Amazon: the Retail Murderer

Alyson Gad, Reporter

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Amazon, a well known online shopping site that supplies every demand the public has, has been around for over two decades, though only recently has Amazon’s pretense become a burden to most brick and mortar retail stores. Amazon has one thing that most shops do not: the convenience factor. As schedules get busier during the school year, there is less time found to go to Walmart or the mall. Instead, a quick look through Amazon online and this week’s oddball shopping item is checked off the list.

This realization has struck fear into every retail store owner across the country. What do they have to do to prove their worth? For starters, they have to offer something that’s simply not a possible product on an online website. Pet stores may supply dog washing, and clothing stores display their “In-Store Only” sale signs. But is that truly enough to defeat Amazon, or any other online store that threatens them?

Some, including government officials, who have started to look into this threat, believe no. This July, the Justice Department decided to begin a review on the online platform giants of our society today, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and others. The goal was to decide whether or not these companies are at fault for “stifling innovation, or otherwise harming consumers.”

A Women’s Wear Daily report from 2017 documented more than 9,400 stores closing, including JC Penny, Gordman’s, and Guess. As well as not having to drive anywhere to get what you need, the nifty ability to find deals for the same item online without having to travel from store to store , is very appealing to most.

Then again, Amazon will never be able to replicate good old-fashioned grocery shopping, which has been noted by Walmart. Recently Walmart has gained back many of their customers with a new online shopping feature called “curbside pickup”. It checks all the boxes: convenience, speed, and its technology based. There is yet to be concrete data on whether this has surpassed Amazon in overall sale of goods.

The rate at which Amazon and other similar companies are taking over the retail universe is exponential. Brick and mortar shops are going to have to step up their game, and mom and pop shops are going to have to begin writing their will.

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