Monday, November 21, 2016

Is Internet Sales Just Mail Order Self-Service?

For all his precoccious perspicacity, Mish can make seom glaring errors.  Maybe it is just his age and wasn't there.
Retailer inventory-to-sales is a reflection on a huge move towards online shopping and a massive buildup of new retail stores despite the clear shift towards online shopping.
Whoa, Mish... what huge move to online shopping?  Still no more than roughly 6% of retail sales, what is massive about that?  94% is brick and mortar, and even Amazon is opening brick and mortar stores.   And maybe ex nihilo credit dinosaurs are not opening new, but specialty sure are.

And did the internet really take sales from brick and mortar?  I don't think so.  To what degree did online sales cannibalize its market share from mail order catalogs?  

And even the mail order catalogs are still working, in both senses, operating and profitable.

Victoria Secret as $4.5 billion in "online sales" and 450 million catalogs.  Do you know what it cost to open enveopes and prcisses cheacks and credit cards back in the 80's and 90's?  I don't know, but VS remembers.  I was probably in the hundreds of millions at least.  With the internet VS pushed all that order processing back onto their customers, getting that work done free, money not spent that went straight to the bottom line.  Alaska Airlines saves a lot of money now that I book my flights, not resevation clerks. Ka-ching!

Or did they save money?  The easier online shopping gets, the more returns there are.  All these "sales figures" don't take into account returns.  I never see that mentioned.

I was speaking with an international banker once asking if deflation was a problem.  He waived the question off and said "Everybody is lying.   that is the huge problem. We cannot make a loan decision because we cannot trust the information."  Well, with ex nihilo credit, nothing matters, so why not lie?  About such things as sales figures.

People try to copy people losing money on the internet, like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gate. Learn from the people making money, like Les Wexner and Steve Jobs.  It is unlikely the Hegemon will find you like he did the money-losers, but the Hegemon won't get in the way of you making money like Wexner and Jobs.

Feel free to forward this by email to three of your friends.