New Concept Mimics Corner Stores In Offices, Gyms, And Elsewhere
Paul McDonald, who spent 13 years as a product manager at Google, wants to make corner store a thing of the past. He is launching a new concept called “Bodega” with cofounder Ashwath Rajan, who also comes from a Google background. Bodega sets up five-foot-wide pantry boxes filled with non-perishable items you might pick up at a convenience store. An app that accompanies the boxes will allow you to unlock the box and cameras will register what you’ve picked up, automatically charging your credit card–so the entire process happens without an actual person to work the pantry.
McDonald says about the future of the app: “The vision here is much bigger than the box itself. Eventually, centralized shopping locations won’t be necessary, because there will be 100,000 Bodegas spread out, with one always 100 feet away from you.”
The founder makes the case that having a “Bodega” stocked with power bars and protein powder might make the facility more attractive to members. In dorms, a Bodega might be a more comprehensive alternative to a vending machine. This could all be true, but this probably won’t be an “alternative” to actual corner stores or Bodegas. Seeing as the only thing stockable in the pantries is non-perishables, there’s no replacement for our beloved chopped cheese sandwiches–and there aren’t any Arizonas in those fake “Bodega” pantries, either.
Don’t gentrify our bodegas! Because we don’t go there to buy protein bars, anyway.