WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES OCTOBER 28, 2021 7
worth it to New York City consumers?
running a “manager special,” on a different
brand of eggs — 3 cartons of a
dozen for $5. A gallon of 2 percent milk
was $3.59, Green Giant Green Beans
$1.99, the same pint of Ben & Jerry’s,
$5.59, two liters of Coke, $2.49, and a
four-pack of Scott toilet paper, $5.29.
At a nearby independent halal grocery
store, a gallon of milk was $3.49, as
advertised by a sign taped to the front
door, 2 liters of any soda, $2.49, and
single rolls of Scott toilet paper, $1.49.
We had some more trouble with
brands on JOKR. We fi lled the cart
with a bottle of Palmolive dish soap,
$2.99 — slightly more expensive than
the Food Universe’s most expensive
bottle, which was $2.79, but on par with
a bottle of Ajax at the halal store – a
four-pack of Scott, $3.79, and 2 liters of
Coke, $2.29. The cheapest eggs, a dozen
Alderfer “humane certifi ed” large eggs,
was $3.49, the cheapest loaf of bread,
“Mestemacher Fitness Bread,” $3.99,
compared to a $2.29 loaf of store-brand
Italian bread at Food Universe.
We couldn’t fi nd canned green beans,
but the closest item – a 12oz bag of fresh
beans — was $3.99, and a half-gallon
of Organic Valley 2 percent milk was
All together, the haul was $25.51, plus
$0.81 in taxes and a $6.00 tip — $32.32
in total. At the time, the app noted that
delivery would likely take longer because
of the heavy rain.
Of course, your experiences with
these apps may vary.
‘IT’S AN ATROCITY’
Some aren’t sold on the idea of
grocery delivery apps, no matter
how convenient or cost-eff ective the
companies promise they are.
Friends Jasmine Lee and Kahlil
Robert Irving prefer to support local
businesses and know the owners.
Lee, who lives and works in Chinatown,
thinks “it’s an atrocity.” She
prefers to pick her produce and disagrees
that using a grocery delivery
app is faster.
“It’s actually not very convenient,”
Lee said. “What’s more convenient
than just running down the street to
Kahlil Robert Irving, who lived
in Brooklyn and now calls St. Louis,
Missouri home, felt that the constant
evolution of trying to fi gure out how
to make money by offering more
convenience was quite problematic
for human interaction.
“It’s about being human. This kind
of evolution of capitalism is dehumanizing,”
Irving expressed. “It’s
demonizing the possibility of relationships
or sustaining interpersonal
David Bishop, a partner with Brick
Meets Click, a consulting company
that works with “conventional” grocery
stores, said those established
brick-and-mortars know best.
“The retailer’s inventory ordering
system is fairly automated in the
sense that it’s looking at historical
buying patterns, overlaying that with
other causal factors like weather, and
incorporating what the current sales
trends are to replenish that stock,”
Bishop said. “A traditional grocery
store has been around a long time,
so their understanding of what sells
and what doesn’t is far greater than
what a new entrant who’s coming in
and trying to serve a specifi c need
may be able to do.”
Quick-delivery apps, for now, are
focused in dense urban areas. Since
each small warehouse serves a small
area — maxing out at 2.5 miles, in the
case of 1520 — there need to be a lot of
people living there.
The cost of purchasing enough
land or renting out a large enough
building to run a traditional grocery
store is much higher in New York City
and the tri-state area than in rural
areas, Bishop said, so operating out of
a store with a smaller footprint, and
that doesn’t invite shoppers in, means
those companies have “comparable
costs, although lower to traditional
All stores try to reduce waste, he
said, because, in the end, it eats into
their profi ts — but he said the proof
that carrying fewer items would result
in less waste “remains to be seen.”
The third installment of “The Race
to Deliver,” scheduled to run on Nov. 4,
will focus on the potential and current
impacts grocery delivery apps may
have on bodegas, grocery stores and
other brick-and-mortar businesses.
A Buyk courier delivers groceries in the Village.
THE RACE TO DELIVER