07:11 – I read an article on CNN yesterday that compared the cost structures of major brick-and-mortar retailers like Best Buy and Wal*Mart with Amazon. The thrust of the article is that local retailers are hampered by a grossly inferior business model, which is a point I’ve been making since back when Amazon was losing money. There’s simply no way local retailers can survive, other than those few types of retailers like supermarkets and pharmacies and gun stores that have some insuperable advantage over web-based retailers.
That made me think of the other day when I bought a Saturnalia gift for Barbara. Now, I’ve never liked shopping. Hell, I don’t think I’ve set foot in Hanes Mall for at least 10 years. Even in the days before the web, I almost never bought locally. Barbara would give me a Bean or Lands’ End catalog with the items she wanted marked, I’d call the 800 number, and that was that. But for the last decade or more, I’ve done nearly all of my shopping on-line. This time, Barbara just sent me links on Amazon for a couple items and said that either one would be fine. So I clicked the links, clicked the add-to-cart button, and ordered the item. Barbara had also mentioned that her parents’ answering machine was borked, so I searched for an appropriate answering machine/cordless phone combo, added it to my cart, and ordered it. It never even occurred to me to get in the truck and drive to some local retailer.
We continue to build and ship science kits.