business news in context, analysis with attitude

On the subject of A&P’s divesting of underperforming US assets and its profitable Canadian stores, MNB user Steve Sullivan wrote:

I'm an older person who grew up going to "the market" with my grandmother to get Ann Parker baked goods and can still remember that smell of fresh ground Eight O'clock coffee (yeah, that was longgg before Starbucks). That market was, of course, an A&P. My question is, why would they sell off the only part that is working and where they might be able to see some growth (their Canadian stores) and survive the onslaught of that outfit from Arkansas? Or is it that the US stores would not generate enough capital by their sale? I'd hate to see A&P leave the US but would really hate to see the total demise of the old grand dame.

What this email made us think about is the fact that so few supermarkets take advantage of the fact that their shoppers think of them as “my store” – they feel proprietary about the place where they buy their food, for better and for worse.

We had an email on MNB yesterday from Glen Terbeek, talking about how the mergers of the industry’s various exchanges could lead to a truly frictionless marketplace – ten years later than it should have. To which MNB user Jim Swoboda responded:

I echo Glen's comments. In our ECR day, this was talked about, designed, kind of developed, etc, etc. The only obstacle was our never-ending need to compete. Thus, several options were born to do the same thing and as an industry, we were forced to wait while they duked it out, muddied the water and caused most who would benefit the most, to wait and see how it shook out so they would not invest in the wrong one.

Now, we are where we should have been as Glen states, "10 years ago..."

Someday we might just figure out this lesson and not be doomed to repeat it.

On the subject of the Giant-Stop & Shop merger of operations, one MNB user wrote:

I recall 15-20 years ago Giant, both in Landover and Carlisle, was a vibrant company with extremely high employee morale. They owned the Baltimore-Washington markets. It was almost a "Wegmans" type mentality.

Now when I visit the stores the employees have an "A&P" attitude towards work and their company. Wegmans and Wal-Mart are humiliating them. While they still have a leading market share, they know they are licked. Ahold reminds me of greedy pirates. They put so much gold in their ship that its now sinking and they have to toss it overboard.
KC's View: