Charles Edison

"Economics, politics, and personalities are often inseparable." - Charles Edison

Monday, August 29, 2011

NY Delis Stay Open Through Storm

The Wall Street Journal Article "Where Delis Never Sleep" reports that some delis and pizza shops stayed open through Irene to feed the populace. The storm closed many of the shops leaving only the select few to service the many. This "Scarcity" of competition led to a very busy yet profitable day. The delis were swamped just moments after the hurricane with more than enough customers to stay open. Some even ran out of ingredients and were forced to serve abstract creations to the many consumers. Not all that made the decision profited however. Some other non food related businesses had the opposite outcome of almost no customers. This is probably due to the paradox of value caused by the storm. None the less Scarcity worked both ways in this situation. The scarcity of both food for the customers and competition for the delis set the perfect setting for major profits.


Smith said...

Great analysis using paradox of value. What types of stores stayed open but was not successful? Why would some stores stay open during a hurricane?

Katie R said...

It makes sense that the pizza shops and delis would stay open in order to provide food for people, but it also doesn't make sense that they would stay open in the middle of a hurricane. When certain areas are being evacuated because of the hurricane and the floods, why would the delis and the pizza shops stay open?

Devon H. said...

Sure, people will buy the food over non-food. The opportunity cost in this situation doesn't have much value. The difference in want for the opportunity cost from the food is so vast. People want to make sure they can survive for the next few hours. They also know that, most likely, they will need to move on for a while in order for them to get their bearings. The less stuff they have to carry, the easier they can move. This is also a great example of the paradox of value, as he said. If given the choice between an iPad and a sandwich, most people would choose the iPad in a heartbeat. Now, what if they had just sruvived a hurricane, and there was no clean food around except for this one deli shop? Most people would then pick the sandwich over the iPad, because they can't use the iPad to survive if they don't have any food.

Unknown said...

You're acting as if people are going to starve to death if they can't have access during a sandwich shop for 24 hours during a hurricane. This is the United States in the 21st century. Even the idiots who didn't bother to stock up for the storm should have enough food in their pantry to survive a hurricane, and even if they don't, they aren't going to starve. People willingly go on fasts for longer periods of time without jeopardizing their health.