business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email from MNB fave Glen Terbeek:

Closing small stores and increasing Walmart's emphasis in Walmart Technology seems counterintuitive to me.  In my opinion. real stores will exist in the future if they provide a value above and beyond a distribution value.  Values such as solutions, information, showrooming, social, convenience, pick up, etc, that are leveraged by a virtual shopping experience come to mind.  That probably means smaller and more frequent local stores not bigger super centers selling mostly non-differentiating items.  Applying technology to retailing requires rethinking the shopping experience values across the real and virtual “Stores."

I agree. I tend to think that Walmart's small-store experiment didn't work because it didn't think of them in terms of how shopping will be done in 2020 and beyond.

Responding to last week's piece about Roche Bros.' new Brothers Market in Massachusetts, MNB user Randy Evins wrote:

That’s exactly how Bricks and Mortar compete in the future, make it an event not just a chore. A place to gather AND get a good meal. Amazon and Wal-Mart cannot pull that off (although in the South Wal-Mart actually does a good job of being a gathering place).

And, I got a lot of email about the death of Glen Frey, which I wrote about yesterday.

MNB reader Jim DeLuca wrote:

What a fine sight to see.  This registers deeply for me in an odd way.  Back in 1973 when driving my Karman Ghia back east from San Francisco, the engine blew in the desert and I hitchhiked back to Atlanta from Arizona.  In Winslow the cops harassed me and made me walk to just outside of the city limits to continue my hitchhiking. So, no luck with the pretty girls.  I did get a ride from a Mormon truck driver who was pretty interesting...

MNB reader Mike Moon wrote about my comment that "Heartache Tonight" was not just my favorite Eagles song, but one of my favorite rock songs ever:

That song was hot when I was a junior in high school. We were allowed to leave the high school campus for lunch as long as we weren't late returning. There was a Burger King just a few blocks away, just close enough to get there in your car, hit the drive thru, and get back. My regular meal was a Whopper with Cheese (hold the tomato..). That song was in the regular lunchtime rotation of the radio station I would listen to in my car. Now, every time I hear it, I think of a Whopper sandwich...
Sorry, it popped into my head. Had to share.

I'm glad you did. Though I have to tell you that in 1979, when "Heartache Tonight" was released, I was 25 years old ... and Whoppers definitely were not what I was thinking about when I heard it.
MNB reader Bill Raterink wrote:

Just wanted to say that for the Eagles, or ANY artist, the greatest test is the test of time.  I personally know of 3 separate generations that all sing along like you do.  Not all the same songs, but still vintage Eagles, nonetheless.  Personally, for me, it's Peaceful Easy Feelin', followed closely by "Get Over It".

A dark somber cloud rests silently over Winslow, AZ tonight.

MNB reader Mark Boyer wrote:

Too many of the artists we grew up with seem to be dying off here lately. And only in their late sixties. Do you remember when you thought 60 was really, really old?
I turn 60 this year, and know you have already made the turn.

Thanks for reminding me.

But in the words of a different singer who originally found fame in the seventies, I like to think that I'm growing older, but not up.
KC's View: