Those huge margins, for essentially being a middleman, also made GWW an obvious target for Amazon. And so the launch of Amazon Business seemed an enormous threat to Grainger’s business. Amazon presented a new rival, one of very few who could match Grainger’s supply chain and distribution capabilities. In the worst-case scenario, Amazon could in theory decimate Grainger’s business. Even in a better outcome, Grainger would seem forced to lower prices to compete.
Amazon product lines include several media (books, DVDs, music CDs, videotapes, and software), apparel, baby products, consumer electronics, beauty products, gourmet food, groceries, health and personal-care items, industrial & scientific supplies, kitchen items, jewelry and watches, lawn and garden items, musical instruments, sporting goods, tools, automotive items and toys & games.