Amazon.com has made some bold moves under the leadership of Jeff Bezos.
In recent months, the Internet retail company has green-lighted six new original TV shows, announced an online streaming deal with HBO and tested same-day grocery delivery on the West Coast. A possible new smartphone and package delivery by unmanned drones also are in the works.
But with little fanfare or publicity to accompany it, Amazon is also venturing into wholesale distribution, according to this Forbes article.
In 2012, Amazon quietly launched AmazonSupply.com, an e-commerce site selling anything from office supplies to power and hand tools to 12-packs of sunflower seeds.
AmazonSupply.com has the potential to turn into one of Amazon’s most successful ventures yet, according to the article. While U.S. retailers took in more than $4 trillion in revenues according to the most recent U.S. Census, wholesalers brought in $7.2 trillion.
Today, the website is still in beta, but has grown from offering 500,000 items for sale to nearly 2.2 million. The average wholesaler sells close to 50,000 products online.
Could AmazonSupply.com be a threat to America’s 35,000 distributors, almost all of which are regional, family-run companies pulling in annual revenues of $50 million or less?
“The question is not whether Amazon Supply will be a threat,” Richard Balaban, who has studied the site for management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, told Forbes. “Rather it is which customers, purchase occasions and categories will be attacked first.”
Read the full article at Forbes.com.