Where Are the People?

“We’ve got to learn how to sell clothes and food,” said Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Apparently he has learned with the recent announcement of the acquisition of Whole Foods and the rollout of Prime Wardrobe. The excitement for both has the retail world of groceries and clothing all a flutter.

Imagine, no more lengthy checkout lines while the person in front of you struggles with his or her food stamp card, or tries to decide between paper or plastic. It’s the end of that grating question “did you find everything you were looking for?” It is also the demise of the bag boy who is old enough to be your Grandfather and casts a pall over the rest of your day. Bezos has made grocery shopping neat, clean and simple. Walk into the store, get what you want and walk out without having to deal with the annoyance of any grocery store employees.

Now imagine not being caught in that last minute Christmas shopping ordeal or in that back to school rush, the elimination of waiting for a dressing room while a size 14 is trying on a size 8, or even avoiding the embarrassment of trying to convince a “returns” person that the dress just didn’t look right and that the stain on the sleeve was there when you first got it.

Clothing, that you chose, delivered to your door to be worn and experienced for a tryout period. You decide what to return and when. And most important, clothing like groceries, bought the Amazon way, without the hassle of people.

How long will it be before an entire shopping day, beginning with a visit to Home Depot, then Walmart, McDonalds for lunch, a quick stop off at Walgreens, browsing at Bed Bath and Beyond and finally picking up dinner at Chipotle’s Mexican Grill, results in never having to come in contact with a single dreaded server or sales person? Futuristic you declare! Perhaps even a bit science fiction. Really? Not if Amazon has anything to say about it. Bezos has already hit the fast forward button and the future is now.

How wonderful to rid ourselves of all the major and minor annoyances created by all those unnecessary things called working people. Now if Bezos and friends can only figure out what to do with all of those same people he will really have accomplished something.

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With his passion for economics Bill Tatro has been entertaining audiences on the radio and in seminars for decades. Bill is an economist that provides weekly paid content to subscribers, and offers a free daily "lite" version as well.

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