Amazon sells everything that the others sell. For example, Home Depot does not sell clothes and Macy’s does not sell hardware tools. Amazon sells both. Only Walmart can catch them in breadth of SKUs. How does that affect them?
When you are talking about Amazon or Walmart, especially now with the Jet.com acquisition, you are in fact speaking about two different animals completely. Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, the Gap, etc. do not have to be all things to all people. And you do not necessarily need to be in order to be successful in eCommerce.
Ideally, each retailer needs to focus on its brand, its value proposition, and on its omni-channel experience. Essentially, you do not need to be Amazon to compete with Amazon. There will always be significant room in the retail universe for specialty retailers. The most successful in the omni-channel world of the future will be those that are close enough to their customers to authentically understand their demands and have an offering that complements those demands.
Breadth of offering per se does not make a compelling offering. Neither does fast “free” shipping. Amazon just happens to be following a strategy to have the broadest selection, available when customers demand it, at a price customers and through a friction-less customer experience.
Ben is Senior Managing Director and Practice Leader for Cushman & Wakefield’s eCommerce and Electronic Fulfillment Specialty Practice Group for the Americas. His responsibilities include counsel on strategy, site selection, design and execution for leading retail and logistics occupiers and investors, intellectual property presentation and business development. As leader of the Practice Group, Ben provides Cushman & Wakefield clients the most up to date market-leading counsel to effectively plan and execute their supply chain and fulfillment and real estate strategies. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield in 2015, Ben was Director of North America Logistics Real Estate for Amazon Fulfillment Services, the logistics and operations subsidiary of Amazon.com. His wealth of experience from the occupier perspective comes from having led the largest and fastest expansion of network capacity in Amazon’s history, doubling the size of the logistics footprint.
Garrick Brown is Cushman & Wakefield’s Director of Retail Research for the Americas. He manages Cushman & Wakefield’s staff of retail researchers and is responsible for producing the firm’s retail analyses and forecasts for the United States, Canada and Latin America. Garrick is regularly quoted on retail matters by the Wall Street Journal, NBC News, NPR, WWD and dozens of Business Journals and other industry publications. Garrick speaks regularly at industry events and is known for his informative and entertaining approach. In addition to speaking frequently at Cushman & Wakefield events, he has served as a keynote speaker at symposiums, conferences and market forecasting events for groups like the Appraisal Institute, BOMA, the Bay Area Mortgage Association (BAMA), the California Bankers Association, the CCIM Institute, CREW, ICSC, Lambda Alpha International, NAIOP, the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association, SIOR and ULI.