10:03 am — I click on to www.urbanfetch.com.
10:07 am — I click SEND.
10:57 am — Doorbell rings.
To wit: six fresh bagels, a quarter pound of smoked salmon, a quart of milk, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s cherry Garcia frozen yogurt. Plus, if I had wanted it, shaving cream, the newspaper, a movie rental to watch tonight, a book or CD, a new telephone answering machine — tons of stuff.
Free delivery within an hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No tipping allowed.
The implications are . . . staggering.
I may never leave the house again.
(It’s only in New York and London so far — mostly by bike in New York and motorcycle in London. Privately held.)
This past December, with Amazon trading near its $113 all-time high, J.P. Morgan Securities initiated coverage with a “buy” rating. Twelve-month target: $160. Friday, Amazon closed at $33 and change. There is the natural temptation to buy it. It’s a great brand; it delights its customers with good service; and the stock is on sale at 70% off the price J.P. Morgan thought was already cheap. Buying it here may prove wise. Certainly wiser than at $113. But note that, at 33 and change, Amazon is still being valued at $12 billion, which in the old days was considered a lot of money. Even today, that’s 33% more than the valuation of Federal Express, which, like Amazon has a great brand name and can be expected to share in the e-commerce boom — and unlike Amazon, actually makes a profit. (A large one, in fact.) I am no longer short Amazon. There is a chance it has a lot further to fall — if it fell by another two-thirds, it would still be valued at more than the country’s largest airline. But there’s also a chance that 10 years from now it could actually be worth what J.P. Morgan predicted for six months from now. And I wish it well.