If you are yet to spot the new hot in the New York City MTA subways, then you probably haven’t  taken a ride to downtown Chamber Street or 14th Street Union Square. You’ll find a CVS vending machine sitting there all lit. It is competing with, and might ultimately replace the Subway Newsstand as we know it.

You can get your Tylenol, Advil, stomach aids, and sore throat candies,  but beyond that, it’s like your local convenience store since it carries tampons, toothpaste, earplugs, shaving sticks, deodorants, snacks, phone chargers, and unbelievably, condoms. 

The vending machine reportedly will accept and process CVS coupons if tendered. 

Is the familiar newsstand stores inside the Subways now officially old school….a part of human experience that’ll be cherished someday in the museum?

Image of Newsstand Kiosk as we know it.

The MTA is still piloting this innovative stance along with  a few others including a digital fare system that’ll scan your credit cards without having to swipe at the turnstiles. 

The CVS  vending machine innovation in the NYC subways essentially takes business and means of earning income off the hands of struggling small business owners and vendors who are oftentimes low income and  immigrants, and hand them over to corporations. 

CVS Store, Image obtained from Calmon1 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

If corporations could innovatively make robots serve you chicken over rice with lettuce and tomatoes for $4 per plate, you bet.  And yet all will be fair. It’s called disruption. 

This serves as another call for people to innovate themselves. Bots are gaining value these days, so be the bots. Examine every aspect of your career, business, and daily lives, and  constantly conduct an innovation test. 

As you are doing that, enjoy the convenience of a new drug seller inside the NYC subways. 


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