This is a fairly standard disclosure that is often included in IPO registration statements, but additional statements do highlight how their business can be disrupted. While they do not mention Amazon as a direct competitor, they do note that traditional retailers like Perrigo and companies you may not think of like Nestle, Mars and J.M. Smucker all compete against them in the pet health and wellness category, all of which are far larger than they are: “These competitors may be able to identify and adapt to changes in consumer preferences more quickly than us due to their resources and scale.”
There are several other retail and food IPOs in registration that could go public in the next few weeks, including Sun Basket (meal delivery), Torrid (plus-size clothing spinoff from Hot Topic), and FreshDirect (also meal delivery, which has registered in Germany), and Yeti (coolers).
There are also several retailers that have been in registration for a long time and just can’t seem to get out of the gate, including Albertsons.
Amazon’s aggressive moves won’t make any of these easier to get out of the gate, but Kathleen Smith, who runs IPO research firm Renaissance Capital, doesn’t think Amazon is the death of retail IPOs.
“There’s always some new creative idea that will come through,” she told me. She points to J. Jill, which is only slightly below its IPO price of $13 — partly because of its comparatively low valuation but also because of its strong brand loyalty. She also points to flooring retailer Floor & Decor, which went public in April at $21 and is now $39.
Smith also notes that many retailers could end up selling directly to Amazon as well. PetIQ, for its part, already sells to Walmart and Sam’s Club, which accounted for 33 percent and 21 percent of net sales in 2016.
Regardless, Amazon’s aggressive moves — and the clear impact it has had on retailers since the Whole Foods announcement — have served notice that for a company of the size and scale of Amazon, the barrier to entry for many businesses is not nearly as great as it used to be.