Bodegas in New York City don't need to be 'disrupted'

Bodega hopes to replace the corner store with a more convenient vending machine cabinet.   Bodega

Bodega hopes to replace the corner store with a more convenient vending machine cabinet. Bodega

Not likely; according to its website, Bodega wants to partner with "offices, apartments, gyms, and college campuses"-so it's highly unlikely that this concept will replace your corner store".

In a Forbes article, McDonald disagreed with that notion: he called his invention "the iPhone of the retail world", and said a vending machine was like "the payphone of the retail world". The boxes contain products that are non-perishable. You know, like the corner stores you'll find in many neighborhoods, especially Latinx ones. The co-founders have appropriated the stereotypical markers of a New York City bodega, from the name itself to its logo, a cat head meant to evoke those shops' feline overlords. Well, the Bodega startup wants to cash in on that sense of familiarity, though McDonald and Rajan won't phrase it that way.

Bodegas in New York City and Los Angeles are mostly run by immigrant families, this active appropriation of the Spanish word 'Bodega, ' by these tech bros as they actively try to get rid of bodegas themselves is just the worst thing. They're cultural institutions, Garcia said, and he promised that he will work to ensure that the Bodega boxes do not come into NY.

And what will become of the "bodega cats", so frequently present in NYC's mom-and-pop stores that they've become a meme? Of course he does-hundreds of thousands of people already recognize it as a place to buy cold beverages and scratch-and-wins from a guy who probably babysat for you at some point. Garcia plans to ask his fellow Chamber members to push back against the "Bro-dega"-as one Fast Company employee put it-expansion". "Bodegas can't compete with this technology, because it is so much more expensive to have a brick-and-mortar store than a small machine". Bodegas are already threatened by rising rents and New York's ultra-competitive real estate market, and neighborhoods suffer when these essential services are lost-a fact that seems to be lost on the folks behind Bodega-the-app-version. "To compete with bodegas and also use the 'bodega" name is unbelievably disrespectful".

McDonald and Rajan have raised 2.5 million dollars to invest in their company but not only are people underwhelmed by the lack of originality behind Bodega, if successful, the startup would become yet another mainstream enterprise which would threaten the livelihood of working-class local business owners.

The duo has been testing 30 such "bodegas" in the San Francisco Bay area and announced it plans on opening a total of 50 by on the West Coast - with designs for more than 1,000 nationwide by the end of 2018, the Web site reported.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.