retail news in context, analysis with attitude

From a column this week by Farhad Manjoo in the New York Times:

"Amazon is a genie of consumerist wishes, and it keeps growing more irresistible. The company’s online store has always been convenient and plentiful, but in the last year, Amazon significantly increased the speed at which it delivers products, with many items delivered overnight to its Prime members … As a fervent Amazon customer, I love that its platform keeps getting more convenient. But as a professional worrier about tech’s future, I’m nervous. Amazon’s growth should scare the critics — including yours truly — who worry about the size and scope of gigantic tech firms."

While there seems to be a growing appetite among lawmakers and activists for regulation and perhaps even forced breakups of these companies, Manjoo writes, Amazon could be the exception, precisely because so many consumers are intimate with its value proposition:  "The trouble isn’t that it’s hard to make the case that Amazon is extremely big and powerful; the trouble is that even as Amazon gets bigger, it still faces relentless competition in the retail business, and is therefore not slowing in any obvious way to act like a lumbering monopoly of yore. The company keeps innovating — and as it does, the possible harms critics have long warned about may look increasingly distant to its customers."

It is a really interesting piece for its insights into consumer behavior and Amazon's ability to tap into it … and you can read it here.