"It is possible that companies have retooled to better compete with Amazon," Noah Weisberger, chief U.S. strategist at AB Bernstein, wrote in an email. "The labor market is very strong, wage growth is moderate, the tick up in participation should not be overlooked as a positive, and the balance sheet is very healthy."
Amazon built a reputation in recent years for pivoting into new businesses or sectors and crushing its competition through renowned logistical work and aggressive price control. That practice is perhaps best witnessed in its ability to deflate the market for books, where Amazon first began taking market share from brick-and-mortar retailers like Barnes and Noble.
So when the e-commerce giant announced plans in 2017 to acquire Whole Foods, groceries chains like Kroger swooned. Sears Holdings proved another famous victim of the so-called Amazon effect, closing hundreds of locations and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year. A handful of other notable retailers, including J.C. Penney and Toys R Us struggled at the hands of Amazon.
Electronics retailer Best Buy has also faced competition from the internet giant over the years, promising to match the internet Goliath on pricing and vying to take market share through improved e-commerce sales.