One marker of how important Ingram is a change in the industry since I wrote a piece in 2018 saying it was all flowing to Amazon. Recent data I’ve seen says that the big mass merchants like Wal-mart and Target are beginning to take online print book share away from Amazon. Once you know this, it is easy to understand why. Ingram enables those stores (actually, any store) to offer a competitive selection of books. As Amazon fulfills its vision of being “The Everything Store”, it competes directly with those mass merchants. Why would a customer buying sheets or shoes at one of them go to another for a book purchase? The answer, increasingly, seems to be “they wouldn’t.” They certainly don’t have to.