Amazon agreed to buy Whole Foods. I recently wrote how Whole Foods was getting beaten up by Trader Joe's. The problem was the casual or marginal organic consumer. Trader Joe's can beat Whole Foods up in that market by being a bit cheaper. Whole Foods (WF) itself is rolling out stores that are more stripped down and have a smaller footprint so that they can pluck the younger, poorer organic leaning consumer. Amazon's purchase of WF shows you how WF can become very competitive but also the dark, poorer future the progs predict will come.
Amazon has been testing no lines, no check out, pick up grocery stores for a while. This sounds futuristic and exotic but it's not. Kroger does something similar called "Clicklist". Shop online, pay online, the staff at the store attempts to fill the order (not perfect) and then you the consumer pick up your groceries at the store. This is an adaptation of the old failed online groceries idea, but the twist is you pick it up so the grocery chain does not have to have a delivery fleet. It is also anchored in their existing distribution network, so it is not all of the corporations' business.
Amazon now has a corporation with an existing store footprint, a brand name that people consider high status and an existing market strategy that makes money. It has problems, but that's where Amazon comes in. Amazon starts applying its online buy + pick up formula to WF, and now WF can move to smaller stores. WF can also pop up in odder locations that have warehousing space and move with the flow of their consumer base (keep white flight in mind). WF has an Internet savvy consumer base so this type of shopping will work.
Suddenly the fixed costs of a store get cut, the staffing costs get cut and WF is leaner as a firm. WF then can compete better on price with Trader Joe's and their quality organic goods will not be so much more expensive than the organic labeled items in Kroger, Wegmans, Target, etc. It helps WF bottom line with costs and potentially expands their top line sales growth. It will make each location more efficient.
Why stop there though? This is about the future. Amazon and WF both see a poorer consumer here and now and that trend will continue. They must become cheaper. This idea helps but also points to the future for city living. I talk and write of the Clinton Archipelago. I also mention how these cities are massively feudal in their design. New towers of condos and apartments do not get made with mid-level pricing. They are for more wealthy folks to concentrate their living in NYC, San Fran, Miami, etc.
Amazon is also testing another program: drone deliveries. Extrapolate the ideas with these specific consumer brands. Amazon can use its online shopping for more warehouse style 'stores' that deliver by drone. Cities will start seeing drone copters deliver food to the towers so that the tower residents, the lords and ladies of the Clinton Archipelago, never have to risk traveling on the city streets among the riff-raff that are their political allies.
The Rio or Sao Paulo dystopia living will be exemplified by these towers that can use technology to avoid the consequences of bad progressive governance. Why stop there? These progressive elites, and even just wealthy soft right elites, will remove themselves from the public sphere. These Whites, Asians, Jews and occasional non-Asian minority will harden their feudal enclaves. Eventually they will leave their surroundings a wasteland filled with a violent and dumb underclass. They won't apply VR towers for those folks to clean up the streets or sequester problem populations.
Take this out further. Extend the technologically enhanced segregation. Enhance the decay and degradation of the masses. They'll create Elysium.