Amazon has begun to sell corn flakes and soup, in a bid to become a mighty, one-stop, on-line shopping destination. Do books and groceries sit happily together on the virtual shelf and, if anything goes, what could other retailers add to their portfolio?
The real growth is in independents, via Ebay, and hard discounters selling everything from iPods to ice cream. With such momentous changes in on-line and traditional retail, it’s hard to imagine what can’t be sold. I’ve just bought a fig tree on-line.
Paul Foulkes-Arellano, Managing director, Wren & Rowe
Amazon is quickly turning into ‘WWWalmart’ – all things to all people, all at competitive prices. Good luck to it, as Tesco needs a sparring buddy to keep it on its toes and halt its total UK domination. I would personally like to see Agent Provocateur flogging industrial lathes and Kwik Fit diversifying into dentistry.
Nicolas Roope, Creative director, Poke
It’s all mountains and Mohammed in retail these days. If you put stuff in people’s paths, then ease often dictates a sale. Take Tesco’s checkouts – where once there were Mars bars, now there is car insurance. We’re working on a bank that sells chocolate rabbits (and I’m not joking).
Steve Collis, Managing director, JHP Design
Personally, I’m not sure and I’ll be fascinated to see if it works. Amazon appears to be attempting to do what supermarkets, such as Tesco, have achieved so effectively over recent years, but starting from a very different position. As a pure on-line brand, I question whether Amazon is strong and trusted enough to pull it off. Maybe, next, we’ll see Barclays setting up its own fruit and vegetable stalls outside its high street banks in an attempt to reinvent the ‘old school’ shopping experience.
Stuart Avery, Joint managing director, E3 Media
On-line just doesn’t live up to the supermarket experience – a block or two back from the high street, featuring massive free car parks, the smell of freshly-baked bread and the thrill of trolley dodgems. Why pick up your groceries and a good DVD at the same time, from the same place without leaving home? Related products: Delicatessen and a bramley apple.
Ben Hart, Partner, Glass