04 November 2015

The Tyranny of Average Cost, part the fifth

Regular reader may recall my observation on the folly of Amazon's business model: it's an order of magnitude cheaper to ship by rail than by air. All this building of stores, sorry Fulfillment Centers, was perfect evidence that Bezos sees the problem, but finds the most expensive way to solve it.

Now, of course, Amazon is going into the brick and mortar business. There must be great angst among the pundit class!! Betrayed by Jeff!!

The reason, of course, is it's cheaper to stock a B&M location with the high volume stuff, leaving the high-cost, low-volume stuff to the warehouses. It's only taken a couple of decades for him to figure it out. I suppose the extended interregnum from the declaration of disrupting B&M retail with mail-order only service to now will be enough for folks to forget that point. Just as the large iPhone was solely a decision by Tim to improve the lives of iPhone users, and not the evident demand for same from users, well... Here, too, Jeff will say that he's invented a new sort of B&M.

Yeah. Right. Sears went from being a mail-order only business to being a B&M outfit. Some people just refuse to learn.

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