There was an interesting article in The New York Times the other day by Michael Corkery “Is American Retail at a Historic Tipping Point” and I can’t help but think it’s the wrong question.
I think what’s actually going on with Amazon and jet.com is actually something more of a “first domino” and by that I mean what has really come before is really not comparable to what is starting to happen.
Sure there’s an element of us needing to get our stuff, from paper towels to birthday presents, where we used to drive, bike, or bus our way to a mall or store to get what we planned to get, and along the way we might shop for some other things. Costco is probably the most accomplished organization in the world for people buying an order of magnitude more things than they went to buy in the first place.
God help us if Amazon ever buys Costco, by the way.
But as we no longer need to go shopping as a physical experience, and Amazon gets us things lightning fast – even Sundays (it makes a lot of sense for Amazon to take over the US postal service, it seems), we no longer go to those other places to buy those other things in the way we used to.
So it’s a first domino – it really is the first thing to happen in what seems an inevitable domino effect of other things.
More to come on this.