Amazon Has Big Plans to Destroy Local Retailers

July 13, 2012

Catch All, Local Politics

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Just a very quick update to earlier posts this week about supporting local businesses — to continue to have choices in the marketplace.

Massive Amazonian Corporation wants to take your local retailers down.

The company is giving up its fight over states collecting sales taxes because of plans in the works to put massive distribution centers in major US cities — with the goal to get products delivered to you same day.

Some think that in a couple of years, next-day service will be the default shipping method for most purchases.  If Amazon can accomplish this, will it “permanently hose” the local retailer?    It would mean Amazon would have to carry a LOT of stuff in each warehouse.  Warehouses as far as the eye can see!  Whoo-hoo sounds great.


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7 Comments on “Amazon Has Big Plans to Destroy Local Retailers”

  1. John Boddie Says:

    This behavior is called “capitalism.” I was under the impression you believed this to be a good thing.

    Reply

  2. John Boddie Says:

    While we’re on the subject, let’s talk a little about “uncertainty.” This gets used frequently in “explaining” why the current recovery is slower than we would all like it to be.

    First, it helps to remember that business swims in the ocean of uncertainty and it always has. New products are developed that make your product obsolete. Competitors enter the market and take your customers. The medicine you are producing is found to have serious side effects. Your government contract goes away because the appetite for funding it disappears.

    If you are a business and you want certainty, you need to find a way to fix the game in your favor. One way to do this is to influence the political process. You hire lobbyists to get exclusions inserted into tax bills (if you wonder why the tax code is so complex or the affordable health care bill has thousands of pages, the reason is that both contain material that business wants to have included so that business stands a better chance of making a profit.) At the local level, you get zoning and waste treatment exemptions. At the state level, you cozy up to the regulators (think about West Virginia and coal mining). As a business, you work the system – not to reduce uncertainty, but to make sure that whatever certainty gets established is in your favor.

    This is not a liberal versus conservative issue. This is a money versus liberty issue. When money gets concentrated in big enough chunks, both the economic and political system move toward oligarchy and individual liberty suffers. It’s great to want the freedom to take your business to small, local establishments – but as the WalMarts and Amazons increase their share of the market, small businesses are forced out and your freedom to choose becomes theoretical.

    Reply

    • Sara for America Says:

      Totally get that.

      So, we agree that there is a big difference between the natural uncertainty created in a “fair” and free market and the uncertainty created in a manipulated one where government is used as a tool to help one player leverage its power over another.

      Conservatism, real conservatism, doesn’t believe that it’s Obama’s job to ‘create” jobs, or that it is Bob McDonnell’s role to “create” jobs, by handing out tax breaks to Solyndra or Capital One….

      So anyway, yes, exactly, again we are on the same page. What I fear is that communities are left with one big warehouse serving all of our needs, yes, quite expeditiously, but not inexpensively, in the sense that we lose our freedom of choice, as you put it. Surefire way to make certain we eat the right foods, wear the same clothes, purchase one appliance manufacturer over another. Just like hospitals do with their provider contracts, pushing out providers that may have better products in favor of “me, too” versions that underbid.

      Better manufacturers go out of business, not because their product was bad, but because they never really had a chance to play in the game. There is only so much shelf space….market to the lowest common denominator mentality.

      Sometimes it is the inventors, the real innovators, who end up getting pushed out by generic versions who are all about price, not quality, they don’t have to pay for the R&D, just a modified patent.

      We can all point to landfills that are full of me-too, inexpensive versions of the real deal. Do you own a pair of favorite boots, that you’ve had for years, re-soled when they’ve worn down? They might have made you flinch a bit when you first bought them but they’ve more than paid for themselves hundred times over given how often you’ve worn them. And then there’s that pair of shoes you might have bought on a whim, on discount….. they never felt as good as the other pair. That’s how I see what’s coming…… we’re all going to be “forced”, when we kill off our local, face to face retailer, to buy that cheaper pair because that’s all that Walmart carries, the other boot manufacturer never had a chance.

      It may seem rather Cassandra like to talk like this, but who would have ever guessed that the government would be controlling our healthcare decisions? The idea that we’ll have greater choices years from now if ObamaCare holds is too farfetched to even consider.

      Reply

      • John Boddie Says:

        While government is being used today to cement power (remember Eisenhower and the military-industrial complex and then think about the way that “conservative” leaders want to preserve twenty percent of the federal budget for the military), at some point we need to face the fact that government may be the only mechanism available to move us back to a more competitive environment.

        Do you think that we will have more healthcare choices if Anthem has a free hand to decide what healthcare will be paid for and what won’t?

        Reply

  3. SprinklinThoughts Says:

    Until ‘we the people’ wake up, this is inevitable. Come to think of it, this is inevitable.
    M

    Reply

  4. Seth Says:

    What local retailers. Do you mean big box stores like Costco or small box hardware stores that primarily carry unsustainable, primarily plastic products made in china or food made with GMO’s, Cattle and Birds filled with hormones and antibiotics to make them fat that make you fat and sick….those retailers. What are you talking about. Amazon offers an opportunity for a small business with products made in America to advertise and sell on their web site for free that extends the ability for you to sell not only to your community, but to those beyond your community looking for quality and sustainability. As for facelessness, as a minimum wage person at Albertsons why they don’t carry any biodegradable garbage bags or antibiotic free meat? Or ask the employee behind the counter in a small box hardware store that smells primarily of plastics and chemicals why they don’t carry any American made tools – we actually have many manufacturers in America that still make quality tools at reasonable prices – but that person will look at you with a blank stare and say “I dunno…that’s beyond my pay grade.” Believe me, many generations before mine have all let it slide and we continue to breed uneducated people that “dunno and duncare.” Amazon is a shot at letting people have a choice and letting the right kind of capitalism rein. I can ask a retailer right there on Amazon and the question and answer remain their forever…like…where is your product made? Why don’t you source through more sustainable companies…and their it is. We can all educate eachother and have a chance at making better choices.

    Reply

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