Guess who just bought your dinner? That’s right, Amazon just gobbled up Whole Paycheck.
Already the best consumer disruptor since the Sears catalog, Amazon clearly wants to be the conglomerate that becomes “the company” referenced in Aliens or the Demolition Man or so many other future-set films. You know how in some of these futuristic movies, there is only one company that controls everything or one fast food behemoth that wins the food war and thus names every restaurant in the world after itself. Amazon keeps being the front runner for that title no matter what people say about Walmart.
I recently heard a speech and have read a few articles saying Walmart is for the poor-ish, rural, middle-American and Amazon is for the wealthy-ish, urban, coastal-American. Living on the West Coast and having middle-American in my blood and upbringing – I can concur that Walmart does have a strangle hold on more communities than Whole Foods and Amazon’s distribution network currently do, but that can easily change.
It is crucial to note that both Amazon and Walmart know the middle-class is disappearing – and in my opinion – only Amazon can market to both the wealthy and the poverty.
Amazon can already guarantee delivery of pretty much their entire catalog anywhere in the country in two days. In LA, I can get some packages in less than four hours if ordered before noon.
Saying Walmart is for the poor and Amazon is for the wealthier might be a generalization thrown around by those out of touch but I can assure you there is no way in hell Amazon does not intend to go into the middle of the country and work their ass off to get that market share.
But what about the race to the bottom destroying everything it influences?
The shops, studios and such who’s services can not be duplicated by Amazon or Walmart should be safe and sound – but even Groupon has shown the ability to disrupt those businesses.
I pick where I get massages, yoga classes – pretty much any service I want in LA, from Groupon’s catalog. I have NO loyalty, none what’s so ever. I might like a place for the term of my groupon but if I find another place that offers the same service in another groupon – then I just jump over to that one.
Brand loyalty is being attacked by Amazon and Groupon way more than the Ma/Pa stores ever will. Besides, Walmart has already disrupted the market so much in that facet that Amazon gets the benefits of a lack of loyalty to a brand or home-grown store without the negative press and documentary effects Walmart has already absorbed.
Amazon Go is right around the corner – this we know. Getting rid of the labor force at the checkout stand will allow for cheaper groceries and, let’s face it, the less than efficient scanning process that lends itself to long lines and stress inducing boredom. Watch sales of smut mags (my name for celebrity gossip crap mags like US, OK, People) plummet and gum sales tank.
Here’s to the future. We don’t have much control anyway so you might as well sit back and watch the conglomerates vie for what few dollars we have to our names.