One of the things I've always wanted to do was not to be bothered with
grocery shopping. This is a near impossibility in the US unless you are
rich or a bored homemaker. I met a CEO at the corporate investment conference
I attended on Wednesday. They have online grocery sales; their most receptive
area is Asia. It seems their culture is very comfortable with local grocery
marts, they fax orders in all the time, have personal relationships, standing
orders, home delivery, and don't always have time to grocery shop themselves.
Traditionally in European cultures this is handled through a servant class.
I asked him what the inhibitors were for the US as I'd sure be one of their
first customers. He said that the supermarket chains are into larger
and larger stores to amortize their costs, i.e. economies of scale. There
is tremendous pressure to compete in this way and it's very cutthroat.
Just another relic of the industrial age versus information age, I suppose.