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Step 2, Groceries

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the step-3-profit dept.

The Almighty Buck 291

prostoalex writes "Fortune magazine runs an article on New York - based FreshDirect, provider of high-quality groceries. Unlike Webvan, which failed with $1B of venture capital, FreshDirect seems to make pretty good money off online grocery sales - revenues of $225M are projected by 2004. The minimum order is set at $40, the company also charges $4 for delivery." If you want to check out their store, try zip code 10022.

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291 comments

This sounds much like an advertisement... (3, Insightful)

dameron (307970) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689464)

and begs the question: How can I get my product/service/ideology advertised on Slashdot for free?

-dameron

RAISES the question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689492)

Please don't use the phrase "beg the question" unless you know what it means, dumbass.

Re:RAISES the question (0, Flamebait)

dameron (307970) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689506)

It certainly begs the question, dumbass..

Or do you need to be schooled on "common usage"?

Please don't "beg the question" on that issue..

-dameron

Re:RAISES the question (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689536)

Ahem [wsu.edu]: (emphasis mine)

An argument that improperly assumes as true the very point the speaker is trying to argue for is said in formal logic to "beg the question." Here is an example of a question-begging argument: "This painting is trash because it is obviously worthless." The speaker is simply asserting the worthlessness of the work, not presenting any evidence to demonstrate that this is in fact the case. Since we never use "begs" with this odd meaning ("to improperly take for granted") in any other phrase, many people mistakenly suppose the phrase implies something quite different: that the argument demands that a question about it be asked--raises the question. If you're not comfortable with formal terms of logic, it's best to stay away from this phrase, or risk embarrassing yourself.
Please educate yourself before making yourself look like a damned fool, asshat.

Re:RAISES the question (0, Flamebait)

dameron (307970) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689573)

Dude, when ACs and the OED differ, I'm going with the OED.

btw, it's asshats like you what make posting online such a pain in the ass.

-dameron

Re:RAISES the question (2)

devphil (51341) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689607)


Unfortunately for you, the AC is correct. To raise a question is to do exactly that. To beg a question is to commit a logical fallacy of circular reasoning, usually by assuming X, then reasoning your way towards proving X is true. However, the reasoning depends on X being true already, thus the fallacy.

Here's a good directory, as it were, of failures of logical thinking, and the names given to them: http://gncurtis.home.texas.net/index.html (uses frames). It points out the exact mistake you persist in defending.

I suspect you don't actually own a copy of the OED, because in my experience people who do are sticklers for correctness. I would sooner believe that the AC (modded down by a moron, more's the pity) owns a copy.

OT: Re:RAISES the question (0, Offtopic)

dameron (307970) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689679)

Ok, to get this strait, I have a firm grasp of what you and the the AC thinks "begs the question" means, or, should I say, used to mean several decades ago. As it stands there is nothing inappropriate about using "begs the question" in the fashion mentioned, -especially in this forum-.

(Note my not so standard use of the dash. Or the parenthesis, or, -Hades- this entire aside! Not to mention my entire lack of completing a sentence!)

Yet none of this could possibly detract you from my point, and my meaning is clear.

You're being far too formal.

A quick cut and past job to set your mind at ease:

Many people unaware of the technical meaning of "to beg the question" in logic use it in one of two looser senses. The first of these, "to evade the question, to duck the issue", is attested since 1860 (WDEU). The second, "to invite the obvious question, (with an inanimate subject) to raise the question", is now the most commonly
heard use of the phrase
, although we have found no mention of it prior to The Oxford Guide to English Usage, 1st edition (1983)."

My emphasis, of course. So it appears this issue was settles sometime in the 80s. Or 80's, both are equally correct.

Especially in this forum.

-dameron

Re:RAISES the question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689683)

The "common usage" is a load of SHIT

There is no FUCKING COMMON USAGE. You misused the phrase. GOT IT???

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (2)

Istealmymusic (573079) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689503)

And thus I begat the answer: Submit thy story.

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (3, Insightful)

h0tblack (575548) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689587)

Good point, except I very much doubt that the submitter has much to do with the company in question. If I'm not mistaken, he's Russian, I doubt he/she could even use the service, let alone be advertising it. (Although yes, of course, in these modern days with newfangled things like the Internet, geographical location has little to do with it).
If things posted on /. had to go through a "does this have anything to do with a way in which someone could possibly make money" filter, I doubt there'd be much content.

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (5, Informative)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689627)

Huh?

I am the one who submitted this story, and you're correct about my Russian origin, although currently I live in WA state. Now, Slashdot lists me [slashdot.org], as submitter of 58 stories total. They're related to different events, as well as different companies, including Intel, Microsoft, Sony, etc. If all my postings went through some crooked schemes that included fat checks those companies sent me to submit stories to Slashdot, I'd have my own island.

I learned about FreshDirect from Fortune magazine today and I cannot use, let alone have incentive to advertise, their service.

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (2)

h0tblack (575548) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689650)

I wasn't trying to imply any personal gain for yourself, or any crooked schemes, quite the opposite. It was the "this is an advertisement" stance other ppl were posting from that I was going against.
I found the article linked to very interesting, no doubt so did Michael, and thats why he posted your submission. Maybe those posting from the "Advertisement" stance hadn't actually followed the link..
As an answer to the "how to I advertise my company on /." post, I'd say that the best way is to do something interesting enough to get a third party to write an article about it ;)

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (1)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689662)

Yeah, I figured it wasn't directed at me personally, was just clarifying my position. I just find it interesting to read about new companies on Slashdot.

Ingenious (4, Insightful)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689515)

Actually it's pretty smart. If it was just a popup add or banner, we could block it with an entry in our hosts file.

Ad Placements^H^H^H^HStories are a little harder to block.

Other news sites do this already, you just likely don't notice it. CNN does it all the time. I know CTV Newsnet in Canada does it on the air more than once per day.

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (3, Funny)

mfn (137029) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689521)

well, the first step seems to be get your product/service/ideology featured in fortune

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (1, Offtopic)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689534)

E-mail Michael [mailto], he's probably getting a little groggy after being the only one posting stories in the last 12 hours.

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (2, Offtopic)

cscx (541332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689555)

Slash let's you queue up stories and post them at the selected time. I.e., he radomly selected a handful of stories, set the times, and been sleeping like a baby for the last 12 hours. =)

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689550)

How can I get my product/service/ideology advertised on Slashdot for free?

Simple, do something innovative and/or interesting. Personally, I like reading about cutting-edge businesses on slashdot.

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (2, Insightful)

Evro (18923) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689566)

How is this cutting edge? I guess you think that tacking on "on the internet!" to any business model is "cutting-edge"? I mean, how is buying groceries on the internet! cutting edge? Grocery stores have had home delivery for decades; this is really nothing new at all.

I agree. (1)

dameron (307970) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689590)

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Or is the real story here:

"There's a very small market for pricey service delivered to the highly prized wealthy/lazy/immobile demographic..."?

-dameron

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (3, Informative)

cscx (541332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689605)

My supermarket [204.60.166.106] has been doing this for years now. Yes, online! This is hardly new, and I see it as a complete waste of my time even reading on the article.

Also, I hear this dot.com thing might really take off. I think I'll start selling books online, yeah that's it!!

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (1)

flewp (458359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689666)

Actually, I think it begs the question: "WHERE'S MUH SAMMICH?"

Re:This sounds much like an advertisement... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689671)

It DOESN'T BEG THE #^)&#%_@$&@()^_)$^( QUESTION!!!

READ A BOOK!!!

Good GREEN DUCK SHIT I can't STAND it when people say that...

Step 2: Groceries (1, Funny)

Cock Cockwood (569693) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689465)

Step 3: ???

Step 4: PROFIT!!

Re:Step 2: Groceries (1)

Cheyto (552497) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689613)

I'm a bit confused as to why people still think this joke is funny. Honestly, it wasn't funny the first time, and yet it still gets modded up most of the time.

So please, I beg of you (be you the moderator or the actual 'joke' teller): stop the madness!

Re:Step 2: Groceries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689698)

PLEEEASE, somebody tell me when/where it was used the first time. Is it only a Slashdot thing or what? Just so I'll be able to mod them down as "Redundant" with good conscience. ;)

I don't watch much TV, especially not American TV...

FIRST POST FUCKERS!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689466)

WOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!!

DIE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689474)

I will kill you all, mother fuckers

Peapod (1)

seangw (454819) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689481)

I live in Boston and have been using Peapod (Stop and Shop) ever since homeruns.com shut down.

Any word on the future of peapod? It seems to be doing a good business.

As far as having groceries delivered, it's a very nice thing to have, and I personally don't mind the $4 or $5 extra that it is looking like will be charged to deliver groceries (especially on my monthly order of $200).

Re:Peapod (2)

Istealmymusic (573079) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689520)

Webvan was destined to fail from the get-go. What the fuck is a Webvan? Due to the rhythmic and up-beat hip nature of the phonetic term "Freshdirect"--it just rolls right off the tounge--I expect it to be in business much longer than Webvan and Peapod.

-Istealmymusic, Slashdot New Economy Analysist

Blah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689483)

I'm ruining my life on the internet. I've been reading shit I don't care about for hours. The house is a mess, the car is a mess, my homework isn't done, my work isn't done, and my wife will be getting back from a trip in 10 hours, expecting to have a nice day off together in a clean apartment. What the hell is wrong with me? How do I fix it? Am I alone?

Re:Blah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689547)

Aesop's fable "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

Fable reflects common view of primary reason to be honest. Dishonesty can damage trust in our relationships. So many lies go undetected. Trust Argument inadequate to justify honesty as a virtue.

Recent defenses of dishonesty rely upon inadequacy of this argument. Fashionable defenses of dishonesty by philosophers and psychologists: Nyberg and Ford. We can help people by lying to them. Reality too harsh.

Tonight discuss the major egoistic arguments for honesty. There are lots, more than 12, some uniquely Objectivist, others also found in philosophical literature. Hope for practical benefits in discussing these arguments, so that think of possible long-range consequences if lying seems like a good option. Also discuss when honesty not required.

Defenders of dishonesty also rely upon an expansive view of lies. Any failure to say exactly what you are thinking and feeling, any filters or discretion dishonest.

Re:Blah (2)

m_evanchik (398143) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689635)

no. we're all fucked and doomed. You've described my life pretty well.

What does this have to do with the story, though? Except that now you'll have one less reason to leave the computer.

I suggest going cold turkey on the computer. Ask the wife to help you.

I truely am frightened (3, Interesting)

Crasoum (618885) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689484)

That we are becoming more and more lazy. We can now order our groceries, work, and pay our bills all in front of our computer....

Next thing you know we'll be able to order our dates online [singles-on...dating.com]

Um, you've never lived in New York, have you? (5, Insightful)

Blaede (266638) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689508)

Many people don't own cars there, because of hard to find parking. And when you don't own a car, buying groceries in mass quantities is difficult, not to mention time consuming. Try doing YOUR grocery shopping without a car for the next month, let's see how you fare. Unless the store is literally within 4 blocks, you will find that carting 2 typical bags back to your house is a very time consuming chore. The fee this company charges is minor, especially in New York! I would kill for such a service here in Memphis. I currently am without a car. A backpack can only carry so many items. Like I say, try doing it without your car.

Re:Um, you've never lived in New York, have you? (1)

ronabop (520121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689572)

I don't eat massive amounts of food at one sitting, therefore, I don't buy "mass quantities".

You might try it.

In addition, have you considered that the "big-box" grocery may have lower quality foods?

Get meat at the butcher, fruit at the fruit stand, all on the way home....

It takes me about 15 minutes a day to get good food.

On foot.

You might realize, one day, that there are hundreds of small businesses who aren't big box.

Give them a try.

Or use what most people use, buy where most people buy, and then wonder why you're reading /. :)

-Ronabop

who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689614)

The people who buy food in bulk do so in order to save money and time. You have to take time every day in order to get your food, I only need to do this once every two weeks and it takes less than two hours. The last thing I want to do on the way home from work is stop at a bunch of stores in order to make dinner.

Re:who cares? (1)

ronabop (520121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689632)

Two week old food. Yum! -Bop

Re:who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689673)

I guess they don't have refrigeration in NYC to preserve food. Good to see you like wasting time and getting raped by the small biz owners with their obscene prices.

