Google searches for "kindle book". Source: Google Trends
2012 Q1 +66% y/y, Q2 +52% y/y, Q3 +33% y/y, Q4 -14% y/y
2013 Q1 (quarter to date) -30% y/y
This isn't too surprising. Read the employee letters on Glassdoor and the articles on Americans working at Amazon's distribution centers last year (super high heat levels, lack of air conditioning). Bezos is on record BRAGGING that he plays his employees below market salaries because he hires people that believe in the Amazon mission like a cult. Meanwhile he sold around $200 million worth of AMZN stock in recent months. Hypocrite!
Staples has been VERY promotional for months. I get huge % off coupons multiple times a week.
When this passes, it will be very negative for Amazon sales.
Both state sales tax collection and price-match drivers ARE GETTING WORSE going forward. More states will force AMZN to collect state taxes, there is even a national Congressional bill getting traction on this. Plus the price-match is not going way. Both Target and Best Buy have confirmed they will do AMZN price-matching indefinitely. So look for more weak AMZN sales quarters ahead.
Amazon missed sales estimates huge in last quarter. The reason were a big ramp state sales tax collection (first time in California, Pennsylvania, and Texas) and more price-match competition from Target and Best Buy. Even Amazon admitted on the conference earnings call weakness on consumer electronics (obviously directly due to Best Buy starting to price match) and weakness in higher priced items (obviously California state sales tax driven, more expensive items sales are more tax sensitive).
The only reason Amazon hasn't crashed yet is the Capital Research family of mutual funds bought 4.2 millions shares of Amazon last quarter and I bet is propping it up this quarter. However when Amazon reports slowing growth again next quarter, the Amazon bulls like Capital Research (Amazon's #1 stock holder) are going to be forced to puke the stock. Capital Research sold 4.9 millions shares of Apple last quarter on the reports of slowing iPhone y/y sales growth and look what happen to Apple stock on that.