Will Amazon Buy Target In 2018?
Prime Cut: That’s the prediction of tech venture capitalist Gene Munster of Loup Ventures, who makes a pretty compelling case for consolidation in his company’s New Year’s blog.
TWICE Take: According to the investment group, the combination would further Amazon’s brick-and-mortar aspirations and still fall below the FTC’s radar, while providing even greater access to its most cherished demographic, moms. The discounters also have a history, with Amazon having already run Target’s e-tail operations early on.
TWICE Readers Rank The Top 5 Amazon Stories Of 2017
As Bezos & Co. embarks on a New Year, and before the embers of the last one fade, here’s a look back at the top five most-read Amazon stories of 2017 on TWICE.com.
No. 5: This Echo Ain’t Fading
Prime Cut: At the cusp of the holiday selling season, and in an effort to cement its place in the smart home, Amazon introduced a new generation of Echo and Alexa-enabled devices.
TWICE Take: The next-gen gear included a redesigned, Google Home-blunting flagship Echo speaker, which is smaller, cheaper, prettier, more responsive and sounds better than its predecessor.
No. 4: Inside The Mind Of An Amazon Prime Shopper
Prime Cut: Amazon has invested mightily in its $99/year Prime membership program, lavishing two-day, Sunday and in many cases same-day delivery on its Prime members, along with access to millions of songs, videos and books, all at no extra charge. A study by market research firm Field Agent helped explain why.
TWICE Take: In return for all those niceties, Amazon gets a deep and loyal base of some 65 million customers, most with a propensity to spend. According to the report, Prime participants on average made 32 separate purchases for a total of $678 between September 2016 and February 2017, not to mention their $6.4 billion in annual membership fees.
No. 3: Walmart One-Ups Amazon In The Quick-Ship Wars
Prime Cut: Walmart started off 2017 by offering free shipping on more than 2 million of its most frequently purchased tech devices, toys, beauty products, foodstuffs and household supplies with no annual membership fee, just a minimum order of $35.
TWICE Take: The program, simply named 2-Day Shipping, was a clear shot across the bow of Amazon’s Prime membership program, which provides “free” deliveries in two days or less after ponying up $99/year. It was also an acknowledgement by Walmart that two-day, one-day and same-day delivery had become the latest battleground in the struggle for e-commerce share.
No. 2: Amazon, Best Buy Tie For Craziest Black Friday Deals
Prime Cut: As the Black Friday stakes heated up through November, consumer shopping site BestBlackFriday.com assessed the Top 25 deals of the Thanksgiving weekend. Of those, 20 were tech related and 10 were offered by either Amazon or Best Buy.
TWICE Take: Best Buy ran the zaniest deal of the weekend with its Sharp 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Roku TV selling for $180, while Amazon countered with a 49-inch third-tier 4K TV for $160. The upshot: Best Buy is ready and willing to go toe-to-toe with its online foe when it comes to price perception.
No. 1: Sears Selling Kenmore On Amazon
Prime Cut: In a surprise move, Sears began selling its Kenmore collection of major appliances through Amazon, marking the first time the private-label line was sold by another retailer.
TWICE Take: For Sears the deal ended years of searching for external distribution for its venerable but shrinking Kenmore brand, as chairman/CEO Eddie Lampert looks to monetize any and all company assets to stave off insolvency. For Amazon, the pact provides another opportunity to test the appliance waters, and maybe even try on a new house brand for size.
Amazon Quote Of The Week
“In today’s world of e-commerce, two-day free shipping is table stakes.” — Jet.com founder and Walmart e-tail savior Marc Lore, on the discounter’s shot across Amazon Prime’s bow