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 DEC 21, 2016

(1 minute read, 2 minute watch)


Part One

If you are like me, I wear the tire treads off my Amazon PRIME membership. Especially this time of year. From my iPhone I can do all of my Christmas shopping within minutes without having to get in the car, drive to big boxes and small shops, and circle parking lots looking for an open space. More and more, I rely on Amazon to deliver the goods.

I wondered how Christmas and holiday shopping was trending these past 10 years - do the masses use Amazon PRIME like I do to avoid the traditional brick-and-mortar stores and the related anxiety-filled experiences?

I was astonished at the findings. Looking at the market value of the "top brick-and-mortar retailers” over the past 10 year period, there was an alarming shift in market value from big boxes to the e-commerce giant Amazon. From Sears, who has lost 95% of their market value since 2006, to Walmart, who is holding flat with a 2% gain over the same period, the chart below illustrates how Amazon has grown 1,910% over the same period. 1,910% growth!

Does this surprise you too? Once I thought about it, I shouldn’t be so surprised. Amazon has been disrupting big boxes for two decades now - and there is now enough history to compare the financial performance differences.

We Americans are the most consumer-oriented culture on the planet. We buy. We consume. Especially during the holidays. But is this what Christmas is all about?

 

Part Two

Each year, Peanuts' A Charlie Brown Christmas reminds us to focus more on the true meaning of the season and forget about buying the perfect gifts. 

In a moment of exasperation after buying a small, almost bare Christmas tree, Charlie Brown shouts, "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!"

Let's allow Linus to remind us again. Lights, please!

 
 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!