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Thread: Next gen groceries

  1. #1
    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Next gen groceries

    One day I thought, is there anything that could eliminate a company as large, dispursed, wealthy and as stable as, say, Walmart, purely through market competition and without use of politics, policy, or other forms of coercion. Something that could simply make Walmart obsolete.

    And so I thought, what problems does Walmart have, and how could we solve those problems? I made a list of things I hated (or disliked, at least) about Walmart, and tried to envision something that would solve those problems, while (maybe, I'm just dreaming here) remaining profitable.

    What I came up with is a grocery store, with no store front. No, this is not a place you go to to shop for groceries. At this grocery store, you shop entirely online. You make your list, search for the items, add them to your cart, and simply go to the store to pick up your groceries, pre-packaged, via a pickup lane, without having to step foot inside the gocery store. The benefits of being able to shop online, assuming a well designed site, are plentiful. No sick people, no crowds, no walking from one end of the store to the next trying to find what you're looking for, no long check out lines, no finding a parking spot, shop from the comfort of your sofa, suggested items (add sphagetti to your cart, obviously you might need sphagetti sauce, too!), repeating items (automatically add milk to list every week), automatically add items based on expiration dates (buy a loaf of bread that expires in 2 weeks, and in 2 weeks add another loaf to list), recipie lists with option to automatically add all items in recipie to cart, add inventory of cooking utensils and add utensil requirements to recipies so that if someone adds recipie items to cart you can automatically suggest corresponding utinsils that consumer doesn't already own.... Bout to head home from a long day at work and realize there's nothing at home to cook? Who wants to go to the grocery store after a long hard day? Today, you'll end up just running through a drive-thru and getting greasy hamburger. With this, you could pull up an app on your phone, hit recipies, sort by difficulty (we're tired, remember?), find something you like, hit add, and by the time you get to the store it's packaged and ready to go, fast as a drive-thru, but you get a real meal.

    So, have people running around packaging up orders? Maybe, or maybe make the entire store automated. Assembly line-style. The grocery store just becomes a giant, web-enabled vending machine. The idea would be that you could eliminate never-ending salary costs and replace them with up front equipment costs. Would it cost more to maintain the equipment than pay a half a dozen guys and a half a dozen gals to stock shelfs and run check-out machines? Perhaps. But, maybe someday... There would be no store front to maintain, wouldn't have to make room for people to walk, or stock shelves in such a way that people can browse, etc.

    Now seeking venture capitalists. Just kidding...

    I meant to put this in "the lounge" SORRY!!!
    Last edited by stealthyeliminator; 04-26-2013 at 09:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    I believe Walmart is already doing that. Lowes Food has been doing online grocery shopping for some time now. One of the grocery chains in the Keys did deliveries for a long time until they went bankrupt. Can't seem to remember their name.
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  3. #3
    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I believe Walmart is already doing that. Lowes Food has been doing online grocery shopping for some time now. One of the grocery chains in the Keys did deliveries for a long time until they went bankrupt. Can't seem to remember their name.
    Never seen it, guess they beat me to it

    But I'd definitely not go down the delivery route. Delivery is an added service with added cost. The idea would be to leverage technology to keep the consumer's cost the same, while making the entire experience more comfortable and convenient. We already know the majority of people aren't willing to pay extra to have their groceries delivered.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    Never seen it, guess they beat me to it

    But I'd definitely not go down the delivery route. Delivery is an added service with added cost. The idea would be to leverage technology to keep the consumer's cost the same, while making the entire experience more comfortable and convenient. We already know the majority of people aren't willing to pay extra to have their groceries delivered.
    The store on Marathon Fl did not charge extra for delivery, though most of the deliveries were to boats docked. But then there was no internet then, so the sales were done over the phone. The service Lowes foods offers is internet based, and when the transaction is complete the buyer then goes to the store to pick up the groceries. Walmart has had online sales for some time.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
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    Regular Member Sorcice's Avatar
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    Next gen groceries

    The problem with that is impulse buying nearly drops off. You don't smell food as you walk by a little hungry and buy produce that will go bad in two days. You'd only buy what you need. Good for customer bad for business. I can't tell you how many time I've gone to the local 24 hr market for 1 thing and come out with 4-5+ on impulse. If you don't see it and think "oh hey that might be good" then you don't buy it.

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    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    Also when it comes to perishable food like fruits, vegetables, meats, and etc I like to hand pick. Also I like to check out the clearance stuff also. For hard goods your idea is great, but when it comes to food I want the in person method.
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  7. #7
    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The store on Marathon Fl did not charge extra for delivery, though most of the deliveries were to boats docked. But then there was no internet then, so the sales were done over the phone. The service Lowes foods offers is internet based, and when the transaction is complete the buyer then goes to the store to pick up the groceries. Walmart has had online sales for some time.
    I've never seen food for sale on walmart.com but I guess I've just missed it. At the other stores that do it - do they have everything pre-packaged and ready to go within a few minutes (I know you said you just have to pick it up)? That's one of the big things - being able to "order" online and it be ready for pickup within a couple minutes (assembly line efficiency) without having to actually "go inside" or stand in any lines/navigate through other customers. I've never actually heard of Lowes Foods, I feel like I've been living under a rock or something! I haven't heard of anything similar. Lack of impulse buying could be an issue, but I think a tactful website could overcome it. Then again, I'm a guy that strives with all my being to increase efficiency sometimes so I admit, upselling wasn't as much on my mind.

    I just know that, of everyone I've ever met, there's probably only 1 or 2 that actually enjoy grocery shopping. I think there'd be a market for it if you could be profitable providing a more convenient and efficient way to do it. Thanks for the input/discussion!
    Last edited by stealthyeliminator; 04-30-2013 at 04:14 PM.

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