Welcome to The Backroom, a window into what goes on behind the scenes as the Retail Dive team covers the stories and trends reshaping retail. You can check out all our podcast episodes (past and present) here and listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and Spotify.
With a new chief executive officer taking the helm and thereby ending the Jeff Bezos era, Amazon is entering a new phase. But that’s not just because Andy Jassy is a different leader with his own priorities. It’s also because retail’s great disruptor is grappling with challenges that many observers failed to predict.
For one thing, the e-commerce giant’s free speedy delivery for its Prime members had legacy retailers quaking in their boots for years. But the perk may now be a competitive imperative for Amazon, as most of those retailers have leveraged their stores — still the preferred channel for most shoppers — as online fulfillment points. Especially so now that Amazon has closed so many of its brick-and-mortar stores.
For another, the company, which for years made clear that future growth and its customer-centric flywheel were its priorities, is attending to its shareholders in an uncharacteristic way. Finally, a successful union effort at one of its warehouses suggests that its employee policies may need to change.
Senior Reporters Ben Unglesbee and Daphne Howland, who both cover Amazon, check in with each other on this month’s episode to take stock of what’s going on.
- Is it ‘Day Two’ at Amazon yet?
- After closing physical stores, Amazon doubles down on one-day delivery
- Are Amazon’s buybacks a sign that the growth machine is slowing?
Editor's note: This show was produced and edited by Caroline Jansen.