Finally recognizing that the internet is just a fad and will soon go the way of the eight-track tape, Amazon (ticker AMZN) opened a “brick & mortar” bookstore in Seattle last Tuesday. Although the company’s official line implies that the store is designed to peddle Amazon products like Kindle, Echo, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet by giving customers a place to try them out, Jezebel Pantzaroff, Professor of Marketing at Northern Indiana Normal School and author of the soon-to-be-published Don’t Name Your Product “Crunky Nude Balls,” had this to say about the surprising move by Jeff Bezos’s loss-producing monstrosity (net loss of $241 million in 2014):
The Fire Phone, cloud computing, delivery by drone, you name it- this company is just a dog’s breakfast of half-baked ideas. It’s like they put a bunch of Philip Dick novels in a blender and just guzzled it down. Amazon Fresh? What the hell are they thinking? Food delivery? I mean, Webvan and HomeGrocer were two of the most spectacular failures of the dot-com bust. And the pilot for Amazon Studio’s new show “Patriot” is about a spy who sings folk songs. C’mon, does he live on the Island of Misfit Toys? Is he friends with the cowboy who rides an ostrich? The jig is up. The company’s operating margin was 1.1% in 2012, 1.0% in 2013, and 0.2% in 2014. So it appears they are going back to the basics. I’ve been told that they will open 1,000 bookstores a year for the next five years and shut down internet operations after the Christmas holidays.
Bodhi Yoho, a tattooed semi-professional gamer who devours comic books, rarely goes outside, and hasn’t read a novel since failing to finish Hunger Games back in 2009, nonetheless works at the new bookstore. He told Bud Fox News that he’s excited to be part of the “new” Amazon:
I don’t know who’s going to buy the books in the history section, but we have a totally cool graphic novel area. It’s epic, I’m gonna try one. And the manager here is all right, he’s going to let me do a Minecraft tutorial on-site and charge for admission.
A source within Amazon told Bud Fox News that many employees had been uncomfortable with Amazon’s recent strategic direction and were relieved to hear about the decision to open an old-school bookstore:
As a whole, Amazon was starting to know too much about people. Should we really know that Anil Shitole of Trenton, New Jersey, has bought three blow-up dolls in the last year? Or that, every couple of months, DeFred Folts of Big Beaver, Saskatchewan, orders lingerie not in his wife’s size and sends it to an address on the other side of town? It was getting a little big brother-ish. A lot of us were happy to hear that we’re going back to our roots.
The problem here is that it’s hard to knock big brother down to size once he hits his growth spurt. So unless Bodhi’s tutorials catch on, the bookstore won’t prove much of a business model. It’s a safe bet that Mr. Shitole will be buying his first sex robot from Amazon sometime in the near future.