business news in context, analysis with attitude

Some comments on the retirement of IGA CEO Thomas Haggai. One MNB user wrote:

Having been associated with IGA for many years, both in the Pacific Northwest and later in California, I have deep respect for Tom and his ability to create relationships. We all agree that Tom has been a tremendous asset to all of the IGA stores around the world. But I couldn't agree more that IGA needs to look outside the food world as well as inside to be certain that they are picking the right leader for the future. (Just stay away from GE). Your second point is critical and that is that the new leader must walk in his own shoes and Tom needs to stay outside the management circle, which may be difficult for him to do.

MNB user Charlie Fowler had a suggestion for a replacement:

The best man to replace Haggai is Rick Burton, formerly with Fleming, Walsh, D & K and now with McKesson.

He is a great cheerleader, organizer, creative genius.

Any other suggestions? (We’re happy to help the search committee in any way we can…)

On the subject of Tesco considering the creation of a “cashless store” that would only accept electronic forms of payment, MNB user Joyce Mann wrote:

How would Tesco get around this phrase on all US currency: "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private".

How would they legally refuse to accept cash?

Maybe just wait awhile. After all, if the US dollar keeps declining in value, at some point it won’t be worth anything.

Got the following email from an MNB user:

Just wanted to comment about what one reader said about the board of directors of this company being given a snow job by the CEO. I worked for Kmart and saw the same thing happen. What good are these boards of directors if they ultimately offer no oversight, the very purpose of their existence. I invest in the market, and am totally frustrated at the lack of real teeth so many of these boards seem to exhibit these days. And the shareholders many times make proposals that are not even seriously considered. Too bad so many businesses are being so poorly run because of executive greed. The employees and customers are those that suffer the most.

MNB user Bob Vereen had a thought about Wal-Mart doing better at disaster relief than the federal government:

Maybe FEMA should hire as consultants several Wal-Mart emergency specialists, or better yet, maybe Wal-Mart should donate their services for FEMA's planning on procedures for the next disaster, whatever it might be.

Better yet, maybe the government should just put a Wal-Mart executive in charge of FEMA full time. At the very least, you’d never see the kind of systemic breakdown that mortified the country and the world earlier this month, and that continues to play out on the nation’s television screens.

Which actually leads into the following, distressing email that we got from an MNB user:

I commend those who have fought hard to keep water on the shelves of the stores in the South Central US (but) it seems to me that many have raised the retails on a case of Water or Gatorade as much as 25% with the exception of their own Private label Products.

I was in Jackson working in the markets last week. The stores were more interested in Selling to the Charities, than providing an true opportunity for compassion & relief. One incident stood out, a group of scouts had collect money to buy water and Gatorade for the relief workers in Southern Mississippi. The week before they raised 100 dollars that got them 100 bottles of Gatorade, when they returned to the stores this week with an additional $140 dollars collected they were meet with the realization that the Product retail had been raised to $1.29 meaning that extra hard work in raising money to help relief workers netted them an additional 8 bottles of Gatorade.

Shame on the Retail Grocery stores for not feeling the compassion in the 90-degree heat of late summer and holding the retails through these trying days in the South. When the manager was approached by the troop leader he said all he could do to help was give them a break on his store labeled water. I guess it is all about marketing! Myself and another gentleman decided to buy the additional bottles they needed to reach their goal for the trip.

We’re sure that there are plenty of stories about companies taking advantage. But we trust that there were more stores and companies doing the right thing. (Check out Phil Lempert’s comments in this morning’s first story, which we hope and believe are more representative of the industry’s efforts.)
KC's View: