It’s the same old story. David vs. Goliath. Big vs. little. New school vs. old school. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. The New York Times has published this article about internet giant Amazon.com. In this recession, Amazon has not struggled. They are actually fairing better than the competition. Amazon has posted an increase in profit for the most recent quarter.
Some analysts say Amazon has benefited from the downturn, with struggles at the Borders book chain, the bankruptcy of Circuit City and turbulence at a rival, eBay, all driving traffic to Amazon.com. The company said its electronics and general merchandise sales were up 38 percent, while media sales rose 7 percent.
Division St. has the scars that illustrate the effects of this battle. River City Books has closed. Bookfellows will close in May. At Monkey See, Monkey Read, we are hanging on and hoping for greener pastures this summer. I wrote this piece about how well we compete with amazon. I think our prices are fair. We buy back your used books and offer generous trade credit. I offer up what I think is a pretty good selection of books. I feel that we provide a good service to the community.
At the end of the day, like any small business, we need to turn a profit to survive. The empty storefronts in Northfield reflect the difficulties a small town and small businesses face in this crowded marketplace. Capitalism is cut-throat. As retailers, we need to find ways to better serve our customers if we want to succeed. The buying public will decide what businesses survive and which ones go away. I consider myself to be an optimist. I plan to be a survivor. I welcome your comments.