business news in context, analysis with attitude

I wrote yesterday about the potential impact of the Amazon Go format on traditional stores, expressing a certain amount of disbelief that some pundits and analysts are minimizing how it will affect traditional stores.

MNB reader John Rand responded:

I totally agree with your POV on what Amazon Go (or any new and differentiated from of retail) can do to any entrenched incumbent, whether or not they want to admit it.

It put me in mind of a comment made many years ago by the then-head of CVS, who said something like (I am paraphrasing from memory) “Retail used to be like a boxing match. You squared off against a direct competitor, face to face, and fought it out for the customer’s dollar. Today, retail is more like a bar fight – anyone can come up from behind and hit you over the head with a chair”.
It was true then, and it is more apt than ever.

I love that image. I plan to steal it.

Another MNB reader wrote:

The comments about Amazon Go not competing directly with traditional grocers made me laugh. Some of these same "brainiacs" likely said the same thing about restaurants and Wal-Mart in the early 90's. Then a few years later, the industry realized that they had lost 10% share of stomach and Wal-Mart was now the largest grocer in the U.S.

My general corollary is that if your business is still doing the same things the same ways as two years ago, your boat is taking on water!

Lots of drowning going on out there.

I went on a rant yesterday about companies that support ballot initiatives like those against certain kinds of food taxes, but do their level best to hide the fact that they are contributing millions of dollars to their self-serving causes.

One MNB reader wrote:

Dark money is legal because the Supreme Court said corporations are people too. Except when they break the law, then no one goes to jail they just pay a fine. Count me as pissed about it.

I suspect we could form a club. An increasingly big club.
KC's View: