Centralized grocery shopping has been around since 1915. The Astor Market opened in Manhattan in 1915, but the concept was slightly ahead of its time. New Yorkers were going to independent retailers to buy meat, produce, and poultry. Astor Market founder Vincent Astor thought his new centralized grocery market concept would attract people from all over the city, but that didn’t happen. The Astor Market closed two years after it open because people still wanted to do business with their local butcher, baker, and candlestick maker.
But even though the Astor Market didn’t make it, other entrepreneurs around the country decided it was time to bring the meat, eggs, bread, and produce under one roof. The Memphis-based Piggly Wiggly retail concept was the first centralized food retailer to win the hearts of food shoppers. After World War II, supermarkets became the go-to place for all food purchases. And that craze started the demise of the neighborhood butcher, baker, and candlestick maker.
The end of local retailers shows how destructive the capitalistic system is, according to the economists who say innovation and obsolesce go hand-in-hand in a capitalistic society. Centralized grocery stores had a good run in the retail industry, but just like the old neighborhood stores they sent to the retail graveyard, Amazon Go may be the shopping concept that transforms or sends them to the same graveyard.
Amazon “Go” Markets are the bomb, according to Millennials that want to do things their way. Their way, according to some sociologists, is to make shopping a frictionless experience. Amazon’s cashier-less markets are open in Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco. Amazon promises shoppers the future is all about the convenience, safety, and reliability of the best tech-gadgets Amazon can develop and introduce. Tech advancements like the iPhone transactions Amazon put in play take the pain out of grocery shopping.
Jeff Bezos, the richest person in America and Amazon’s founder, believes his shopping concept will only get better. But the first step, according to Bezos, is phone scanning when they enter the store. Amazon takes the hassle out of the process the supermarkets call the SACAT process. Amazon Go Markets wants to be the leader in all segments of the retail world. Not using the semi-attended customer-activated terminal to check out is a good first step. Amazon plans to have 3,000 stores up and running by 2021. That kind of threat should change how other grocery stores do business, according to industry analysts.