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Yahoo Finance has an interview with Ron Johnson, who ran the Apple Stores to great acclaim and was CEO of JC Penney with considerably less success, in which he says that after a great decade, Amazon is about to run into nine miles of bad road.

“I think the next decade is tough for Amazon, they are on their heels,” he says. “Amazon is an interesting place.”

The reason: "It has nothing to do with government regulators starting to sniff around the online retailer’s business model pioneered by Trump foe Jeff Bezos. It has everything to do with how old school retailers are reinventing themselves - finally - to not only compete against Amazon, but be the first choice for consumers."
KC's View:
If Amazon is facing nine miles of bad road, it would be a mistake for its competitors to underestimate its ability to quickly and efficiently fill in potholes.

I would completely agree with Johnson that a number of retailers - think Walmart and Target - have gotten a lot better at competing with Amazon. They've invested the time and money and energy in reinventing their business models to embrace new consumer behavior realities, and customers are responding. No question about it. And there are other retailers out there that have decided to compete with Amazon not by playing the same game, but by emphasizing their own strengths and differential advantages, playing games that Amazon cannot or will not play (so far).

But … that leaves a lot of business in play, because there will be a lot of retailers out there who will read this story and think that they don't have to offer inspired, innovative and experiential stores, that they can do the same-old, same-old and survive. They're wrong.

I would suggest that Amazon will adapt. I would suggest that Amazon always has known that it would have to adapt, that it would get tougher … which is why it has continued to innovate relentlessly.

Here's the bottom line reality: The next decade will be tough … for everybody in the retail biz. Delusions, illusions and complacency will have no place there.