There is a significant difference between selling products directly and selling through an intermediary. In many cases, an intermediary will be an online business that does not own the product, like an Amazon. The intermediary, however, will have a connection with the product. For instance, an Amazon seller selling a product from a different retailer may not be liable if the product does not meet its own quality standards.
Sears v. Amazon
The case arose from a woman’s purchase of cedar chests from Amazon in 2012. The chests were made in China and sold by a third-party seller. Plaintiff Sharon Safran did not know about the product safety program at Amazon, but nonetheless purchased the chests. Shortly afterward, the cedar chest’s lining began to tear, causing the chest to split in half and collapse. The plaintiff reported the incident to the seller.
Despite its financial problems, Sears is an attractive acquisition for Amazon. The company’s iconic brands are valuable to the online shopping giant. In addition to its assets, the company has an extensive real estate portfolio and other valuable operations. Moreover, it has a high-quality workforce.
As an online retailer, Amazon enjoys a strong position in the market. This allows it to be held responsible for its products, even when it does not manufacture them. The court has affirmed this precedent and has held that a non-manufacturing seller is held accountable for the safety of their products, even if they were unaware of defects or other problems.
In the early years of its business, Amazon started out as an online book seller and grew slowly. But in the years that followed, the company transformed the retail landscape. Soon, it was selling everything from books to entire houses. Now it is moving into brick and mortar retail as well. But despite the challenges, it is hard to argue with the success of Amazon in the retail market.
Sears’s recent partnerships with Amazon have boosted its stock price, but it has also led to the closing of many locations across the country. It’s unclear whether this deal will save the company as a continuing retail entity. However, the acquisition may help Lampert monetize its key assets.
A deeper analysis of the Sears case shows that Lampert’s goal is to make money. While this may not be a bad thing, it is not exactly the glory of capitalism. Lampert’s actions show a disregard for customer service and employees’ well-being. They have also failed to deliver on their promises to customers, including their loyalty program, which was difficult to use. As a result, Sears is facing a difficult time restoring its reputation.
Historically, Sears, Roebuck & Company began as a mail-order catalog in the late 19th century. But after becoming the dominant physical retailer, the company began expanding its business beyond durable goods and into adjacent markets, like car insurance. Its transition from selling products to providing services is analogous to the evolution of Amazon’s business model. Amazon has also entered other areas of commerce, selling books, diapers, and even televisions. In many ways, it has become an integral part of the American consumer’s life.
Amazon may have an advantage over Sears due to its size. With over 2400 stores in the U.S., the online retailer has the advantages of nationwide distribution. However, the growing inequality in the U.S. may pose challenges for building a truly national retailer. Despite this, the company is able to capitalize on its size by expanding its reach. However, it will need to overcome its own challenges to succeed.
While Sears, Roebuck & Company has a rich history, the company has experienced a major setback in its technology. Sears had a reputation for being slow to adapt to the digital world. The Internet has made it possible to reach a more urbanized demographic. Unlike Sears, Amazon can deliver a product within a day, which gives it an edge in the retail war.
While Amazon is a giant in the retail world, it also has valuable divisions outside of retail. Amazon’s cloud computing business and the company’s web services division are not retail-specific. Amazon is valued at $450 billion. Unlike Sears, however, Amazon does not break out its retail sales.