business news in context, analysis with attitude

Regarding Kroger’s decision to launch a proprietary mobile payments program, MNB reader Tom Murphy wrote:

This is likely more of a cost reduction play, e.g., reduced card interchange fees, as opposed to a customer experience play. Over the years, following Apple Pay announcements, most of the big retailers, including grocers, have tried to implement proprietary or joint-proprietary payment solutions…all with the same goal of cost reduction.

I don’t think you will get trampled in a line of Kroger shoppers signing up for or using it. Most Millennials are probably giggling.

Regarding yesterday’s Amazon decision to pull out of its NYC HQ2 plans, one MNB reader wrote:

I was as excited to have Amazon here as the other 69.9% of New Yorkers, but I think the incentives offered to the most valuable company in the world were the wrong way to go about it.  Why should Amazon get $3B in incentives for 25K jobs…

Other large employers were not given anywhere near this level of municipal munificence, notably Google.  I think it was actually a major political miscalculation on de Blasio and Cuomo’s behalf to have thought such an egregiously large incentive package in a city of wild income inequality was going to go over well.  As to our lack of a 21st century infrastructure goes, I really have a hard time believing that Amazon was going to change any of that….

Again, Amazon wasn’t getting a $3 billion check. It was getting incentives based on investment and job creation. Not to say that we can’t have a legitimate and nuanced discussion about whether this is good public policy, but it isn’t the same thing.

From MNB reader Lisa Malmarowski:

As a citizen of Wisconsin where our past governor sold the soul of our state to Foxconn (and now they’re backing out), I applaud NYC for sticking to their guns. It’s time corporations realize that they don’t get to own a city or a state.

I’m not sure the Amazon and Foxconn situations are strictly analogous, but I take your point.
KC's View: