business news in context, analysis with attitude

An interesting letter came from one MNB user regarding the alleged wage discrepancy between Wal-Mart and union supermarkets:

I was a manager of a union supermarket and we had a Wal-Mart in the same shopping center as us, but Wal-Mart paid a higher beginning wage than we did and its employees did NOT have to pay union dues, initiation fees or arrears, so the employees we making more money at Wal-Mart than working at the union supermarket. It took an employee about a 18 months before it was better to work at the supermarket than at Wal-Mart.

As you know how many people wanted to wait 18 months to have the so-called higher paying job, most people went where the money was, Wal-Mart. Even then at Wal-Mart they did not have the restrictions on how many hours a person could work, compared to the union store, so a person could take home more money each week from Wal-Mart rather than working at the supermarket. We lost a lot of good people to Wal-Mart.

So much for the higher "Union Wage" theory.

Response to the decision by Safeway not to sell Dominick's came from one MNB user:

I wouldn't believe one word that Safeway had to say about the sale or non-sale of Dominick's!

It would prove interesting if Yucaipa did win their case and Safeway's efforts to not sell to them, would have been in vain.

It would indeed…

Regarding the decision by Gap Inc. to hire Pret A Manger CEO Andrew Rolfe to run its international operations, MNB user Sue Ryan Goodman wrote:

Let's hope Gap doesn't let Andrew Rolfe work on site selection - so many of the Prets in NYC were open just a few months before they closed. T

The one that was literally below my feet seemed to be open under 2 months, while they spent more time than that renovating the space...

The inability of Pret A Manger to gain traction in NYC can only be ascribed to New Yorkers having a highly refined and particular definition of what a sandwich should be…and Pret's offering didn’t fit.

That said, if Pret doesn't try and open units in the nation's airports, it is missing an enormous opportunity. There's gold in them thar terminals, folks…

Regarding the move toward organic produce and prepared organic salads, MNB user Dave Jones wrote:

Glad to see that trend - we Americans eat poorly and poison our bodies in so many ways. But I think it may be disingenuous that growers convert land that has been traditionally treated with chemicals and suddenly become organic.

That could give organic a bad rap.

We also got a nice response from MNB user Susan Kemp to yesterday's first installment of a three-part column from The Hartman Group:

This is a wonderful article--thank you Kevin and Dr. Richardson.

As a consumer who wandered into a Fresh Fields store many years ago, searching for options for a newly-declared vegetarian daughter, I have evolved into a consumer who does 95% of her shopping at Whole Foods. (90% of the cart is organic as well.) My local "organic" friends and I share little in common except our commitment to supporting organic producers, purveyors and chefs who support the same. (Of course, proximity to great stores carrying these products doesn't hurt!)

We are young, middle-aged, elderly; single, married; children, childless; moderate income, high income; vegetarian, carnivore. Now, how do you categorize and identify my "group"?

As America.

And finally, on the subject of the best television series on the air today (we nominated "24"), one MNB user wrote:

For my money, the best show on the air right now is "MI-5," broadcast on A&E Network. It's a British show (aired there as "Spooks"), and really, really excellent. Detailed, twisty plots, believable characters, and great camerawork. It's the first show in years that I actually make the effort to watch every week. Only hitch is some people's apparent problem with the accents -- I nearly fell over last week to see them subtitling a character's dialogue -- he was speaking English!

We agree that "MI-5" is a terrific show…we haven't seen as much of it as we'd like, but along with "Peacemakers," a western over on USA Network, it made summer television bearable.
KC's View: