“Amazon Will Buy Gas Station Chain within 12 Months”

The future of E-commerce is bricks-and-mortar. Speaking at the Digital Life Design-conference in Munich, NYU Stern professor Scott Galloway gave an analysis of what he calls the four horsemen: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple (a k a GAFA). Breakneck speed, 90 slides in 900 seconds. The main take-away is that so-called Pureplay e-commerce (online only) is not sustainable. Shipping costs are eating away on Amazon’s margins and retail chain competitors like Best Buy and Macy’s (yes, it’s a US-centric outlook) are catching. The top dog is Apple, which manages not only to do successful retail business but also increase the margin on their product over time, which is unheard of in tech (actually in most, if not all, businesses). Galloway’s conclusion is that Amazon will buy a chain of retail outlets within the next 12 months and his favourite candidate is a gas station network. Think about it, gas stations are well distributed across territories and strategically located for car travellers (you need a car to pick up big packages anyway), but need to diversify the offer in order to be profitable. Perfect match? Forget the drone hype and anticipatory shipping algorithms, Amazon’s future may be a lot more low-tech. Watch the whole talk here.