15 minute chore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689689)

His store must be 2 blocks away. What's even more scary is he thinks there is a food store 2 blocks from everyone in the USA.

Re:Um, you've never lived in New York, have you? (2)

koreth (409849) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689620)

Nice to see sanctimony hasn't gone out of style.

You might try shopping for a family rather than just for yourself. Might increase the amount of food you have to buy on foot in 15 minutes on your way home.

Me, I'd consider a service like this even living by myself -- I value my time enough that the nearly 2 hours a week I'd spend getting food your way is a bigger price to pay than a $10 delivery charge for a week's worth of groceries.

Re:Um, you've never lived in New York, have you? (1)

ronabop (520121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689685)

Nice to see sanctimony hasn't gone out of style. You might try shopping for a family rather than just for yourself. .. Me, I'd consider a service like this even living by myself -- I value my time enough that the nearly 2 hours a week I'd spend getting food your way is a bigger price to pay than a $10 delivery charge for a week's worth of groceries.

Hm. Your family foods are being defined as a quantifiable "service". With children and elderly defined by cost.

My family is not a cost (or revenue) center. Good food is much more important than cheap food, even if it's web delivered.

If you can't pack dinner for a family of five, get in shape! It's only 8 pounds or so!

Is lugging 8 pounds 4 blocks more important than your family?

Good food matters more to me than the convenience.

-Bop

Have you lived a sheltered life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689700)

Do you think everyone in the USA is within a 4 block radius of a grocery? It's not the walk that's the problem, but when just getting the items for one meal takes up to an hour just to procure (via walking), then a better more time effcient method is needed. Flex some common sense.

You must be the luckiest guy around. (2, Interesting)

Blaede (266638) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689663)

I live 1.3 miles from Kroger (closest grocery). There are no fruit stands, no butchers, or magical food genies on the "way back", as you so quaintly it. Everything must be bought at that location (as far as my living situation is). The high priced Circle K and Exxon on the route aren't an option, plus all they carry is the bare neccesities, at highway robbery prices. I don't buy just enough items for the meal, as you apparently do. Not only is that time consuming (that would take 45 minutes out of every day - 15 minutes each way, 15 minutes to buy - just for a meal), but fiscally wasteful. Items cost more when you buy them in the smallest portion. Maybe you're a rich guy, but most of us aren't. I eat everything I buy, rarely do I waste any food. Also, I like making my own food, and I like the savings that come from it. And taking the bus? That would involve me taking off from work to catch one of the 2 stops on the route that would make it feasible for me to use. Understand, not EVERYBODY has a neighborhood layout as convenient as yours.

Plus, on the way home from work for me involves crossing the street, it's not like I can just pick up stuff on the way.

Re:Um, you've never lived in New York, have you? (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689580)

Same here. I came through a recent accedent without a scratch, but my car was totalled. Walking hasn't been a problem, but the groceries are murder. Bumming rides off friends is uncomfortable, and it's a big waste of time having to make frequent trips for food. I too would kill for something like this where I live right now.

Re:Um, you've never lived in New York, have you? (3, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689645)

Many people don't own cars there, because of hard to find parking. And when you don't own a car, buying groceries in mass quantities is difficult, not to mention time consuming.

Believe me, in New York, even when you DO have a car, you never use it because you don't want to lose your parking place.

No, I'm not joking.

Car independant (4, Informative)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689688)

Ok, I'm legally blind, so I will never be able to drive, ever and I hate hearing people whine about how life is impossible without a car. Ok now that that's out of the way, from the sounds of things all you've tried is nothin' and you're all out of ideas. Have you considered:

-A taxi cab?
-Calling your friend for help?
-Mass transit?
-A bicycle with a rear storage bin?
-Buying your groceries as you need them?

For me a trip to the grocery store is almost a daily occurrance. If I can't walk or bike to where I want to go I get a bus, or if I'm in real need a taxi. Of course this means you have to keep a running inventory of your groceries so you know what you need before it runs out.

My solution to this problem was to write a little app that allows me to record what I have and when it entered the system. From there I generate a report that I can print out for myself that includes information on useage frequency, average quantity purchased, average price, item importance and critical low stock notification. Yeah, I spend more time sorting my stuff when I get back from shopping, but I don't often run out of anything and the system was capable of supporting at least four people.

