Should Amazon buy Nordstrom next? – Recode

The last time he was a guest on Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, NYU professor and brand expert Scott Galloway casually (and accurately) predicted that Amazon would buy Whole Foods. On this week’s episode, he returns to share some new forecasts.

“The logical next one would be Nordstrom’s,” Galloway said. “It would be cheap, it’s in Seattle, they’re operationally very sound, it’s a great company and they’re [Amazon is] trying to establish relationships with high-end brands, which they have been unable to do.”

“Nordstrom has those and a lot of credibility, and a lot of wealthy households have a Nordstrom credit card,” he added.

In other words: What Whole Foods is to groceries, Nordstrom would be to fashion. The company is currently traded on the NYSE and has a market cap of $7.7 billion. However, Galloway disclaimed that he’s less confident that the acquisition would happen because Nordstrom is family-run.

“Whenever you’re talking about a family-controlled company, you bring in family,” he said. “They seem like wonderful smart, people, but you don’t know what happens at Thanksgiving dinner.”

You can listen to Recode Decode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

On the new podcast, which was taped in mid-August, he envisioned a likelier big move for Amazon: A new service that Galloway dubbed “Amazon Prime Squared,” aimed at upping the frequency of new purchases from its highest-value consumers.

“They’ll say, ‘We know a lot about you and you like us and you trust us, so sign up for this and we’re going to start sending you boxes, two to three times a week,’” Galloway said. “One of those boxes will have the stuff we think you want and one will be empty. You send what you don’t want back in the empty box and we’ll pick it up.”

He repeated his prediction from his last appearance on the show, that Amazon’s stock would be worth $1 trillion, arguing that Amazon Prime Squared users would start making $7,000 in purchases per year, versus today’s $1,300 for Amazon Prime.

Galloway said Amazon is in a uniquely powerful position, the first company ever that can perform “Jedi Mind Tricks” with the rest of the market.

“It can destroy another company just by thinking about it,” he said. “Jeff Bezos could take 10 or 20 percent of the market cap away from any Fortune 500 company tomorrow just by announcing he’s going into their business.”

Galloway’s first book, “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google,” comes out on October 3. You can preorder it on — where else? — Amazon.

If you like this show, you should also sample our other podcasts:

  • Recode Media with Peter Kafka features no-nonsense conversations with the smartest and most interesting people in the media world, with new episodes every Thursday. Use these links to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
  • Too Embarrassed to Ask, hosted by Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode, answers the tech questions sent in by our readers and listeners. You can hear new episodes every Friday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
  • And Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events, including the Code Conference, Code Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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