Do We Live in Interesting Times?

Chris Lowry
3 min readJan 24, 2022

She loves the pick and click.

Kroger lets you shop for groceries online and go pick them up in the parking lot.

Wal Mart does it too.

Wal Mart even has a pilot program where they will deliver groceries to your house and put them away for you.

I don’t know if I’m ready for that level of service yet.

But she had one complaint.

The “pickers” take up the whole aisle.

The workers who were filling online orders for pick up crammed the aisles and took all the items from the shelves on those few times she elected to go in to shop.

I’ve seen it at Wal Mart.

Watching four rows of parking up front converted into pick up only rows.

Watching an entire section of the store get blocked off and dedicated to plastic cars full of items waiting to be carried out to those cars.

And the aisles at Wal Mart full of workers shopping for someone else, big blue plastic bins blocking access for people who chose to do their shopping in person.

It is a big problem they are trying to address.

I talked with a Director about the problem and they aren’t sure what the solution is.

Maybe building a shadow store in the back of the building.

What’s a shadow store?

It’s all the items in the grocery, just in the back and set up like a store but only for employees to shop for online orders and pick ups.

A second store within a store.

She outlined the problems with it. Space and allocation.

And it’s not the only problem Wal Mart faces.

They are piloting a dozen initiatives at the moment.

Including drone delivery.

It made me ask about neighborhoods with a hundred orders, how that many drones buzzing through the streets, avoiding power lines and hawks and dogs and cats and cars and people are going to all coordinate their movement.

It made me wonder about the proliferation of porch pirates chasing drones to steal groceries and medicine and any of a hundred…



Chris Lowry

Author at Runner writing books both fiction and non fiction, crypto investor, real estate and urban renewal.