New features I might add are an internet-based interface and WAP device capabilities so If anyone else goes to the store I can get a new report on my phone or before I leave work thru the net! (Also, since I buy a lot of the same products over and over I could monkey around with a barcode reader maybe).

So to sum all this junk up:
Just because you don't have a car doesen't mean you aren't allowed to use your brain to solve a problem :-D

You should be frightened. (0)

Kip Winger (547075) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689571)

There's no reason to not be. Laziness is a rapidly growing problem now, thanks to the online world. Now, not only laziness is a problem, but obesity is growing faster more than ever.

I personally think people should go to the grocery store, get out of their car, and walk a bit to shop. It won't hurt them, and is actually more health for them.

The fact that we can do PLENTY of tasks online is presenting a problem. America already is the most obese county, and online shopping WILL NOT help the problem!

Re:I truely am frightened (2)

Night0wl (251522) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689651)

Hey look man, I'm sorry. I'll try to not be supportive of these ideas. Because you are right, I do spend to much time infront of my computer.

Then again I can't walk, or drive a car, I've been sitting on my ass literally since I was 8 years old. I guess I should find the "ability" in my "disability" like those happy happy ads keep telling me about.

shit, I should stop being so lazy and get out of my wheelchair and go buy some groceries on my own two feet.

--

My apologies to no one in particular for the flame bait.

Re:I truely am frightened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689691)

Dear SIR:

On television they portray handicapped people as being optimistic and generally happy. Their reasoning is that since they are unable to do anything about their handicap, they might as well accept it; make lemonade out lemons so to speak.

You, on the other hand, come off as whiny and unhappy. This makes other non-handicap people feel guilty and unpleasant. There is, obviously, little reason for us to feel guilty about your affliction and the world would be a better place if we are able to go about our lives in unhandicapped bliss while you go about yours in disabled misery.

Please alter your behavior so that we can do so.

Thank you.

Sounds good, but..... (0, Interesting)

Kip Winger (547075) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689486)

The article seems to praise the company and it's good fortune, yet it lists no negative remarks. Personally, I would not buy from a food store online, just because I don't know *EXACTLY* what I'm getting. I'd be afraid that if this food was not properly packaged and delivered properly, that I could get some kind of disease or eat some bacteria that was growing on the food. Well.....who cares about stuff like that, 25% less in cost saves you a lot of money!

Re:Sounds good, but..... (1)

natron 2.0 (615149) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689657)

I can understand some of your concerns. I think if I had an option like this, I would only order dry goods (i.e. cereal, crackers, chips, etc...). I would still go to the corner "Mom & Pop" "Brick & Mortar" butcher. I would know exactly what quality of meats I would be getting and I would still be contributing to the small business folk. I do like the idea of delivered groceries though.

What's new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689489)

The major supermarkets in the UK have been doing this for at least 4 years. What's new?

Boy! that'll screw with their stats! (5, Funny)

PopeAlien (164869) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689490)

All of a sudden they have tons of potential new customers in area code 10022.. At least thats what the web log says.. Hope they aren't filling warehouses based on that info, or they could suffer the webvan fate.

Steps (1, Funny)

Istealmymusic (573079) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689495)

Step 1, ???
Step 2, Groceries
Step 3, PROFIT!!!

wrong ! (1)

Virus1984 (624552) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689502)

Step 1, ??? Step 2, Groceries Step 3, Story on /. Step 4, Not so much profit, because of consulting fee to bring back /.ed server to life

from the can't-read-the-summary dept. (1)

Oink.NET (551861) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689577)

Step 1, ???
Step 2, Groceries
Step 3, PROFIT!!!

Read the fscking summary, dude! Michael already said that.

Step 2, Groceries

Posted by michael on Sat Nov 16, '02 11:19 PM
from the step-3-profit dept.

fyi (5, Informative)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689510)

newsweek had a similar story in last week's issue about more traditional brick 'n mortar grocery stores going online

the thing with them, though, is that they already have a ton of locations and are in no rush to scale up their web orders: they already are in the black on the retail front and want to slowly and cautiously roll out the web strategy

they also have an edge over the online start-ups through name recognition: it's a lot easier getting somebody who already shops at your store to try something new, rather than risk it on some company they've never heard of.

i couldn't find the link at the Newsweek site, but the issue may still be on shelves at stores around the country until monday or tuesday

Re:fyi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689600)

Looking for this story?

