Amazon is looking more like the Web's version of Wal-Mart every day. In addition to its house brand of kitchen tools (Pinzon), outdoor furniture (Strathwood), bed and bath products (Pike Street) and power tools (Denali), the online merchant has entered the consumer electronics domain with the launch of "AmazonBasics."

At this point in time, AmazonBasics doesn't have much to show, with products consisting largely of audio, video, and networking cables, as well as blank discs. One can only assume this selection will grow, however. By embracing private labels, Amazon is taking a page from the book of major retailers like Wal-Mart and Costco, which offer customers low-cost house brands.

Private labels have the potential for higher profit, as they sidestep the middleman. Given the weak economy, I can only assume shoppers are relying on store brands more than ever for savings. I wonder if their continued push to offer house brand items will affect the prices of other Amazon merchants.