Photo by MJ Kang / The Daily Pennsylvanian
Have you ever felt that there's something sinister about Amazon@Penn? Are you worried Whole Foods will drive Costco out of business one day? Do you believe that FroGro is our last, greatest champion?
If you're not already thinking about these issues, you should be. Let me lay out the facts.
Number one: On the day before classes started– curiously, also the same day Amazon slashed Whole Foods' prices - the Philadelphia Whole Foods hosted a special promotion for Penn students. From 11am - 4pm, students were promised free promotional goodies on a first come, first serve basis. Our intrepid reporters found multiple flyers advertising the event helpfully plastered in the stalls of the Van Pelt basement bathroom.
Number two: Amazon@Penn, the first shipping center of its kind in the Ivy League, opened in 2016. How many other schools do you know that have this same kind of futuristic order pickup location? If Jeff Bezos had his way, probably every school would. This is the future Amazon wants.
Number three: Penn still hasn't managed to get rid of the Fresh Grocer, despite having plans to replace it for months. Considering Penn's extremely successful history with driving out West Philly residents who didn't want to leave, this is remarkable. We all know that if Penn really wanted to boot FroGro, it would have done so already. What could be causing this delay?
Number four: In 1999, Jeff Bezos bought property in New York. Amy Gutmann lives there too.
Penn supposedly plans to replace FroGro with an Acme, but this announcement was made before news broke that Amazon was buying Whole Foods. Considering the evidence above, we remain skeptical that 40th and Walnut will ever be graced with an Acme. Instead, it seems far more likely that Penn and Amazon have struck some kind of secret deal. We can only guess, but perhaps it stipulates that Amazon can gradually encroach upon Penn's property so long as the services it provides are convenient enough to justify raising Penn's tuition 4% every year. We're waiting any day now for Penn to announce that Whole Foods will replace FroGro.
The Fresh Grocer is all that's standing in between us and a dystopian future ruled by a corporate monopoly. Enjoy your freedom, while you still can.