Retail watch: Is it Amazon not weather?

Amazon (AMZN +1.7%) trades higher amid a tough day in retail.

There's nothing concrete on the table, but some analysts think the company has been stealing some market share from major retailers in Q1 and Q2 as consumers continue to evolve their shopping habits. Staples (SPLS -10%) and Office Depot (ODP -1.5%) come to mind.

Starbucks (SBUX -1.3%) CEO Howard Schultz seems to have called the retail slide with his perception that a "seismic shift" toward online and mobile is beyond the tipping point (FBN interview, SBUX conference call).


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Comments (3)
  • dook
    , contributor
    Comments (67) | Send Message
    The run of US retail companies is feeling the steady migration to on line buying, but some are largely immune to this trend or are effectively getting on board. Companies with exclusive and very popular brands (Macy's) and companies with a strong presence in building materials and home products (HD and LOW) are still doing a good business at their brick and mortar outlets, while aggressively exploiting the on line opportunity.
    It is tempting for some companies, e.g. SPLS, to refer to the on line problem, but is their bad performance more a matter of mismanagement? I think so. They need to be taken over.
    20 May 2014, 10:45 AM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (438) | Send Message
    Are malls the canary in the retail mine?


    Analyst predict that half of all the retail malls in the U.S. will close in the next two decades. Other than during Christmas, visiting the mall is a depressing experience. I keep asking myself, "How do these stores stay in business?"


    You can blame "online shopping," and I am sure that is part of the answer, but I think there is a more fundamental reason for the shift from "walk around and socialize" "


    When is the last time, other than groceries, that you bought something that wasn't on sale for about 40 to 50 percent "Off?" The J.C.Penney experiment, that failed miserably, made the point. "Retailers have made shopping...a joke."


    Companies, like Amazon, that just promise you "low....low" prices and dependable fast availability, have stepped into the void left by consumers contempt for retailers.

  does one square the failure of the J.C. Penney attempt to have "real...actually low" prices.....experiment? I think it is because...their is seldom a way for consumers to relate to the quality of a product...other than price.


    That is where we find the popularity of Amazon. We know they, like Costco, work on a set.....low mark-up, so we are confident that it must be a good value, even if it isn't always true, the average consumer believes that it is true.


    I remember seeing a show that highlighted Walmart managers bragging about making 80 or 90 percent on some items. IE: Gotcha retailing. Sure things are often the cheapest at Walmart, but not on a standard pricing Amazon, or Costco.


    Add in the "to busy... often isolated" that many all equals... the "Click...Click...done," shift to on line shopping.


    My insight is worth what I charge for it (some say less)
    20 May 2014, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • Roy Manns
    , contributor
    Comments (30) | Send Message
    IMVHO Amazon business model is still Tops for the 21st century, long term growth in low cost distribution of products & services. This is the lowest cost way for manufacturers and providers of services can reach the consumer. I am using Amazon more and more, even for 4x9 envelopes, I just bought 500 of them at a 30% discount to the price at Staples 4 miles from my home. I plan to keep my 200 shares for atleast till my 80th birthday.
    20 May 2014, 11:10 AM Reply Like
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