Minding the Store

“For the past 10 months, the pair has been testing out the concept at 30 locations in the Bay Area ranging from apartment lobbies to dorms to offices to gyms. The idea is to preempt what people might need, then use machine learning to constantly reassess the 100 most-needed items in that community.” This is probably not the headline the company’s founders wanted from FastCo: Two Ex-Googlers Want To Make Bodegas and Mom-And-Pop Corner Stores Obsolete. I’m guessing there would be a lot less controversy about Bodega if they had named the company Vending Machine. For better or worse, this is a key retailing trend: Using big data and algorithms to get products to you the minute (or even before) you need them. We deliver everything else these days. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that a startup wants to deliver the whole store.

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