The Industrial Revolution initially strengthened the feudal system in England, then proved its downfall. Productivity and the resultant expanded buying power gave previously impoverished workers the chance to choose: choose a path through life, a career and all kind of other manifestations of freedom.
On the current downslope towards neo-feudalism, we’re experiencing a reverse of all the good changes noted, above. Productivity is declining, but that’s only a human phenomenon – robots are on the rise.
There’s more to it, of course. Retail is changing. Stores are oh so last century, but the change is happening only as fast as the population either ages or changes.
At Bait & Switch the physical product will never change. Fishermen will always need bait, so the question becomes how we transport their bait of their (or, in B&S style, our) choice into their boat or fishing kit. Think of just how time-consuming the trip to the bait shop and the subsequent shopping, checking out and trip back to the fish is; it’s all a waste of time and utterly tangential to fishing.
Price squeezes are the name of our time as costs are wrung from all kind of processes, such as the one I described above. Which means that anyone currently being paid for activity that keeps stuff in stores in front of consumers is destined to lose their job.
The first step in that process is to have one’s wages squished. Retail pay has always been awful, but the current model leads it in only one direction. Neo-Feudalism, here we come, Sire.