Tomorrow’s News Today: Who does America want as their next President when Obama’s term is over? August 2014 Poll

August 21st, 2014

Overwhelmingly, when 1021 Americans were interviewed online August 1st-20th, more residents of Chicago, of the State of Illinois and of the nation as a whole name Hillary Clinton spontaneously than name anyone else as the person they would want as their President when Obama’s term is over.  Specifically, just over 20% in each of these areas name Mrs. Clinton, roughly five times as many as the 4% that name second-place Mitt Romney.

Clinton’s strength stems directly and strongly from her support by Americans who align themselves with the Democratic party. Specifically, 50% of Americans describe themselves as Democrats, and among these, 34.4% name Hillary Clinton as the person they prefer as the next President.

By contrast, of the 36% of Americans who describe themselves as Republican, only 9.3% name Mitt Romney as the person they prefer as the next President when Obama’s term is over.

8Sages will continue to survey Americans as they make decisions on how they will vote in the midterm elections (held this November) and in the 2016 elections. To be sure to receive reports on the results of this research, sign up for 8Sage’s RSS feed or follow this blog to get email updates. Look for the follow button in the lower right corner.

Copyright 2014 by Guidestar LLC. All rights reserved.


Microsoft Is Positioned to Compete with Apple

October 28th, 2013

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In the past three years Microsoft has not only has achieved profit growth but also has acquired capabilities needed to grow in head-on competition with Apple.

With Steve Ballmer as CEO and Bill Gates as Chairman, Microsoft has developed  the capabilities required to compete with Apple by not only using their home grown talent and also by following the hobo’s recipe for chicken paprika which starts: “First you steal a chicken.”

Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s device division gave Microsoft the ability to manufacture and market cell phones and related products as well as the patents, professional staff, market presence and the other resources needed to maintain and improve competitiveness.

In addition, Microsoft’s purchase of a 17.6% equity interest in Barnes & Noble’s Nook Division gave it a line of e-readers with substantial market share, and a professional staff able to keep up with competition. Also, and importantly, since the Nook functions as a store within Barnes & Noble stores, it provides Microsoft with access to a major segment of consumers shopping for books.

Pearson, a publisher of text books, has purchased a 5% interest in the Nook and is developing innovative ways to develop and market text-books.  Again, since the Nook functions as a store within college book stores managed by Barnes & Noble, Microsoft’s equity interest in the Nook gives it check-by-jowls access to college students.

Founded in 1873 as printing business in Wheaton, Illinois, Barnes & Noble has dodged threats to its survival for a hundred and thirty nine years by keeping up with changing times by innovating.  It is now the dominant book store chain.

Barnes & Noble opened its first book store in New York in 1917. Today its national chain of 723 bookstores, plus 639 college bookstores, cover the market for books in a fashion that Apple cannot quickly, easily or cheaply duplicate.

Thanks to moves made by Microsoft, Barnes and Noble is prepared to morph into Apple’s worst nightmare by displacing Apple stores as the dominant brick and mortar retailer of personal electronic devices.

By striking back at Microsoft’s new tablet by offering free software, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple tacitly acknowledges that Ballmer’s decision to resign will not interrupt or deflect Microsoft’s campaign to grow in the face of competition from Apple.

Microsoft’s growth strategy was developed by Steve Ballmer who has resigned and by Bill Gates who is staying in place.  With Ballmer no longer at Microsoft, Bill Gates who is a college dropout who never held  high executive office in a major company other than the one he co-founded will compete head-on with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple whose resume is impressive.

Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple and serves on its Board of Directors.
Before being named CEO in August 2011, Cook was Apple’s Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.

Prior to joining Apple, Cook was vice president of Corporate Materials for Compaq and was responsible for procuring and managing all of Compaq’s product inventory. Previous to his work at Compaq, Cook was the chief operating officer of the Reseller Division at Intelligent Electronics.

Cook also spent 12 years with IBM, most recently as director of North American Fulfillment where he led manufacturing and distribution functions for IBM’s Personal Computer Company in North and Latin America.

Tim Cook earned an M.B.A. from Duke University, where he was a Fuqua Scholar, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn.

Disclosure:  Leo Shapiro, the publisher of 8SAGES.COM holds stock in Microsoft, Barnes & Noble, and Apple and has held such stock for some time.

Control of Republican Party Shifts to DeMint and Koch

October 18th, 2013

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In the upcoming mid-term elections, the Democratic Party gains seats in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Ironically, the Koch Brothers and DeMint will strengthen their control of the Republican Party but will weaken the Republican majority by purging Republican incumbents who fail to toe their line.

For background, read the 8SAGES article posted on October 17 that opens by saying: “The potential for intensified class warfare with increased chances for violence is developing as Republicans increase their efforts to cut spending on Medicare and food stamps, impose stricter limits on abortion rights as well as try to defund, delay or disrupt the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

Led by Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Performs Well

October 10th, 2013

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Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, has a perfect right to feel pleased with the performance of Microsoft under his leadership, even though his achievements are not widely applauded by the financial press

During the past five years, under Ballmer’s management, Microsoft’s profits increased at an average annual rate of 9.20%, compared to S&P’s earnings growth of 5.70% and earnings growth of 10.40% for its industry.

More important, but largely unnoticed, Ballmer strengthened Microsoft’s ability to compete. In rapid succession, Microsoft acquired Nokia, an 17.6% interest in Barnes & Noble’s Nook division, and cemented relations with Dell by lending two billion dollars to help it go private.

These three companies have patent portfolios, product developer staff, access to the consumer, education and business markets, and brands that nicely complement Microsoft’s ability to create and launch new electronic products.

Microsoft is now in striking distance of challenging Apple retail stores by becoming Barnes & Noble’s preferred store-within-a-store vendor of e-readers, smart phones, tablets, computers, and other personal electronic products.

The development of Barnes & Noble as a store selling electronics as well as print publications is described in an 8sages article titled “Barnes & Noble is Apple’s Biggest Threat,” posted on January 13, 2013 (click on article title to view).

The article opens by stating, “The investment community treats Barnes & Noble as a zombie company ready to follow the death path of Borders…Now Barnes & Noble is prepared to morph into Apple’s worst nightmare.”

Disclosure:  Leo Shapiro, the publisher of 8SAGES.COM holds stock in Microsoft and Barnes & Noble and has held such stock for some time.

Wealthy Lose Control of Federal Government

October 7th, 2013

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The potential for intensified class warfare with increased chances for violence is developing as Republicans increase their efforts to cut spending on Medicare and food stamps, impose stricter limits on abortion rights as well as try to defund, delay or disrupt the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The longer the government remains disabled the greater the likelihood that control of the federal government will shift from the wealthy to the middle and poorer segments of the population.  Labor unions will benefit as champions of the middle and poorer segments of the population.

When the government resumes operating, stock prices and consumer spending will spike and holiday spending will start early.


Breaking News about Events Shaping the Future

New York Times (October 6, 2013)

A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning

DRIVING FORCES:  David Koch and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III (following DeMint’s quitting the Senate to head the American Heritage Foundation, met with more than three dozen conservative groups to derail the healthcare overhaul if conservative lawmakers were willing to push fellow Republicans – including their cautious leaders – to cut off financing for the entire federal government)

At a Nissan Plan in Mississippi, a Battle to Shape the U.A.W.’s Future

“[The United Auto Workers] has recruited thousands of union members in Brazil to picket Nissan dealerships…[and] sent a team of Mississippi ministers and workers to South Africa, where Nissan has an assembly plant, to try to embarrass the company with accusations that it violates workers rights in its Canton plant…[The U.A.W.’s president said] unions in Japan, Germany, Australia and Britain are backing the Mississippi fight.”

Prior Posts on This Topic

October 3rd, 2013

Republican Effort to Defund Affordable Healthcare Fails

October 3rd, 2013

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Republican efforts to delay or defund the Affordable Care Act fail.  No telling how much damage the government shutdown will do.

The struggle for control of the federal government will energize and organize middle- and lower-income citizens.

The greater the damage done by the government shutdown, the greater the likelihood that control of the federal government will shift from wealthy to middle- and lower-income citizens.


Breaking News about Events Shaping the Future

New York Times (October 2, 2013)

Staunch Group of Republicans Outflanks House Leaders

Opening Rush to Insurance Markets Runs into Snags”

Bloomberg Businessweek (September 26, 2013)

Jim DeMint, Congressional Republicans’ Shadow Speaker

New York Times (October 1, 2013)

Why the Health Care Law Scares the G.O.P.

Historical Account of Events Shaping the Future

The comprehensiveness of information carried by social networks increases as telephone and internet conversations are recorded; surveillance camera output is recorded, as well as outputs of other monitoring devices.  Intel is planning to record three days’ worth of everything from every channel.

The reach and influence of social networks also increases as the cost of smart phones plummets and access to broadband internet becomes affordable to even the poverty-stricken.

Growth in the influence of social networks is transforming the structure of society from one divided into groups on the basis of wealth to one divided into groups of persons who communicate with each other via the internet.

In the present society, the wealthiest are the leaders.  As the influence of social networks grows, citizens who communicate with the largest number of persons become leaders.

DeMint, in quitting the Senate to become head of the Heritage Foundation, increased the number of citizens with whom he communicates and displaced Boehner who is the elected leader of the Republican Party which controls the House of Representatives.

The struggle for control of the federal government between the advantaged and disadvantaged has been in progress since the nation was founded over two hundred and thirty years ago.

The Constitution that established the United States allowed each of the thirteen former British colonies to retain their sovereign rights as States and establish the requirements for citizenship and the right to vote.

As a result the Constitution failed to honor the ideals asserted in their Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal with unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Control of the Revolutionary Society was put into hands of the privileged elite comprised of white male landowners whom the states granted the right to vote. Blacks were relegated to slavery, women were treated as the property of their husbands, Native Americans and foreigners were treated as non-persons and not counted in the first national Census.

Not until passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, almost two hundred years after the Constitution was ratified, outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women.

It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (known as “public accommodations”).

Progress toward outlawing all forms of discrimination was made haltingly, usually when the nation was fighting a war or facing some other crisis that the leaders had difficulty managing. The crisis made it advantageous to recruit the help of the disadvantaged by acceding to their demands for the right to vote or to have access to privileges otherwise denied.

The 2013 shutdown of the federal government is the sort of crisis which grows out of the inability of the advantaged to manage the government and enables the disadvantaged to expand their power to control the government.

Barnes and Noble is Apple’s Biggest Threat

January 11th, 2013

The investment community treats Barnes & Noble as a zombie company, ready to follow the death path of Borders.  Founded in 1873 as printing business in Wheaton, Illinois, Barnes & Noble has dodged threats to its survival for a hundred and thirty nine years by keeping up with changing times by innovating.

Barnes & Noble opened its first book store in New York in 1917. Today its national chain of 723 bookstores, plus 639 college bookstores, give it a reach into the general population as well as the college population that Apple cannot quickly, easily or cheaply duplicated even given Apple’s wealth.

Now Barnes and Noble is prepared to morph into Apple’s worst nightmare.

In 2009, Barnes & Noble introduced the NOOK e-reader and quickly captured a substantial share of the market.  Since then, innovated versions of the Nook offering color, readability in the dark and other features have repeatedly challenged Amazon’s Kindle reader.

In 2012, Barnes & Noble formed a partnership with Microsoft that will spin the Nook and its college businesses off into a subsidiary, announced partnerships with UK retailers, began selling the digital products overseas, and sold a five percent stake in the Nook subsidiary to Pearson, a publisher of text books.

Sale of five percent of the Nook to Pearson valued the Nook at 1.8 billion dollars, the same value placed on the Nook by Microsoft it purchased a stake in the Nook.

Microsoft, which owns a stake in Nokia, the Finnish producer of smart cell phones, has just begun to market an electronic tablet under the Surface brand name.

Barnes & Noble is now ready to transform itself into a direct competitor to the stores that Apple operate with stores that have a continuing, hard to duplicate competitive advantage.  Barnes & Noble operates 723 stores, almost twice the 394 stores operated by Apple, which, in addition to offering a line of proprietary branded electronic products that parallel the electronic products offered in Apple stores, offer customers a dominant assortment of books, a café serving refreshments, and easy chairs where customers can lounge, read and talk.  Apple will be challenged to overcome the inherent superiority of the Barnes & Noble store network.

Barnes & Noble will be challenged to overcome the strength of the Apple brand of electronic products with brands like the Nook, Nokia and Surface that are less well established than the Apple brand.

Barnes & Noble, as part of the Microsoft, Nokia and Pearson alliance, has access to the technological capabilities and capital needed to create innovated products that challenge Apple’s products.

Apple, of course, on its own has the technological capabilities and capital needed to continue to create innovative products to maintain its brand superiority.   Overall, Apple has an edge, but not an insurmountable edge over Barnes & Noble in terms of brand superiority for electronic products.

On the other hand, Barnes & Noble has an edge over Apple in terms of the superiority of its consumer and college store networks, its access to text book titles and, its flexibility as a retailer, to stock any brand of personal electronic product that can compete with the Apple brand.

The development of Barnes & Noble as a purveyor of information has been a long time in coming and has a bright future.

For background, read the following posts on 8SAGES.COM:

Disclosure:  Leo Shapiro, the publisher of 8SAGES.COM holds stock in Microsoft, Barnes & Noble, Nokia and Pearson and has held such stock for some time.

Copyright 2013 by Leo J. Shapiro. All rights reserved.

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Hurricane Sandy Triggers a Debate on the Nature of God

November 15th, 2012
Lightning Strike

Lightning Strike (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Leo J. Shapiro

As the clean-up of Hurricane Sandy’s destructive impact on the Eastern Seaboard proceeds, the debate shifts from whether human behavior is causing global warming to one about the nature of God.

Evangelical Christians argue that Sandy is a punishment inflicted by a vengeful God on Americans having sinned in permitting same-sex marriage and abortion.  Einstein, and other scientists who worship a rational God that does not play dice with the universe but establishes rules that govern the outcome of events, would argue that Sandy is the consequence of Americans violating rules governing the outcome of behavior.

Our survey of 1,065 Arizona residents conducted in the ten days leading up to September 15, 2012 found that the essentially theological debate triggered by Sandy has turned political in the campaign.

Among Arizona residents who intended to vote for the Democratic candidate for President, Barack Obama, 58% said they were “extremely or “very concerned” about global warming which was triple the 19% of residents likely to vote for Mitt Romney the Republican candidate.

Mass media reports on the dynamics of the 2012 Presidential campaign show the Democrats supporting scientists’ view that human activity is releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere causing global warming and Republicans supporting the religious view that global warming is a punishment for sins committed by the American people.

An article published in the November 10, 2012 New York Times reports in an article headlined “Christian Right Failed to Sway Voters on Issues” states that

“Rev. Billy Graham dropped any pretense of nonpartisanship and all but endorsed Mitt Romney for President. Roman Catholic Bishops denounced President Obama’s policies as a threat to life, religious freedom and the nuclear family.  Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition distributed more voter guides in churches and contacted more homes by mail and phone than ever before…comments on rape by the Senate candidates Todd Aiken in Missouri and Richard Murdock in Indiana were ridiculed nationwide and alienated women.”

The same issue of the New York Times includes an article titled “Report Outlines Climate Change Perils for U.S. Military” which states:

“Climate change is accelerating and will place unparalleled strains on American military and intelligence agencies in coming years by causing ever more disruptive events around the globe, the nation’s top scientific research group said in a report issued Friday….Hurricane Sandy provided a foretaste of what can be expected in the near future the report’s leading author, John D. Steinbruner, said in an interview.”

The debate between Democrats and Republicans will influence actions taken by the federal government.

Democrats argue that tax dollars should be spent to change human behavior and reduce the burning of fossil fuels. They cite scientists who report that burning fossil fuels increases the level of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that causes global warming.

Republicans argue that tax dollars should be spent as they have always been spent to repair storm damage and to build sea walls and levies to protect against further damage by violent storms.  They cite scripture to support their view that violent weather, drought, extinction of species are God’s punishment for sin.

These debates will not be settled on the basis of facts.  Obama and Romney voters do not live in separate worlds but each has fixed views on climate change reflecting their ideological convictions.

These ideological convictions relate to demographic characteristics indicating that they were formed as the person matured and are unlikely to be subject to change.   The factors that are at the root of their convictions about climate change also influence their views about their own and the economy’s future.

Demographically, Romney voters are more likely than Obama voters to be older native born males.  In sharp contrast Obama likely voters are more likely than Romney voters to be younger immigrant females.

Financially, likely Romney voters are more likely than likely Obama voters to have higher incomes and more savings invested in stocks and bonds. Also, they are more prone than Obama voters to be apprehensive about their personal financial future and the future of the country.

In sharp contrast, financially, Obama voters are more likely than Romney voters to have lower incomes, fewer assets invested in stocks and bonds and be debt burdened.  Also, they are optimistic about their personal financial future and about the future of the country.

Given demographic and financial differences which are associated with their views on climate change, it is unlikely that differences in their views of climate change can resolved by civil discourse involving an exchange of facts.

However, in terms of anticipating the future, the divergent views of Obama and Romney voters will not make much difference in the career of climate change. Climate change is subject to forces that are beyond the control of the United States government acting alone and may be beyond the control of nations’ globally even if they act collectively.

Think of Cnut, the Great, King of Vikings and master of all he surveyed who stood on the seashore and made a valiant but futile effort to sweep back the tides of the rising sea.

Looking toward the near term but not immediate future, the odds are that the nation’s economy will boom in the 2020’s just as it boomed in the Roaring 1920’s and the Halcyon 1960’s.   The conditions for such a boom are clearly in place.

War followed by recession increases the pace of technological innovation and increases the productivity of labor without reducing industry’s productive capacity.  Domestic demand for goods, deferred by the Mideast Wars and protracted recession, is already beginning to soar as technologically advanced cars, electronics and other goods become available in quantity at low prices.

International consumer demand is also ready to soar given the rising incomes of developing nations and the growing awareness of their populations of the higher standard of living available in developed nations.

Less developed nations as well as the United States are accelerating the production of goods and services without restraint to support growing populations at higher and higher standards of living.

As production of goods accelerates, the rate at which materials found stable in nature are transformed in toxic substances increases and the global economy deteriorates.

In the coming decades, in response to consumer pressure to increase their standard of living, global resources will increasingly be used to ameliorate the effects of global warming rather than to slow or reverse climate change.

Not until America and the world are forced to face up to the facts about the increasing rate at which species are becoming extinct will humanity marshal its forces to halt or reverse climate change which promises to bring on the sixth major extinction event.

In each of the five prior major extinction events for which fossil records exist, almost all species became extinct.  Only 20% of species for which there is a fossil record survive today.  In each major extinction event, the dominant species, the species that sits on top of the food chain and eats other species but is not eaten becomes extinct.

In the prior or fifth major extinction event, dinosaurs that sat on the top of the food chain eating other species while they were not eaten became extinct. The extinction of dinosaurs opened a food niche that permitted a small, hairy nervous mammal to evolve into Homo sapiens and become dominant.


The facts about the divide between Obama and Romney voters that were presented are based on a survey of only 1,065 Arizona residents, interviewed on the eve of the 2012 Presidential election.  These facts are congruent with findings of our survey national surveys as well as facts from independent, large scale (26,565 interview surveys) conducted  by Edison Research ,a consortium of ABC News, The Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NBC news with findings summarized in the November 11, edition of the New York Times.

Specifically, interview with 1,350 Americans sampled nationally on the eve of the prior 2008 Presidential Election found committed Democrats, those who deny any impulse to be independent, almost twice as likely, ratio of 98% to 55%, as committed Republicans to believe

Among Americans who initially say they are “independents” and then admit to leaning toward a political party those, who lean Democratic are sharply more likely than those who lean Republican, ratio of 90% to 60% to believe “the climate is changing and world temperatures are increasing worldwide.”

(For a description of the manner in which American divide into five distinct political parties rather than the traditionally accepted two Party system see “Arizona’s Five Political Parties posted on 8SAGES.COM on October 13, 2012.)

Measurements of the demographics or 26,565 voters interviewed as they left 350 polling places plus 4,408 telephone interviews with early or absentee voters are congruent with measurements made in our Arizona and national surveys. 

This massive study found Obama voters to be 2% Jewish and 25% Catholic with Romney voters 39% White Protestant plus 15% “other Protestants”. Among Romney voters 42% attended religious services at least once a week.

Romney voters had sharply higher incomes than Obama voters. However, as in the case of our surveys, more Romney voter reported their financial situation was worse (80%) than was the case among Obama voters (18%).

As for demographics the exit poll survey findings were congruent with our findings.  Obama voters were more likely than Romney voters to be women; under thirty years of age; Black, Asian or Hispanic.

