business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got a bunch of email yesterday about Supervalu;’s decision to sue various chocolate product manufacturers for price fixing.

One MNB user wrote:

Supervalu has little room to sue for any thing.

Over the years they have deducted from vendor invoices for off invoice allowances outside of the area where they compete, requiring volume discounts without any commitment to case goals(kick backs), warehouse damage without any proof of damage nor allowing vendor inspection, and many more high handed actions that made doing business with SV as close to
dealing with an extortionist as was possible.

The vendors needed them to get their product to the stores but it was always an adventure. They did have some fine people at all levels who needed their jobs and they had to follow the orders from corporate.

If I was the chocolate companies I would stop shipping SV at once and see how long the lawsuit would last. If the consumer can not get his/her M&M'S or Hershey Bars at the Albertson's they will find it at the Kroger down the street.

It is too bad they did not file in February when the vendors could refuse to supply for

Another MNB user wrote:

The story keeps going on. Remember when Fleming alienated all of its suppliers and when they needed help nobody was there. Keep watching this - it is to similar and could be the downfall of Supervalu.

Still another MNB user wrote:

The pure desperation of SUPERVALU to "clean" up it's unbalanced Balance Sheet by suing chocolate companies on grounds of "price fixing" is preposterous. Is Mr. Herkert's former employer, the Behemoth, joining in for a class action party? I haven't heard, but when you start lifting the cushions under the couch to find change, you're in trouble! Get out of the retail business!

NO company would touch Albertson's four years ago; but somehow some lowly Midwest grocery wholesaler believed it could run a $44B conglomerate run into the ground by a greedy ex GE chief and his cohorts!

And, from another MNB user:

If Supervalu wins, are they going to pass the monies back to their customers? ...What a waste of time, effort, energy and ... dollars in this frivolous lawsuit.

I was criticized yesterday by MNB user Harry Hamil for being too pro-Walmart, which led one MNB user to write:

As a long time reader of MNB I am not sure were Harry is coming from.  Over the years you have had more negatives than positives to say and point out about Wal-Mart.  As with all of us retailers he has also marveled at the efficient and effective machine called Wal-Mart.  But for years you has been very vocal about the consequences of Wal-Mart going into a community and the so called ‘Wal-Mart Effect’.  I guess that I must not have read the same stories as Harry.

We reported yesterday on the death of Jaimie Escalante, the teacher who inspired the movie Stand And Deliver.

It prompted MNB user Larry Chatterton to write:

It is the awareness of events like the passing of Jaimie Escalante and your comments about it that keep me coming back and reading MNB.
You are absolutely correct in the fact that as a society we have become lazy and look for ways to make things comfortable instead of raising the bar and getting better.  People like Jaimie Escalante are the islands of hope in this great land of America.  A person from humble means that expects great things from him/her self and from others as well.  The article called him a maverick.  We need more mavericks like this today.
Thank you sharing this.  I think I know what movie I am going to watch this weekend.

And MNB user Jackie Lembke wrote:

He didn’t teach just math, he taught his students how to learn and apply that learning to every aspect of their lives. Whether school is 4 days a week or minus a year, the greatest thing that can be taught is how to learn. With that knowledge great things can be accomplished...
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