Intrigued for two reasons:
1) I'm reminded of DFW's words about shopping at large stores playing 'soul-killing musac': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CrOL-ydFMI#t=10m8s
This is going to make life easy for me. Grocery-shopping is stressful and time-consuming, I look forward to the day that I can do it all online without paying much extra.
2) Less people will need cars in the future of AmazonFresh/Grubhub/Blueapron. This is also why I love Uber pool incidentally... I feel like I'm saving the environment when I do that (vs. driving)! If you continue in this line of thinking, what you have is: one truck delivering 50 people their groceries via an optimized route vs. 50 cars traveling by stressed out people who are tired and just don't want to go the store. Less accidents, less pollution, less stress.
I am really looking forward to the future of optimized infrastructure for travel/transportation.
They ran their own delivery van around town; you got to pick a two-hour window during which the van would arrive.
Your future has already happened, and lingered unnoticed for quite a bit. I still don't understand why it didn't catch on back then.
Future? Welcome to the 1800's. Every little shop in town had delivery boys. The lady of the house could walk to a dozen shops, inspect wares and purchase everything for the week. Didn't have to carry anything back herself though - a fleet of delivery boys would distribute the day's purchases.
(I'm not saying it is a bad future.)
I remarked to my younger Indian colleague that we're replacing tiffin-wallahs with grubhub for work and I'm not sure that's a positive development for the West and its various peoples.
All joking aside, I wonder if they will keep Whole Foods focused on food, or if that will be the doorway to brick-and-mortar retail—i.e. same day pickup services and the like.
Btw does anyone know if Amazon sells customer data for advertising? (Besides their own purposes)
2. So now instead of 50 cars, it's 1 truck with 50 people's worth of individually packaged goods that gets trashed.
Cattle also feel pretty good about fed three times daily before getting slaughtered.
2. Sure, except a vehicle getting trashed will be much less likely if 50 cars are reduced to 1. Not to mention the increase in productivity due to 50 people not losing time by sitting in traffic, or being at risk of bodily harm.
Don't understand your cattle point.
Basically, just get rid of the attitude where you expect someone to pay $6 for asparagus in water, and we're good. (https://www.eater.com/2015/8/3/9090797/whole-foods-asparagus...)
A gallon of organic milk is $6.49.
meanwhile I know of at least 2 whole foods i can go to.
walmart is pretty much impractical for people who live in sf even if they have a car.
That said, if you are going there anyway, the store-pickup still seems like an attractive option. Part of the downfall of Walmart is the time spent in the store, searching out things, wading through isles of people, and waiting for the badly staffed registers to get you through the line, only to be checked for stealing on your way out. This is worse if you must bring children with you. One can easily save an hour of time just picking it up.
P.S. I want a Ferrari. I don't want to pay $150k for one. So I'm not Ferrari's market.
The march towards efficiency, productivity, and profits naturally cuts into redundancy, diversity, and competition. Same goes for index funds, holding companies, etc.
I wonder if there is any way we can find a balance, because it seems like there are so many cases where giving up some efficiency/productivity for some other traits is desirable (renewable energy, research and development, health, safety, etc.)
So it'll probably be Europe that tries to rein in Amazon.
(Incidentally, his podcast is fantastic)
People are paying a premium for organic / fair trade / gluten free / $FAD_OF_THE_DAY groceries, so there is margin for counterfeiters IMO.
Amazon probably wouldn't help much though yeah.
However, as it relates to the FTC, I am concerned with the increasing size of Fortune 100/500 companies  and their relationship to the decline in entrepreneurship in the United States . The biggest companies are getting bigger and growing faster than ever and the FTC affects that by reviewing M&A activity.
But I think you knew that.