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Sometimes, the stories come so fast and furious that there is no time to get them in the regular rotation...

• Supervalu CEO Craig Herkert reportedly will announce this morning the conversion of virtually every store in the company’s portfolio to a limited assortment format, but said that the company will revolutionize the concept by creating different tiers for different demographics.

“Look, we were prepared to sell off anything that didn’t fit into our concept of what a value-driven retailer ought to be, but these days you can’t sell anything to anyone if you’re looking for a decent price that won’t give the shareholders a fit,” Herkert reportedly will say in his prepared statement. “My feeling is that you can’t make square pegs fit into a round hole, so you might as well get some sucker to buy the square pegs. But that isn’t happening, not in this economy.

“So we’re going to do the next best thing. We’re going to use a saw - and there are so many trees in Minnesota that there are plenty of saws to be found here - and we’re going to turn the square pegs into round pegs. We’re going to make them fit, or die trying.”

According to documents provided exclusively to MNB in an early morning hours during a a clandestine meeting in a downtown garage, the Supervalu plan is to convert stores in upscale neighborhoods into high end limited assortment stores (called Save-Enough), stores in middle class neighborhoods into middle-of-the-road limited assortment stores (called Save-More), and stores in less affluent areas into the already existing Save-A-Lot format.

“What this means,” Herkert is scheduled to say in his April 1 address to company employees, “is that we will carry one SKU in almost every category in the store. Just one size, just one brand. The prices will be incredibly sharp, and we intend to take manufacturers to the cleaners when it comes to slotting allowances. They’ll pay through the nose, because they’ll all be competing to get into our stores, and there will only be room for one per category. It’s genius!”

Any chain that does not fit into the trio of formats will be sold off, according to internal company documents. And Shaw’s reportedly will be sold, just because corporate management thinks it is more trouble than it is worth.

• Safeway reportedly will announce next week that it is establishing a new employment policy that will require that not only will all employees be non-smokers, but they also must be able to run a half-marathon, do 100 sit-ups and 100 push-ups, and hold their breath for 60 seconds under water.

“At first we were thinking of only hiring former athletes,” a Safeway source tells MNB. “But then we realized that this was too broad a definition. After all, have you seen some football players and baseball players - they can be incredibly fat. So we decided to require the ability to perform specific physical tasks as a prerequisite for working here.”

Current employees will be given six months to get themselves in shape, the Safeway source says, or they will be let go. “We ran the numbers, and it is cheaper to defend the lawsuits we’ll probably get hit with than it is to pay the insurance premiums that a bunch of fat smokers cost us.”

• Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo announced that, following the successful publication of their successful “The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies,” they will next year publish a sequel - “The Little, Sometimes Black & White Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Television Series of the Sixties.”

According to the duo, the new book will look at both the comedies and the dramas of the era during which the Baby Boomers came of age. Included in the book will be chapters on Bewitched, an a look at the advertising business and the meaning of the two Darrins; Ironside, and how it presaged the critical legislation known as the Americans with Disabilities Act; “The Name of the Game, or how Gene Barry’s portrayal of Glenn Howard showed us Donald Trump before there was a Donald Trump; “It Takes A Thief, and its indictment of federal nannyism; “Mission: Impossible,” and what the move from Barbara Bain to Leslie Ann Warren to Lynda Day George says about the way women were and sometimes still are treated; and, finally, “Mannix,” which in its first season showed us how a sole and heroic man fights against the encroachments of a technological society, and how the change of format in the second season demonstrates the inability of a society to grapple with these profound issues.

The publication date is tentatively set for April 1, 2011.
KC's View:
Once again, it is amazing how these stories always get reported on April 1.

As I wrote this piece, a Mac McAnally lyric kept going through my mind:

It’s a semi-true story ,
Believe it or not ,
I made up a few things ,
And there’s some I forgot.
But the life and the telling ,
Are both real to me.
And they all run together ,
And turn out to be
A semi-true story...

And to those of you who might be offended by this story, let us just say that we kid because we love.