Traveling through downtown of a major city recently I saw blocks of empty storefronts and thought, this is the Amazon effect. Amazon’s not the sole culprit, but I thought of how hard it must be to keep a brick and mortar business going when whatever you’re selling can be bought online. And I thought, well at least food stores and restaurants are doing fine.
I know Amazon already sells some food. Hey, it’s my go-to source for canned haggis.
How long before they start to seriously cut into the grocery business? Same-day delivery seems like the beginning of that.
Grocery delivery for staples - dry and canned goods - will do pretty well, but produce? I’ve STILL not seen the service that mastered the selection and delivery aspects for produce.
Not saying it WON’T happen, just that that one specific aspect is gonna be a significant hurdle.
We tried Amazon Fresh, it was rubbish for fresh stuff. Any of the normal supermarkets were miles better at actually having stuff.
I’m not sure I would buy lettuce I couldn’t see first, and no, a stock photo isn’t good enough.
The question is moot, because I live in the Benighted Zone, whose denizens are still enslaved to brick-and-mortar retail. But my Kroger is unionized… how about Amazon’s outsource warehouse?
I know it’s extremely unlikely, but I wonder how many people will be willing to sacrifice quality for convenience. Although, yeah, if I had to make a bet I’d say Amazon selling produce of any kind just won’t happen. In a way that’s sad because it could benefit shut-ins–provided they have the income to afford a Prime account and live within a reachable area.
I completely thought that it said:
Amazon launches free same-day delivery in select U.S. cities for prime numbers
As I mentioned above, they already do (for Seattle, SF and a few other places). But their selection is rubbish, with really long wait times (weeks!) for some fresh items.
Almost all of the UK supermarkets offer a delivery service and seem to manage with it. Most run a van fleet from the local store, although Ocado has a centralised warehouse.
I don’t see Amazon buying it’s own chilled van fleet to do it though. The current ‘Amazon logistics’ delivery service appear to be on the Yodel level of reliability. Plus you run in to the problems of needing specialist delivery vehicles, and it can’t be done by a self employed courier in their own car.
The best way to order produce is to do a farm box. We have subscribed the last two years and the quality is just off the charts amazing - my family is counting down the days to our first delivery this summer.
I use the local online grocery selection service and have found that for produce they always do a good job of selecting good quality items for me. Most grocery store stuff is bred for being a consistent product, so things like lettuce, tomatoes, berries generally are the same from one bag or box to the next anyway.
I’m more curious about the whole Prime thing in general. I’m finding the prices for prime merchandise to be substantially higher than their same non-Prime items. Doesn’t that mean that I’m still paying for shipping they just roll it in to the price? Why did I pay them $100? I’m betting same day prime items are even more expensive.
Malls were dying long before Amazon trampled them.
And for good reason, I hated going to computer stores, b&m retail stores and either finding the same items I don’t want, or not finding what I need at all in any form. I don’t want or need someone making minimum wage and who gets spiffs to “advise” me on my purchases. Some people do, but I want the US to have real jobs, not entry level crap.
Society and youth don’t hover around malls anymore. We don’t need them for socialization. They are huge wastes and I don’t miss them one bit.
Too bad they’re using Amazon Logistics to do this, because they’re horrible. Every once in a while, they’ll use their delivery service instead of an actual carrier when I order something, and it always involves an additional delay of 1-3 days, with a delivery person never showing up, never leaving a note or trying to call, and then a vague message that the order was undeliverable, with no contact information on how to rectify the situation.
I went back and forth about subscribing to Amazon for dog food delivery. I like the idea of supporting the local economy, but hate shlepping big bags and multiple cases of cans around. Amazon’s prices were cheaper than the local pet store and ultimately I just subscribed. I loved having these heavy things brought right to my door.
I was going out of town last month and thought I might run out of food before the next delivery so I ran into the local pet store. I was already cutting it close in terms of getting to the airport on time. When I went to pay I realized I’d left my wallet on the kitchen counter. I couldn’t pay the guy. Not a cent. The owner waved his hand and said, “You’ll pay me when you get back. Don’t worry about it.”
After that reminder about the value of local merchants, I cancelled my Amazon subscription.
Still waiting for restaurants in the Mission District to start offering ballistic burrito delivery service. The technology has been available for some time now.
It’s true - and part of the changes that have been wrought have been alterations of what surviving stores carry. I was talking to a guy who runs a local hobby store. I hadn’t been there in years, and was shocked to discover that it had only a tiny sub-selection of what they used to carry, none of which was what I was hoping to look at. He explained that they only carried the high-sales-volume items, leaving the rest to online stores. Whereas once they would have to have a wider selection to bring people in, now they can (and have to) pick and choose the more profitable items. It also meant that there was nothing in the store that that I couldn’t find elsewhere - including online.
Groceries are going to be trickier. Packaged goods are one thing - where the product is more or less identical - but any time you get into anything perishable or variable, it’s going to be problematic.
Upgrade to ICBM, and you can send freshly grilled or baked stuff; the reentry heat will care of the thermal processing.
I absolutely respect buying local. But I’d rather do so in other ways than commodity goods. I try to avoid chains whenever possible for food and drink. At the very least, for retail I buy local or local chains from my city, but there tend to be (even in a location known for technology) no computer shops that aren’t the poorly stocked mom & pops, so I keep online
At least there’s no paucity of local gaming shops!
We did this, but the selection was oftentimes poor. We eventually cancelled it. Fast forward 18 months and they asked us to try again. So I’ll find out if the quality has improved. I grew up in the Central Valley and I was very spoiled by the fresh produce found in the local grocery stores. I’d rather forsake fruits and vegetables than eat the bland stuff I find in SoCal.
Now, the flipside of the grocery discussion - there have been more than a few times where I suddenly discovered that I needed a copy of (X) CD by this evening for a dance or my stylin’ self’s plans are dashed against the rocks of uncoolness, and this would definitely be a solution in that situation. (For whatever reason, the songs weren’t on iTMS/Amazon MP3/Google Play/eMusic whatever.)
Alternately, “I’m at a hotel, and I need an HDMI cable and couplers by tonight, and Target has only the cable, and that at insanely high prices to boot.” This could save my ass at so many con room parties…