romaine lettuce on display and not have a sign assuring the consumer that it is safe?  If they didn’t want to state a negative, just say “from California” or something similar.  Big miss by the retailers I have shopped over the last 2 months.

Regarding the Kroger-Ocado deal, one MNB reader wrote:

It didn’t dawn on me until Burt Flickinger mentioned that it was the best deal Kroger has entered in 25 years. If correct, what was that best deal 25 or so years ago? Kroger started this exact way with a company called Dunnhumby (84/ 51 today) coincidently a company from across the pond. Today, Kroger not only owns Dunnhumby (84/51) but they own the largest most in-depth consumer data base in any industry!
They move slow, but this could get interesting!

Not sure it is the largest and most in-depth consumer database … Amazon has a good one, too. But I take your point.

On another subject, from MNB reader Lee Nichols:

Regarding your article on the scholarship you established to honor your fathers wishes: My brother had the same wish seven years ago when he passed away.  We established a scholarship in his name at a Junior College in Virginia.  Each year my brothers widow, their three children and I review the essays submitted by the students.  It is indeed a wonderful living testament to your father’s lifelong commitment to education.  I think you may also find, as we have over seven years of reading the student’s essays and learning their stories, that it can also be a very insightful and personally rewarding experience for you and your family --  bringing you all closer together with a special bond as well.

From MNB reader Chris Connolly:

I can think of no better way to honor your dad’s memory and his service as an educator than to have set up a scholarship in his name.   In this part of the Midwest where I live, we have some wonderful community organizations being led by dynamic people who understand the importance of continuing education (and not just at four-year institutions, but also community colleges and trade schools….).   At this time of year it can be nothing short of amazing to see the thousands of dollars being awarded to deserving students and know the significance of those gifts, realizing how incredibly expensive it has become to attend a college or trade school.  
I manage several scholarship accounts that have generated awards for years and it has been truly gratifying to see the results of those awards in the form of successful young people who have been able to get a little closer to their dreams with the help of the funds they have received. 

We had a piece last week about how Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff” was an enormous influence on astronaut Scott Kelly, who subsequently wrote his own book, “Endurance.”

One MNB reader wrote:

Buying both books now! Thanks!

My pleasure.

Finally, last week we took note of a Wall Street Journal story about the beers of summer - specifically, how “Mexican-style beers have become an unexpected darling of the artisanal set, and craft-brewed takes on this category have started to bubble up all over.” The Journal recommended five, and I said I’d almost certainly be taking their suggestions.

One MNB reader responded:

Kevin – a noble project for your summer – to do some “quality assurance” testing on the five beers of summer. If you find the right bar in Portland, you should be able to knock them out in a week!?

Y’think it’ll take me a week?
KC's View: