A great article by DEREK THOMPSON
It is right on target about the reasons– they are supply chain reasons. Amazon covets the urban locations to speed up deliveries; but it would be fantastically complex to procure and engineer these one at a time. With the Whole Foods locations, they now have drop-off points for overnight delivery, and mini-warehouses for food items, especially those that need ‘fresh’ or ‘frozen’ treatment. $14 billion is cheap in terms of accessibility to a population, say within a circle of a given radius.
Perhaps we should rate warehouses and depots by a distribution of the number of customers in a unit of area.