STORIES OF A WORLD GONE MAD

This unlikely marriage? I'll give it a year

Barry Currin
Posted 11/10/17

Google and Walmart are getting married.This is the best news the cynical side of me has heard in a long time. Here we have the sleek, Silicon Valley tech giant getting hitched to the icon for …

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STORIES OF A WORLD GONE MAD

This unlikely marriage? I'll give it a year

Posted

Google and Walmart are getting married.

This is the best news the cynical side of me has heard in a long time. Here we have the sleek, Silicon Valley tech giant getting hitched to the icon for small-town America.

It’s a tale as old as time. It’s beauty and the beast. It’s a modern-day Sonny Drysdale and Ellie Mae Clampett plot.

The way I understand it, here’s how the engagement unfolded.

A couple of weeks ago, Google announced a new venture to make Walmart products available through Google Express, which is Google’s answer to Amazon.

As part of this program, consumers can order Walmart products by simply speaking their shopping list into their Google Home speaker, which is a little device that sits on the kitchen counter, or wherever.

And somehow, this whole shebang connects to Walmart, and then wham, bam, thank you Sam, your bananas, hamster food, 10W30 and those new brown socks all magically appear at your door.

All you have to do is make sure your bathrobe is cinched for public viewing before you step on your front porch. What could be easier?

I don’t understand how it works, but they say it does. 

Considering my aversion to going to Walmart, I should see this as good news. I just don’t think I — and the other average Joes out there — can wrap our heads around it.

I took a rare trip to Walmart a couple of days ago, and I simply didn’t see a lot of people I thought would be Googling their order anytime soon — which includes the person who disappeared after backing into my car and leaving three gashes on the rear bumper. I wonder if it was the same person who backed their scooter into my buggy in produce?

Going to Walmart is an activity for a lot of people. I truly think it borders on entertainment. I just don’t think people are willing to give that up.

When I go, I only go because I need something right at that moment. And usually it’s something, or a combination of things, I don’t believe I could get anywhere else.

And regardless of what it is and where I am going to get it, when I need it, I need it then. I don’t want to log on, type my username and try to remember my password. I don’t want to have to re-enter my payment information because my card they have on file is expired.

And most of all, I don’t want to have to wait three or four days for the fellow in the big truck to bring it to my front door.

I like touching a sock before I buy it. I like picking out my own bananas.

Besides, if people just tell a space-age speaker sitting on their kitchen table what to bring them from Walmart, where are they going to show off their new pajamas? What is going to happen to that People of Walmart website?

The marriage will probably work out fine. The billionaires who cook up schemes like this are  billionaires for a reason.

The wedding will be lavish and the reception will be top notch. I’m just not sure how well goose pate will pair with sweet tea.

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(About the writer: Barry Currin is founder and president of White Oak Advertising and Public Relations, based in Cleveland, Tennessee. Email him at currin01@gmail.com“Stories of a World Gone Mad” is published weekly. )


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