In a recent Gawker series, Hamilton called Amazon "the future of retailing in America" and because their effect on the industry is a given, the statement could arguably be true. While on the other hand, the amount of hype and totally unfounded statements from a retail industry consultant on "Breakout" from Yahoo! Finance causes one to wonder, if he's completely out of touch or is set to profit from hyping Amazon stock.
Unfortunately I can't embed and be warned that the web show is an auto-play, but the genesis of both the post and the five minute video is that Amazon has acquired warehouse space in New Jersey, which would position them for same-day delivery of groceries in New York City, which the analyst rightly suggests could be expanded to include other things.
The text of the Yahoo! Finance post is a bit hyperbolic, but if you can look around statements such as, "Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, is on the cusp of rendering every retailer on earth obsolete" and "it marks the beginning of the end of shopping as the whole world knows it; malls will collapse, chains will disappear", the written post is not that bad.
The real nonsense comes from the video, where the host starts out by asking his guest, Howard Davidowitz, if Amazon will "be the merchant for the world" which leads the industry consultant, who lives in Manhattan, to breathlessly declare that Walmart will not be able to compete; grocery stores will close and that Bezos will be the only one who can do same-day delivery on everything, everywhere, at no cost, which completely ignores that Amazon currently charges a fee for same-day, even with Prime and Fresh requires a $299 annual membership charge, plus delivery fees.
I'm sure the warehouses near the largest cities will be able to stock a wide assortment of items, but unless they are going to stockpile everything and we ignore the products Amazon itself doesn't sell, they're not going to have everything in Durango, Little Rock, any of the Augustas and most Springfields. Perhaps they could do something, where some items could be shipped from a larger warehouse to smaller hubs, but right now within the city of Indianapolis, one has to order before 7 AM and the latest time to place an order in the other cities is noon.
If somehow what Davidowitz is shoveling is partially true and Amazon itself is wrong, maybe not in our densest cities, but in the majority of the country, it's still going to be quicker to drive to a store and that's not taking into account, all of the jobs which would be lost in exchange.