retail news in context, analysis with attitude

This story is about cutting out the middleman ... and in this case, the middleman actually is the shopper.

Louisville Business First reports that GE Appliances is coming out with a new line of dishwashers that " will keep track of how much dish detergent you have on hand and order more when you're low."

The story goes on: "The dishwashers use the Amazon.com Inc. Dash Replenishment service, which allows connected devices to order goods from Amazon ... Users set up Dash Replenishment through the GE Kitchen app, using their Amazon account. They select the dish detergent pods they want to reorder and enter how many they currently have on hand.

"The dishwasher then keeps track of how many are used and reorders the selected pods when low. Users can adjust when to reorder. For instance, they might have the service order new pods when they have fewer than 10 on hand."

The line is similar to laundry washing machines that GE brought out earlier this year that do much the same thing with detergent and fabric softener.
KC's View:
This is all about capturing and keeping the sale, and creating an environment in which the consumer will never, ever go to the retailer to buy these specific detergent products. It is a small step in a long marathon, in which Amazon is trying to create the path of least resistance between its distribution centers and the customers it covets.

Let's be clear. If you are a retailer and you lose this sale to Amazon, you're incredibly unlikely to get it back. Ever.