One of my favorite quotes ever is this one by the former CEO of Blockbuster.
And we’re seeing that today in pockets of the retail industry that refuse to believe that Amazon is a threat.
The latest examples come from Footlocker and Hibbett Sports. For context, here is a look at their one-year stock performance charts. Footlocker is down 52% and Hibbett is down 71%.
And yet on their earnings calls, they say things like the below.
Richard A. Johnson, CEO of Footlocker, says Amazon is not an imminent threat. Perhaps the word imminent is the tell here, but this “all is okay as they’re the low end of the market” talk has been repeated so many times by retailers whose stock charts look like the ones above.
Jeff Rosenthal, CEO of Hibbett Sports, was a bit more acknowledging of the threat of Amazon, but seems to think that Hibbett Sports is in a privileged position with its partners (the sneaker makers in this example). When the product makers are facing their own challenges, you can expect lots of hard conversations are happening between product maker and retailer. In other words, there is no privileged partner.
And even if product makers don’t want to give Amazon their products, the company is increasingly willing to develop its own private-labeled products, as discussed in our Amazon Strategy Teardown.
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If you want be considered for 2018’s AI 100, apply here.