business news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday we reported that Walmart has announced what it calls "the next phase" of integration of its store and online operations - Market Fulfillment Centers (MFC) that the retailer says "are poised to serve as automated fulfillment centers that are located within a Walmart store. An MFC's inventory is separate from the store’s, allowing us to continue enhancing our service for both online and in-store customers."

I commented:

It seems likely to me that this is about a broader transformation that we're going to be seeing at Walmart in coming years, as it shifts its physical footprints to better integrate its digital approach and Walmart+ program, expanding into dark stores and ghost kitchens, building up its MFC locations, and maybe even opening health care centers that can support that side of its business.  This won't happen all at once, nor will it happen everywhere … but I do think this likely is where Walmart is headed.

Somewhere in Bentonville there is a locked room, probably without windows, where the future is being plotted out.

Prompting one MNB reader to write:

I kid you not, they do have a very large room that has no windows.  You have to sign an NDA to get in, mine has expired.  The room has cubes shoulder to shoulder.

Good to know.

On the subject of C&S bringing back the Grand union banner and bringing the Piggly Wiggly banner to upstate New York, MNB reader Tom Murphy wrote:

Okay, this is almost too much…nostalgia gone haywire!  Bringing back the Grand Union banner…what is the brand promise, “hey, we are dingy, dirty and stink…but welcome back?”  I have to believe that the only people with fond memories of Grand Union are the executives who sucked it dry over the years before it collapsed. Although, on second thought…the bar to be better is set pretty low!

Regarding MLB's labor issues, one MNB reader wrote:

It is my long-held belief that it isn’t the NFL’s salary cap that makes their system better, it’s how it works in conjunction with the salary floor. MLB teams can put out laughably bad teams and still make money due to the media contracts. These owners don’t give a rip about their fans or the game of baseball and it hurts the league. It’s as if some of the owners read the How to run an MLB team, by Fast Eddie Lampert.

I wrote yesterday that a bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general is launching an investigation into TikTok, seeking information about whether and how the video-sharing platform contributes to online harms to children.

I mentioned that "the story comes one day after President Biden, in his State of the Union address, said that 'we must hold social media platforms accountable for the national experiment they’re conducting on our children for profit … it’s time to strengthen privacy protections, ban targeted advertising to children, and demand tech companies stop collecting personal data on our children."

I thought that was an opinion shared by many people across party .lines, but of course, not held by everybody.  One MNB reader wrote:

The two dirtiest words in Joe Biden's vocabulary are "for profit."

Gee, I would’ve thought they were "cancer diagnosis."

But that's my problem. I try not to have a knee-jerk reaction to people with whom I may disagree on a variety of issues.