In this file:


·         Amazon confirms its Amazon Go team is ‘running internal tests’ at secretive retail store in Seattle

Amazon finally revealed that it is working on a grocery concept at a prime retail location in Seattle’s popular Capitol Hill neighborhood…


·         To Win Grocery Wars, Amazon Brings Out Its Biggest Weapon

·         Amazon Black Friday 2019 and holiday deals have begun

·         Amazon's bid to acquire stake in Future Retail faces antitrust hurdle



Amazon confirms its Amazon Go team is ‘running internal tests’ at secretive retail store in Seattle


by Taylor Soper, GeekWire

October 31, 2019


Amazon finally revealed that it is working on a grocery concept at a prime retail location in Seattle’s popular Capitol Hill neighborhood.


“We can confirm that the Amazon Go team is running internal tests at a location in Capitol Hill but don’t have any additional details to share at this time,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement shared with GeekWire.


It’s the first time Amazon has publicly confirmed its work at this location. Amazon has been involved with the site at 600 E. Pike St. since 2015, more than a year before the company’s Amazon Go cashierless grocery concept was even announced.


It’s an unusually large space for a potential new Amazon Go store, and sits below an apartment complex in a residential neighborhood, unlike the 16 existing locations nationwide.


The windows are still well-shielded from the public, so it’s tough to estimate progress. A “No Trespassing” sign was taped to automatic doors when we visited the site today.


Permit filings uncovered by GeekWire earlier this year provide clues as to what’s going on inside.


The site features several hallmarks of Amazon Go. Drawings show space for the entry and exit kiosks where customers scan a QR code on the Amazon Go app that is used to enter the store and pay for items automatically upon exit.


No traditional checkout areas are shown in the drawings. There is a large general sales area with a section for alcohol, as well as an employee break room and storage.


There are, however, a few unique characteristics that make the store stand out and give credence to the possibility that it could be something different from the typical Amazon Go store, as GeekWire previously reported.


The total area of the retail space is about 10,400 square feet, and permit drawings show that the site is split roughly 3-to-1 between shoppable space and back-of-house operations. If that turns out to be the case, the Capitol Hill store could have somewhere in the area of 7,000 square feet of shoppable space, much bigger than the 1,500 and 3,000 square feet of front-of-house area in other Go stores.


It’s unclear if the Capitol Hill location will be under the Amazon Go brand.


The storefront was initially supposed to be the first Amazon Go store until Amazon abandoned its initial plans as the space sat empty until work resumed earlier this year, Bloomberg reported this summer.


Recent reports indicate that Amazon is kicking around a number of ideas to further expand its burgeoning grocery business following its acquisition of Whole Foods two years ago for $13.7 billion.


Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported...


more, including links



To Win Grocery Wars, Amazon Brings Out Its Biggest Weapon

The e-commerce giant is doing everything it can to get a piece of this $700 billion market.


Jeremy Bowman, The Motley Fool

Nov 1, 2019


Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) wants to sell you your groceries, and it's prepared to spend billions to do it.


The e-commerce giant just announced that it was dropping its $14.99/month fee for grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh, giving Prime members in more than 2,000 cities and towns free delivery on groceries including meat, seafood, and produce. Prime members currently using grocery delivery will now get it for free, while others can request an invitation and join a waiting list. Presumably, Amazon needs to ramp up its capacity and wants to be sure it can match supply with demand, so it will expand free delivery gradually in order to do so.


In most cities that Amazon Fresh serves, delivery will come as quickly as one or two hours, and it requires a $35 order minimum.


An all-out assault


Since Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods two years ago, the company has made no secret about its ambitions in grocery. For a decade before that, Amazon struggled to gain traction with its Fresh grocery delivery service, and even with Whole Foods, the company remains a bit player in the industry as rivals like Walmart (NYSE:WMT) have continued to dominate the $700 billion space.


However, Amazon has made improvements at Whole Foods: lowering prices, discounting items, and offering free delivery for Prime members near stores. By making free delivery available from Amazon Fresh for Prime members, Amazon is pulling the biggest lever it has in the grocery wars: the ability to offer fast, free delivery. The company has been building out grocery delivery hubs in order to support nationwide delivery, and reports have come out from multiple media outlets saying the company is working on launching a lower-priced grocery chain to complement Whole Foods and the delivery service, which would be a way to approach the grocery market from all angles.


There's little question that the move will be expensive. Amazon just said in its third-quarter earnings call that it would spend $1.5 billion in additional shipping costs in the fourth quarter to support its one-day Prime shipping program after spending about $800 million in the second quarter and more than that in the third. It's difficult to say how much free grocery delivery will cost Amazon, but the company has made it clear time and again that it is willing to spend to gain customer loyalty and market share.


In the announcement, it said, "Given the rapid growth of grocery delivery, we expect this will be a popular benefit," a sign the company is anticipating significant growth from it. The irony of free grocery delivery is that, at least in the near term, the more popular it is, the more it's probably going to cost the company on the bottom line.


Supermarkets are a notoriously low-margin businesses, as even successful chains tend to have profit margins in the low single-digits. Given that, finding money to pay for delivery is difficult, which explains why Amazon Fresh and its rivals have charged for delivery either directly or through a service like Instacart.


A game of catch-up ...


Amazon's Doubling Down on Grocery Delivery ...





Amazon Black Friday 2019 and holiday deals have begun

Surprisingly good early savings on the Echo Show 5, the Echo Dot with Clock and refurbished Amazon devices.


Rick Broida, C|NET

November 1, 2019


Black Friday is no longer just a day, a weekend or even a full week. It's pretty much all of November, as evidenced by Amazon's just-launched Happy HoliDeals page. It's an overloaded, confusing mix of roughly 1,000 sale items, some of them daily deals, some of them "lightning deals" (which expire after a set number are sold or time runs out). At first glance, it seems like fairly standard Amazon fare, but there are some interesting -- and decidedly good -- deals in the mix. Below I've highlighted the best of them...





Amazon's bid to acquire stake in Future Retail faces antitrust hurdle



via CNBC TV 18 - November 01, 2019


India's antitrust body has sought more information from Inc  about its planned acquisition of a stake in India's Future Retail, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, which could potentially delay the deal.


Amazon in August agreed to acquire a 49% stake in a unit of India's Future Group which owns 7.3% of Future Retail, giving the US-based company a 3.58% stake in the retailer which operates more than 1,500 stores in the country.


The deal would help Amazon tap into the booming retail market in India, as it separately boosts its e-commerce operations, offering everything from electronics to groceries on its Indian website. Future Retail runs 290 budget department and grocery stores branded "Big Bazaar".


In a notice to Amazon last month, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said "in certain overlapping segments and areas of operation of the parties, the combined market share exceeds the threshold specified in the combination regulations", one of the sources told Reuters.


The CCI also queried the procedure Amazon adopted to seek approval. Amazon had notified the CCI through a so-called Form I, instead of a Form II that is more onerous and is required when parties assess the combined entity will exceed a pre-defined market share threshold.


The CCI sought justification from Amazon on why it chose to file a Form I, the source added, which could potentially delay approval of the deal. A Form I filing typically takes 2-3 months compared with three to six months for a Form II.


Amazon and Future Retail declined to comment for the story. A source at Future group said it had recently answered the CCI's questions related to the deal, but did not elaborate.


The CCI did not respond to Reuters queries.


Additionally, the competition watchdog has asked Amazon more than 40 questions related to the deal and its businesses, the first source with knowledge of the matter said.


A second source confirmed...