Amazon's push for same-day delivery has fans of local stores (like me) worried
Posted by David Brooks | Thursday, July 12, 2012
I remember the first time I bought a book via Amazon.com - it seemed so cool, so hip, so modern! Now Amazon is becoming a scary monopolistic behemoth that you don't want to root for.
The latest move, as reported by Slate's fine Farhad Manjoo, is to build so many shipping centers that it can start to guarantee same-day delivery. This is why it no longer fights against paying online sales tax, because it plans to have a physical presence in most states so it will pay sales tax anyway. Manjoo sometimes exaggerates, because that is part of Slate's style, but this is still scary:
Amazon is investing billions to make next-day delivery standard, and same-day delivery an option for lots of customers. If it can pull that off, the company will permanently alter how we shop. To put it more bluntly: Physical retailers will be hosed.
I love going to the local hardware store, the local bookstore, the local grocery store. Clicking on a website ain't the same. Shudder! Read Majoo's piece here.
Here's an example of the Amazon overwhelm-all scenario: My favorite local bookstore (Toadstool, a three-store NH chain) has asked people not to buy Kindles, since that locks them into Amazon's ebook DRM and locks out bookstores, as I reported in November.