In any retail forecast, it seems impossible to even consider that Amazon could be too big to fail. Is it a valid concern? Considering Amazon’s rapid growth and planned expansion, most are not worried. During Amazon’s dizzying search for its second headquarters, more than 200 cities fought to land the e-commerce giant and the thousands of high-paying jobs it promised.
To sweeten the pot, these cities offered Amazon billions in development incentives and infrastructure improvements in what became an epic bidding war for one of history’s most-watched corporate relocation projects.
This frenzy makes it hard to see how the mega-retailer could one day go bankrupt, yet that is the history of most successful large companies, according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
The retail executive recently warned employees that the company is not too big for failure and needs to remain vigilant if it wants to remain an industry leader.
Too Big To Fail, is the bankruptcy clock ticking on Amazon?
“In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large organizations, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years,” Bezos said in a recording obtained by CNBC.
How can companies extend their lifetimes? The key to remaining relevant is to “obsess over customers” and avoid looking inward.
“If we start to focus on ourselves, instead of focusing on our customers, that will be the beginning of the end,” he said. “We have to try and delay that day for as long as possible.”
“In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large business, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years,” Jeff Bezos – Amazon CEO
Amazon’s chief executive is right to tell employees that the retailer needs to keep its eyes fixed beyond its own domain. Mr. Bezos recognizes that the biggest threat to his company’s future, and others like it, are the things it doesn’t predict. Amazon Prime membership has seen a leveling-off according to a recent survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Amazon Prime membership figures have dipped from an all-time high of 47.8% of all U.S. consumers in April to 42.9% in August.
After all, market dominance does not ensure long-term success, and disruption can happen in any industry. No company is perfect or can avoid bankruptcy forever. Just ask Sears.
Real-time retail forecast to gauge external threats and opportunities
Researchers at Washington University’s John M. Olin School of Business estimate 40% of companies in today’s Fortune 500 rankings will be extinct in just 10 years. That is a harsh retail forecast blow. Those that make it can attribute their success to discovering what their customers want before their competitors can. However, technology and outside forces are changing the speed at which executives need to react to remain relevant.
Prevedere can arm companies with advanced knowledge of the fast-changing world around them. With Prevedere, executives can make accurate decisions based on retail forecast data-driven global insights and continue to thrive.
To learn how retailers are using Prevedere to gain a real-time view of future shopper demand, download our retail playbook with five steps to turn big data into better decisions.