Some Companies, Wary Of Amazon, Seek To Bolster Local Retailers

As consumers increasingly embrace online shopping, Amazon grows into an even more powerful force in the retail sector. But numerous businesses are resisting the e-commerce titan over concerns about online price wars or tying their fortunes too closely to the company.

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As consumers increasingly embrace online shopping, Amazon grows into an even more powerful force in the retail sector.

But numerous businesses are resisting the Seattle e-commerce titan over concerns about online price wars or tying their fortunes too closely to the company.

The Wall Street Journal this week detailed a variety of strategies companies are using to get around Amazon — and instead steer business to local retailers.

One method involves restricting the prices sellers are allowed to advertise for a company's goods, which prevents online retailers from using discounts to undercut conventional stores.

Minimum advertised prices, or MAP, doesn't limit the actual sales price, but sunglasses maker Luxottica told the Journal that the policy effectively ended online discounts. Although online sales plummeted, opticians and optometrists — who account for the bulk of the company's business — supported the move.

Other companies limited areas where its products can be sold, while some gave local stores first crack at new products or exclusive access to its entire digital catalog. One allowed stores to donate unsold new products to charity and replace them with new items at no charge.

Companies are also utilizing their websites to send customers to local stores or let those stores order products for shipment direct to customers' homes. They can also partner with local retailers on new tech and data platforms — or even on after-sales service.

“We get really valuable information from them that you can’t get from focus groups,” Stephanie Carver of Canadian toy maker Orb told the paper.

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