Nary a day passes in which Amazon isn’t accused of ruthlessly crushing small businesses and local economies. They’ve been blamed for everything from the death of shopping malls to the decline of great literature.
And now, for monopolizing Seattle’s banana market.
Wait, bananas? Like the fruit?
Yup, you heard that right. Back in December 2015, Jeff Bezos decided he wanted to do something good for the community, so he did what any multi-billionaire would do: he opened community banana stands.
The stands have dedicated “bananagers” to hand out the fruit for free — not just to Amazon employees, but anyone in the general vicinity of the company’s downtown Seattle office.
Initially, they gave away a reported 1.2k bananas per day. Today, that number has risen to more than 8k, or about 1.7m total bananas over the last 1.5 years. At 7” per fruit, that’s 188 miles of yellow fruit (yeah, we did the math).
But it’s not a-peeling to everyone
According to the Wall Street Journal, some local businesses aren’t happy. At least one nearby vegetarian cafe has seen a sharp decline in its $1 banana sales (can’t compete with free).
In this sense, it’s a classic Amazon move — good for people who want bananas, bad for small-time banana peddlers.