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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Abandoning Amazon

Nike is the latest brand to run, not walk, away from Amazon:
Nike will stop selling its products through Amazon and instead focus on what it called "more direct, personal relationships" with customers, company officials announced Tuesday.

Anyone looking for Nike can still purchase items on the company website, its app, or at one of the thousands of brick-and-mortar stores where Nike has retail partnerships. The Nike-Amazon partnership was a pilot program that began more than two years ago and is no longer part of Nike's wider sales strategy, company officials said.

"We will continue to invest in strong, distinctive partnerships for Nike with other retailers and platforms to seamlessly serve our consumers globally," Nike confirmed.

 Amazon officials on Wednesday declined to comment about Nike's departure. Nike competitors Under Armour and Adidas continue to sell products on Amazon. Nike officials said they will continue using Amazon web hosting to power the Nike website and many of its apps.

The Nike-Amazon split comes one month after the sports apparel and equipment company named John Donahoe its incoming CEO. Donahoe, the former CEO of eBay, takes over for departing Nike CEO Mark Parker on Jan. 13.
Amazon simply doesn't make sense anymore for any company that has a direct relationship with its customers. For example, even setting aside campaigns like Alt-Hero and the Junior Classics, the Replatforming + Deluxe will produce more revenue every month for Castalia than our very best month on Amazon ever did. This is the culmination of what began 18 months ago as the realization that KU was inevitably bound to destroy the ebook market.

There is no reason for us to not permit people to buy Castalia books on Amazon, which is why our works will still be available there. But the truth is that Amazon is now an ancillary revenue stream that no longer even factors into our core decision making.

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37 Comments:

Blogger tuberman November 16, 2019 1:54 PM  

Yes, good path, use your own platforms.

Blogger Newscaper312 November 16, 2019 2:00 PM  

Ive been a longtime Amazon fan, not viewing them in the same light as Google or FB, but the constant push now to Kindle Unlimited or Music Unlimited subscriptions is getting annoying, and efforts like their big move into shipping and delivery are too overreaching and seem designed to provoke antitrust.

Blogger Critias November 16, 2019 2:05 PM  

I'm very sorry that I haven't been keeping up, but does Castalia ship to the UK yet?

Blogger Crew November 16, 2019 2:11 PM  

I wanted to sign up for the replatforming but I notice that I have to sign up with Patreon to do that.

Is there some way I can do it directly with Castalia House?

Blogger Dave November 16, 2019 2:27 PM  

Crew wrote:I wanted to sign up for the replatforming but I notice that I have to sign up with Patreon to do that.

That's kinda the point...

Blogger carnaby November 16, 2019 2:27 PM  

Cool now I can continue to not buy Nike products somewhere other than Amazon. I know that's not the point, but still.

Blogger VD November 16, 2019 2:34 PM  

Is there some way I can do it directly with Castalia House?

We will look into it.

does Castalia ship to the UK yet?

Direct (aka Aerio) does not yet do so. They are supposed to do so in 2020.

Blogger God Emperor Memes November 16, 2019 2:43 PM  

"Just DON'T It"

Blogger Nan5000 November 16, 2019 2:53 PM  

When the partnership between Nike and Amazon was first announced, I was working at Footlocker on the marketing side of their e-commerce business. (Footlocker is Nike's largest retail partner)

It caused quite a commotion among people in the company and Footlocker's stock price took a pretty big hit as a result. I don't work there anymore, but I'm sure they're rejoicing over this news.

Amazon can be a brand killer if these companies aren't careful. As Amazon continues to eat up the retail market share in the coming years, it'll be interesting to see the brands that decide to join Amazon and the ones who stay out on their own.

Blogger Nate November 16, 2019 2:56 PM  

eh. we will see how much of a trend this becomes. for now amazon practically owns all online shopping. for the most part if they dont buy it on amazon they dont buy it online.

Blogger Dave November 16, 2019 2:58 PM  

Amazon did notify me today of a New Release from Vox Day. I've never got notice from Amazon before this quickly, usually they're a month or two behind. Are the algos about to shine a light on CORPORATE CANCER? It was released what, Tuesday? Four days later new release emails from Amazon?

Blogger MATT November 16, 2019 3:11 PM  

I suspect theyll see a drop in sales. Stores and brands that do this fail to make a user friendly app or site. Amazon is still easiest.

Kmart , sears for example has a horrible app.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd November 16, 2019 3:22 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Nan5000 November 16, 2019 3:23 PM  

@12 Nike has a very good e-commerce strategy and online user-experience. Nike is in a completely different league than Kmart and Sears. They may see some short term losses in sales, but it will strengthen their brand long-term.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd November 16, 2019 3:24 PM  

MATT wrote:I suspect theyll see a drop in sales. Stores and brands that do this fail to make a user friendly app or site. Amazon is still easiest.