The Virtual Aisle Tries Again Online [msnbc.com]

Here's an interesting snip:

While Webvan went through $1 billion in its efforts to erect 26 automated warehouses from coast to coast, Safeway and Albertsons brag that the fixed costs for their online service are minimal. "We have all the infrastructure in place to create a dot-com service overnight," says Pam Powell, e-commerce vice president for Albertsons. While Albertsons also doesn't expect its online business to become anything more than a high-end niche, Powell says the service is also proving to be a useful research tool. As any e-tailer knows, monitoring customers' behavior online is a lot easier than scurrying behind them in the aisles.

I've tried similar (5, Interesting)

acehole (174372) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689511)

I lived in Sydney, Australia, a couple of years ago. I tried a service called 'ShopFast'. It was the first time i'd used such a service, the main reason i was giving it a try was because i was too lazy to go and get groceries myself.

After ordering and waiting a couple of days, It was delivered and what impressed me was that I could pay by EFTPOS by use of a mobile EFTPOS terminal.

It was cheap, fast and I didnt have to go outside. Perfect for the geek that I am.

Re:I've tried similar (3, Insightful)

jedrek (79264) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689644)

After ordering and waiting a couple of days sorta contradicts It was cheap, fast and I didnt have to go outside.

Don't get me wrong, when I order something like a TV or DVDs or whatever, I can wait the few days/weeks they take to deliver. On the other hand, when I'm ordering *food* I want it here within 2-3 hours, tops.

Re:I've tried similar (2)

acehole (174372) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689660)

They had set delivery times. Could you imagine how many trucks and how big an operation they'd have to have to be able to service a city the size of Sydney?

I think you're underestimating what it would take to be able to provide a service that delivers within 2 - 3 hrs. First where I was living, it was an hour from the centre of the city by car (Depending on the Traffic), then there's the actual packing of the groceries, you think it would be cheap if they had to drive across the other side of the city just to deliver to one person? They'd have to deliver to a fair few people just to cover the cost of transporting the goods. On that alone would blow out the delivery time.

So there you go, a couple of days isnt long to wait.

The Best part about this is... (1)

whiteranger99x (235024) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689528)

When you order the food, you wont have to wait in line for the old lady in front of you to buy 100's of cat food cans in the express lane, while trying to count her pennies...

Alright humor aside :), I think this would be perfect to people who either

  1. dont have a car to transport that stuff,
  2. dont have time to shop (sorry, but playing everquest doesnt count :)

That being said, It make me wonder how human interaction will take place when we're all doing our everyday errands from the comfort of our own home....

Human Interaction? (1)

Cheyto (552497) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689630)

Maybe it's different where you are, but at my closest grocery store, human interaction is ... well, not fun. The clientele at this place consists of a range of bitter, old people, and your average Wal Mart customer. *shudder*

Bring on the online grocery thing.

Re:Human Interaction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689682)

That's why you shop in the middle of the night when the only other people in the store are employees who are putting up products.

Re:The Best part about this is... (1)

machine of god (569301) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689665)

dont have time to shop (sorry, but playing everquest doesnt count

For minor things like food it does

yeh, ok (1)

freshcope (626926) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689531)

despite my tolerance for anything improved by technology, somethings should just left be to do the hard way. And that includes walking/driving/riding to the grocery store. However, I suppose I am just whining because we don't have it yet.

I REALLY want this to happen... (2)

coene (554338) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689532)

Because I dont live in a HUGE city (NYC/LA), buying localized goods online is tough. I really wish that these kinds of companies would get more geographically diverse service, though I know its tough in such businesses.

This especially rocks for 3 reasons:

1) Shopping cart I can actually view things -- never forget something. If I do? Append it to the order!

2) No more hunting for lost items -- Where Oh Where do they keep the spices? Just enter the spice name in search and click to add. I love this!

3) Quick -- It's hard to multitask in the grocery store, Its much easier to shop while programming or doing non-productive things (like reading slashdot).

