Amazon’s retail presence has continued to grow with a diverse mix of outlets. The company now operates 17 brick-and-mortar bookstores, Amazon Fresh grocery pickup locations, pop-up stores it locates in shopping malls, and four Amazon Go grab-and-leave bodegas. In 2017, Amazon acquired the Whole Foods supermarket chain, which currently operates 470 locations.
Those risks led GWW stock to essentially stall out starting in 2013. And they came home to roost last year. Disappointing earnings — particularly, falling margins — seemed to signal that pressure from Amazon was a real problem. By September, GWW traded at its lowest levels in almost six years. Grainger seemed destined to be another dominant business undone by a nimbler online competitor.
In 2012, Amazon announced the launch of Vine.com for buying green products, including groceries, household items, and apparel. It is part of Quidsi, the company that Amazon bought in 2010 that also runs the sites Diapers.com (baby), Wag.com (pets), and YoYo.com (toys). Amazon also owns other e-commerce sites like Shopbop.com, Woot.com, and Zappos.com.