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For 100 years, the grocery enterprise has burgeoned by way of consolidation and expansion. Neither technological advancements nor a worldwide pandemic is more likely to stop that train. “A mammoth industry rises up with the dew within the morning,” Hill says wistfully of his family’s commerce.

Walmart has prolonged store hours for pickup and delivery at some areas. Kroger closed no less than one of its Ohio stores to the public entirely, reserving it for online-order achievement. Annually in America, “billions of dollars of food are transacted on sheets of matrix-printed paper,” says Hill, the CEO of the grocery-supply-chain-know-how begin-up Vori. A grocery retailer tends to get its goods from tons of of separate vendors, lots of which still communicate their offerings on printed catalogs dropped off by supply workers or by sales reps similar to Hill’s folks. Stock managers then can spend hours each week transmitting orders by telephone …