The internet has brought much change over the past couple of decades, including e-commerce. With the onset of Amazon, it is now inescapable and few predicted the enormous implications it would have on retail, community, and society as a whole. As I sit here reading a Facebook post on the Eastland County Museum page, which invites its followers to buy from Amazon that results in a minuscule 0.5% donation of purchases made, I realize that every single American and community is affected by the Amazon Effect. Now before I get folks upset, I just want to clarify that if you desire to support the museum in this manner, I respect your desires to do such. But I hope you’ll read my article first and then choose another way to support said worthy entities – that doesn’t hurt local community in the process. Non-profit organizations receive on average 250% more support from small business owners than they do from large business. This should be of no surprise since small independent business invests 3 times more money back into their communities than chain businesses.
It’s no secret that Amazon.com has become a huge part of the economy everywhere, including Eastland, but very few likely understand the repercussions of their success on our communities. The negative implications are indescribably enormous and taking a bigger bite out of healthy commerce every day. Over the last 3 years Amazon’s value has increased 21.4% to $403 billion. In that same time frame their shares have risen to over $800.00, a whopping 128% increase. During this same time frame Wal-Mart has shrunk 4% – while working diligently to combat Amazon and the likes. In fact, Wal-Mart has lost so much general merchandise sales to e-commerce, the company amped up grocery sales to the point that it’s now over 56% of their total revenue. Economics 101 has always taught us that growth is good, but the Amazon Effect is an all-around raw deal. Seeing the effects on Wal-Mart, the leader in brick-and-mortar sales, substantiates that their growth comes at the cost of taking massive jobs and tax base away from all traditional retailers and communities across America – and beyond.
As you go about life after reading this article, be encouraged to think local first, buy local when possible, and know that every dollar spent has an effect on your community, whether good or bad.
Bryans Auto Supply, Computers, Signs & Graphics
Content and sources:
Adam Hartung, Forbes Contributor and Sustainable Connections