Opinion Your Views — 22 August 2013
A bit of advice for Jeff Bezos

To the editor:

Most of the discussion since we learned Jeff Bezos was buying The Washington Post has centered on how he can better take it into the digital age. Additionally, some of focus should be on the paper’s distribution channels, brick-and-mortars, so to speak, and how to optimally utilize them as well.

For those not old enough to remember — viewing the movie “You’ve Got Mail” will quickly bring the uninitiated up to speed — there was a time not so long ago when independent booksellers were proliferate and profitable. They succumbed to the big-box retailers, whose business was in turn disrupted by Amazon.com.

This brief history lesson brings me back to Mr. Bezos, a smart businessman who is at a point in his life when most realize that “doing good” — in his case, giving back to local communities that may have suffered economically because of the ascendance of his company — can sustain commercial success and growth. To purchase from his ever-expanding product line, consumers need spending money, which they get by holding jobs.

By employing the local paperboy to bring more than the traditional newspaper to the doorstep in the morning, Bezos can improve upon Amazon’s already outstanding customer service and increase the print circulation — if subscribing to it is a condition of the home delivery of other merchandise — which would in turn attract advertising ink. It’s just a thought and something to consider if this media-merchant meld model is to have longevity and legs.

- Karen Ann DeLuca
Alexandria

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