This Week In Amazon: Staples? Yeah, We've Got That

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Staples? Yeah, We've Got That

In their ill-fated plea to federal regulators and the public to allow them to merge, Staples and Office Depot/OfficeMax cited “the disruptive effect of new competitors in the digital economy,” i.e., Amazon.

Their warnings of undue domination in the office-supply channel have seemingly come to pass, as Amazon Business, the e-tailer’s three-year-old b-to-b division, is now on track to break the $10 billion-mark in annualized sales. Granted, the unit also provides lab equipment and factory-floor gear in addition to PCs and paperclips, but its revenue growth is nothing short of amazin’ given its 10-fold increase since 2016.

See the full story at The Seattle Times.

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I’ll Take Manhattan

Amazon Go, the company’s cash-less — and cashier-less — convenience store, is apparently a go for New York City.

After opening three locations in Seattle, and putting out feelers in San Francisco and Chicago, Amazon has confirmed that its sights are also set on The Big Apple, where it’s looking to hire a store manager, assistant store manager and training lead associate, among others. The grab-and-go shop should be a natural for Manhattan, where patrons often leave without paying.

See the full story at CNN Tech.

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Snubhub

Amazon’s not one to be left out of the limelight, so we think it no mere coincidence that it announced a major expansion of its San Diego Tech Hub on the eve of CEDIA Expo 2018, held this month in … San Diego.

Amazon San Diego office

The hub, one of 17 outside Seattle, played a key role in launching Whole Foods’ Prime Now pickup and delivery service, Amazon said, and the expansion, to a new 85,000-square-foot facility in the city’s Golden Triangle district, will create 300 new jobs in software development, machine learning, Cloud computing and digital entertainment. But San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer may have created something of a tech snub by attending Amazon’s ribbon cutting on the opening day of CEDIA.

See the full story at Amazon.

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Oh Lord, Won’t You Buy Me A Mercedes-Benz?

How about 20,000?

That’s the size of the updated order Amazon recently placed with Mercedes-Benz Vans to supply its new Delivery Service Partner program. The initiative, which helps entrepreneurs launch their own dedicated Amazon fleets as a regional supplement to traditional couriers, initially called for 5,000 of the specially-branded vehicles. 

But the tens of thousands of applications that Amazon received prompted it to up the order, which will fulfilled within a year at a just-opened Mercedes-Benz auto plant in North Charleston, S.C.

See the full story at The Post and Courier.

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The Softer Side Of Bezos

Perhaps in response to criticism of Amazon’s warehouse worker policies, or calls for greater philanthropy from the world’s richest man, Amazon founder/CEO Jeff Bezos has announced a $2 billion commitment to help homeless families and develop preschools in low-income communities.

His Day One Fund initiative, announced on Twitter, evolved from openly solicited suggestions for charitable endeavors. The guiding principles, Bezos explained, are “Where’s the good in the world, and how can we spread it?” and “Where are the opportunities to make things better?” His warehouse workers might have a few recommendations.

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Amazon Quote Of The Week

“I know we initially said 5,000 vans, and I know you guys have been working like crazy. So I hope you won’t be too upset with this but we’ve decided we’re actually going to need 20,000 vans.” — Amazon worldwide operations chief Dave Clark upping his order for Amazon-branded Mercedes-Benz delivery vans

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