Amazon’s Vulnerability

I’m glad that people are arguing against the prevailing orthodoxy that Amazon will inevitably dominate the retail space. In this case it’s Allan Golombek at RealClearMarkets:

Those who fear Amazon is on the verge of becoming a monopoly that eats all competitors and locks up the retail market should take note of an announcement last week by Sears Holdings: The company will be closing another 100 stores this year.

Some will see Sears’ downward trajectory as proof that Amazon is on the verge of assuming near-monopolistic dominance of the retail market. In fact, it proves the opposite: No one can blithely assume that kind of power, at least not for long.

It would be easier for me to believe that Amazon will assume an unassailable dominance of retail if it were making more money in retail. And fifty years, the horizon mentioned by Mr. Golombek:

Fifty years from now, we may be reading about how a once-great company called Amazon is downsizing. And just like Sears today, many will forget how much the Seattle-based company elevated the consumer experience and changed the nature of retail.

I don’t know what Amazon will be doing in 10 years let alone 50. Will it still exist? Will it still be in retail at all?

1 comment… add one
  • Guarneri

    Writing from Manhattan, this seemed has good a post as any to relay a small observation. NY, home of Macy’s. A few years ago they bought the iconic Chicago retailer and brand, Marshall Fields. In a stroke of, well, perhaps after a stroke, they changed the name to Macy’s. Macys has enough issues in it’s competitive environment to not be compounding them by destroying brand equity, especially of the NY vs Chicago variety. The acquisition of Ayers in Indianapolis was a similar error.

    To twist a phrase, retailing is hard, especially when you have to deal with the consumer.

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