Future of Retail - Amazon Monopoly?

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jamcool
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Re: Future of Retail - Amazon Monopoly?

Post by jamcool » March 15th, 2018, 12:34 am

Bezos is turning into a 21st Century robber baron IMHO

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Re: Future of Retail - Amazon Monopoly?

Post by arizonaguy » March 15th, 2018, 8:59 am

jamcool wrote:
March 15th, 2018, 12:34 am
Bezos is turning into a 21st Century robber baron IMHO
He is. Like most robber barons, I'd expect his empire to crumble at some point. Amazon is essentially a 21st century Sears. It owns and operates a lot of different entities that don't appear to fit very well together and has so many focuses that it's hard to know what the company really wants to do.

Does it want to be a retailer? A grocer? A technology services company? An entertainment company? An insurance company? A logistics company?

Amazon's signature acquisition, one that that Wall Street is in love with, is an overpriced, over hyped, rudderless specialty grocer that was quickly losing its footing in the market. It's website may be the easiest place to order almost anything but it's not the cheapest. Amazon also isn't very fun. Looking at a photo of an item on a screen (oftentimes a tiny mobile screen) and then clicking "buy" just isn't the experience that walking through a store and looking at items is.

He's being helped, in part, because we're beginning to suffering from the effects of the aggressive, over expansion of traditional retailers in the 1990s - early 2000s. The problem was that the market was never able to support this massive expansion (the older locations were generally kept open when the newer locations opened up, and they cannibalized one another as well as the newer centers cannibalized the older centers).

Weak chains that over-expanded during that time such as Circuit City, Linens N Things, and Mervyn's are long gone. I'd also put Toys R Us, Sears, and Kmart (at least at the early part of the 1990s) in this category.

Stronger chains such as Macy's, Kohl's, Sam's Club, Target, and Walmart are also suffering from some poor real estate decisions, over expansion, and declining demographics at some of their older locations. Also, of the bunch, only Target appears to even be trying to cater to urban millennial (and its offering is weak at best).

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Re: Future of Retail - Amazon Monopoly?

Post by Super S » December 31st, 2018, 7:35 am

Could we eventually see an "Amazon Supercenter" type of store?

With Amazon opening book stores now, and also controlling Whole Foods, it seems that pieces are coming together, as Amazon experiments with traditional retail, for this type of store. Amazon has been compared to Sears in many ways, and, like Sears, it could be an evolution of sorts for Amazon.

With so many stores of all types disappearing, I could see this happening at least in some areas. If shipping costs were to increase, they could move toward a "ship to store" format as well. Many current retailers of all types have launched ship to store programs but have had mixed results.

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Re: Future of Retail - Amazon Monopoly?

Post by babs » December 31st, 2018, 10:32 am

Super S wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 7:35 am
Could we eventually see an "Amazon Supercenter" type of store?

With Amazon opening book stores now, and also controlling Whole Foods, it seems that pieces are coming together, as Amazon experiments with traditional retail, for this type of store. Amazon has been compared to Sears in many ways, and, like Sears, it could be an evolution of sorts for Amazon.

With so many stores of all types disappearing, I could see this happening at least in some areas. If shipping costs were to increase, they could move toward a "ship to store" format as well. Many current retailers of all types have launched ship to store programs but have had mixed results.
Amazon isn't opening superstores anytime soon nor are they really interested in bricks and mortar. They purchased Whole Foods as a way of having delivery hubs closer to customers. The Amazon Books test was really aimed at selling more Alexa type devices. Even the success of that is in question as they have quietly placed a hold on building permits for new locations going forward.

I don't know why people keep thinking that Amazon is going to buy Sears, Target or whatever the flavor of the month is. They are looking to reinvent retail, not get stuck with a ton of stores. They may experiment with some bricks and mortar but I do not see them getting into it in any large scale form.

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Re: Future of Retail - Amazon Monopoly?

Post by Super S » December 31st, 2018, 6:47 pm

babs wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 10:32 am

Amazon isn't opening superstores anytime soon nor are they really interested in bricks and mortar. They purchased Whole Foods as a way of having delivery hubs closer to customers. The Amazon Books test was really aimed at selling more Alexa type devices. Even the success of that is in question as they have quietly placed a hold on building permits for new locations going forward.

