business news in context, analysis with attitude

Some suggestions about what’s going to happen – or what should happen – to Albertsons…

One MNB user wrote:

Kroger will buy Albertsons and spin off what it doesn't want.

The prize is California with 500 stores.

Kroger has far superior management and will do what Albertsons could not with the operation of the stores.

MNB user Ken Farnsworth Jr. wrote:

If the Board could get Dick King, former President, to lead Albertson's, they could remain independent and succeed.

We commented last week as speculation persists that Albertsons may not be able to generate as big a purchase price as management might have expected, CEO Larry Johnston must be thinking to himself that he can’t get a break.

Some folks thought we were off-base in that observation.

One MNB user who described himself as an Albertsons shareholder wrote:

Your comment regarding Larry Johnston implies (at least in my mind) that Larry tried his best, but the company (management and employees) were not able to perform. While that might be true in certain areas and individuals, it is more correct, that Larry was and is incompetent to run a grocery retail company and is running (or already has) ran it into the ground.

He has himself to blame and I would not be surprised that there will be a class action suit against him and his top management team for incompetence and loss of shareholder value.

We didn’t mean to suggest either competence or incompetence, or that Johnston was correct in such a thought. Just that he probably thinks he can’t get a break.

An observation by one MNB user about a seasonal issue…

I can appreciate that some people are bent out of shape about retailers not including “Christmas” in their marketing. They seem to feel like something is being taken away from them. I think of it differently. Instead of something being taken away from one group, I think of it as including all groups. You can make the argument that most people are Christian in some way. But are they the only ones worthy of good cheer and wishes of peace this time of year?

Also, the people that argue most strenuously for retailers to include “Christmas” are also the ones saying that Christmas is based on religious meaning and is important for that reason. Let’s focus on the important things then. If you’re Christian, don’t get on your high horse about Target or Wal-Mart and how you think they didn’t include enough Santas or religious messages on their signage. Let’s pause a moment and think about how the holiday isn’t all about buying things and is more about including everyone in your well wishes – no matter what religion.

There are so many things about popular culture that I see in direct conflict with the Bible – an increasing focus on sex and violence, a decreased focus on helping the poor, accepting others, making the world a better place. Those are the principles that Jesus stood for and we should be striving for. If religious people want to make a difference in this world, I think they would do better to focus on things that matter instead of the word “Christmas” on a sign.

We were watching an interview with author John Updike over the weekend while we were on the elliptical trainer (this is what passes for excitement in our life), and he said something about religion that we found interesting.

Updike said that as he tried different denominations of Christianity, he found himself attracted to those that emphasized “yes” instead of “no.” His conclusion seemed to be that religions that are inclusive and compassionate are a better reflection of humanity’s best qualities than those that are about denial, punishment and exclusivity.

Seems a reasonable point of view…
KC's View: