Author - Matt Colvin

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More Nike/Amazon Relationship Rumors
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Incoming Textbook Restrictions
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Amazon Buys Whole Foods

More Nike/Amazon Relationship Rumors

The rumors that Nike and Amazon are going to be working together continue to pile up. Today they are in the news because Lindsay Mann, an Analyst at Goldman Sachs weighed in on the possibility. She cited “Channel Checks” as the source for her information, which is apparently an investment term for saying that she or someone on her team spoke to management within Nike.

Mann sees the move for Nike to start selling on Amazon as an important opportunity for Nike for three different reasons.

  1. Selling on Amazon would give Nike more direct exposure on a large and fast growing sales channel
  2. By selling directly Amazon could exert more control over how it’s brand is presented on the platform
  3. It would give Amazon more access to Millennials

She also thinks that if Nike makes a move to start selling on Amazon it could start a trend where other brands who have resisted working with Nike would start coming on board.

“Taking this step would give NKE direct economic exposure to a large and fast growing distribution channel, while improving the brand presentation and expanding access to Millennial shoppers,” she said. “NKE’s move could inspire other wholesale brands, many of which have so far resisted a partnership with amazon.com, to directly engage.”

The stock market has responded with Nike stocks being up a couple percent and several brick and mortar shoe retailers such as Dicks Sporting Goods, Finish Line and Foot Locker being down as much as eight percent.

Something else that I saw mentioned today that I find interesting is that Nike already sells their shoes via Zappos, which is owned by Amazon. Given that pre-existing relationship I don’t think it’s that big of a leap to say it’s not IF they will start selling on Amazon directly, but WHEN will they start selling directly. In the past month or so we’ve gone from rumors, to restrictions and now we have a large trading firm saying that they believe it’s going to happen. If you are still in denial and think this won’t happen I encourage you to look at the trend that’s emerging here and don’t get caught with a lot of inventory that Nike/Amazon can undercut you on.

Go Ship Some Stuff! (Especially if you have Nikes to move)

Incoming Textbook Restrictions

Several Amazon sellers who sell textbooks just got the following email from seller support today.

 

“Hello,

Please read this email carefully. The listing information described below may affect your ability to sell certain products on Amazon.

As part of our ongoing efforts to provide the best possible customer experience, we are implementing selling qualifications for certain popular products in the Textbook category.

Please reply to this email within 3 weeks with the following:

— Copies of up to 3 invoices or receipts from your primary supplier(s) issued in the last 180 days for your popular Textbook products. These should reflect your sales volume during that time.
— Contact information for your supplier, including name, phone number, address, and website.

You can send .pdf, .jpg, .png, or .gif files. These documents must be authentic and unaltered. We may call your supplier(s) to verify the documents. You may remove pricing information, but the rest of the document must be visible. We will maintain the confidentiality of your supplier contact information.
If we do not hear from you within 3 weeks, or we are unable to confirm the information you provide, we will remove your listings.
To learn more about our policies, search for these topics in Seller Central Help:

— Prohibited Seller Activities and Actions
— Product Detail Page Rules
— Condition Guidelines
Sincerely,
Seller Performance Team”

 

Thankfully this seems like it will be a limited restriction for “certain popular products” but the ambiguity in that statement doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either.

Several book sellers have also reported this morning that they are showing that they are NOT eligible for the buy box on a large amount of the used books that they have listed, I can’t help but feel like the two situations might be related.

Amazon is rolling out more and more restrictions on products, last week it was Nike, this week it’s books. The bottom line I’m seeing in all this is that sourcing inventory in a more “Amazon approved” method like wholesale or private label appear to be VERY wise choices to make moving forward. Arbitrage is far from dead, but it seems that there are going to be more and more roadblocks like this as time goes on. Adapt, improvise and overcome – or be left behind!

UPDATE: It appears that some sellers got a similar message last week and were able to get the restriction lifted simply by opening a ticket with Seller Support. If you have similar success please post a comment to let us know!

Go Ship Some Stuff!

Amazon Buys Whole Foods

The above is totally NOT how things went down but it’s an amusing thought in the midst of the news that broke today about Amazon acquiring Whole Foods for 13.7 Billion dollars.

The news that Amazon is making this big of a move into Brick and Mortar has the grocery and retail world stunned and worried about what the future holds.

“This is an earthquake rattling through the grocery sector as well as the retail world. We can only imagine the technological innovation that Amazon will bring to the purchasing experience for the consumer,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com, said in an email Friday. “Now, we can see in hindsight that its recent dithering around the brick-and-mortar experience, as an experiment, was only a rumbling of the seismic event in the offing.”

 

Amazon’s “Amazon Fresh” offers delivery in a few key cities, (including Denver now, which makes me super happy) but I have a feeling that after they get Whole foods in the fold the locations that they deliver to are going to increase exponentially. The retail footprint that they just acquired in one fell swoop is rather impressive, especially for a company that so rarely goes out and makes large acquisitions like this.

The stock market shows the immediate reaction of the sector as one of overall fear. Just counting the twenty biggest losers in the retail and food categories from the S&P 500 the market cap loss was $37.7 billion Friday. Meanwhile, Amazon stock went up more than 3% for a market cap gain on the day of 14.5 Billion which has effectively made their purchase profitable already.

As we move forward it’s going to be interesting seeing how Amazon handles this move into Brick and Mortar – but I think it’s going to be even more interesting seeing how other retailers respond to this development.

Go Ship Some Stuff!

 

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