Amazon Eats Whole Foods

Posted on June 19, 2017

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Amazon, in it’s trajectory toward world domination, has just purchased Whole Foods. Whole Foods, for those of you who live 50 miles outside of town and grow all of your own food, is an upscale grocery store chain, in which one can purchase individually-wrapped grapes, each with a story about country of origin and a photo of the person who picked the grape. Consumers pay a hefty price for such goods, and so the only folks who shop there are well-to-do people who work for the IT industry and young people who share a house with 10 friends and work in the IT industry.

It isn’t clear what, exactly, will change at Whole Foods after Amazon takes over. But what is clear is that there will be big changes, chief of which is that all stores will be computerized. Here are some changes that Life in the Boomer Lane envisions:
No cashiers, to start. This is no big loss to Whole Foods patrons as none of them are wont to speak to cashiers anyway. They all text throughout the entire check out process, hoping that the recent gains in their portfolios will be enough to cover the $250 per lb morel mushrooms they have just purchased for a dinner party.

No stock people. Patrons will be able to reach for a product on the shelf, swipe it over their cell credit card and place it in the basket. In one swipe, the product has been purchased, the inventory tally has been adjusted, notifying both the store and Amazon, and all dark web types who track peoples’ buying preferences.

No people behind counters. Bakery items, meat, produce will all be scanned and automated. Questions will be typed into iPads and answered, at each section.

Of course, there will still have to actual humanoids. In cases of individual concerns, an iPad-toting store employee (one per store) will greet each patron, record such concern, and direct them to resolve their issues online. There will also be wooden cubes at the back of the store, on which they can sit and resolve their issues on their cell phones, or simply relax until they are ready to continue shopping.

Another example would be the fish counter. This is important, since the patrons of Whole Foods, while never interested in talking to cashiers or stock people, are extremely interested in having long discussions with seafood vendors about the benefits of opah (no relation to Oprah) vs paiche. Amazon is currently working on plans to have holograms of both the fisherman who caught the individual fish, as well as the hapless fish, who can advise patrons. There can also be discussions among the fish themselves, about which one would be the best to be served at the next evening meeting of the book club.

Alas, as with anything in life, there can be a downside. In the event that a store patron has her child with her, and such child (beautiful, precocious, devious) surrepticiously grabs his parent’s cell phone in order to play Minecraft PE, while his parent is otherwise occupied talking to another member of the neighborhood mommy list serv. While doing so, this child can swipe any number of random items. Mommy then has hundreds of dollars of charges on her VISA bill for items she never actually purchased, such as kale ice cream, gluten-free soap, and asparagus water.

Amazon will, no doubt, work out all of the kinks. They always do. Meanwhile, supermarket chains are quaking in their boots over the entry of Amazon into the cutthroat world of supermarket dominance.

A final note to Readers: If you are an actual patron of Whole Foods, LBL apologizes deeply to you for any slurs she has made either about the chain or about people like you. She, herself, occassionally patronizes the store, usually in an attempt to get a specific ingredient for a vegan dish, one that would never be carried in a regular grocery, and would either have to be acquired in the jungles of Cambodia or in Whole Foods. They also have a favorable price on unsweetend soy milk, which LBL uses in her morning coffee. Now Husband likes the prepared food section, although LBL has never been able to tell the taste difference between any of the prepard foods.

But the real draw for LBL is the bulk foods kiosk of the bakery section. Here, encased in a hard plastic display station, along with custom baked goods, are milk chocolate-covered pretzels. LBL doesn’t know who at Whole Foods decided this delicacy should occupy the place of honor at the store, but she is eternally grateful.

Next to coffee Haagen Dazs, this is the holy grail of food products for LBL. And Whole Foods, bless its little heart, acknowledges two things: one, that some food items essential for life need not be organic or heathy or even respectful of LGBTQ. The second is that those same items should never be sold in a pre-determined amount. They must be sold in bulk. Fingers crossed that Amazon will not get its dirty little fingers on these to change anything.

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