business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email from an MNB reader regarding our story about how Amazon is protected to pass Walmart in terms fo retails sales in 2025:

I'm not surprised that Amazon may surpass WM in sales in the next few years.  In my mind they have a better operation than WM.

Some background here.  I just came back to MNB as it is relatively recently I've come back to the supermarket business.  Starting late 2019 I started making supermarket store calls again.  I know, great timing just as a pandemic was starting.  I witnessed first hand the panic buying, usually well stocked stores looking like third world markets.  I was constantly on the lookout for friends, family and neighbors grocery needs, (mostly toilet paper) as I was in 4-6 stores daily.  I would generally do whatever shopping I needed at my last stop for the day.

However, once I got home, I stayed there until time for work the next morning.  I avoided contracting Covid for over a year, I thought I just might miss that bullet.  I got it in January 2021.  I was lucky, I didn't have to go to the hospital, though one night it was close, and I came out ok.  Still, I don't wish it on anyone, not even my worst enemy, well, maybe my absolute worst, I do have a few ex bosses I'd like to see suffer.

It was during that time in quarantine I did online grocery shopping for the first time, with home delivery.  I used WM and Amazon.  I learned the little things make a difference.  

Amazon delivered and placed my purchases on my porch, out of the weather and where I could easily get them.

Now, remember, I was really pretty sick, and very weak, think the Flu on steroids.

The two deliveries WM made were left right in front of my door, where the door had to shove them out of the way when I opened it.  It was fairly heavy too, half gallons of milk and OJ, and a large bottle of grape juice, plus other assorted things.

Amazon's web site was easy to use, WM wasn't as user friendly, but then I've been buying various things from Amazon for years.

In stores everywhere, I see shoppers filling orders people have placed online for pickup or delivery.  All the stores seem to have good systems in place to insure you get what you ordered.  But I've seen WM do some things that baffle the mind, and show maybe their employees are not so well trained.  Things like the aforementioned placement of delivered orders right in front of my door.  My brother and sister in law were experimenting with various delivery services.  They got an order from WM, and she had ordered a hair coloring kit, which they sent, but it had been removed from it's package and the components of it were shipped loose in the box with everything else.  They have settled on Super Target for their home delivery grocery shopping.

The thing is, the pandemic, as horrid as it has been has taught us some new ways of doing things.  If not for my forced quarantine I would never have tried online grocery ordering with home delivery.

The only hiccup was, my Dr. called in a prescription for me to help with some of my symptoms.  Stores don't deliver prescriptions, you still have to pick them up.  I had to get my brother to go through their drive through and leave it on my porch.  If Amazon had an online pharmacy my Dr. could transmit the script to electronically, and they could deliver it that day, they would really be onto something.

I still prefer to do my own grocery shopping, and not have someone else pick my groceries for me.  I also see new things I may want to try.  Last Thursday I checked the reduced priced meats in my last stop and got a perfectly nice rib eye steak for about $2.50 on mark down, took that thing home and grilled it, made a nice dinner with a baked potato.  I wouldn't have found that online.