When Fish’s Eddy put out a window display reading “F*ck Amazon” the founder says she wasn’t actually trying to say “F you” to the ecommerce giant.
Instead, she was trying to point out the tough realities of being a small business owner in 2017.
“It’s the same conversation that small business owners have always had,” Julie Gaines, the founder of the quirky store that sells dishes and knick-knacks, told Business Insider. “We’re a dying breed.”
In recent years, Amazon has gone from a tech industry darling to public enemy No. 1 in many independent businesses’ and Americans’ eyes.
Gaines says that she respects Amazon and would “die” without the company (Fish’s Eddy both orders basic supplies from the ecommerce giant and sells some products on the site). However, shoppers’ increasing reliance on Amazon can take business away from other retailers, large and small.
“Things have been tough for us because everyone stays home and orders online,” Gaines said.
Even a rumour that Amazon is entering a new industry can send stocks plummeting, as Zillow’s did in July following whispers that Amazon is building a real estate service of its own.
Once Walmart was the villain to end all villains when people complained about the trials and tribulations of being a small business owner. Now, as Amazon gains power, it is increasingly taking on that role.
Small business owners across the country have been searching for something — anything — that will help them compete against Amazon.
“I own a store that sells high-end kitchenware. People have always window shopped here, but more and more I find them inquiring about the price and some are even so bold as to tell me that they need to know for when they go home and buy it on Amazon,” one person recently wrote into USA Today’s ‘Ask an Expert’ column. “What is a shopkeeper to do?”
Still, Fish’s Eddy says that there are reasons to hope for the future.
Gaines says that she believes that shopping in stores is still the great American past time. Plus, the sale that the “F*ck Amazon” sign was advertising was a success — indicating that at least some New York City shoppers have their own frustrations with the ecommerce giant that convinced them to walk through Fish’s Eddy’s doors.
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