Amazon had a quiet week after last week’s mega tech-fest. Lots of fallout and some interesting ‘so this means…’ pieces for the cardboard abuser to ignore. Amazon Go had a busy week with the WSJ first disclosing Amazon has signed a dozen leases in the LA, CA area with others in Chicago and Philadelphia. According to Retail Gazette, the stores will be a different concept to Amazon Go.
The company now has 16 Amazon Go stores, where customers can grab ready-to-eat food and grocery purchases checkout-free. It also has four Amazon 4-star stores, which stock products rated 4-stars and above on the Amazon site, and 18 Amazon Books stores.
Revenue from these bricks-and-mortar businesses is small but edging up. In the second quarter, net sales from Amazon’s physical stores rose 1% to $4.3 billion from a year earlier, compared with 16% growth recorded in its online stores, according to Amazon’s earnings statement. Sales in its physical stores include items that customers select in the store, but exclude purchases made online and picked up at a store.
CNBC revealed that Amazon is in talks with OTG’s CIBO Express stores at airports and Cineworld’s Regal theaters which set the retail world ablaze with guffaws and paper being thrown in the air despite no ink yet on the deals. Arguably this move could have been predicted by anyone with a pulse but the speed at which it has come (since most people have never even seen the Amazon Go logo, let alone been near a store) is what rattled the execs.
The effort would help Amazon grow its retail presence so the company can lower its reliance on online shopping, but at a faster pace and at lower cost than building its own stores. Simultaneously it might help Amazon form bonds with companies that would ordinarily consider Amazon the competition. That type of collaboration could lead to further growth of Amazon’s cloud business.
Amazon already has 16 branded Go stores where customers scan their phones, grab products off of shelves and then walk out and receive a receipt for whatever they took with them. Amazon is eager to place the underlying components for that experience inside other companies’ stories to speed up transactions, three people told CNBC.
CNBC has the story.
Amazon (along with Facebook and Google) will face another house committee hearing about their impact on SME’s led by House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez. Ahead of Q3 earnings, the hearing is another in the long line of legal proceedings that Amazon (and pals) face on a variety of issues that surrounding impact and competition. Grab your popcorn, Velázquez isn’t messing around, she’s here for the little guy.
The hearing, which the committee hopes to hold in late October or early November, would be the latest front in the government’s probe of the companies that already face investigations from the House Antitrust Subcommittee, the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department.
“Chairwoman Velázquez believes that small businesses deserve to compete on a level playing field and hopes the hearing will be an opportunity for the committee to examine how small businesses are faring given the dominance of big tech companies in areas ranging from e-commerce to internet traffic,” Evelyn Quartz, a spokeswoman for the New York Democrat, said in an email.
Bloomberg has the story.
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