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It's awful to see this happening, but I think the bigger question is, what can brick-and-mortar stores, with all that overhead, do to compete with a presence like Amazon?

Sure, Kmart/Sears might have gone online as well ... which would leave behind the advantages of physical scrutiny of purchases without the added shipping charges. I find it really hard to leave behind that approach to shopping. (I haven't seen any pros-and-cons for the environmental costs ... but I've noticed that nearly everything Amazon delivers arrives inside a throw-away box delivered by non-green vehicles.)

The idea of buying something online without being able to truly inspect/compare quality is a really big loss. (Trust the reviews? Not so much.)




>> what can brick-and-mortar stores, with all that overhead, do to compete with a presence like Amazon?

Be reliable. Amazon is horribly unreliable, that thing you bought last week may not ever be in stock again. It may not arrive in the time specified, it may be fake or of low quality. You might buy it again and get something different this time.

I can walk into Home Depot and buy something any day of the week and can usually rely on them to have things in stock and the price to stay somewhat the same.


>that thing you bought last week may not ever be in stock again.

Like at Marshalls, or any of the various deep discount odd lot stores. Reliability is not inherent in brick and mortar.


>what can brick-and-mortar stores, with all that overhead, do to compete with a presence like Amazon?

Vet their suppliers!

I can walk into any Walmart, Target, Home Depot, etc, etc in the United States, buy a light-bulb (just an example of a product they all carry) and be assured that it is going to do the job it is sold as being able to do for a reasonable amount of time and if not I can bring it back for an exchange or refund.


Brick and mortar will be fine. Retail is over saturated because of cheap debt costs, so shitty companies can live longer than they would in a normal cycle.

Smart stores are figuring it out. Target, Walmart, Aldi, high end brands, etc. Target is delivering the local delivery experience that Amazon has spent billions of dollars on, and they delivered 1.0 in a few months. Amazon can’t figure out how to send me unexpired crackers.

Amazon is a finance play that is already showing cracks. They need to use 3rd parties to keep inventory off the books. As a result, they are struggling with fulfillment of trivial items like books and have massive capital costs subsidized by AWS. Microsoft is already discounting for market share, and you’ll see Google do the same.


Target is kinda crushing it.


And Kohls and Best Buy as well.

Best Buy is the one that surprises me the most. I would have bet real money 10 years ago that they'd be gone by now. Instead they've doubled their market cap and earnings continue to grow.


Kohls accepts Amazon returns now. Then they hand you a 25% off coupon. People turn right around and shop at kohls with their new found return money. Brilliant strategy.


Best Buy too. I will buy Best Buy every time over Amazon. I know I'm getting legitimate product at the same price (price match). I would have said the opposite a few years ago.


Best Buy is big enough that the OEMs build models specific to Best Buy, sometimes with lesser features or components. Laptops, especially.




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