"The guys who are really successful—and there are some big, really successful distributors—if you poke around a little bit, you'll find that the majority of the very successful ones have kind of reinvented their business model a little bit and added fulfillment capability, one to one, one-box-to-one-customer fulfillment. Some of them are really good at it," he says.
Overall, Amazon has six distribution centers, and three of them manage electronics. Sadowski says Amazon also uses less than 10 distributors on a third-party basis.
The company already has sights set on an even more robust formula for delivery that may tap into installation. "The next thing is being able to hook that plasma TV up, hook it up to your stereo system, program the learning remote and make sure you know how to work it before you leave," explains Sadowski. "The step after that—that's non-intrusive—is full-intrusive installation, which is hang it on the wall, drill the holes, fish the wires, put the panels in, install in-wall speakers if you want."