Anyone who wouldent pay $4 for this is nuts, IMHO. All I can ask, is that one of these companies opens up a ROCHESTER NY branch :)

Re:I REALLY want this to happen... (2)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689579)

You can at least order your hot dogs [zweigles.com] online.

Don't complain though, at least you have variety up there with Wegmans. I get to deal with a P&C store and they only carry the basics and the really weird stuff like canned calimari. So if I want anything more flavorful that spaghetti or hamburgers, I have to drive 25 minutes to a real grocery store.

Re:I REALLY want this to happen... (1)

ffsnjb (238634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689591)

Are you kidding me? Give up my precious Wegman's? You're truly insane!

For those of you on the West Coast... (4, Insightful)

SlashChick (544252) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689537)

...both Safeway [safeway.com] (might be IE-only) and Albertsons [albertsons.com] deliver groceries. Both charge a $9.95 delivery fee and deliver from local stores.

I must admit, though, that I'd rather see a startup company doing this than the already-established grocery stores. I was a happy Webvan customer, and I still think the model is quite viable. (Plus, I love the FreshDirect site design.) Here's hoping FreshDirect or a similar company takes a stab at this here in the Bay Area!

Speaking of Webvan... (4, Funny)

breon.halling (235909) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689554)

...and all those other failed dot-coms, here's a little burst of nostalgia for you. [disobey.com]

It's an archive of screengrabs from a whole whack of sites that went belly up, including Webvan [disobey.com].

You'll laugh. You'll cry. It's better than "Cats."

Re:Speaking of Webvan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689581)

Hey, where's AllAdvantage.com? That one went something like:

1. ???
2. ???
3. PROFIT!!!

Step 1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689558)

Steal the credit card number.

It's a Manhattan thing (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689578)

What really makes this thing competitive is that it serves Manhattan, but it's in Queens.

Manhattan is a special case in the US. Food is normally transported in semitrailers, but semitrailers are allowed in Manhattan only under severe restrictions. So stores in Manhattan need a distribution center somewhere nearby, where everything is transferred to smaller trucks.

This outfit avoids that step, by putting their warehousing operation just outside Manhattan and filling customer's orders directly from it. That's a big win. But it doesn't have to compete with big supermarkets where semis pull up to the loading dock at night.

Slashdot trollers revealed. (0, Offtopic)

Vladinator (29743) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689603)

These are some of the guys who've been trolling and fucking up Slashdot for years. Just FYI. ;-)

Burdge, Jonathan - jlb@io.com [mailto]
Casillas, Luis - casillas@stanford.edu [mailto]
Corrigan, Barry - barry@bjcorrigan.fsnet.co.uk [mailto]
Haberberger, George - ghaberbe@frontiernet.net [mailto]
Johnson, Peter - shoeboy@adequacy.org [mailto]
Lockwood, Scott - wsl3@attbi.com [mailto]
Linwood, Rob - rcl@cs.csoft.net [mailto]
Osborne, Michaell - osborm@yahoo.com [mailto]
Sassaman, Esther - esther@antioch.edu [mailto]
Stanton, Matt - matt@madeforchina.com [mailto]
Stauffer, Marc - marc@ksac.com [mailto]

Publix Direct (0)

seeksoft (579626) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689615)

I've been using publix direct for about 6 months now. Great thing. Though they charge 10$ delivery.. Http://www.publixdirect.com

A friend asked me to post this for her. (0, Troll)

Vladinator (29743) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689616)

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Superbug city (1)

weiyuent (257436) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689617)

Hooray for a successful online business, but one aspect of their operations, as described below in the article, has me quite concerned:

Cleanliness is another obsession. All food-preparation areas--and the equipment in them, including computers--are bathed in antiseptic foam at the end of each day, hosed with water, and given a final antibacterial coating.

How unnecessary given that everything is already being disinfected! Sounds like a prime breeding ground for drug-resistant bacteria similar to MRSA, exactly the thing that you DON'T want getting into your food. In their obsessive quest for perfection, perhaps FreshDirect could inadvertently spark a new health crisis.

Re:Superbug city (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689707)

Nah. That will be in Japan. Practically everything there is available with an anti-bacterial coating. While they have their high tech toilet paper will anti-bacteria/anti-fungus coatings, I think I'll keep on using this. [shitbegone.com]

laziness is good. (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689623)

trust me, this will lead to good health technology, besides, lots of a caffeine can make very little excercise go a long way.

