Giant sucking sound comes from different source

That giant sucking sound you hear is not today, July 11, the same sound that H. Ross Perot claimed to hear during his unsuccessful 1992 bid to win the presidency — the sound of U.S. jobs heading south to Mexico because of the NAFTA treaty.
Today is Amazon Prime Day and the sound is being created by discounted purchases from the behemoth online retailer as they are sucked away from traditional brick and mortar stores near and far.
There has been ongoing revolution in retail for over a century though today, of course, it is accelerated exponentially by the speed of communications. There was a time when Sears, Roebuck and Company was the behemoth and nemesis of small, locally owned businesses whose owners saw sales lost to the mail-order retailer whose catalog offered a vast cornucopia of merchandise. There are houses in Batesville that arrived here via train car after having been ordered from Sears and Roebuck.
Clarence Saunders of Memphis began his retail revolution in the grocery business with his Piggly Wiggly self-service stores. Prior to his standardizing and merchandising the self-service concept under the Piggly Wiggly franchise, grocery store customers took their lists to a clerk at the store counter who used it to fill their orders from shelves located behind the clerk’s counter. Customers did not walk between stocked shelves helping themselves.
Piggly Wiggly boomed, then busted in the 1920s. Saunders went bankrupt, leaving the beautiful home he was building on Memphis’ Central Avenue uncompleted. It would fall to the City of Memphis to take over the home and turn it into the Pink Palace Museum we visit today.
But Saunders was not finished. A later and lesser known Saunders grocery retail innovation were the Keedoozle stores he started in 1937. The peculiar name was coined to convey to customers the idea that a “key does it.” Customers received a key on entering the Keedoozle store, walked along aisles of produce, canned goods and meats that were stocked behind glass displays and used the key to make their selections. The key — with a pattern specific to the customer — punched coded holes in a continuous paper tape. When the customer finished the list, the paper tape was fed through a device that read the holes that triggered a conveyor line where each grocery item was added to a basket as it traveled by before finally being carried to the cashier where the customer awaited the finished grocery order without ever having lifted a hand.
The Keedoozle store was intended to make the grocery shopping experience more care free for the shopper, but the mechanical complexity required to perform the functions proved too much. This was before the days of the microchip and even before transistors so the conveying machinery was constantly breaking down.
Saunders built three Keedoozle stores in Memphis as prototypes, but he could never get past the breakdowns and interruptions, plus the concept was too far ahead of its time.
When I looked at old photos from Keedoozle stores, the conveyer system reminded me of what I’ve seen on television showing the Fedex package distribution system or the inside of an Amazon fulfillment warehouse — a maze of conveyers where items are automatically added without requiring the touch of human hands. Saunders would love it.

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