Amazon, Whole Foods and the auto industry

Acquisition a reminder that grocery shopping isn't easy for those without cars

We were surprised as anyone when we heard the news about Amazon buying Whole Foods. Afterall, the acquisition is likely to affect many industries across the country and even across the globe.

A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal focused on the fact that the acquisition could disrupt an industry we know a lot about: the auto industry. And while the focus of the editorial was about the idea that making groceries a click away instead of a drive away could change everything, our focus was on something else.

According to the WSJ piece:

“The average American makes 1.5 trips to the grocery store a week, spending an average 53 hours a year roaming the aisles. A British survey that studied in detail the reasons for car ownership—and second- and third-car ownership—found high on the list was the need to haul otherwise unmanageable grocery loads from store to home. Some 65% said grocery shopping would be “quite” or “very” difficult without a car.”

We at On the Road Lending know that last sentence to be true. Without a car, grocery shopping has the potential to be a very difficult and complicated task. In fact, grocery shopping is the No. 2 reason for car ownership for Americans. Commuting to school or work takes the top spot.

The piece talks about the hassle of going grocery shopping on a busy Saturday or Sunday, and how there are people who would love to avoid it. But we know more people who don’t consider that a hassle at all and who would love to drive their very own car to the grocery store rather than take public transit or borrow a vehicle from a friend or family member.

Will Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods disrupt the auto industry? We’re not so sure about that. But what we are sure about is the fact that without a car, grocery shopping is a more arduous task than it should be. That’s just one reason why we’re making sure car ownership is a reality and not just a dream for low- to moderate-income families.

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