business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• Chipotle continues to use promotions to drive customers back into its stores after the food safety scares that roiled its business. Investor's Business Daily notes that the newest effort is called Chiptopia Summer Rewards, and it rewards people not based on how much they spend, but on how often they visit a Chipotle and order an entree.

The three-month program, the story notes, is aimed at recreating old consumer habits, not the expenditure of big bucks in a single visit.

This is, of course, just the opposite of what Starbucks has been doing ... and for which it has been criticized in some quarters. It is interesting, I think, that the program is designed at re-establishing old habits, rather than generating immediate sales. It may tell us something about how hard Chipotle got hit by the food safety problems it had.

• Now, it is the dollar stores being targeted by an online startup.

Money has a story about, described as a company "hoping it can transfer the dollar store shopping experience to the web. It operates exclusively online, and ... as been open for business for a little over half a year."

here's how the site is described by Money:

" is not a dollar store in the sense that everything costs a flat $1; instead, almost everything is priced between $2 and $5. Free standard shipping is included for orders of at least $25. Hollar tells us the site has “tens of thousands” of products for sale and adds hundreds of new items daily. When we checked, there were roughly 40 items listed under the category of beach toys, for what it’s worth. The site’s runaway hot seller (more than 100,000 sold) has been mini pillow pets, which are priced at $2 a pop, compared with $7 and up elsewhere."
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