In this file:


·         AmazonGo Stores Could Become a Multi-Billion Business

·         Why I'm excited about Amazon entering the SatCom industry

·         Amazon Struggles To Reach Gen Z Shoppers

·         Whole Foods to donate part of sales to Just Roots

·         Amazon and Walmart prepare to fight new Indian ecommerce rules



AmazonGo Stores Could Become a Multi-Billion Business

New research shows how the e-commerce giant could create another successful stream of revenue.


By Rachel Taylor, QSR Magazine

January 2019


Amazon is no stranger to the food industry. The e-commerce site broke into the retail space when it acquired Whole Foods in July 2017 and has continued to develop other ways to grow its footprint in the retail industry.


This past fall, reports surfaced that the online retailer could open some 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021, per a Bloomberg report.


Amazon has not commented openly about the plan.


New research from RBC Capital Markets now shows that if Amazon opens the projected number of futuristic shops by 2021, the company could generate close to $4.5 billion in sales a year.


According to Recode, the analysts considered the typical order of a AmazonGo store is about $10. The analysts considered the average number of visitors—an average of 550 a day—“which would mean the average Go store generates an estimated $1.5 million in revenue a year excluding days when current Amazon Go stores are closed,” per Recode.


The first AmazonGo store opened in 2016 in Seattle, Washington. A mix between a convenience store and quick-serv food spot, the cashierless stores allow customers to grab items off the shelf and are automatically charged. The innovative store models “bring in about 50 percent more revenue on average than typical convenience stores, according to new estimates from RBC Capital Markets analysts,” reported Recode.


A new store in Chicago and two more locations in Seattle offer customers the option to grab sandwiches, salads, and snacks along with other offerings—like beer and packaged groceries—one might find at convenience stores. Not all locations have the same product lineup leaving room for Amazon to experiment with offerings as new stores are opened. Recode compares the grab-and-go potential for AmazonGo stores to quick-serv Pret a Manger, which specializes in sandwiches, salads, and other food on the go. Pret a Manger made around $1.1 billion in sales across 444 stores in 2016, according to Recode.


While the potential for the business is massive, Amazon will need to invest more than what a regular convenience store would normally cost. Amazon spent more than $1 million on hardware alone in the first AmazonGo store. Morgan Stanley estimates...


more, including links



Why I'm excited about Amazon entering the SatCom industry


by Mike Carey, ATLAS Space Operations

Space Daily - Jan 05, 2019


Carey is founder and chief strategy officer for ATLAS Space Operations, which provides satellite communications as a service.


San Francisco CA (SPX) --  Recently, the satellite data industry welcomed its newest player: Amazon. Amazon is teaming up with with defense industry veteran Lockheed Martin to create the new AWS Ground Station Service - which will eventually have 12 global antenna ground stations. These stations will provide customers on the ground with satellite communication and associated access to data.


As you probably already know, Amazon isn't the first to try this out. Four years ago I founded ATLAS Space Operations, a satellite data communications company that has been doing this very same thing. Now that Amazon has entered our industry, you might think I'd be a little nervous.


But I'm not. In fact, this is some of the best news I've heard in years. To me, it's clear: Amazon's entrance into the satcom industry could be a great thing for everyone in this business.


When major players like Amazon and Lockheed Martin turn their attention to a new market, it provides validation for every other company already working in it, and eventually can help simplify licensing, regulatory processes and operations. Right now, ATLAS Space Operations is the intrepid pioneer that ventured into the Wild West of satcom; with Amazon and Lockheed Martin entering the industry and opening up new possibilities, we might soon be considered the fearless leader who founded the town and made everyone else eager to come with us.


All this being said, Amazon is bound to face several hurdles when they enter the satcom industry, and Jeff Bezos and company should be prepared to overcome such challenges as:


1 - Modulated data. Amazon is more or less replicating ATLAS' approach to data processing, but I'm not sure how they will address the custom handling of modulated data.


Each antenna frequency has a modulation being broadcast. It's similar to a radio, which has to be tuned to the frequency modulation or amplitude modulation to hear a certain station. No one company can put up an antenna for a specific frequency and cover everyone's needs; each customer has different requirements.


Not only is the multitude of modulation schemes somewhat challenging, but there also is a host of regulatory mazes that must be navigated to gain global access. To date, this has been unattainable on a large scale.


2 - The transmission to spacecraft. To be able to transmit to spacecraft, you need a license for every spacecraft to which you transmit. The International Telecommunications Union has regulatory governance over all satellite transmissions, and each country has authority over satellite transmissions within their physical domain, and it's necessary to go through an army of regulators to get this licensing.


Some countries are challenging to obtain licensing within, so while Amazon is saying it can put antennas everywhere, they won't be able to control spacecraft as readily; the regulatory issue is challenging worldwide.


Additionally, the power required to be transmitted from spacecraft so it can be "heard" from a ground station is highly variable between spacecraft. Either the spacecraft has to be physically close enough to the antenna for the antenna to "hear" it, or you need a transmitter with enough wattage to transmit so that the antenna to pick it up. We call that the link budget - the "listening" power of receiving antenna and transmit power of sending antenna create a handshake.


