retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Business Insider has a story about how the home improvement business seems to be a retail sector that has been relatively unaffected by the Amazon juggernaut.

The reason? “Stores like Home Depot and Ace Hardware have three key attributes that can protect their market share from e-commerce giants: what they sell, service, and location,” the story says.

Business Insider explains:

“The nature of the products they sell lends itself to human interaction. Buyers still want to ask a person how things work, or how to mix paint, or which colors to select in the first place. And the more exceptional the service, the better.”

In addition, “Although free shipping is convenient, having thousands of stores near the neighborhoods that customers live in is also a big advantage … Ace Hardware, like other hardware retailers, has billions of dollars worth of inventory sitting in its stores across the country. One way to exploit that is by promoting online pick-ups (online orders that are picked up at a store), essentially blending online and offline strategies.”
KC's View:
You wouldn’t think that the idea of better product selection, better service, and better locations would be such a radical notion. At some level that’s what every retailer needs to do to compete.