I don't know why people keep thinking that Amazon is going to buy Sears, Target or whatever the flavor of the month is. They are looking to reinvent retail, not get stuck with a ton of stores. They may experiment with some bricks and mortar but I do not see them getting into it in any large scale form.
I honestly don't think Amazon is going to buy any chain...I just thought the possibility exists that Amazon could create something of their own with a handful of stores if they were interested.

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Re: Future of Retail - Amazon Monopoly?

Post by ClownLoach » January 2nd, 2019, 7:32 am

I think it's very telling that Target suddenly is rolling out new displays in electronics showcasing Amazon and Alexa tech. Target had a much publicized breakup with Amazon, in which all Amazon product like Kindle and gift cards were immediately removed from all stores because they were a competitive threat. It is obvious that the new Target CEO is only out there to fix the balance sheet and stock price with an endgame of selling the company. This is accomplished by slashing payroll and expenses while "looking busy" with their thrown together and horribly inconsistent remodels (of which no two are the same when Target was all about consistency before) and constant ridiculous tests like "LA25" which was cancelled months after stores were remodeled and restaffed to a new Operating Model, only to see the "Houston/Dallas" test roll out and become the go forward months later... Requiring the LA area stores to be remodeled again. There are some stores in LA area that have received three full remodels - from light fixtures down to floor tiles and everything in between thrown out - in a two year period! (example Mission Viejo, CA and LA Rodeo Rd.)

I firmly believe that Target will sell out to Amazon.

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Re: Future of Retail - Amazon Monopoly?

Post by wnetmacman » January 2nd, 2019, 9:39 am

ClownLoach wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 7:32 am
I firmly believe that Target will sell out to Amazon.
I believe that would set off a government firestorm of lawsuits and antitrust issues that would be unparalleled in history. That acquisition would simply make Amazon too large and too much of a monopoly. And Target isn't in good enough shape for them to fix.

I wouldn't read too much into anyone stocking those devices, because they aren't hard to come by these days.

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Re: Future of Retail - Amazon Monopoly?

Post by arizonaguy » January 2nd, 2019, 2:44 pm

wnetmacman wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 9:39 am
ClownLoach wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 7:32 am
I firmly believe that Target will sell out to Amazon.
I believe that would set off a government firestorm of lawsuits and antitrust issues that would be unparalleled in history. That acquisition would simply make Amazon too large and too much of a monopoly. And Target isn't in good enough shape for them to fix.

I wouldn't read too much into anyone stocking those devices, because they aren't hard to come by these days.
I don't think Target will sell out to Amazon. The same argument could be made about Kohl's selling out to Amazon and that hasn't happened either.

If any brick and mortar retailer would be a good fit for Amazon, it would be Barnes & Noble.

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Re: Future of Retail - Amazon Monopoly?

Post by ClownLoach » January 3rd, 2019, 12:24 pm

arizonaguy wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 2:44 pm
wnetmacman wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 9:39 am
ClownLoach wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 7:32 am
I firmly believe that Target will sell out to Amazon.
I believe that would set off a government firestorm of lawsuits and antitrust issues that would be unparalleled in history. That acquisition would simply make Amazon too large and too much of a monopoly. And Target isn't in good enough shape for them to fix.

I wouldn't read too much into anyone stocking those devices, because they aren't hard to come by these days.
I don't think Target will sell out to Amazon. The same argument could be made about Kohl's selling out to Amazon and that hasn't happened either.

If any brick and mortar retailer would be a good fit for Amazon, it would be Barnes & Noble.
Target is a much smaller company than it may seem. Amazon already will have nearly 3X their sales this year. Target is a small piece of the US supermarket and general merchandise market, but they are aiming squarely for the core Amazon customer demographic and don't have to "be someone else" to compete unlike Walmart who is desperately throwing money at random dotcom retailers to appear more trendy and upscale.

Target is not only remodeling stores but is fundamentally restructuring the operations to ensure every store is it's own e-commerce fulfillment center. All of their sales growth is coming from this, and in house fulfillment allows Target to bill everything as comp sales which is a huge benefit.

The Kohl's strategy is fundamentally different - they know they have stores that are far too large, so they are downsizing by bringing in other retailers to rent the space and drive in more traffic. Amazon for one, but also Aldi and others are signing up for space in a subdivided Kohls. Their new stores are pretty much a TJ Maxx or Marshall's size as they get out of the traditional department store format entirely.

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