business news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to yesterday’s piece about how Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb has promised that the company’s new store being built in economically troubled Detroit will represent the company’s “A game,” one MNB user wrote:

It's clear from Mr. Robb's comments that he understands that presenting a Whole Foods store in Detroit will require "stretching it a bit". Going into the core of any major urban area in the United States requires "stretching it a bit". Detroit is no different.

There is, in spite of perception, some really great things happening in Detroit. Quicken Loans has brought thousands of jobs downtown. Chrysler Group, LLC is bringing 1,200 jobs downtown in the very near future. Several colleges and universities are thriving in the city's core.

Every smart retailer should tailor their presentation to the demographic, market, and other influences, where they are. It only makes sense.

Mr. Robb and the Whole Foods organization deserves commendation for their commitment to enter a market that few would or have. The major Michigan and regional food chains have not. Meijer has just recently, but they are at the fringes, not at the city's core. Spartan Stores has quite a few of their supplied independent stores operating inside the city limits. Yet, it has taken a national to recognize the opportunity that exists there.

Detroit has taken so many hits for so long. No one in Michigan or nationally can afford for it to fail completely. The automakers are not the sole answer. They have already all but left besides administrative centers. Detroit has a rich history and to a great extent provided the industrial might that delivered the freedom that we enjoy today.

There is some grit left. Those of us in Michigan welcome anyone whom wishes, to visit and see once it opens. I will plan a visit myself. It will be a great combination trip along with a visit to Comerica Park. I'm not sure if the Mets are on the schedule, but we'd also welcome anyone to visit one of the great places in the country to see baseball.

The Detroit attempt by Whole Foods certainly deserves some skepticism from the outside. It deserves praise and support from those here in Michigan. Let's watch and see this experiment. We all may learn much from it.

Regarding yesterday’s piece about, in which someone suggested that its business model might not be sustainable, one MNB user wrote:

Whenever I read articles like this, I am just struck by the similarities to some of the MNB WalMart discussions of a few years back.  Most of the same criticisms were being leveled against them as well.  Retailers who want to stay in business had better stop whining and start finding new ways to compete because just like WM, Amazon isn't going anywhere.

KC's View: