For many years, we’ve known that Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos are determined to become the most successful, well run company in the world (whether or not they attain that goal, we suppose, is a matter of opinion).
Lately, though, it seems like dominating the Fortune 500 won’t be enough for them. In the past week, we’ve learned about a few new initiatives that indicate that Amazon is intent on conquering the world, and may be well on their way.
It started innocently enough. On Monday this week, Kohl’s announced that they would begin accepting Amazon returns in-store at all 1,150 locations across the country. That may sound insignificant enough, but Kohl’s shares immediately spiked by almost $5, and have stayed above $72.00 per share most of the week. The program will begin in July.
In this partnership, Amazon signaled that there was a way to thrive as a brick-and-mortar retail store: not by competing with the galactic empire, but by embracing it. Stores like Kohl’s that kiss the ring and acknowledge Amazon’s superiority can find mutually beneficial partnerships that make life simpler for Amazon and make business more successful for Kohl’s. It’s an absolute win-win, and a brilliant deal for both companies.
But as with any great empire, there will always be those who insist on rebellion. For those few companies, Amazon announced its next major step in world domination this morning: they are investing $800 million in upgrading their two-day shipping delivery promise to Prime partners. How can you upgrade two-day shipping? Well, by making it one-day shipping, of course!
That’s right, Amazon intends to roll out one-day shipping to Prime customers nationwide. Details are a little fuzzy on what items this will or won’t cover, but Bezos and co. are building fulfillment centers across the nation to make this dream a reality.
For Amazon’s competitors, this news hit hard. Both Wal-Mart and Target saw significant losses in price per share overnight, and they’ve continued to stay low throughout the day on Friday. Amazon’s bold ambition is a not-so-subtle shot at just this kind of competition: stop trying to compete with our digital sales. It will not go well for you.
And that’s the strategy that Amazon made clear this week: get in line or get run over (presumably by a delivery truck delivering to someone who ordered twelve minutes ago). We have to say, if any company is going to take over the world, we for one welcome our new Amazonian overlords.