For plastic, click here. For paper, click here. To use your own bag, go to a real store.Andrew Hitchcock at Flickr
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4. Customer Service Is So 20th Century
If you’ve ever had to reach a real live person at Amazon, you know that it’s a huge pain. Amazon goes to great lengths to avoid putting you in contact with a human being: The company offers e-mail options, vast databases of previously asked questions, even those live-chat things where you’re never sure if you’re talking with a person or a very canny retail version of that ELIZA early-AI program that could mimic an actual therapist. In short: With Amazon taking over Whole Foods, good luck getting anyone on the phone.
3. Another Nail in the Coffin of Main Street USA
Downtowns all over America have been suffering for decades now; what used to be bustling streets with busy mom-and-pop storefronts have by and large turned into struggling areas with boarded-up windows, For Lease signs and a lot of broken, small-business dreams. Amazon moving into brick-and-mortar retail isn’t going to help; while Amazon’s Whole Foods is expected to negatively affect the numbers for grocery stores across the board, the small stores will suffer disproportionately. Your own personal Mayberry probably won’t ever be the same, but at least Bruce Springsteen might sing about it sometime.
2. Saving Money...Short-Term
Will Amazon embrace a low-price leader approach in high-end groceries, as it’s carefully courted for nearly every other sort of product on its website for years? Chances are good that attractive (read: lower) pricing is going to be at least a part of its overall strategy, and that might mean cheaper stuff in the short term — especially staples like milk and cereal and eggs and toilet paper. Oh, wait, I’m sorry: almond milk, Organic Puffins cereal, cage-free local eggs, and recycled toilet paper that has the approximate thickness of a shadow on the sidewalk.
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.