Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos famously said, "Your margin is my opportunity." It seems no market is safe from the company's onslaught. Amazon recently made an announcement that sent shivers down the spine of an entire industry, as it appears to be next in the company's crosshairs.
On this episode of Fool Live that aired on Nov. 18, "The Wrap" host Jason Hall and Fool.com contributor Danny Vena discuss Amazon's latest move and the industry it's gunning for now.
Jason Hall: Danny Vena, the latest news from Amazon is how they're really getting aggressive into the pharmacy business here. I want you to tell us a little bit about your take on that. What's Amazon doing and what's your take?
Danny Vena: Well, the latest news is that Amazon has jumped with both feet into the online pharmacy business. It's going to do prescription fulfillment. It's also going to offer free delivery for Amazon Prime members. So this new offering is going to be called Amazon Pharmacy. It's only going to be available to customers in the United States, but they'll be able to order prescription medications. They'll be able to get them delivered to their home.
This is really just the latest in a long line of steps that Amazon has taken. They had internal discussions talking about the pharmacy business back in 2017. One of the things that they did just very quietly, but then got picked up by the news was they went to a number of different states and they applied for pharmacy licenses, which kind of let the cat out of the bag a little bit. Then they acquired PillPack which was a company that takes your daily medications, takes these different medications, puts them all into a little packet, and then delivers these daily doses to you like a month at a time.
So the pharmacy businesses is something that Amazon has been working its way into for several years now. Fools may recall that going back several years [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos and [Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B)(NYSE:BRK.A) CEO] Warren Buffett got together. I don't remember who the third guy is, it might have been [JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) CEO] Jamie Dimon.
Jason Hall: JPMorgan Chase, correct?
Danny Vena: JPMorgan Chase. They got together and try to figure out a way that they could offer healthcare to their respective employees at a lower cost. So this is probably one of the biggest steps that come out of this far. Now it has gone beyond Amazon employees. It looks like this was probably the plan all along. This is a $300 billion industry, the pharmacy space is.
So the fact that Jeff Bezos, who's one of his most famous quotes, is ''Your margins are my opportunity'' is really taking an active interest in the pharmacy business. The fact that it's going to tie right in with their Prime subscriber offering and that they're going to offer free delivery to people who are Prime members. I think that's a huge way to generate interest from potential customers right out of the gate. I think this is a big move.
Jason Hall: Yeah, I agree. I think here's the key. So you think about Amazon's target, Amazon's goal to grow retail. What do you see when you go into Walmart (NYSE:WMT)? A pharmacy. What do you see when you go into Target (NYSE:TGT)? A pharmacy. What do you see when you go into large super-center supermarkets? You see a pharmacy. As much as it might seem like it absolutely fits with what they're trying to do and that's the bottom line is that the more name recognition, the more it becomes a place to go to buy anything. I mean, it's the everything store. It's become so much more of the everything store from when the everything store was first published. I think that's really powerful.