FARHAD MANJOO: How Amazon.com is thriving in a horrendous retail climate. “It’s the one place that’ll sell you stuff for a bargain without making you feel like you’re slumming.” Plus, the power of Amazon Prime: “Be warned, though, that Prime membership will alter how you think about shopping. These days, whenever I become cognizant of some need that would ordinarily require an unplanned trip to the store—when I want a bathroom hook, a shelving system for my closet, a new wireless router, or a discount pack of kitchen sponges—I check Amazon first. It’s usually faster to order the item there and get it shipped for free than to add the thing to my shopping list. With Prime, you don’t really need a shopping list.” That’s something I’ve experienced myself. And you tend to save, not just on gas, but on impulse purchases.