SubPrime: Amazon’s Lack of Humanity

Omar Zahran
6 min readMay 16, 2020
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Image Credit: Daniel Eledut via Unsplash

With great power comes great responsibility. This iconic phrase from Spider-Man has been applied to politics and law enforcement to remind us of the importance that comes with those positions. Where we do not associate this phrase however is for large corporations and the responsibilities that they have. In this time of great uncertainty, there should be a consequence of larger companies acting irresponsibly. What of the world’s largest retailer then? Let’s look at how Amazon has handled this crisis and why we should expect more from the retailer.

The Magnitude of Amazon

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Image Credit: Miguel Bruna via Unsplash

Amazon as a company and its CEO Jeff Bezos have what can modestly be called an embarrassment of riches. The company has a market cap that frequently flirts with the $1 Trillion thresholds and in the eyes of many consumers is the default place to shop for anything. While online sales only account for roughly 13% of total sales, this number is rapidly increasing and Amazon is the driving force behind it.

Amazon’s Prime membership numbers have been increasing every year since 2013 and only seem to be increasing. The companies free 2-day shipping and in some markets same day shipping have become selling points of shopping on the service. The efficiency of the service has led to quite a few people to use Amazon for their staples and necessities. This success has led to the acquisition of Whole Foods, giving Amazon a brick and mortar presence in addition to its online dominance.

The company is dominating on so many fronts these days from its consumer-facing online retail website to Amazon Web Services (AWS) that has dominated the server-side cloud business. To put it bluntly, the company is ambitious, successful, and enormous in scope. This has led to the pop culture impact of the company, where Amazon ordering sprees have become meme fodder. Whenever the company is in the news, tech outlets pay attention. Amazon matters, which is what makes the way that they have conducted business during this pandemic especially troubling.

We Should Expect Better

Omar Zahran

Freelance sports writer, check out all my work at