This is a great idea but (1)

T. Will S. Idea (463154) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689631)

This is one of those truly awesome ideas that just makes so much sense. Online shopping could be such a boon, especially to people in my demographic, busy parents who buy a lot of food but don't have the time to spend in the store and are tired of fighting to keep the kids riding in one of those carts.

But... I've been saying that since 1997. Peapod was a great idea. WebVan, great idea. I've never tried any of them and I'm a died in the wool geek and early adopter and all of that. I don't know why I've not tried them but I just haven't and I expect that there are a lot of people like me who won't be trying it anytime soon.

It's just really hard ot get people to change something as basic and as feral as food shopping.

uh, DUH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689634)

Hey, Michael--

Get this, revenue != profit. Revenue is the money you take in, profit is the amount that's left after you pay your expenses. So a projection of a few hundred million in revenue in a few years doesn't say diddly about how feasible a business this will..

Oh, wait a minute, you're a VA Linux employee. Nevermind. I've already gone way over your head--sorry for confusing you with all these tricky details about "business". Sorry for the bother.

VI

PS: Eminem is a sucka!

Other places have this too. (1)

dcavens (178673) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689636)

In Vancouver, BC, a company called SPUD [www.spud.ca] has been doing online orders for a long time.

As far as I know, it's been profitable for a long while, and has been constantly expanding outside of the 'downtown' areas to the suburbs. Great food, good service, decent prices and very convenient.

I actually think these kinds of small local/regional operations are the most interesting successes of the dot-com era- it allows a very small company with a very targeted niche to be able to compete with larger supermarkets. Things don't always have to be national/global to take advantage of the internet.

suck it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689646)

byatchs!

I work at Freshdirect.com (4, Interesting)

aliens (90441) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689652)

Ok, so I'm just a "Brand Ambassador" but I have been around the office and such. Their $50 free food promotion really catches people off guard. We really are just giving you $50 to try us free with no delivery charges.

While there are brick and mortor grocery stores that delivery, I gotta say the food I've been picking up from the warehouse beats anything else. I guess there is some truth in the fact that what they get does cut out the middleman making things fresher. The pastries are great. MMMmmmmm pastries, especially the fruit tart.

Plus I like getting the already cooked meals by gourmet chefs at rather dirt cheap prices.

Anyway, just thought some would like to know how the food is coming from there.

Also we're rolling out very slowly, we're not trying to cover the entire city at once. This was Kosmo's mistake as well as Peapods. It looks like we'll be doing well in the future, just wish it was going to be publicly traded. Oh well, I'll settle for the food I've been getting.

Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689656)

$225M, small change. Tesco.com turns over $560M, a great service for when you really cannot be bothered.

Not a totaly worthless idea.. (1)

Lady Lance (626784) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689672)

My thought is that this would be perfect for stay-at-home moms. Would you really want to take your two kids (both under five) to the supermarket and have to divide your time between actually shopping and making sure your kids weren't getting into everything/fighting/throwing tantrums etc? If you have a set list every week, you could use a service like this to get your main groceries, and then only go out for things you don't always get, or get at difference sources (say your produce at a farmer's market) And I agree: $4-5 on a 200 order really isn't much; the delivery would pay for itself in terms of time & convenience

Here in Toronto... (1)

sdavid (556770) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689678)

... Grocery Gateway [grocerygateway.com] has been around for a couple of years. I've had good luck with them though it is a bit pricey. Still, when the weather is bad I've found the service quite convenient.

Nooooo! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4689680)

Missing one CRITICAL geek grocery item:

NO MOUNTAIN DEW! [freshdirect.com]

UK (2, Interesting)

JimmyGulp (60100) | more than 11 years ago | (#4689706)

We've had online stores in the uk for about a year now, maybe 18months. Initially, I think Tesco [tesco.com] started off with a home delivery service, and its still going strong.

Later, other large stores have joined in the fun, incluing Asda [adsa.com] (recently bought by WalMart), Sainsburys [sainsburys.com], and others (that I can't think of right now).

So really, I don't see how this is news for everyone.
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