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Amazon Isn’t Killing Brick-and-Mortar Retail. It’s Showing Other Retailers How to Do It

If you ask most people operating in the real estate market, they tell you that retail is at risk. The latest data shows commercial real estate retail deals are slumping, because Amazon is fundamentally changing the retail industry and pushing people online.

The facts, however, are decidedly different, as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Super Sunday, and now Cyber Monday reveal.

Over the weekend, Adobe released its findings on U.S. retail spending over the past few days. It showed a clear consumer desire for online shopping (Black Friday online sales reached a record $7.4 billion, for instance). The study also found that mobile purchases accounted for 39 percent of all e-commerce sales–a 21 percent jump compared with last year.

At first blush, that might seem like brick-and-mortar retailers suffered. In truth, they benefited from an increasingly important phenomenon in which people buy online but pick up their orders in stores.

According to Adobe’s data, so-called BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In Store) purchases were up a whopping 43.2 percent year over year. It was a clear “sign that retailers are successfully bridging online and offline retail operations,” Adobe said.

In other words, brick-and-mortar retailers have found a way to bolster their offline businesses. Target and Best Buy have been among the most successful at it. During its fiscal third quarter ended November 2, for instance, Best Buy reported revenue of $9.8 billion, beating Wall Street’s expectations. Its growth came from a mix of online and offline sales.

But perhaps nowhere is the evidence of Amazon not killing brick-and-mortar stronger than in a quick evaluation of Amazon itself.

While the company still generates the lion’s share of its retail business online, it’s increasingly focusing its efforts in brick-and-mortar.

In 2017, Amazon announced plans to buy Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. Now, two years later, Amazon is only expanding its investment in the company and ramping up its delivery options to make it a more attractive option for shoppers.

Meanwhile, ​the company’s cashierless stores, Amazon Go,are growing in number and size. Amazon is placing more of them across the U.S., with plans to dramatically expand their footprint over the next few years. The company is also planning to open bigger Amazon Go stores that could be the size of supermarkets.

Perhaps most important to competing retailers, Amazon has also signaled a willingness to license its cashierless technology to competitors.

All of that should be making retailers ask themselves a very important question: If Amazon is the company that’s destroying brick-and-mortar retail, why is it also the company moving so aggressively toward it?

The fact is, brick-and-mortar retail still offers plenty of value to consumers, especially in food products, grocery stores, and convenience and service locations that can’t be easily replaced by Amazon. Even in areas where Amazon could replace the retailer (think electronics), companies like Best Buy and Walmart, among others, are doing well.

There’s no debating the future of shopping will still be dominated by e-commerce, but predicting the demise of offline shopping is ludicrous. And judging by its latest moves, no one knows that better than Amazon.

By Don ReisingerTechnology and business writer

Source: Amazon Isn’t Killing Brick-and-Mortar Retail. It’s Showing Other Retailers How to Do It

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Every year, Amazon and other retailers end up with billions of pounds of excess, unsold inventory that they’re sending straight to landfills, or incinerating. Returns in the U.S. create more than 5 billion pounds of waste in landfills each year, and more than 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. The problem is only growing as Amazon leads the way in bringing more shoppers online, where the rate of returns is 25%, compared to just 9% for in-store purchases. Now, the e-commerce giant and other tech companies and retailers are increasing donation efforts and using data and A.I. to cut back on the wasted inventory clogging our landfills and our planet. » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic About CNBC: From ‘Wall Street’ to ‘Main Street’ to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: https://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC What Retailers Like Amazon Do With Unsold Inventory

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Amazon Is Launching a New Program to Donate Unsold Products, After Reports That Millions Were Being Destroyed

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Amazon wants its third-party sellers to make better use of their unsold or unwanted products that often get dumped — by giving them away to charity.

Amazon is launching a new donations program, called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Donations, for third-party sellers that store their inventory in Amazon’s warehouses in the U.S. and UK, CNBC has learned. Starting on September 1, the donation program will become the default option for all sellers when they choose to dispose of their unsold or unwanted products stored in Amazon warehouses across those two countries. Sellers can opt out of the program, if they want.

The donations will be distributed to a network of U.S. nonprofits through a group called Good360 and UK charities such as Newlife and Barnardo’s. After this story was published, Amazon announced the program via a blog post on Wednesday afternoon.

The new donations program is designed to reduce the amount of inventory that must be dumped from Amazon’s warehouses, helping the environment and putting otherwise wasted products to some use. Recent reports found that Amazon routinely discards unsold inventory, with one French TV documentary estimating Amazon to have destroyed over 3 million products in France last year. Given that Amazon generates the bulk of its sales in the U.S., the number of destroyed inventory in its U.S. warehouses is likely much larger than those found in other countries.

“This program will reduce the number of products sent to landfills and instead help those in need,” Amazon wrote in the email to sellers announcing the launch.

Sellers who spoke to CNBC said the new program makes it cheaper to donate their unwanted inventory. Amazon charges 50 cents to return unsold inventory to sellers, much more than the 15 cents charged for disposal. Sellers destroy their inventory for a variety of reasons, including returns that are no longer usable or for safety issues.

In an email statement to CNBC, Amazon’s spokesperson confirmed the launch of the new program, adding it’s “working hard” to bring the number of destroyed products to zero.

“At Amazon, the vast majority of returned products are resold to other customers or liquidators, returned to suppliers, or donated to charitable organizations, depending on their condition,” Amazon said.

