business news in context, analysis with attitude

Regarding the increased numbers of retailers getting out of the vaping business. one MNB reader wrote:

I find it annoying that these retailers jump on the mass hysteria bandwagon and stop selling vaping products after 1,080 deaths. I’m not minimizing the 1,080 deaths from vaping and applaud them for ending the sales….BUT they still continue to sell cigarettes which according to the CDC are responsible for 480,000 deaths per year. That is 1,315 deaths DAILY. Where is the hysteria or outcry for that?

Another MNB reader agreed:

Given that both Kroger and Walgreen will be ending the sale of electronic cigarettes because they "have come under regulatory and public scrutiny as a mysterious, deadly vaping illness continues to claim lives”, I’m curious about their continued sale of tobacco products which apparently don’t raise the same health concerns.  I’m fairly certain that tobacco continues to cause deadly illness and claim lives.

You won't get any disagreement from me.

I also made the following observation about this story, which noted that the retailers are selling through current inventory before eliminating the category from their stores:

I was interested to see a story yesterday about how Dick's Sporting Goods did not decide to sell through its inventory of assault style rifles after announcing (after the mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.) that it would no longer sell them because of concerns about the epidemic of gun violence in this country. No, Dick's actually destroyed more than $5 million worth of assault-style weapons … preferring, as it were, to bite the economic bullet rather than feel complicit in future mass shootings.

MNB reader Jon Townsend wrote:

Leadership In action.

And MNB reader Howard Schneider wrote:

I had the same reaction, Kevin. If there’s sufficient concern (and I think there is) to stop selling the product, just stop selling the product.

MNB reader Brian Blank had a response to last Friday's review here on Downton Abbey:

So, having gone to see Downton Abbey, followed soon after by going to see the 40th anniversary of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I felt sure that I was in a very narrow overlap in a Venn diagram of the respective fandoms.

I guess I was mistaken, and happily so!  The big-screen immersion into the world of Downton Abbey was just wonderful.  And I was surprised to find that ST:TMP was much better than it is given credit for (even my sci-fi averse husband enjoyed it, although he refused to see Downton).  I can see why I didn’t enjoy the Trek film when it was new—it was WAY over the head of an 11 year old.  (And almost nothing will ever be as bad as Star Trek V: “Let’s Meet God!”)

On the other hand, Star Trek V does have the immortal line, "What does God need with a starship?"

In our book, "The BIG Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies" (available now from Amazon, and BTW, it makes a great holiday present), Michael Sansolo and I argue that this is a great example of why it is important to ask questions … and that even the obvious questions can reveal greater truths.
KC's View: