Virtual Insanity?

I saw this image and wanted to reblog it here, referring to Deutsch’s book on supermarkets and shopping. It is a picture of the world’s first virtual supermarket; shoppers can look at virtual images that replicate their expectations of supermarket aisles exactly, but use their smartphones to fill their virtual shopping carts with products, to be delivered conveniently at a time of their choosing. I find supermarkets visually stunning and so this picture caught my eye.

But when I looked for a story to accompany it, I found this video: Tesco video about virtual stores. It is totally worth watching, if you are into dystopian futures run amok or an interesting illustration of “glocalization” (nice portmanteau, dudes). Tesco developed the virtual supermarket to appeal specifically to Korean shoppers, busy Seoul residents who work many hours, and who are utterly at home on their smart phones. The British giant built virtual supermarket aisles in the subway to appeal to customers (truly) on the go. It is instructive to throw corporate intent into the discussion about who has agency, and how much power local consumers have in shaping the choices available to them in creeping global capitalism.

The answer, I think, is that it’s complicated?

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