21 January 2015

Are These "The Good Old Days"?

Three days ago we bought steaks at our local Albertson's Super Market.
They were nothing short of wonderful. Seasoned by the butcher before packaging, you could smell the garlic and pepper before you opened the plastic protective wrap.

They were so tasty I went back to the store's meat department and asked-
"Do you sell that seasoning?"
"Yes. It's called 'McCormick California-Style Garlic Pepper' and you'll find it in our spice area for $11.90".
I found it. It was in a 12-ounce container. My mental calculator said the price makes it just shy of a dollar an ounce.
I decided to shop around.

At home I turned on the computer and went to Amazon.com, where we are "Prime" members.
McCormick's "California-Style Garlic Pepper" was being offered in the 22-ounce container at a cost of $14.21.

Prime membership means we pay NO shipping costs.
I ordered it... pay close attention now... at 1930 hours. (That's 7:30 P.M. for those of you who've never been in the military.)

At Noon today the doorbell rang. Lucy let us know SOMETHING'S HAPPENING OUT THERE!
A view through the peephole indicated whoever had rung the bell was gone. I opened the door, and there on the front porch was a package marked "Amazon Fulfillment".

Inside the box?
A 22-ounce container of McCormick's "California-Style Garlic Pepper"!

Free shipping.

And it took a little over 12 hours to get here.
How in the world do they do that?
How can anyone compete with that?


cary said...

The only way a brick-and-mortar can compete is to have what you want, when you want it, and offer to gift wrap it for you. After that point, there is no competition.

As you know, I worked for a boutique toy store in an upper-crust community. The owner was constantly giving herself an ulcer trying to compete with the Amazon business model. She fought for taxing on-line purchases. She supported local businesses (not a bad idea, but see the first paragraph above). We had an on-line presence. We gift wrapped for free, we trained the staff to within an inch of their sanity on drilling down to find the perfect toy for the perfect customer, we did everything we could - but unless you have fulfillment centers in most major metropolitan areas, you cannot compete with Amazon's delivery model.

In this day and age, it's all about instant gratification. People even know how to short-cut the faster processes! Pressing "90" instead "1:20" on the microwave, because the two extra buttons would take too long. Can't wait for someone to ship something from New York, and you can't take the time to find it locally? Order it from Amazon!

Old NFO said...

Yeah, hard to compete... period...

... said...

@cary pressing 90 instead of 1:20 would end up taking ~10 seconds longer...