Amazon v the High Street

Tim Waterstone in the Guardian on how Amazon is killing (his) bookstores:

No trader has ever been so successful in its concentration on consumer pricing – all this impervious, of course, to the broader considerations of the overall welfare of the industries in which it is operating. It’s all so simple. Make and build your brand on a reputation for absolutely rock-bottom pricing. Do this single-mindedly and ruthlessly. Even say it upfront, insultingly and aggressively, in your advertising – go, Mr Consumer, go to Harrods or wherever it is, inspect and admire the goods, then come home and buy them from us. Online. At a deep, deep discount. And fuck Harrods or whoever it is for their trouble. More fool them. And more fool Waterstones.

Of course, just like similar debates in the music business, there are those who think that the existing industry needs a whole lot of shaking up, and that “the welfare of the industries in which it is operating” is less important than the welfare of customers – and authors – for whom there may be different ways of doing things…

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