business news in context, analysis with attitude

We had a story the other day about a study into the competitive sets and consumer behaviors seen as having the greatest potential impact on the supermarket industry … and, no surprise, Amazon is at the top of the list. When asked to identify the biggest grocery disruptors, over half of food retail executives (54%) pointed to Amazon, two in five (41%) identified Walmart, and one-quarter (25%) said online food delivery services, while smaller numbers believe it’s Kroger (10%) and Target (8%).

MNB reader Steve Zimmerman responded:

You know who loves the outcome of this consumer study? ALDI. I cannot believe ALDI is not seen as more disruptive than Walmart. The days of Walmart disruption (comparable to the late 90's and early 2000's) are over. Being from Northeast Ohio and seeing the transformation of ALDI, they are eating some of everyone's lunch around here. Walmart is doing what it has always been doing (for the most part) with little change in the industry needle (compared to Amazon). With ALDI, they have always managed to fly low and slow, while always making progress with consumers. My opinion is Amazon, ALDI, and probably Walmart.

But Target? A beer and wine vendor I work with told me this recently: "Target is the new Walmart." And with 8% of the vote? I disagree and would easily put Trader Joe's ahead of Target. Another low-flying and slow-churning competitor that's eating other companies profits for lunch.




MNB reader Jeff Gartner wanted to chime in on the mass transit conversation:

Yes, mass transit is dependent on taxpayer subsidies, but then so are the roads on which we drive in our individual cars. And the more that mass transit can move more people, there are fewer individual cars to clog up traffic and reduce the need to spend on wider roads with more lanes. Not to mention the expense of parking in many places.

As a native of Chicago, I experienced the value of a good bus and el/subway system as a kid and again as a commuter. We visited one of our daughters recently in Seattle and appreciated their good bus system to get around.




On the subject of Wayfair’s decision to build a bricks-and-mortar store, one MNB reader wrote:

Wayfair, it seems to me,  is simply replicating the model used by Restoration Hardware Outlets.  Those stores have some impressive deals.



MNB reader Frank Fay had a thought about the anecdote we ran yesterday about an exceptionally kind Walmart employee:

Thanks for reporting a story about the kindness that Ebony Harris provided to Angela Peters at Walmart.  It’s a pay it forward moment and it renews my spirit for random acts of kindness.  Walmart, send that superior customer service example employee to Disney for a Wow moment of her own!
 


Yesterday’s mention of the death of French chef Joël Robuchon included a link to his famous mashed potatoes recipe, prompting one MNB reader to write:

As an aspiring cook, I appreciate the recipe share.  If you add enough butter and heavy cream, I’ve found most anything tastes great.



Finally, about Dorothy Lane Market, celebrating its 70th birthday, one MNB reader wrote:

I’m lucky enough to live about 10 minutes from one of their stores. Walking into any DLM store is wonderful experience. The wonderful aroma from the bakery (where they always have samples of something delicious) draws you in. Their produce displays are fantastic and they always have large selections of locally grown produce. Their steaks rival any 5-star restaurant’s and they always have fresh samples throughout the store. Go in on a weekend and you’re treated to the sounds of a live piano player. If you don’t feel like cooking, head back to Jack’s Grill, pick out a piece of fresh fish or a cut of meat and they will grill it up for you. They stress courtesy with all of their staff and it shows. We never fail to leave without a huge smile on our face (and an incredible Killer Brownie.)

And MNB reader George Denman wrote:

You are absolutely right in your praise of the incredible experience shopping at DLM. I hosted a competitor retailer a year ago and we took a tour of their Centerville store. We were approached no less than 5 times by managers within the store and asked if we needed assistance in finding something within their department. This competitor purchased over $70 in food and beverages that she could not find in her own stores. On another occasion I stopped in the same store to purchase some killer brownies ( to die for) to take up to the family cottage at Indian Lake and Calvin himself came over to say hello and chat. It is quite the experience each and every time.
KC's View: