Author: Henry

The New-Tech Stores Are No Longer the Enemy

The New-Tech Stores Are No Longer the Enemy

Op-Ed: The grocery chain wars prove that the modern supermarket model isn’t sustainable

When the grocery wars were ignited over two decades ago, grocery chains were seen as the enemy.

The chains with the best products at the lowest prices were the enemy. And we weren’t talking about Wal-Mart. We were talking about Ralph’s and FamilyMart, Harris Teeter, and the like.

We had just watched a few decades of slow, steady, gradual decline in the grocery department store model. The chain model had been evolving in fits and starts over the last few decades, but it had been dying a slow death.

Then along came the modern supermarket chains. We saw that grocery stores of yesteryear were not the same as grocery stores of today. The new-tech stores were faster, better, more efficient, and better at selling you the groceries you needed at the best possible price. New-tech stores were no longer the enemy.

The grocery wars were settled and we found ourselves back in the Wal-Mart era.

Then along came Walmart and Kroger. And now we’re in the new version of the old chain wars as the modern grocery stores, Wal-Mart and the like compete for customers’ dollars, while cutting their prices.

As I said above, the modern supermarket model has been in a long, slow, steady decline since the first grocery stores began to appear about 50 years ago. It’s been on a long, gentle, continuous ascent over the last few decades as the store model evolved from an old-style, slow, steady evolution to a new-type, more modern, faster, and better grocery store model.

Wal-Mart was the first of the new-technology stores, and this is what it looks like today:

Now back to the grocery wars. As I’ve said previously, grocery stores are not dying anymore. They’ve really been dying for a few decades, but it’s only lately that they’ve died. The grocery wars were settled in the 1980s, and I say, “solved,” because that is about all we got out of them. We won,

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