Toys R Us isn’t the only large retailer whose demise has been partly blamed on e-commerce and Amazon. But what if it’s not Amazon but suppliers striking out on their own who are putting some brick-and-mortar retailers out of business or giving them a run for their money? A rise in direct-to-consumer (DTC) activity by suppliers, spurred by e-commerce, may be to blame.
Many suppliers and manufacturers are moving from bulk sales orders — even to large wholesale accounts — to selling more at an item or case level. That changes their business model and supply chain, making them rethink relationships with what used to be their entire client base. In many cases, suppliers started directly competing against their clients.