business news in context, analysis with attitude

Regarding yesterday’s story about Home Depot getting into the locker business, one MNB reader wrote:

Home Depot, where have you been, grocery has pickup for meat and produce with literally no shelf life.
It only makes sense that I can order and pay for my 2x4’s, nails and whatever from a Home Depot without going in and no risk of spoils…No brainer!!! Maybe rust and termites!!!
It’s amazing that the grocery industry is ahead of nonfood in this area!

From MNB reader Jonathan Lawrence:

I found this particularly interesting as I was in a Home Depot yesterday afternoon and saw them installing one of these lockers near the entrance - I didn’t really notice but my wife brought it up thinking that it was a set of Amazon Lockers, to which I commented, ”Amazon doesn’t usually do orange,” and we kept going.

What I find most interesting is how far these sort of stores, (Home Depot, Lowes, and even the dreaded Target which is the worst of the lot), have gone in terms of labeling the locations in the store and adding that information to their website, not just their app. When I look for any typical hardware item, like in this case a light switch, the website used my location to identify my local store and tell me how many were available in South Philadelphia Home Depot.

The particular item that I was looking for was located in aisle 37, bay 3 - and I was aware of that when I walked into the store - I didn’t have to waste time finding the electrical section of which there are at least 4 aisles then walking through each to find exactly what I needed. Nope, I knew that the product I wanted was there and where I could find it. It didn’t even dawn on me to purchase online because I wanted to take a look at the item before buying.

To me, it’s a great example of bridging the gap from online to B&M stores but probably not something we’ll see in grocery stores any time soon. I like this feature so much in fact that I’ve been known to find what I’m looking for in the parking lot before heading into the store to purchase - I find the search more efficient.

We wrote yesterday about how Amazon announced a new service designed to help individuals set up their own delivery businesses that would in turn deliver packages for Amazon.

Prompting MNB reader Len Okyn to write:

Ingenious idea and talk about Keeping It Simple. Amazon created an opportunity for the young and older workforce  to become Entrepreneurs’ and fill a niche in the market for a much needed service. Way to go Jeff Bezos !!

Yesterday we also took note of a Wall Street Journal report that the soft drink industry is facing the fact that over the past two years there have been more than a half-dozen communities that have enacted soda taxes to address what is perceived as their growing obesity problems. The solution? Since some local communities seem resistant to the soft drink companies’ persuasive charms - and the significant amounts of money they are willing to spend on lobbying to get their way - the goal now is to get states to pass laws that prevent municipalities from enacting any such taxes.

I commented:

Is this how democracy begins to die? I have to admit that I get downright cranky when someone tries to take away my right to vote on something. I wonder what the people making this play are hiding, or why they’re so convinced that their interests are more important than my interests as a functioning citizen in a democracy.

I’m not saying I’m for soda taxes. I am saying that I ought to have the right to help determine my community’s position on them. And I’d be curious what positions the people spearheading efforts to stop local initiatives have taken in the past on local rights.

I think this is a crock.

One MNB reader wrote:

Kevin, It's a crock that you actually feel you should have any business telling your government what to do. I have been in the government and it is clear that you have no idea about how this works.

The lobbyists rule and if you don't like it, start your own firm and change something. You clearly don't seem to have a problem with Amazon lobbying the government. Why should this bother you?

I have less of a problem with companies lobbying than I do with lawmakers paying attention … especially when it means that they’re going to be ignoring the desires of actual constituents.

Wait a minute. That happens all the time.

Still a crock, though.

And it is how democracy dies.
KC's View: