In this file:

 

·         Amazon extends lead as top retail brand in Kantar/WPP survey

·         Amazon Is Paying Employees $10,000 to Quit and Start Delivery Businesses

·         Jeff Bezos breaks ground on $1.5 billion Amazon air hub near Cincinnati       
 

·         Whole Foods still has highest prices among grocers despite April cuts, says Bank of America

·         Despite Walmart’s new next-day delivery move, some experts still like Amazon more

 

 

Amazon extends lead as top retail brand in Kantar/WPP survey

 

Reporting by Emma Thomasson. Editing by Jane Merriman, Reuters

May 13, 2019

 

BERLIN (Reuters) - Amazon has almost doubled its brand value to $316 billion as it expands in areas like entertainment and smart speakers, while China’s Alibaba is now the world’s second most valuable retail brand, a survey showed on Tuesday.

 

The value of the Amazon brand jumped 91%, while Alibaba’s rose 48% to $131 billion, according to an annual ranking from ad group WPP and its data analytics unit Kantar, which combines financial performance with consumer surveys in more than 50 countries.

 

“Both Alibaba and Amazon are connecting with consumers across a wide variety of their needs,” said Graham Staplehurst, global strategy director for Kantar’s BrandZ ranking.

 

“They are growing more than others partly because of their activity outside retailing.”

 

Alibaba took second place from McDonald’s even though the brand value of the world’s biggest fast food chain grew 18 percent to $130 billion as it offered healthier menus and more environmentally friendly packaging...

 

more

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-retail-brands/amazon-extends-lead-as-top-retail-brand-in-kantar-wpp-survey-idUSKCN1SJ2G3

 

 

Amazon Is Paying Employees $10,000 to Quit and Start Delivery Businesses

This is the latest move by the e-commerce giant to help facilitate one-day deliveries.

 

Danny Vena, The Motley Fool

May 14, 2019

 

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) dropped a bombshell during the conference call to discuss its first-quarter results last month. According to CFO Brian Olsavsky, the company would be making significant changes to its popular free shipping program. "We're currently working on evolving our Prime free two-day shipping program to be a free one-day shipping program," he said. "We're able to do this because we've spent 20-plus years expanding our fulfillment and logistics network, but this is still a big investment and [we have] a lot of work ... ahead of us."

 

Now, Amazon has announced the next step toward that objective. The company just revealed it will expand its Delivery Service Partner program in the U.S., paying eligible employees $10,000 to start their own delivery businesses.

 

An offer they can't refuse?

 

In a blog post on Monday, the e-commerce leader said the new incentive program would encourage current Amazon employees to start a small business -- that is,  to own and operate a package delivery company. To help its workers take the plunge, Amazon said it would commit to funding start-up costs (up to $10,000) and the equivalent of three months' gross salary to help "get their package delivery companies off the ground."

 

This program also listed a host of benefits -- for example, consistent delivery volume from Amazon, as well as "access to the company's sophisticated delivery technology, hands-on training, and discounts on a suite of assets and services, including Amazon-branded vans customized for delivery, branded uniforms, and comprehensive insurance."

 

The offer is the latest expansion of a program Amazon introduced last year.

 

A big move into shipping ...

 

An ulterior motive? ...

 

more, including links

https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/05/14/amazon-paying-employees-to-quit-start-delivery.aspx

 

 

Jeff Bezos breaks ground on $1.5 billion Amazon air hub near Cincinnati

CEO says facility, set to open in 2021, will help speed up deliveries

 

By Mike Murphy, MarketWatch

May 14, 2019

 

Amazon.com. Inc. broke ground on construction of a $1.5 billion air hub outside Cincinnati on Tuesday as part of a plan to deliver packages to consumers faster.

 

“Let’s move some earth,” Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said as he climbed into a John Deere front loader and scooped a pile of dirt. “If you’re wondering, that’s fun,” Bezos said. 

 

The new hub near Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport was announced in 2017, and is scheduled to open in 2021. Amazon expects about 50 of its planes will operate from the facility, which will employ around 2,000 people.

 

“This hub is going to let us get packages to customers faster. We’re going to move Prime from two days (delivery) to one day,” Bezos said Tuesday, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier.

