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iPod vending machine seems out of place at the supermarket

Jan Kabili

While we're on the subject of supermarkets and vending machines, I spotted one of the Zoom Shop vending machines that dispenses iPods at the entrance to the Safeway market in my hometown the other day. These vending machines have been around for quite a while in airports, where they arguably make some sense. But I couldn't help but think that an iPod vending machine seemed out of place next to the soft drink machines at the supermarket.

Unlike the other vending machines you pass as you wheel your cart out of the supermarket, the iPod machine doesn't offer much in the way of impulse purchases. OK, I can maybe see picking up an extra pair of earphones on a whim, but a $199 iPod nano doesn't strike me as something I might buy as an afterthought to throw in my shopping cart next to the lettuce and green beans. Not to mention that the iPods didn't look half as appealing lined up in their vending machine slots as they do in the sleek interior of an Apple Store.

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