Whether you follow retail trends or not, you probably got wind that amazon.com wants to gobble up even more of the grocery biz. Already a player in the grocery delivery business, the Charlotte Business Journal reports Amazon is getting into the brick-and-mortar game with plans to open convenience stores selling fresh stuff like milk, bread, and produce.
Folks in the know argue this will put more pressure to perform on the Harris-Teeter, Kroger, and Publix stores. The Charlotte Business Journal story says Kroger is looking at scooping-up hundreds of Walgreen’s and Rite-Aid stores to get in on the convenience store model. And no doubt, these big names will continue to evolve to meet us grocery shoppers on our terms. It should be interesting to watch it all unfold, especially here in Charlotte where the HT v. Publix competition wages on.
With delivery, pick-up, e-commerce, or what-have-you, there’s a certain ingredient here we think can and should make a big difference. And that’s the people. Yes, we all need the groceries, the dry goods, and the health and beauty stuff. And yes, a late night, early morning, or on-the-way-home-from-work trip to the store isn’t always “convenient,” but we believe there’ll always be – and should be – a place for the neighborhood grocery store.
Food is a commodity; you need it to survive. A meal is something different, something special. Sharing food is like splitting a popsicle in half. It’s nice, but takes little effort. Sharing a meal is much more intimate. You prepare or create a meal; you’ve given it and your company some consideration. Can you prepare a meal from your e-gotten groceries? Of course. But the relationship between chef and butcher, fish monger, or farmer is just that.
Let amazon.com deliver toilet paper, toothpaste and deodorant all day long. But as long as the guy at the deli knows we like our turkey shaved “just right,” and the produce manager wants to talk football and cauliflower, there’s hope. To flip the old saying, “it’s not just business, it’s personal.”
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