August 22, 2021

Amazon Department Stores

This article appeared in my email inbox and in my Twitter feed numerous times (click here).

Maybe I'm just crabby in the past few days and I'm the problem, but I'm tired of some of the stuff you're told to read from the experts.

There are comments that should cause you to think carefully:

  • "Department store sales shrunk from $184 billion in sales in 2010 to $135 billion in 2019, according to Census Bureau data. In 2020, they plunged to $114 billion, according to the Census Bureau."
Those are numbers retail experts don't typically want you to know.

Of course, Amazon isn't opening a "department store", are they? At 30,000 feet, that's not a department store. So the numbers don't really mean anything to what Amazon is specifically doing.

The quote that frustrated me is here:
  • "Online is a convenient, efficient channel for repeat purchases, reordering bath tissues, diapers, batteries," said Shankar. "If you really want to build brands, the brick-and-mortar presence is critical."
Is Amazon a brand? They sell more than bath tissue, diapers, and batteries and represent at least 40% of e-commerce.

Is Wayfair a brand?

Is Zappos a brand?

Is Chewy a brand?

Is Newegg a brand?

I don't have to continue or convince you.

There are too many parties right now with a biased interest in getting you to do what they want you to do ... they either benefit financially, or they benefit with credibility. But your business doesn't necessarily benefit from the advice they give or the word salads they offer. This article is a classic one, in that they get quotes from Cohen/Saunders (as so many articles do), and you get the opinions of two people ... all the time.

Do what is right for your business. It is your business. Focus on commerce ... not retail, not e-commerce, not catalogs, not mobile ... sell stuff the way that is right for your customers. Whether that is a 100,000 square foot retail store, a 30,000 foot store, a 6,000 foot store, via Instagram with an influencer, or via paper ... just do what is right for your business and your customer.

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