retail news in context, analysis with attitude

We had a piece yesterday about how many companies are engaging in mergers and acquisition as they seen innovation and inspiration, and I commented:

Of course, gaining inspiration and innovation is not just about writing checks. One of the things that companies have to do is be willing to absorb culture and lessons that will make them better - mergers and acquisitions only really make sense if at the end both entities are more effective and efficient as a result.

To which MNB reader Tom Murphy responded:

Your comments are right on.  I have a friend who worked for Hewlett Packard on acquisitions.  He got so frustrated by HP buying up hundreds of little start-ups and then burdening them with administrivia, legacy company constraints, and conflicting cultures…all of which led to employees leaving and HP winding down the business.  Having worked on M&A’s for years, I can tell you that most fail because the two C-suites think the deal is done when the ink dries!  Unfortunately, changing human behavior occurs one person at a time, and over many months…generally well beyond the timeframe in the deal benefits spreadsheet and what was promised to the board and shareholders.




On another subject, one MNB reader wrote:

The article on the Arkansas prosecutor serving Amazon with a search warrant for info from an Echo smart speaker finalized for me that I will not have it in my home. Despite all the conveniences Alexa may offer, the thought that of a device that is “always listening” to what is happening in my home is frightening. It is a short leap to some inquisitive Amazon-ian deciding they would like to ‘listen in’ to some unsuspecting subscribers’ homes  – perhaps mine or yours (which would quickly bore them), so they move on to a CEO, U.S. Senator or President’s Chief of Staff. Perhaps it is the paranoia developed from having spent part of this past weekend watching old episodes of The Twilight Zone on the SyFy channel, but I’ll steer clear for now.




Yesterday, MNB took note of a Wall Street Journal report that despite Amazon's apparent momentum toward world domination, 17 percent of US primary household shoppers say they never shop on Amazon. And, "while the percentage has steadily declined over the past five years, roughly 22 million American households didn’t use the retailer this year."

I commented:

There are about 125 million US households. Just 22 million of them didn't use Amazon this year. I suspect that Jeff Bezos probably is pretty okay with that.

MNB reader Joe Axford responded:

He probably is happy KC, but I'm sure he's trying very hard to figure out how to get those 22 million into the Amazon ecosystem!

From another reader:

I have to admit, until recently, I've been one of those 22 million households. Then I signed up for Prime, justifying it on movie/video streaming and some shipping savings. Then I installed their app on my iPad and the whole world of buying suddenly changed. I've bought more from Amazon in the past 60 days than I probably have in the past 2 years. That app is super easy to use and truly 1-button buy. I still price compare b/c they're not always competitively priced but, they've hooked me.

Resistance is futile.
KC's View: