Displaying items by tag: Amazon
If you listen to the media, Amazon is a retail juggernaut posed to swallow just about every industry. The company has lived by Bezos’ famous mantra “your margin is my opportunity”, and has thrived by dominating commoditized low-margin businesses. However, the company has some inherent limits and part of what has made it so successful is that not every industry is an Amazon industry. In particular, one area of retail the company may not be able to crack is high-margin uncommoditized business. These are not its forte, and driving down costs and making such goods widely available is not what drives value. That is why many luxury brands, for instance luxury handbag makers, refuse to sell on Amazon.
FINSUM: We will not put anything past Amazon, especially in its home turf of retail, but the company has not done well in moving into luxury. So what.
While the economy seems to be innovating faster recently, nothing can match the pace of online retail, whose entire operating model has been completely overturned in about a half decade. Physical retail is being rethought and marketing is now primarily social media driven, two big changes. But what is next? Equity research analysts argue that voice orders through new devices like the Amazon echo will be key, as will better digesting customer data. More digitally-native brands will move into physical retail, which will be more about marketing and client experiences than it will about sales.
FINSUM: It will take some very astute investors to make money in retail at the moment as one has to have a sharp view about the development of the industry to pick winners (perhaps outside of buying Amazon or Walmart/Target).
It is that time of the year again, and investors need to watch out. January is historically the top month for retail bankruptcies, and it seems likely there is going to be another cull this year. Last year saw a furious pace of retail bankruptcies, with more companies going bust than during the Great Recession. January is traditionally when most companies file, according to data going back to 1981.
FINSUM: Christmas sales were a little better than feared this year, so a couple of zombies might linger on longer than January, but this is certainly going to be another year of retail bankruptcies.