One thing that investors could agree on back in the 1990s was that grocery shopping would be mostly online by now. Who would want to go to the effort of driving to the store and lugging bags into the house if it could all be done in a browser? (And that was before they charged you 5 or 10 cents for each bag!)
Except for perhaps Donald Trump’s hypothetical 400 lb. computer expert, online grocery shopping turned out not to be a lifestyle-changer (two percent U.S. market share in 2016). I’m wondering if this is because it is actually easier to browse amongst the shelves of a physical store than to choose via menus. If you don’t know exactly what you want for dinner it turns out to be easier to go to the store.
Could practical virtual reality systems change this? Run through the aisles virtually. Grab virtual stuff off the shelves effortlessly. Have the physical counterparts show up a few hours later.
Readers: What do you think?
[Separately, a shift to online grocery shopping would add some challenge to what lawyers told us was a standard procedure used by child support plaintiffs in Massachusetts. To bolster an argument for above-guidelines child support profits, a plaintiff will get either a gift card (to be stockpiled for post-trial use) or cashback during every visit to a physical grocery store. The bank statements then show an extra $100 or $200 per week in spending. This can be helpful when trying to obtain more than $40,000 per year (the post-tax guideline amount corresponding to a pre-tax income of $250,000) and/or when trying to get a judge to use discretion to award a larger-than-guideline fraction of a defendant’s income.]