Friday 16 August 2013

Helping Amazon make a profit - what will make a difference?

Graham Ruddick writes in The Telegraph that Amazon is Britain's most influential retailer, and quotes predictions that the company will be the ninth-biggest retailer in the world by 2018, despite having no stores and little profit.

This very useful and detailed article points out that the mighty Tesco has been forced to admit its biggest hypermarkets are outdated and overhaul its non-food range, Comet and HMV have fallen into administration, newsagents have installed lockers where shoppers can collect Amazon orders, and people are now reading books on their Amazon-made Kindles.

Even those retailers operating in sectors where Amazon has made little impact – such as food and fashion – are worried about what happens when it begins to take their categories seriously....

And yet, Amazon makes little or no profit, and will eventually run out of stockmarket patience… In other words, Amazon will have to meet City/Wall Street expectations in terms of ROCE, Net Margin, Stockturn and Gearing, in order to preserve its current share price.

Obviously from a NAM point-of-view, the key issues in terms of Amazon profitability are:
- Where are Amazon now?
- Where do they need to be?
- How soon?
- How can suppliers help?

Where are Amazon now?
Based on their latest accounts, Amazon key ratios are: ROCE: 4%, Net Margin: 0.9%, Stockturn: 8.6 times p.a. & Gearing: 65.4%

Where do they need to be?
Based on most other global retailers, they need: ROCE: 10%, Net Margin: 2.5%, Stockturn: 12 times p.a. & Gearing: 40%

How soon?
Whilst Amazon are obviously racing for scale and spread of categories, given global uncertainties, we would be surprised if the stockmarket did not ‘punish’ Amazon via the share price unless they show signs of delivering the above ratios in the next two years..
This means they are currently in the market for help from suppliers in driving ROCE. 

How can suppliers help?
See detailed approach here in Kamcity Library

NB. If Amazon really want to scale the dizzy heights, they need to aim at the Walmart ratios:
ROCE: 19.6%, Net Margin: 5.5%, Stockturn: 10.7 times p.a. & Gearing: 55.3%

NBNB. If you feel that these unprecedented times require a little more emphasis on demonstrating your financial impact on your major customer, why not email me on and find out how? 

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