LILEKS: “Oh, we don’t have GE bulbs anymore. We don’t have any GE products.” He said he didn’t know why, had something to do with promotion, or something like that. Interesting. I’m guessing it may have had to do with shelf fees – maybe Home Depot wanted a certain amount of money up front to stock GE products, and GE didn’t want to pay that much, and someone decided to walk away from the partnership for a year, or forever. This drama probably occupied the lives of several dozen middle-level execs for a year or so – sleepless nights, missed dinners, contentious teleconference calls, all ending in a few guys sitting in the kitchen at 2 AM with an Amstel wondering if this was going to cost them their job.
That’s the part of the economy we never see or hear or read too much about. There are guys right now who are on serious antacid medication because they’re in charge of the launch for a new ballpoint pen, and Target has been ambivalent about carrying the high-margin single-pen blister pack, but they are leaning towards the four-pen pack, which is good, but it doesn’t establish the brand as a premium brand, because there’s that whole quantity / discount correlation; I mean, we were trying to make this the Haagen-Daaz of pens, and now it’s going to be sold like a popsicle?"