Those of you in the NYC area have heard of Stew Leonard’s. For the rest of you, Stew’s began as a dairy store (Clover Farms I believe) and is a sort of supermarket combined with a theme park and petting zoo. Don’t go on the weekend or after school hours!
Recently, a local blogger pointed out yet another quirk (I’m being overly pleasant here) of the “I’m entitled” behavior which runs rampant around here: that of eating much of what Stew sells while you shop by a tiny minority of the customer base. I read Dan’s initial piece and shook my head in sympathy, or at least until a follow-up piece yesterday that featured a great business insight from Stew Junior who now runs the company. I think we can all learn from it.
Stew read Dan’s piece and put things into the correct perspective in a note back to Dan:
When we have our demos of free food (100 a week), we get people from local businesses coming in for lunch! What do we do? We can’t let this very small percentage (less than 1%) of our customers dictate our policy. This morning I watched a mom come in the store with her crying baby. She grabbed a bagel. The baby “teethed” on it and stopped crying. She spent over $300 on food. What’s a bagel?
Exactly. Combine that thinking with the excellent piece on the SOPA fight by David Carr in Monday’s Times. Many in the content industry are too focused on the bagel and are going to destroy the store (the internet as you and I know it) to make sure that no one gets a free meal. I particularly like Carr’s summation:
I like my movies (and music and television) as much as the next couch potato, probably more. And I wouldn’t steal content for any reason, in part because I make a living generating a fair amount of it. But it’s worth remembering that the film industry initially opposed the video cassette recorder and the introduction of DVDs, platforms that became very lucrative businesses for them and remarkable conveniences for the rest of us.
What’s a bagel indeed…