Kmart , sears for example has a horrible app.


A site doesn't have to be kewl, it just has to be easy. Let me find stuff, let me add it to a cart, let me check out.

Sears utterly fails on all those. Little one-horse outfits manage all three, so it's doable with minimal effort. Maybe minimal effort is the secret?

Blogger Servant November 16, 2019 3:36 PM  

Took them this long to find the cancel button I guess

Blogger Seeingsights November 16, 2019 3:41 PM  

Amazon killed middlemen.
Amazon, though has become a new middleman.
I envision the next stage of business: firms, via their home page, selling their goods and services directly to customers.

Blogger Doktor Jeep November 16, 2019 3:42 PM  

So Nike is going to do it the old way, before Amazon existed. Or back when they sold books and CDs mainly.

Come to think of it I just remembered how I would spend hours at a bookstore in the fall back in the 1990s. The hot headed animalistic days of summer given away to cool clean air and darkened afternoons. I would peruse every book in the computer section. It's been decades since such days.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 16, 2019 4:28 PM  

Amazon is great if you want to participate in a race to the bottom. That's never been Nike's strategy, and it shouldn't be for anyone who's not willing to cheat on an epic, Chinese level.

Blogger Griffin the Grey November 16, 2019 4:42 PM  

Why would a company, especially one with Nike's resources, want to be at the mercy of Saint A9 if they can avoid it?

Let alone the Great River god in the cloud who might choose to put a thumb on the holy scales, with which A9 weighs all, when business strategy dictates that Nike must decrease whilst some more favoured child must increase.

Blogger Doctor Mayhem November 16, 2019 5:02 PM  

We were forced into this. They wanted to deplatform, so we build our own.

Before it's all said and done, we'll build our own governments and cut them off.

They are nothing without us. Let them die.

Blogger S1AL November 16, 2019 5:05 PM  

"eh. we will see how much of a trend this becomes. for now amazon practically owns all online shopping. for the most part if they dont buy it on amazon they dont buy it online."

A day late and a dollar short. Amazon peaked a couple years ago. Online scales are increasing across the board, so they're not in a true contraction stage yet, but everyone else has started playing catch-up and Amazon is losing percentage points.

Blogger Blastmaster November 16, 2019 5:54 PM  

Regarding Alt-Hero, have hard copies been mailed out to the remaining backers? I know there was a glitch with the initial mailing.

Blogger Raker_T November 16, 2019 6:12 PM  

Amazon may be catching up, but for awhile, Ebay was the place for nuts, bolts, replacement parts, anything hardware. Amazon wasn't close.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( no need to be racist, Ratchets can Karen better than anybody ) November 16, 2019 6:18 PM  

12. MATT November 16, 2019 3:11 PM
Kmart , sears for example has a horrible app.


Sears/Kmart have horrible management.

Blogger D E K November 16, 2019 7:00 PM  

It is like a repetition of ebay's demise in Europe. They had a great platform with longtime clients and then they changed their business model by charging private sellers more and becoming more like a shop in the pursuit of amazon. I guess amazon will change itself just slightly and charge just a little bit more, but that is enough to drive the clients away. Nike is gone and Vox searched for alternative ways, these are signs of a major shift. The interesting thing is that amazon and ebay are just so big that their failure will not make room for alternatives, but just leave a hole. I would love to sell or buy something on a platform like ebay, but ebay lost me for good and there is no one else yet.

Blogger Tanjil Bren November 16, 2019 7:07 PM  

I've long thought Amazon to be an outright evil organisation, organised and run by committed sociopaths (at best).
Brazenly plundering and pillaging markets, people, and its very own employees at every possible opportunity, of a contemporary organisation more deserving of being literally torn to shreds, I struggle to think (even Google).

Blogger Ray - SoCal November 16, 2019 8:40 PM  

Amazon deplatformed a couple of Sci Fi authors, and their income took a big hit.

I’m glad castalia has found a more sustainable path.

Blogger Chief_Tuscaloosa November 16, 2019 10:46 PM  

I'm sure Nike has a number of reasons for severing ties with Amazon, but one them has to be the rampant counterfeit problem that doesn't seem to bother AMZ in the slightest. Yes, I've gotten a refund with no issue, but when I blame Amazon in the review for allowing counterfeit items in their supply chain, mysteriously my review is rejected. They appear to have willfully allowed themselves to become an online Turkish bazaar where you throw some Sandisk memory cards and a Reebok sweatshirt into your cart--but when you get your items shipped home you've received Sandics memory cards and a Reebock sweatshirt. This BS has forced me to drive my car to an actual store like a caveman from 1993. I guess Foot Locker and the malls may have a chance at a comeback.

Blogger Gregory the Tall November 17, 2019 5:40 AM  

KU was for ebooks what Youtube and Limewire were for music sales.

Blogger Gregory the Tall November 17, 2019 5:50 AM  

Audible sales must also have been greatly reduced among 270000 bears. They just do not have time for audiobooks any more.

Blogger Attila is my bro November 17, 2019 5:52 AM  

>>They appear to have willfully allowed themselves to become an online Turkish bazaar where you throw some Sandisk memory cards and a Reebok sweatshirt into your cart--but when you get your items shipped home you've received Sandics memory cards and a Reebock sweatshirt. This BS has forced me to drive my car to an actual store like a caveman from 1993.<<

This in spades. Certain types of items, like any smart phone accessory for example, are nothing but fake reviews for fake products. Even trying to buy OEM results in receiving fake junk - often! They have lost my trust.

Blogger thechortling November 17, 2019 10:44 AM  

Now if Nike would just dump that schmuck Kaepernick.

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia November 17, 2019 3:28 PM  

One of the things you learn right way when you are in the consumer market is that, sooner or later, if, as a maker of product, you decide to use distributors, and if the distributors are good at distributing your product (as Amazon clearly is), you, the maker of the product, will almost certainly lose power to that distributor.

As sure as night follows day. And it’s not just about SJW convergence, though that’s a key part.

Amazon is the most significant distributor in the history of business, a Goliath. And the scary thing is that it is just BEGINNING to exercise its power.

FedEx has recognized this which is why it severed its relationship with Amazon. Fred Smith realized that Amazon isn't a partner -- Amazon is a competitor, and a competitor that could kill it. Why? Because FedEx is just a "conduit" distributor.

Can anybody NOT imagine Amazon replicating what FedEx does? Have any of you seen the Amazon planes on the tarmac of major airports? I have. It's comin'.

Kudos to Vox for planning to extricate himself from Amazon. But alas, a lot of product makers are not as smart, as determined, and as successful, so they are stuck exchanging bodily fluids with Bezos and his minions.

Remember, Amazon is not a monopoly -- it is a version of a monopsony. If Amazon, or any of the tech behemoths are sued on anti-trust grounds, their defense is ready made.

"Hey," says Jeff Bezos. "I am not preventing people from distributing their own stuff. Look at Vox Day!!"

And so, Amazon soldiers on, and the end game is inevitable. Vox will be one of just a few outside the Amazon sphere, despite all his justified admonitions and his indisputable arguments for independence.

The rest? Chattel to Amazon.

Blogger Gregory the Tall November 18, 2019 2:56 AM  

@34
So you think everybody apart from Vox and Nike had better give up right now? Now that is a morale booster!

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia November 18, 2019 11:28 AM  

Gregory the Great wrote:@34

So you think everybody apart from Vox and Nike had better give up right now? Now that is a morale booster!


Alas, reality is a bitch sometimes.
If you read Vox’s post as “Look, folks are abandoning Amazon, and Amazon is in trouble” that’s the wrong way to look at it. The right way is “Look, Nike is leaving Amazon because Amazon as a business partner is not to be trusted” – well, that’s the real takeaway.

Here's another way to look at it. Imagine that Amazon had a completely neutral attitude about politics, that it was not a converged organization. Given its business mission, this distribution dominance would happen anyway.

Amazon WANTS to be totally vertically integrated eventually -- it's why Fred Smith wants to cut the cord. It WANTs to be the dominant, if not the de facto sole online merchant (though it will be totally happy with being SO dominant that everyone else in the macro sense would be a mere rounding error on its income statement.)

If you got Bezos in a room and said, "Castalia House is abandoning you" he would say, "we don't give a fuck about Castalia House. Except as its useful to show we are not a monopoly."

Now Nike has a bit more impact, but Bezos’ attitude is “Oh, well.”

The only way around this in the USA is a legal legislative remedy, a remedy that alters anti-trust law such that Amazon's break up is justified by its monopsony powers.

That would require some needle threading that is beyond the power of our Congress. I wouldn't hold my breath.

Meanwhile, the EU may try to levy fines and restrictions on Amazon, but Bezos will shrug his shoulders, send his army of lawyers to Brussels, and write what for you and me would be outrageous checks, but for him are speed bumps.

Blogger FUBARwest November 20, 2019 8:42 AM  

One of the many good things about this blog is you get to stay ahead of the curve. A sales rep told me there was no issue at all with most of their revenue coming via Amazon. No point in arguing with him, but this article is more proof that relying on Amazon is a bad business practice.

Thanks for keeping up the blog.

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