business news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times has a piece about a unique New York issue - people who want food delivered to them not at their apartments or places of work, but on playgrounds, beaches and even their cars.

"Now that the hungry can use cellphones and food-delivery apps to order anything their stomachs desire to the very spot where they stand, however, delivery is no longer confined to the apartment or the office — or even, for that matter, to a place with an address," the Times writes, adding, "Some requests are simple enough: bring a few pizzas to the neighborhood playground or a sandwich to the local gym, ready for its sweaty devourer. Others can tax a delivery person’s ingenuity, as when the call comes from within a crowd: the middle of the Sheep Meadow in Central Park on a sunny day, for instance, or any of the city’s myriad lines. Just ask any park-bound delivery person, who must rely on everything short of divining rods to find customers amid seas of picnickers. The lucky ones are told to look for colorful blankets or particularly loud T-shirts. Others must simply wander, and hope."

For the uninitiated, by the way, the "deliver to the car" scenario takes place when a New Yorker has a great parking space, but needs to wait in it until alternate-side-of-the-street parking rules have expired. And "though New Yorkers seem to feel nothing is worth having unless they have to wait for it — to judge by the lines for cronuts, free Shakespeare and new iPhones — nobody likes to wait hungry."
KC's View:
It strikes me as being a kind of high class problem to have, but one that may take place more often in the highly mobile 21st century climate. The businesses able to deliver products when, where and how people want them, at a price deemed reasonable and fair, will be the ultimate winners.

This problem won't face every retailer in every market. But the story illustrates, I think, the kind of operational flexibility and mindset that every retailer needs to have these days.