Diapers, Amazon and your local economy

Amazon has not been good for the small mom and pop stores of America

Charles Fredrick Swanson
AUGUST 29, 2017

We believe in supporting our local economies

Sun Sprout Cloth Diaper Service offers the best in cloth diapers through our service and retail store. We believe in supporting our local economies and are proud members of Local First Arizona. It’s not easy running a small business and we are grateful to our Tucson and Phoenix community and groups like Local First AZ for keeping our humble diaper service successful. But goodness knows we need to watch out for the giants in the world of commerce like Amazon.

The journey between producer and consumer becomes more convoluted

Amazon has not been good for the small mom and pop stores of America. That is an understatement. But the depth of my understanding of Amazon’s predatory culture was made deeper by Matt Stoller’s article on The Huffington Post entitled America’s Amazon Problem. I found out that Amazon is purchasing Whole Foods Market for a whopping $13.7 billion dollars. What would this mean? We shall see but hopefully we won’t be seeing Amazon Prime members getting organic quinoa at a better price than the rest of us or local food producers’ margins growing even thinner as the journey between producer and consumer becomes more convoluted.

Stoller’s piece highlights the shaky ground that local and regional competitors face using diapers as an example. Imagine that! How did diapers get into the discussion? Stoller states:

“Amazon’s takeover of Whole Foods means that it can target and eliminate regional competitors one by one as it did with its online competitors. When Diapers.com emerged as a competitor to Amazon, Amazon simply sold diapers below cost until the company capitulated and sold itself to Bezos. There’s no reason to assume Amazon wouldn’t bring the same predatory pricing strategy to bear in every city in America. Why wouldn’t it? Even though predatory pricing is illegal, the government hasn’t enforced those laws for decades. Whole Foods tends to source from local farms as part of a commitment to localism; these farms will now be negotiating with a much bigger entity that is committed to a ruthless model of efficiency.”

If you go to diapers.com you’ll find yourself on Amazon’s website. If you carefully search for the ‘diapers’ button on that page (it took me a while) and select that button the first offering you’ll see will be Pampers. Way to go, Proctor and Gamble! Amazon is interested in what sells, not what goes on your baby’s bottom or into a landfill.
Sun Sprout is unabashedly pro-baby, pro-environment and pro-localism. So next time you need to buy a diaper, book or bag of local arugula think about where your money is going. Is it going to the billionaires of the world like Jeff Bezos or is it helping your neighbor send his daughter to college?

Charles Fredrick Swanson
Sun Sprout Business Owner

Writer, Environmental Educator, Artist and Lover of all things Wild and Free.