New York City, NY

Some Fear 15-Minute Grocery Delivery Will Doom Local Stores & Bodegas

Genius Turner

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Instant grocery delivery appears to be the latest trend.(Louisa Hallett/Retailleader)

Critics worry 15-minute grocery delivery may harm neighborhood stores

New York City — When I first moved to the Big Apple, like most Southerners I abruptly looked around for Walmart. But I quickly learned this: in NYC the only mart to be found on a wall would have to be a poster of the retail giant.

"Too many bodegas," a native New Yorker explained, "and too many mom and pop stores to have a Walmart here. Not to mention, not enough space."

With the recent explosion of e-commerce, however, grocery shopping in NYC may never be the same.

Run out of milk for this morning's cereal? No problem. With already a half-dozen grocery services offering deliveries faster than Dominoes can deliver pizza, The City That Never Sleeps may have another reason to stay woke.

“The first couple of times it certainly blew my mind at how quickly it came,” Nick O’Keefe said. “I’d order, and within 10 minutes they were already up there, knocking on my apartment door.”

O'Keefe says now, after having experienced such futuristic grocery shopping, he may never go back to the old way. “The convenience of it far outweighs anything else. It’s the future.”

Of course, as is usually the case: for every gain, there's a hidden loss.

Bodegas are to New York City what Philly cheesesteaks are to Philadelphia.

Indeed, sometimes walking into a local bodega makes you feel like a cast member from Cheers.

"Sometimes you wanna go where everybody" from the deli workers at bodegas to the cashiers at supermarkets "knows your name." But such warmness rooted in familiarity may be on the verge of extinction. At least critics fear such may be the case.

In short, if the online grocers continue trending upward, the landscape of The City That Never Sleeps may change forever.

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New York City, NY
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