One thing that I never could understand was why Webvan (the company "back in the day") who was in all the major cities delivering groceries from their online page went out of business. It just made sense to me that people would have an easier time buying their groceries online and having them sent directly to their house (no driving, long lines, etc).Here is an article that discusses the issue.
Economist Tyler Cowen actually discusses this very question in his post today:
We should expect supermarkets to overinvest in encouraging impulse purchases. (Wegman's should put a given item in only one place and yes I will learn where that is.) Maybe that is the economic problem with home delivery. Smells, squeezes, and full-size items -- not Internet links -- sell profitable foodstuffs. The boring bulk stuff which is easy to order over the Internet also brings the lowest profit margins, I believe.Overall, can you think of any other reasons why the home delivery of groceries did not work? Or maybe answer the question posed by Dr. Cowen in his post: what features would you like to see in the near future in grocery stores (especially given that it will probably be a few years until you have to shop for groceries on a regular basis anyway)?
(Source: Marginal Revolution & Nick Wellmon)