New York City, NY

Protestors Rally to 'Save Bodegas' from 15-Minute Grocery Delivery

Genius Turner
Instant grocery delivery appears to be the wave of the future.(Louisa Hallett/Retailleader)

Some New Yorkers fear grocery delivery apps pose a threat to bodegas

New York City — Once upon a time . . . the Empire State Building was billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World. People came from far and wide to glimpse NYC's record-breaking giant. Yet today, the Empire State Building no longer cracks NYC's "top 5" list of tallest skyscrapers.

In life, there's nothing unchanging except change.

“Bodegas are the very heart of New York City’s culture and economy,” Comptroller Brad Lander said at a rally comprised of elected officials and residents, showing support for local bodegas. 

Protestors compared the recent shift from bodegas, to delivery apps, to that of how Uber has all but bankrupted the yellow cab industry. And just as the Empire State Building and yellow cab industry once towered above all others in NYC, the same goes for bodegas.

Now, protesters fear — bodegas could be on the verge of extinction.

“Do you realize these are illegal warehouses in a zoning for retail, restaurant, and food establishments?" Councilwoman Gale Brewer said, advising consumers to look into these tech delivery services. "They are not in the right zoning category. That’s right, illegal, illegal."

Councilwoman Carlina Rivera noted how fighting for the survival of local bodegas is deeply personal for her, given that she grew up in and around bodegas.

Indeed, bodegas are to New York City what cheesesteaks are to Philadelphia. The core issue nevertheless boils down to one word: Time. And time is said to wait for no mortal — for no skyscrapers . . . for no taxi cab industry . . .

In short, as I type this, a DoorDash pop-up just reminded me of the latest special — which reminds me why Andy Grove concluded:

Technology will always win [in the end]. You can delay technology by legal interference, but technology will flow around legal barriers.

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New York City, NY

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