June 7

June 7, 2019



Smaller margins are here for many businesses in many industries—not just tableware. Recently, a sales rep balked when I suggested its stores take a haircut on margins. Yet, I believe big money tech players are forcing these cuts and upending traditional profits—leaving stores with little other option. From media (see today’s AT&T article) to advertising (Facebook, goggle) to transportation (Uber, Lyft, Tesla) to gift registries (Amazon, MyRegistry, Zola), big money-backed tech companies are the common factor driving immense competition and margin wars. And they can afford to because they borrow millions that a smaller, more financially responsible business can’t.

As a point of interest, it would be helpful to collect a list of all the VC-backed players in retail. This list will show you who has an unfair advantage and may be over-leveraged.

Sometimes what goes up must come down. If we’re lucky, some of these leveraged players will go the way of other past big money tech players like Gilt and One Kings Lane—but we can’t count on that.

Taxis don’t like Uber. Newspaper don’t like Facebook. Indie stores may not like Amazon or Zola. And the sales rep nor I like these retail tech players, but these big tech players may be here to stay and make life harder for indie stores.

Bridge uses tech to empower indie stores and make life easier for them.

PS- After I posted this above, spotted another article in today’s Times about FedEx having to accept lower margin, residential delivery (picture shown above). This just further emphasizes the trend.