By: Eugene Kim

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/

 

Amazon Reportedly Has a Warning for Sellers Who Offer Products on Walmart.com for a Lower Price

It’s not really a surprise that Amazon wants to offer customers the overall lowest prices on the products it sells in order to capture more sales. And it has created an incredible marketplace for third-party sellers to grow and thrive. But that’s not the entire story. It turns out that the company could also be keeping a close eye on companies that also sell their products at other sites, such as Walmart.com.

That’s according to a recent report by Bloomberg that says that when Amazon finds Marketplace sellers that offer the same product elsewhere for less than the price on Amazon’s site, the company sends those sellers a warning “via a web platform they use to manage their Amazon businesses” and often makes it harder to find the product on its own site. Effectively, the message is: Raise your prices, or else.

Really, there are two aspects of this story that are worth paying attention to.

Play by the rules.

The first is the amount of control that Amazon exerts over its sellers. The company has policies that even dictate how third-party sellers should design the packaging for their products. It also determines how products are displayed and how easily they are found by customers.

Additionally, Amazon runs the third-largest advertising platform, which many sellers find themselves resigned to pay for, lest their products go unnoticed.

Ultimately, Amazon’s would likely prefer sellers to lower their price on its site, however many sellers tell Bloomberg that they have been hit by so many fee increases that the only real course of action is to raise prices elsewhere.

In fact, those same sellers report that when you include advertising, Amazon takes as much as 40 percent of every marketplace sale on the site.

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to my request for a comment, but according to Bloomberg, a spokesperson said in a statement that “sellers have full control of their own prices both on and off Amazon, and we help them maximize their sales in our store by providing them insights on how to be the featured offer.”

That isn’t exactly a denial that it sends the warning.

I think it also takes a little liberty with the meaning of “help them maximize their sales,” especially if “providing them insights” really means “make sure your prices aren’t lower anywhere else.”

The risk of building on someone else’s platform.

The second lesson here is about the risk of building your business on someone else’s platform. The two happen to be more closely related than they might seem.

When your business is selling products online, Amazon certainly has one of the most desirable platforms, considering its vast reach. It makes sense, then, that a business would want to make its products available to as many people as possible. That’s why many sellers list products on a variety of sites like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.

But at what cost?

If you build a business on someone else’s platform, you allow them to exert considerable control, since you have to be willing to put up with the rules and policies created by that platform. Those rules could change at any time, and your only real option is to change your business or leave. Often, neither is ideal.

As an entrepreneur, it can be tempting to make decisions that help you greatly as you grow, but you should consider what effect those choices will have down the road. Are you able to run your business the way you want, or will you be at the mercy of another company that makes the rules with its own interests first?

Pay close attention to those rules. After all, the one who made them is probably paying close attention to you.

 

By: Jason AtenWriter and business coach @jasonaten

Source: Amazon Reportedly Has a Warning for Sellers Who Offer Products on Walmart.com for a Lower Price

Amazon Becomes World’s Most Valuable Company for the First Time Ever With a Market Value of $797billion – Surpassing Microsoft — BCNN1 WP

Amazon has become the world’s most valuable company for the first time, surpassing Microsoft. The shift occurred Monday after Amazon’s shares rose 3 per cent to close at $1,629.51 and lifted the e-commerce leader’s market value to $797billion. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s stock edged up by less than 1 percent to finish at $102.06, leaving the computer […]

via Amazon Becomes World’s Most Valuable Company for the First Time Ever With a Market Value of $797billion – Surpassing Microsoft — BCNN1 WP

Banned From Amazon: The Shoppers Who Make Too Many Returns – Khadeeja Safdar & Laura Stevens

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The e-commerce giant bans shoppers from the site for infractions such as returning too many items, sometimes without telling them what they did wrong. Amazon has cultivated an image as a customer-friendly company in part by making it easy for shoppers to send back items they don’t want. The site’s lax return policies have conditioned consumers to expect the same treatment from other retailers, adding to pressure on brick-and-mortar chains. But shoppers are finding out there are some customers Amazon has determined aren’t worth keeping………….

Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/banned-from-amazon-the-shoppers-who-make-too-many-returns-1526981401?mod=djmc_pkt_ff&tier_1=21128300&tier_2=dcm&tier_3=21128300&tier_4=0&tier_5=4508749

 

 

 

 

Amazon’s HQ2 Could Be Silicon Valley 2, For Better Or Worse – Pete Saunders

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Thirteen months into the international derby that is the Amazon HQ2 selection process, it seems the end of the sweepstakes is near. What’s happened? What have we learned? What’s next? It’s been a dizzying year-plus for the giant online retailer. Amazon received 238 proposals last November from cities across North America, each wanting a crack at attracting upwards of 50,000 high-paying tech jobs that could send a local economy on an entirely different trajectory. Twenty finalists were announced last January, and Amazon began its due diligence in earnest……

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/petesaunders1/2018/10/05/amazons-hq2-could-be-silicon-valley-2-for-better-or-worse/#4b7c238417b3

 

 

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Amazon $1 Trillion: Entrepreneurial Life Lessons From The Wild Ride – Tom Taulli

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Back in 1994, Jeff Bezos left his high-paying Wall Street gig and went to Seattle, where he put together a business plan. The original name for the venture was “Cadabra,” but his attorney thought it sounded like cadaver. Instead, he picked Amazon.com as the name.  Might as well strive to be the biggest, right? Definitely. And yes, early this week, Amazon.com became a trillion dollar company (although, since then the valuation has dropped below this threshold as tech stocks have come under some pressure)…..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomtaulli/2018/09/05/amazon-1-trillion-entrepreneurial-life-lessons-from-the-wild-ride/#5bbdd1b82312

 

 

 

 

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