business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email from MNB reader Curtis Arthur:

As they would say in radio when I was a kid, “Long time listener.  First time caller.”

You hit the nail on the head with it is equally important - maybe more so - for retailers to be focused in a granular way on what the data tells them, and using it to communicate effectively with shoppers, demonstrating that they are loyal to them.

In our engagements the big issue isn’t necessarily the data or the insights but the action-oriented mindset of the retailers.  If you aren’t Amazon, who built their business on loyalty information, you have to evolve your thinking from having little information to having too much:  data, insights, communication platforms, etc.  Unfortunately, unless you start from scratch, there is no easy button that tells you what to do.  There has to be some sort of human smarts that guides you over along the path and that has to be within the walls of the retailer who has access to many data sources.

Regarding proposed legislation in New York State, one MNB reader wrote:

Here we go again... the old plastic bag bans that keep failing over and over again. There is more plastic going into land fills than ever! Plus the so-called reusable bags and paper keep failing and end up in land fills along with the plastic.

The facts are now in all over the country....Bag Bans do not work. The consumer ends up paying more at checkout and no less material is going into the land fills. If as much effort went into recycling, not only would there be less litter, but there would be a stronger job market as a result.

Not sure everyone would agree with your “facts.”

From the New York Times:

“Washington’s 5-cent fee on paper and plastic bags went into effect in 2010. City officials have said the law drastically reduced consumption of disposable bags there, and a foundation that monitors trash in Washington’s waterways said it found a 72 percent decrease in the number of plastic bags being removed during cleanup efforts.

Chicago passed a ban on thin, lightweight plastic bags in 2015, then repealed that law in 2016 and replaced it with a 7-cent fee on paper and plastic. A 2018 study from researchers at the University of Chicago and New York University said disposable bag use in the city was down 40 percent.

“Globally, countries including Israel and Ireland also have fees on plastic bags. In Israel, the government said disposable plastic bag use went down 80 percent at supermarket chains in the year after the law took effect. In Ireland, plastic bag use dropped 94 percent just weeks after the country adopted its tax in 2002.”

Doesn’t sound so ineffective to me. Especially since a 2016 report from the World Economic Forum “suggested that by 2050, the world’s oceans would contain more plastic by weight than fish,” and that, “as the plastics break down, they release toxic chemicals, threatening marine life.”
KC's View: