Ex-Googlers Want to Make Bodegas Obsolete-And New Yorkers Are Furious

Ex-Googlers Want to Make Bodegas Obsolete-And New Yorkers Are Furious

"The vision here is much bigger than the box itself", McDonald told Fast Company.

According to the Fast Company article, users would be able to unlock the boxes using an app. Cameras would then scan to see what items the users picked up, and the user's credit card would automatically be charged. For example, Frank Garcia, chairman of the National Association of Latino State Chambers of Commerce, says using the name "Bodega" is offensive.

He's also concerned about the financial impact the new company might have on brick-and-mortar bodegas, he told Fast Company.

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. There is actually nothing at all interesting about this invention besides the appropriation of the bodega name and culture being specifically used in order to make local bodegas obsolete.

Bodegas and corner stores are close to the hearts of many city dwellers, and many people tweeted passionate defenses of them.

Yes, clearly. The name Bodega sparked a wave of criticism on social media far beyond what we ever imagined. The Bodega boxes could be placed in gyms, offices and apartment lobbies. They're going out of business, Garcia said, because of costs including rent, licenses, insurance and fines and the juggling of business mandates, inspections and so on. "My grandfather must be rolling over in his grave right now".

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When asked by Fast Company, McDonald said he wasn't anxious about the name. It's nearly as if the co-founders (ex-Google employees, for what it's worth) have never lived in a city where bodega as a crucial neighborhood resource. Which, sure, on an etymological level, a small box that sells sundries might not technically be a misappropriation of the term bodega.

"I feel that this is going to be a David and Goliath [situation], and we're going to fight it", he said.

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.

If two former Google employees succeed in their new enterprise, they'll put mom-and-pop stores across the US out of business.

New Yorkers and others who frequent bodegas seem to have Garcia's back. The added support of investments from senior executives at Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, and Google, have allowed McDonald and Rajan to collect valuable data on which products make the most sense at any given location.

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