The number of economic choices the average New Yorker has is staggering

“The number of economic choices the average New Yorker has is staggering. The Wal-Mart near JFK Airport has over 100,000 different items in stock, there are over 200 television channels offered on cable TV, Barnes & Noble lists over 8 million titles, the local supermarket has 275 varieties of breakfast cereal, the typical department store offers 150 types of lipstick, and there are over 50,000 restaurants in New York City alone.”

“Retailers have a measure, known as stock keeping units, or SKUs, that is used to count the number of types of products sold by their stores. For example, five types of blue jeans would be five SKUs.”

“The number of SKUs in the New Yorker’s economy is not precisely known, but using a variety of data sources, I very roughly estimate that it is on the order of tens of billions. To put this enormous number in perspective, estimates of the total number of species on earth range from several million to several hundred million.”

The Origin of Wealth by Eric D. Beinhocker

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