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Good piece in the New York Times over the weekend about how the supermarket landscape is changing in New York City. An excerpt:

"In New York City, distance is measured in blocks. The number of blocks a New Yorker has to trek lugging an armful of groceries could mean the difference between a great neighborhood and a crummy one.

"For many, that walk seems to be growing longer as corner markets and grocery stores have closed in neighborhoods across the city — forcing many New Yorkers to rethink their daily routines and in some cases changing the very tenor of a neighborhood.

"The neighborhood grocery store — with its dim and narrow aisles full of provisions precariously stacked from floor to ceiling and the cashier who greets you and your dog by name — is a critical piece of a New York life. Supermarkets of suburban proportions, like Whole Foods, are making their mark on the city; Wegmans will open its first city store, in Brooklyn, in 2018.

"But while these stores have distinctive — and sometimes pricier — offerings like artisanal cheese and artichoke ravioli, they cannot replace the labyrinthine corner market, a linchpin for any neighborhood. It can keep a neighborhood manageable for new parents who need diapers now or seniors who cannot carry their groceries a long way."

And, the Times goes on:

"Tally the losses, and it certainly seems as if the ground is shifting. Between 2005 and 2015, the city lost around 8 percent of its greengrocers — family-owned stores of less than about 7,000 square feet. About 300 such stores closed during that time, about a third of them in Manhattan, according to the Strategic Resource Group, a retail consultant.

MNB fave Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource, puts it in stark terms: In terms of supermarkets, “New York City is worse than New Orleans post-Katrina.”

You can read the entire story here.
KC's View:
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when reading this story.

One is that a lot of people expected to stay in business just because they were local. These days, that may not be enough.

Which leads me to a second point - that it is this environment that creates fertile ground for services like AmazonFresh or FreshDirect.