(Reuters) — What looms over businesses as far flung as car repair, lab equipment and swimming pool gear? In a word, Amazon.
Almost 700 U.S. companies have reported quarterly results so far this earnings season, and the e-commerce titan’s name has popped up on roughly one of every 10 earnings conference calls so far. And the retailers whose lunch has long been eaten by Amazon.com Inc haven’t even reported yet.
In all, Amazon has been raised either in passing or with some urgency on 75 calls hosted by corporate chieftains in the past several weeks, according to a Reuters analysis of call transcripts from components of the S&P 1500. That’s well more than twice as many mentions as Google or its parent Alphabet Inc and over three times as many as Apple Inc.
The preponderance of Amazon mentions by executives and Wall Street analysts is the latest indication of its rapidly expanding reach. Its move last month to buy upscale grocer Whole Foods Market Inc for nearly $14 billion has added fresh fuel to the concerns.
Once primarily a scourge of traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, Amazon’s cloud over U.S. business has spread to more corners of the economy and raised worries about where it could strike next. Even executives for whom Amazon was not previously a top concern have found themselves responding to questions about how it may burst into their industries.
On the call for 3M Co, which makes everything from scouring pads to stainless steel dental crowns, Amazon was raised by several analysts. Executives at diversified healthcare company Johnson & Johnson were asked how Amazon might pose a risk to its consumer brands.
McDonald’s Corp CEO Stephen Easterbrook declined to respond directly to a question about implications of the Amazon-Whole Foods deal. But he did say: “It just demonstrates how disruptive the business world is and how quickly it moves.”
It was the first time a McDonald’s, 3M or J&J executive had faced an Amazon-related question in…