As the industry moves into peak season, it feels rather like the calm before the storm. In an attempt to smooth out the extreme peaks which characterise UK Christmas season, many retailers are starting sales earlier than ever. Whilst there’s a lot of controversy about opting in or out of Black Friday, it has undoubtedly come to represent the catalyst for peak.
It’s important to start by clarifying that typically in the marketplace model, 3rd party sellers control their prices. The marketplace operator takes a commission on the sale, but doesn’t control the price.
However, today one of the largest Marketplace operators decided to wield their power and control 3rd party seller product prices. The Wall Street Journal covered Amazon’s decision to discount third party products ahead of the 2017 holiday season.
In March I published a piece titled, “Reimagining Retail: Nordstrom” in Chain Store Age. The point was to take a traditional retailer, showcase the clear need for change, and suggest a path forward. The first thing I suggested is that Nordstrom open the door to new business models.