THE LITTLE BOOK OF CANNABIS
A little book that delivers big information! Written by freelance writer and journalist Amanda Siebert and chock-full of case studies from Vancouverites. Give the gift of knowledge and insight this holiday.
from page 14
He said that e-commerce really thrives in heavily congested urban environments, such as Seoul or Tokyo, where it’s difficult to reach desired shopping destinations. That’s not such a problem in Canada.
“We’re kind of in an ideal place for physical retail,” Gray said. “As much as we complain about traffic in Vancouver, it’s not bad.…we’re in proximity to most things we want.”
But if the public takes a greater interest in the impact that e-commerce is having on the vibrancy of local communities, there could be a backlash against the e-commerce giants. Already in the Queens borough of New York City, there is growing outrage over Amazon’s placement of its second headquarters there. That’s because of fears it will gentrify the neighbourhood and drive up housing costs.
In the 2015 book Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few, U.S. political economist Robert Reich noted that as platforms like Amazon are able to collect more data about consumers, they’re better equipped to stifle innovations from potential competitors. That’s why he’s argued for strengthening competition laws and busting up large tech companies that consolidate too much control over certain sectors—in effect, to save capitalism from the excesses of the modern monopolists.
It’s something anticipated by author Stone in The Everything Store, which was released in 2013.
“Will antitrust authorities eventually come to scrutinize Amazon and its market power?” Stone asked in his book. “Yes, I believe that is likely, because the company is growing increasingly monolithic in markets like books and electronics, and rivals have fallen by the wayside.
“But as we have seen with the disputes over sales tax and e-book pricing, Amazon is a masterly navigator of the law and is careful to stay on the right side of it. Like Google, it benefits from the example of Microsoft’s antitrust debacle in the 1990s, which provided a powerful object lesson of how aggressive monopolistic behavior can nearly ruin a company.”
Another lesson for Amazon: investments in government relations can pay dividends. In 2013, the corporation spent almost $3.5 million on lobbying in the United States, according to Reich’s book. As the Straight went to the printer, Amazon had four active lobbyists listed in the B.C. lobbyists registry and another 12 listed in the federal lobbyists registry.
Back at Sikora’s Classical Music, Ed Savenye said that if online shopping keeps growing, it will contribute to a growing compartmentalization of society, fewer social interactions, and more isolation. He emphasized that it goes beyond the stereotypical image of someone in their T-shirt and underwear pointing and clicking while lounging on the couch and extends to seniors living alone, who sometimes visit stores to interact with others.
“I’m not walking away from customers,” Savenye insisted when discussing the looming closure of his store. “I’m walking away from friends that I’ve known for 10 or 15 years. I am probably closer to many of these customers than I am to some of my own distant-branch family members. It’s sad.”