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wonders of the internet

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, May 21, 2004, at 11:35AM

Slashdot links to a CNN article about grocery delivery services right now, and that got me curious to see if anyone offers the service for 90014, my zipcode. Sure enough, Safeway/Vons does. The delivery charge is $8 for a 4-hour window or $10 for a 2-hour, which I think is really reasonable. You could spend that much right now just driving to the grocery store.

Sometime this year Ralphs is supposed to open a store in the Gas Company Lofts complex at 9th and Flower. This is very cool, and a major development for downtown, but it remains to be seen how this will actually help residents other than those living in the very immediate vicinity of the store. From my apartment the walk to Ralphs will be about .85 miles. That's worlds better than the distances present now, but the question you have to ask is what's the magic distance at which people will make the frequent trips required to do their grocery shopping on foot. Once you're in the car it doesn't really matter whether you're going one mile or ten.

With delivery, though, you can place a big order without worrying about how you're going to get it back home. Sure, it's not convenient for the little trips or the trips to run out and grab a single item, but I could easily see delivery becoming a staple of my grocery shopping process.

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