If someone puts up 1,000 antennas and says everyone can use them, that assumes everyone has the same transmit threshold, but that's not true. Each satellite behaves differently, and a common ground station does not solve that.


3 - The standards for modulations...


4 - The scheduling...


5 - The antenna...





Amazon Struggles To Reach Gen Z Shoppers


Walter Loeb, Contributor, Forbes

Jan 7, 2018


Amazon has reached a lot of middle aged and older shoppers with its Prime card. The company has forced drastic changed in overall retail shopping; however, there is one segment of the population that appears to be a real challenge for the company - they are the young Gen Z shoppers. just published an interview with Ed Kennedy, senior director of Episerver, a global software company, who said that Amazon is not appealing to experience-driven Gen Z shoppers. Kennedy says this is in large part because the platform’s main value proposition – namely convenience and cost – doesn’t speak to them. While older generations are busy managing careers and families, Gen Z shoppers have both time and disposable income. And, they are seeking unique, engaging retail experiences wherever they chose to shop. This is especially true when catering to this younger audience in apparel; stores, whether they are physical locations or on-line, have to create something that makes them a desired shopping destination. It has to be an immersive experience.


Kennedy feels that Amazon’s biggest downfall in attracting Gen Z customers is its failure to meet them on social media, a channel where increasing numbers of users are making purchases. Gen Z shop online and wants the opportunity to shop through social media when they go online. The product experience is exposed through social media. People are asking for opinions and recommending products to one another on that platform. It is true; young people shop generally shop online while older generation still shop mostly in brick and mortar locations, but they will be selective and still look for that experience. They don’t see it offered by Amazon.


This perception is particularly valuable as we look at the growth opportunities in 2019. A new IBM study shows that men’s fashion will grow 3.23% in 2019, faster than apparel business in kids (projected to grow 2.66%) and women’s (expected up 2.65%). Much of this will be dependent on how the fashions will be promoted and whether an early Easter will boost fashion sales in the Spring. If IBM is correct, men’s fashion, which has lagged in sales for most retailers for several years, would make a major comeback.


I believe that sales increases in these three categories will all be through e-commerce sales. Young people, who are interested in fashion, will look for new trends on the internet, shop for fashion there, and feel no need to go to a store. In addition, they often shop late at night and often wait until their peers have made a selection and then follow their lead. All of this points to the important role of social media. It can’t be ignored; it shapes where online shopping will take place for these young consumers and poses a challenge to Amazon.


The question whether Amazon will ever capture these Gen Z costumers is difficult to answer. I think...





Whole Foods to donate part of sales to Just Roots


The Recorder (MA)

January 07, 2019


GREENFIELD —  Just Roots — the local nonprofit that fights food insecurity — will receive 5 percent of net sales from Whole Foods Market in Hadley on Thursday as part of the company’s annual Community Giving Days.


Just Roots  works to increase access to healthy, local food by connecting people, land, resources and know-how.


“We pay close attention to food security and community as building blocks of whole health, and work to break down barriers that community members face to eating and living well,” the non-profit said in a statement announcing the planned donation. “We collaborate with community organizations and agencies to bring our mission, our programs, and delicious local food to people of all backgrounds,” the statement said.


The non-profit offers offer educational programming on a farm leased from the town, in schools and in the community.


Just Roots says it is committed to “building confidence in your ability to grow and preserve food and to increasing resilience in your life through educational experiences centered around agriculture”...





Amazon and Walmart prepare to fight new Indian ecommerce rules

The newly tightened regulations threaten to pinch Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart in one of the world’s fastest growing online commerce arenas, where both have invested billions of dollars.


Bloomberg News

via DigitalCommerce360 - Jan 4, 2019


(Bloomberg)— Inc. and Walmart Inc. find themselves on the same side for once.


The bitter rivals have come together in India to lobby the government on regulations that threaten to dampen their expansion ambitions. Among other things, the giant retailers are asking for an extension on a Feb. 1 deadline for implementing those rules, according to people with knowledge of the matter.


The newly tightened regulations threaten to pinch Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart in one of the world’s fastest growing online commerce arenas, where both have invested billions of dollars. They require online marketplaces to treat all vendors equally, effectively barring foreign companies from featuring exclusive products on their platforms, owning inventory, and thus being able to influence pricing and offer huge discounts.


In addition, Amazon and Flipkart get a lot of their Indian inventory through companies they own or back, goods that’re then sold directly or through favored merchants. One such seller is Cloudtail, owned by a joint venture between Amazon and a company run by Infosys Ltd. billionaire co-founder Narayana Murthy. As rules stand, the two American companies must sell any stakes they hold in such companies.


“They are campaigning together against the new rules because these companies have over $20 billion at stake in the Indian market,” said Satish Meena, a New Delhi-based forecast analyst at Forrester Research Inc. “At least another $10 billion investment will be made by these two companies in the next few years and this is the leverage they are trying to use.”


The Economic Times first reported on lobbying to extend the Feb. 1 deadline...