NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Outside of TheStreet's Brian Sozzi, very few retail analysts have anything insightful or otherwise interesting to say about the space. Most are mired in the same culture of obviousness that renders large-scale physical retail hopelessly pathetic.
However, I've always enjoyed reading Robin Lewis, who publishes The Robin Report. That's why I held back on my initial urge to call him out for inanity when I read what he wrote for Forbes -- a piece arguing Amazon.com (AMZN) should buy Sears Holdings (SHLD):
It's a win-win for both Jeff "Get Big Fast" Bezos and Eddie "Take the Money and Run" Lampert. Amazon gets roughly 2,400 U.S. stores (or "buildings"), overnight (1,300 Sears, 1,100 Kmart). The acquisition becomes Bezos' answer to omnichannel and the proven revenue synergy of consumers' ability to shop online and off; the convenience of proximity for pick up and returns; and facilitation of even greater delivery speed. So just as Walmart's 4,500 stores double as distribution centers, so would Amazon's acquired Sears/Kmart stores.
Sounds logical, but, like so many of the this company should buy that company articles, it lacks the restraint necessary to edit a creative imagination. If Lewis reeled himself in a bit, he might -- he might -- have something.
First, Amazon's not a physical retailer. And there's no reason for it to become one.
At most, it would be kind of cool for Amazon to open flagship stores in a few relevant/key markets (e.g., Seattle, New York, LA). Like those rumored Google (GOOG) retail outlets that (as far as I know) never materialized or Intel's (INTC) excellent holiday pop-up stores. Pure tourist attraction, brand builder and spectacular destination for people to see your hardware and a truckload or two of your best-selling merchandise. If Sears has a location that works and it's willing to sell, there might be a fit along these lines.