 

Amazon AMZN, -0.78%   announced last month it was cutting its Prime free-delivery times in half, from two days to one, and the e-commerce giant said it expects to spend $800 million this quarter to make the change.

 

The northern Kentucky air hub is part of...

 

more

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/jeff-bezos-breaks-ground-on-15-billion-amazon-air-hub-near-cincinnati-2019-05-14

 

 

Whole Foods still has highest prices among grocers despite April cuts, says Bank of America

 

    Whole Foods still has the highest prices on average among U.S. food retailers, despite its price cuts in April, according to research by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

    Walmart continues to have the lowest overall prices, the analysts say.

    “We continue to believe that Amazon is not having an impact on Walmart’s grocery momentum,” Bank of America analyst Robert Ohmes tells CNBC.

 

Emma Newburger, CNBC

May 14 2019

 

Whole Foods still has the highest overall prices among U.S. food retailers, despite the widely publicized discounts the Amazon-owned grocer made in April.

 

Walmart continues to have lowest overall prices, momentum that will likely be unscathed by Whole Foods’ price cuts, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a Tuesday report. Kroger narrowed its gap with Walmart with an average premium of 7%, the analysts said. Sprouts Farmers Market had an average premium of 8%, while Whole Foods prices were the highest at 34% above Walmart — a percentage point higher than the previous 3-4 years of studies.

 

“We continue to believe that Amazon is not having an impact on Walmart’s grocery momentum,” Bank of America analyst Robert Ohmes said.

 

The Bank of America research was 10 pricing studies in eight different metro areas over the past year. The last of these occurred in May after the price changes went into effect.

 

“In our most recent price study in Philadelphia, Whole Foods’ basket was still priced at a +39% premium to Walmart. Produce [was] still at a +25% basket premium to Walmart, and center-of-store items at a +58% premium to Walmart,” Ohmes said.

 

Whole Foods’ price cuts, which extend beyond Amazon prime members, were heavily focused on produce but were less competitive for items found in the center of the store, the analysts said.

 

The study also found that the price premium for organic produce is narrowing versus conventional produce, a development that the analysts attributed to competition in the category, especially as Walmart and Target expand their organic offerings.

 

As retailers lose traffic to Amazon for goods that shoppers can simply buy online, U.S. grocers have ramped up efforts to compete on prices and technology. Despite this, e-commerce accounted for just 2.2% of U.S. retail sales of food and beverages in 2018, though online market share is expected to rise to around 2.7% in 2019, according to a separate report by Coresight Research, also released Tuesday...

 

more, including links

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/14/whole-foods-has-highest-prices-despite-cuts-in-april-bank-of-america.html

 

 

Despite Walmart’s new next-day delivery move, some experts still like Amazon more

 

Lizzy Gurdus, CNBC

May 15, 2019

 

Walmart or Amazon?

 

That’s the question some investors are grappling with following Walmart’s announcement that it will begin rolling out next-day delivery for more than 200,000 products. The announcement on Tuesday came weeks after Amazon said it will work toward making one-day shipping the standard for Prime members.

 

But Oppenheimer’s top technical analyst, Ari Wald, has a clear favorite.

 

“We think the advantage goes to Amazon,” he said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.”

 

Wald called attention to a chart showing the relative ratio between the rivals’ stock performance. When the line rises, Amazon is outperforming Walmart; when it falls, Amazon is underperforming.

 

After Amazon’s rally in the first half of 2018, it spent the second half of last year trading lower, which Wald’s team saw as “a correction in an uptrend,” he said.

 

“More recently, we’ve seen the ratio stabilize and now turn back in favor towards Amazon. It’s inflected higher,” he added. “We see this as a resumption of Amazon’s long-term trend of outperformance. It’s probably not necessarily a case against Walmart, but more so that the bullish case is more compelling for Amazon.”

 

Gina Sanchez, founder and CEO of Chantico Global, also preferred Amazon, but not for the same reasons...

 

more, including links, chart

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/15/despite-walmarts-new-next-day-delivery-move-some-experts-like-amazon.html