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The debate about e-grocery continues, and now we hear from someone who knows something about the subject - Joe Devine, who is the chief technical officer for

I have only one input regarding negative commentary about e-grocery and it's potential for profitability. - they made about $40M in PROFITS last year, most if not all of it from the grocery side of their e-commerce business. Delivering groceries to your home, with all the trials and tribulations associated.

How people can still debate whether a company can be profitable doing this is beyond my comprehension - perhaps we're too US-centric in our scope.

We think that this is absolutely true. And besides, the consumers of the future are going to demand online shopping and home delivery

Also, we got a number of emails yesterday about the introduction by Delhaize of a new line of private label products under the name “365.”

MNB user Frederic Arnal wrote:

I imagine Whole Foods Markets will take a dim view of this development. They have a very successful brand called 365 and 365 Organic. They also are in Europe with 7 stores in the U.K. Even the brand's position point is similar. What is Delhaize thinking? Is it possible they weren't aware of this? I hate to think that this is the egregious rip-off it seems to be. Maybe it came to them in a dream.

Another MNB user wrote:

365 in Belgium...? Wonder what Whole Foods Market will think about that?

MNB user Cindy Lee Weber wrote:

It is true, there is no original thought…Whole Foods has 365…

And MNB user Denise remark wrote:

Whole Foods has been doing a "365" EDLP program for several years now. I guess the old saying "plagiarize & localize" works no matter what industry you're in!

If they didn’t know it before, they know it now.

MNB user Bill White wrote us a long email, posted yesterday, about the nature of competition and the influence of Wall Street on Main Street.

Which prompted another MNB user to respond:

The letter from Bill White is one of those that as you read along, you think this guy "hit the nail right on the head" ! That is until posing the question at the end, How did we as an industry allow this to happen?

WE as an industry didn't allow it to happen. WE as CONSUMERS allowed it to happen. We can all help "mom & pop" by making the effort to shop at there stores. You don't have to go there and load up the shopping cart with a weeks worth of food to accomplish it either. During the summers here in Wisconsin my wife and I make it a point while traveling to seek out the small independents and stop in and see what we can come up with for a picnic. You might be surprised how relaxing lunch can be, when eaten under a tree in a park instead out of a bag on your lap!

So, the next time your travels happen take you by a fading IGA or Red Owl sign, stop in, and make a difference ! And don't wait until next time. The next time you go by, it might have already have been replaced by a bright shiny new FOR SALE sign.

That’s a fair statement, but we would point out that a “fading” sign outside of a supermarket says a lot about the store inside. And that’s often why people don’t stop.

Finally, in response to our story about the difficulty separating fact from fiction on the Internet, one MNB user wrote:

I just wanted to acknowledge and thank you for your commitment and willingness to speak up to the importance of not simply passing along information that may or may not be true. Too many people in today's world with the speed of the internet, faxes and day to day life are simply passing along things that are NOT true, which only fuels the fires of mistrust and separation. Taking ownership for what is shared may slow communication down, even eliminate much that is spoken about, but ultimately will enhance the quality of content, relationships, and the world we live in. Thank you for not only upholding this responsibility yourself, but also making it aware to others that we ALL have a choice.
KC's View: