In this file:


         Amazon is making my business harder, but complaining won't do any good

         Target locked in game of shipping tag with Wal-Mart, Amazon

         Amazon to reach $1,110 this year on increasing e-commerce dominance, JPMorgan says

         These retailers are proving to be "un-Amazonable"



Amazon is making my business harder, but complaining won't do any good


Ravin Gandhi, CEO and founder of GMM Nonstick Coatings         

via CNBC - May 17, 2017


It's no secret that Amazon is flat-out murdering brick-and-mortar retailers with low prices and killer convenience. Amazon's market capitalization has now eclipsed the combined valuations of Wal-Mart Stores, Target, Costco, Macy's and Kohl's. And then there are the former greats clinging to their last scraps of market cap, like J.C. Penney and Sears, more victims of Jeff Bezos' online retail juggernaut.


But the downward pricing pressure from Amazon has massive ripple effects to upstream manufacturing vendors like my company, GMM Nonstick Coatings. GMM is one of the world's largest suppliers of nonstick coatings to the $9 billion American housewares industry. GMM's clients are iconic brands like Calphalon, Farberware, KitchenAid, Oster, Wilton and George Foreman, all of whom previously sold most of their goods to brick-and-mortar retailers like Wal-Mart. However, these days sales are exponentially moving online and to Amazon.


The big impact to GMM is obviously on pricing. GMM's raw materials are driven by the prices of commodities like oil, silicon and other polymers. In the past, when raw-material prices spiked, we raised prices. But with the rise of Amazon, any price increase risks elimination as a vendor because of crushing algorithmic competition. So what does it take to succeed in the Amazon era of unbelievably low prices that are only headed down?


Below are the tactics that GMM has used to continue to thrive:


1. No matter where you are in the supply chain, you better innovate like Bezos...


2. Know that last year's low-cost manufacturing information is worthless...


3. Creative marketing is a necessity...


4. A speedy response to client needs will keep you from being killed...


5. To survive, you need massive scale...





Target locked in game of shipping tag with Wal-Mart, Amazon


By Anne D'Innocenzio, Associated Press

via ABC News - May 17, 2017


NEW YORK   Target, Wal-Mart and Amazon are engaged in a game of shipping tag, each trying to adjust their free threshold and other shipping strategies to a level that can lure shoppers away from one of the other.


Minneapolis-based Target has the furthest to go as it tries to put itself in better competition with Amazon, the undisputed online leader, and Wal-Mart, which has been buying online startups to beef up its own operations.


Target has announced plans to put more money into both its online operations and its stores, and saw it online sales rise 22 percent for the first quarter. That was a slowdown from 34 percent in the fourth quarter, though.


With shoppers overall less and less willing to wait for their items to arrive, figuring out a shipping strategy that will encourage people to buy more and also drive shoppers to its stores will be a key element for Target.


Amazon "has a model of getting shoppers to order and having it show up in two days and is working to make it less than two days," said Tim Laseter, a partner at PwC. "There is no doubt that the general expectation is faster and cheaper."


But he noted that Target and Wal-Mart can take advantage of their stores in this game as they increasingly cater to customers.


Target has been pushing on a lot of fronts, from readjusting free shipping thresholds to planning to test a new same-day service at a store in Manhattan.


"We believe that the future of retail is both digital and physical, and successful retailers will need to provide an outstanding experience in both," Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan told investors on Wednesday.


Target had quietly raised its free shipping threshold to $35 from $25 this month, going in the opposite direction of Wal-Mart and Amazon. Asked about that move Wednesday, Chief Financial Officer Kathy R. Smith said that very few online orders are below $35.


But she said, "We will always evaluate."


Wal-Mart had lowered its bar to $35 from $50 earlier this year and scrapped its program called SavingsPass that offered free shipping but had an annual fee...





Amazon to reach $1,110 this year on increasing e-commerce dominance, JPMorgan says


Tae Kim, CNBC

May 17, 2017


Investors should buy Amazon stock because its share of the U.S. e-commerce market will rise significantly in the next two years, according to JPMorgan, which reiterated its overweight rating on the internet company.


"We believe Amazon is well positioned as the market leader in e-commerce, where it's still early days with U.S. e-commerce representing ~12% of adjusted retail sales (ex-gas, food, and autos)," analyst Doug Anmuth wrote in a note to clients Wednesday...





These retailers are proving to be "un-Amazonable"


By Jonathan Berr, CBS MoneyWatch

May 18, 2017


The news from retailing lately has been anything but encouraging. Dominating the headlines are stories about the struggles of Macy's (M), Sears Holdings (SHLD) and JCPenney (JCP) -- and many other names, both venerable and new -- that are closing stores and laying off thousands as consumer spending shifts to Amazon (AMZN) and other online outlets. But the picture isn't entirely bleak.


Retail analysts consider some chains to be "un-Amazonable," meaning they're weathering the Seattle-based e-commerce company's competitive juggernaut better than most. The term is murky since no chain is completely immune from Amazon. For example, Amazon is planning to adding physical grocery and book stores.


Among the brick-and-mortar standouts are off-price retailers such as TJX (TJX), Ross Stores (ROSS), Burlington Stores (BURL) and Nordstrom Rack (JWN). Customers are flocking to them for national brands at rock-bottom prices. They also have merchandise consumers can't find online.


"You need to think about how to make your business as un-Amazonable as possible," Cowen retail analyst Oliver Chen said, adding that off-price retailers "offer national brands at 40 percent to 60 percent off, which is a competitive advantage."


Take TJX, parent of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods. It has posted gains in the critical metric of same-store sales (sales at locations open one year or more) for more than 20 years, and it added 200 stores around the world during the most recent fiscal year. TJX expects to keep up the pace this year and plans to add a total of 1,800 over the long term. Ross Stores plans to add 90 locations this year, while Burlington Stores expects to open 30 on a net basis.


TJX, however...