Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
There’s panic in the supermarket aisles.
For once, it’s not a vegan who can’t find the right strain of cabbage.
No, this is the panic of supermarket chains worried that the game has changed and no one will tell them the new rules.
Amazon‘s tentacles seem to be wrapping themselves around everything and everyone and the more traditional chains need to react. But how?
In Kroger’s case, the answer seems to be to stop people shopping at Kroger.
Or, rather, to make it not entirely necessary.
The chain has announced that it’ll be perfectly happy if you go to Walgreen’s instead.
In essence, this supermarket within a drugstore will contain “a curated assortment of 2,300 products” that’ll take up around a third of the space in your average Walgreen’s.
Which wise people will do the curating, I hear you cry.
Oh, not so much people, but “customer data and insights provided by Kroger subsidiary 84.51.”
In 13 Northern Kentucky Walgreen’s, you’ll be able to pick up essentials such as chicken or beef. Or, for the especially adventurous, Home Chef meal kits.
Some might see this as two big brands feeling threatened and huddling together for a little warmth.
This is your number 2 and number 6 biggest American retailers getting together.
But if you’re up against the twisted might of Amazon and Whole Foods, what are you going to do?
You’re going to think about where people regularly go and try and make things easier for them to buy your wares.
People are lazy. They’re getting lazier. Help them solve their own little daily problems that, for so many, tend to involve surviving more than thriving.
Other chain stores have found it harder to find huddle-partners.
It’s trying to get foot traffic, after all.
And who’s next? Safeway and CVS?
How about Costco and H&M?
You have to think creatively about these things. Amazon’s getting into food and fashion. It’s creeping its way into your kitchen, living room and bedroom with its Echo.
There are only so many means of escape.