Reports: Amazon Business Views Grainger As Top Threat

Multiple reports last week indicated that Prentis Wilson, the chief of Amazon Business, identified Grainger and office supply giant Staples as his division's rivals and designated the B2B supply market a "must-win" for the company.

Id 22301 Amazon Graingery

Amazon.com officials are apparently targeting Grainger's supremacy in the industrial supply market, according to federal court transcripts from earlier this year.

Multiple reports last week indicated that Prentis Wilson, the chief of the e-commerce giant's B2B operation Amazon Business, identified Grainger — No. 3 on Industrial Distribution's 2016 Big 50 List — and office supply giant Staples as his division's rivals and designated the supply market a "must-win" for the company.

The reports cited a note from RBC Capital analyst Deane Dray, who viewed transcripts of Wilson's testimony in an antitrust case involving the since-quashed merger between Staples and Office Depot.

Wilson characterized Amazon Business as a top priority for the world's largest e-retailer and said that officials were pleased by the initial response from small- and medium-sized businesses.

Amazon, however, believes that the window to take advantage of growth in the supply market could close by 2018, and the company hopes to hire new employees and take advantage of new features — including custom pricing — to take on Grainger, the largest U.S.-based industrial distributor.

"Now, for the first time, investors have some specifics directly from the head of Amazon Business that corroborate our view that Amazon/e-commerce represents a formidable threat to Grainger," Dray wrote, according to Business Insider.

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