Many of us will be with our family and friends this Thursday. I'll take a moment then to give thanks to all the indie retailers that enrich our communities. I'll thank the indie designers that fill our stores and homes with beautiful products.
When I'm in my friend's kitchen, someone may say they need a new spatula from Amazon, or after dinner ask Alexa to turn on Amazon TV. When they do, I'll consider those actions in light of the holiday. I'll share why this is important to consider.
Today's Times has two articles regarding Amazon:
1. One article shares that stores like Nieman's and Nordstrom are doing all they can to compete, but Amazon with its access to massive, cheap capital from investors continues to beat up retail. If you were around in the 1980s, you may recall Japan's 'steel dumping.' Amazon is 'retail dumping' -- aka selling items often at a loss just to take retailers' customers. For example, it pays $10 in shipping costs to mail an $8 order receiving free shipping. This is no longer about Amazon simply offering easier online ordering. This is about it choosing to lose money on millions of orders and thereby sinking our community retail centers.
Read the New York Times article:https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/25/business/macys-kohls-nordstrom-problems.html
2. For many employees, Amazon is not a nice company at which to work, nor is it pleasant to live near--unless you're the king Jezz Bezos overseeing the serfdom. A vast sum of employees are contractors with few benefits, and the areas around the shipping centers are industrial wastelands.
Read the New York Times article:https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/26/technology/amazon-grass-roots-activists.html
This Thursday, many of us will be celebrating our communities and how we come together. When someone says they need a spatula, I'll encourage them to use their mobile phone to order it from a local store. That store owner likely lives nearby and is celebrating with their family and friends, too.
I encourage us all to reflect on what makes our community possible in the first place. The health of our businesses is a key part of our community's health. Thank you indie retailers and designers for contributing to this. And to Jeff Bezos, thank you for helping us appreciate the health of our communities more.
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