We found that the opposing views of committed Democrats and committed Republicans on the seriousness of global climate change were strongly associated with the demographics as well as the attitudinal differences between the two groups.

When the survey focused sharply on the months preceding the Presidential elections, we found that those who favored the Democratic candidates Kerry and McGovern resembled the view of Obama voters while the views of those who favored the Republicans candidates George W. Bush and McCain resembled the view of Romney.

While these facts about the period leading up to the 2012 Presidential election almost speak for themselves, statements about what is likely to happen in the decades following the 2012 Presidential elections are not based on facts.  Statements about the future are based on an exercise in science fiction rather than on science.

Science fiction, under other names, is a highly disciplined technique used by scientists to formulate hypotheses that are subject to validation by empirical experiments.  It is what Einstein called the “mind experiments” that lead to his formulation of the theory of relativity.

Chapter 7 of the book titled “Yesterday and Today Promises Bright Troubled Tomorrows” describes the exercise in science fiction that lead to the conclusions stated.

Because the author is human, Chapter 7 goes beyond the point where humanity recognizes that it must act in unison to stave of impending catastrophe and speculates on how that catastrophe is avoided.

Chapter 1 of the book has already been posted on 8SAGES.COM for review and critique by visitors to the site.  Additional chapters will be posted at intervals of a week or two for review and critique.

Chapter 7 will be posted after the winner of the 2012 Presidential Election is inaugurated.  It is intended to be a history of the future leading up to 2076 when the 300th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence will be celebrated.

After digesting and acting on visitor comments, suggestions and criticisms, the book will be published in conventional channels.

Copyright November 2012 by Leo J. Shapiro – All Rights Reserved

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Amazon Hitches a Ride on the Back of a Hungry Tiger

November 11th, 2012

Interesting strategic choice. Amazon locker in...

Amazon is installing lockers in Staples stores where consumers can pick up the products they order from Amazon.   Both Amazon and Staples achieve a benefit by giving customers more choices in how they order and receive the products they buy.

But the benefit that accrues to the two retailers is likely to be short term.  Each is large enough and sophisticated enough to go it alone.  Both are hungry.

The question about how to share the benefit of this innovation will be harder to answer than the question about what each needs to contribute to achieving this innovation.

For background, read the following posts on 8SAGES.COM:

Copyright November 2012 by Leo J. Shapiro – All Rights Reserved


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Amazon’s Days of Dominance are Numbered

November 7th, 2012

“Amazon’s long term survival is in jeopardy whether or not it succeeds in sending Barnes & Noble to join Borders in history,”  according to the 8SAGES.COM article  posted on June 21, 2012.

This post updates that article which went on to explain that “Amazon becomes increasingly inflexible and unable to adapt to change as it continues to commit capital to its humongous distribution centers serving vast trade areas while remaining dependent on third party companies like UPS and FEDEX for delivering purchases to customers.”

Since that article was posted, Walmart has moved to challenge Amazon’s logistic advantage by offering same day home delivery of orders placed online or having such orders set aside ready for customer pickup at the store.  Bloomberg’s Market News has moved to delivering its publication to homes on Saturday using the newspaper delivery network.

Microsoft, by virtue of its investments in Windows 8, the Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader, Nokia’s smart phone and its own Surface tablet, can satisfy its crying need for a chain of retail stores that, like the Apple stores, can reach potential customers and demonstrate its products by utilizing excess space in Barnes & Noble stores. We refer these stores as Microsoft’s Touch Screen stores.

Pizza chains, florists and other retailers of perishables have developed the online and telephone capabilities for taking orders and the home delivery services that enable them to compete with Amazon.  There is no reason why Microsoft’s Touch Screen stores cannot do the same.

The trend for retail stores becoming larger and larger and increasingly difficult to shop has reversed.  The pace of Amazon’s competition stiffens as chains of small stores serving tiny trade areas expand. Such stores include: Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Save-a-Lot, Dollar General, Five Below, Quick and Easy.

Stores like Costco and Staples that retail products to consumers and wholesale products to nearby businesses have achieved efficiencies in marketing and logistics that enable them to survive and grow in direct competition with Amazon. As the title of this post notes: Amazon’s days of dominance are numbered.

Copyright November 2012 by Leo J. Shapiro – All Rights Reserved

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