business news in context, analysis with attitude


With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Conference Board said that its "Consumer Confidence Index increased in December following back-to-back monthly declines. The Index now stands at 108.3 (1985=100), up sharply from 101.4 in November. The Present Situation Index - based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions - increased to 147.2 from 138.3 last month. The Expectations Index - based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions - improved to 82.4 from 76.7. However, Expectations are still lingering around 80 - a level associated with recession."

•  Once again, Blockbuster has been cancelled by Netflix.

In this case, it is the situation comedy "Blockbuster," which has been streaming on the service, portraying a fictional version of the actual last Blockbuster store in the US, which is located in Bend, Oregon.  The first season, Variety reports, also will be its last, as the show never seemed to get traction with viewers.

It also was a crappy show.  (I said so when I reviewed it here a few weeks ago.)  Content quality matters … and I find that Netflix has a mixed record when it comes to product quality and integrity.  I'm a huge fan of the idea that private label - whether at a retailer or on a streaming service - can serve as a powerful and compelling differentiator.  But when the quality stinks, it sends the wrong message, not the right one.