In this file:


·         Amazon looking to buy four Fairway stores amid coronavirus chaos

·         Amazon Is Hiring 100,000 More Workers to Meet a Surge in Demand

·         Amazon AWS launches $20 million initiative to help fight the coronavirus

·         Amazon halts grocery orders to restock amid surging demand



Amazon looking to buy four Fairway stores amid coronavirus chaos


By Lisa Fickenscher, New York Post

March 19, 2020


Amazon is on the prowl once again — and this time it’s eyeing a handful of supermarkets owned by New York City grocer Fairway Market, The Post has learned.


The tech juggernaut run by Jeff Bezos is bidding on four stores owned by the bankrupt Fairway in New York and New Jersey, including one in Brooklyn, home to a popular waterfront mega-market in Red Hook, sources told The Post.


The auction, which kicked off Monday and continued into Thursday, comes as the coronavirus brings the country to its knees, raising recession fears. But COVID-19 has also proven a boon for Amazon’s online ordering business as people hunker down at home.


Shares of Amazon — based in Seattle, the epicenter of the crisis in the US — are up 4.6 percent this year, compared to a drop of 25 percent in the S&P 500. And Bezos — the richest man in the world — is its biggest shareholder.


Amazon has been focused on just four of Fairway’s 14 stores in recent negotiations, which have been held online and via phone due to the coronavirus, sources said. They include a store in Pelham, New York, about a half-hour north of Manhattan, a store in Brooklyn and two in New Jersey, sources said.


The New Jersey stores, sources said, are in Woodland Park and Paramus, both about 30 minutes west of Manhattan. In Brooklyn, Fairway owns a store in Red Hook, which boasts views of the Statue of Liberty, and is in the Georgetown neighborhood, near JFK Airport.


Amazon is keeping its plans for the stores close to its vest, however. While some watchers speculated that the tech giant could use the stores as distribution centers, its interest in Fairway comes as Bezos ramps up his supermarket footprint...


more, including links



Amazon Is Hiring 100,000 More Workers to Meet a Surge in Demand

Aggressive hiring is a reliable leading indicator.


Andrew Tseng, The Motley Fool

Mar 19, 2020


We all know (NASDAQ:AMZN) is beloved for its wide selection of products, low prices, fast shipping, and customer service. But it's really popular right now because of the COVID-19 coronavirus.


What's happening


Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president for worldwide operations, published a blog post on Monday that discussed how the company is seeing a massive surge in customer demand related to the coronavirus pandemic. As more Americans remain at home, they are spending more online. And the largest single beneficiary of online spending is, of course, Amazon.


As a result, the company is hiring 100,000 more workers to help meet that demand. These jobs are full-time or part-time and are in the company's fulfillment centers or delivery network. Clark even wrote that those who've lost jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel can work for Amazon "until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back." That's an extraordinarily attractive pitch to those who find themselves out of work right now.


On top of that, these jobs pay $15 per hour in the U.S., and Amazon is boosting that to $17 through at least the end of April. That's more than twice the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The $2 pay raise in the U.S., and similar amounts elsewhere, represents a $350 million additional investment that Amazon is making in its workers in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.


Why it matters ... 


What now? ...





Amazon AWS launches $20 million initiative to help fight the coronavirus


    Amazon is launching a diagnostics development unit through its cloud unit, AWS.

    The idea is to back researchers with funds, and help provide technology infrastructure.

    The goal is to develop a faster and more affordable test for the coronavirus.

    It’s committing an initial $20 million to the initiative.


Christina Farr and Annie Palmer, CNBC

Mar 20 2020


Amazon AWS announced Friday it’s setting aside an initial $20 million to help accelerate research and development of diagnostic solutions. That includes, but won’t be limited to, helping push forward a more accurate, faster coronavirus COVID-19 test.


“One area where we have heard an urgent need is in the research and development of diagnostics, which consist of rapid, accurate detection and testing of COVID-19,” Amazon said. “Better diagnostics will help accelerate treatment and containment, and in time, shorten the course of this epidemic.


Amazon specifies that the program, called the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, is open to accredited research institutions and private entities that are AWS customers. At launch, the program includes 35 global research institutions, startups and businesses. It’ll also be supported by an outside technical advisory group made up of “leading scientists, global health policy experts, and thought leaders” who specialize in infectious disease diagnostics.


It hopes to focus these resources specifically on AWS customers that are working on point-of-care diagnostics, or testing that can be done at home or at a clinic with same-day results. “Given the need, the emphasis will initially be on COVID-19, but we will also consider other infectious disease diagnostic projects,” Amazon said.


Currently, it can take more than a day for the COVID-19 test result to be returned. In that time, people are left in limbo wondering whether they should self-quarantine. More frequent and accurate testing help public health officials have a better understanding of how pervasive the virus is globally.


As AWS describes it, the development...





Amazon halts grocery orders to restock amid surging demand

Move comes after a surge in orders by shoppers worried about the pandemic



via FOX Business - Mar 19, 2020 Inc said on Thursday it has halted its Prime Pantry delivery service in the United States to restock groceries, following a surge in online orders by shoppers worried about the coronavirus pandemic.


"Amazon Pantry is not accepting new orders at this time while we work to fulfill open orders and restock items following increased demand," a company spokesperson said.


The service, which sells non-perishable groceries from cereals to soaps, has seen huge demand despite consumers thronging supermarkets and grocery stores for everything from toilet papers and canned foods.


Amazon did not say when the service will be back, but…