Posts tagged Amazon
Amazon to Acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion

Nick Turner, Selina Wang and Spencer Soper reporting for Bloomberg Tech:

"Amazon.com Inc. will acquire Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, a bombshell of a deal that catapults the e-commerce giant into hundreds of physical stores and fulfills a long-held goal of selling more groceries."

How does this help Amazon in the near future?

Amazon has been dipping their toe into physical retail and pushing hard to grow their fresh food business with Amazon Fresh and other offerings. Whole Foods provides a powerful network with local food producers and dramatically grows Amazon's retail footprint

What does this mean for Amazon in the distant future?

It's hard to bet against Amazon. 😄

Amazon May Acquire Slack for $9b

Amazon is thinking about acquiring Slack for 9 billion dollars, according to reporting by Alex Sherman, Eric Newcomer and Alex Barinka from Bloomberg Tech.

If Amazon follows through, they'll be adding another area of competition with Microsoft. There is already Amazon Web Services (AWS) vs Azure and Alexa vs Cortana. Now we might see Amazon-owned Slack vs Microsoft Teams.

Read on Bloomberg Tech.

Header image from Slack.com.

Amazon Issued $1 Billion in Loans Over the Past 12 Months

Spencer Soper and Selina Wang writing for Bloomberg Technology:

"Amazon.com Inc.’s lending business is accelerating, highlighting one more way the online retailer is making money from e-commerce beyond simply selling products in its web store.

"The company issued $1 billion in loans in the past year to merchants selling on its marketplace. Amazon launched the lending business in 2011 and uses data from more than 2 million merchants to identify those it deems credit worthy...

Spencer and Selina go on to describe how Amazon chooses merchants to offer loans based on their selling histories and how those merchants mostly use those loans to expand their product offering and scale of their offerings on Amazon.

It's interesting to see how Amazon is taking on a traditional banking function to grow their business by enabling the best sellers to expand. It's a virtuous circle.

Read on Bloomberg.

Amazon Prime Video Coming To Apple TV At WWDC

Oh how I hope this is true! 

John Paczkowski writing for BuzzFeed:

"After a fraught few years, Apple and Amazon have reached something of an accord over their rival video efforts.

"Sources in position to know tell BuzzFeed News that Amazon's Prime video app — long absent from Apple TV — is indeed headed to Apple's diminutive set-top box. Apple plans to announce Amazon Prime video's impending arrive to the Apple TV App Store during the keynote at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 5 in San Jose, CA. A source familiar with the companies' thinking say the app is expected to go live this summer, but cautioned that the hard launch date might change. Amazon had previously declined to even submit a Prime Video app for inclusion in Apple's Apple TV App Store, despite Apple's "all are welcome" proclamations."

This would make the Apple TV so much more valuable for me. With Amazon Prime Video, the Apple TV becomes a one-stop shop for me.

Read on BuzzFeed.

Header image from BuzzFeed.

Microsofts Announces Windows-like Approach to Smart Speakers

Microsoft is taking an expressly Windows-like approach to getting their voice assistant, Cortana, into people's homes. They are providing the software and backend infrastructure, and third-party OEMs are making and selling the hardware. 

Harman Kardon's has already announced their product, a Cortana speaker called Invoke, and we now know that HP will be making a competing home speaker.

Read on The Verge.

Amazon officially unveils touchscreen Echo Show

James Vincent for the Verge:

"Amazon has officially unveiled its latest Echo product: a touchscreen device with built-in Alexa called the Echo Show. The device was extensively leaked this week, but is now available to preorder from Amazon for $229.99."

Amazon is building out their Alexa/Echo product family to take advantage of their lead in the market. They want us to have an Echo device in every room—Echo can go anywhere, Echo Look in your bedroom/closet, Echo Show in the kitchen, Echo Dot connected to fancy speakers and  Echo Tap to carry onto the porch or backyard.

Once users have one or more of these devices in their homes, it makes it much harder for them to switch to competing devices from Google, Microsoft or Apple. It's still early days, but Amazon is taking the home assistant market very seriously.

Read on The Verge.

AAPL market cap reaches record $812 billion as analyst raises target to $1 trillion

Jordan Kahn writing for 9TO5Mac:

"Apple’s market cap has reached a new record high of over $800 billion ($812 billion at the time of publishing), with shares of AAPL hitting a high of 153.70 during trading today.

"The record market cap for AAPL comes one week after the company reported its fiscal Q2 earnings . Alongside the record today analysts have raised price targets for the stock, notably Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White (via CNBC) predicting $202 a share, which would make Apple the first company to pass a $1 trillion market cap. White even called the estimate “pretty conservative” as most analyst outlooks remain quite positive as we head towards the introduction of an expected major iPhone upgrade cycle this fall."

Apple has a strong lead in the race to $1 trillion, and it's getting stronger. Their only real competitor at this point is Amazon.

Read on 9TO5Mac.

Header image from 9TO5Mac.

Amid Brick-and-Mortar Travails, a Tipping Point for Amazon in Apparel

"The outlook for physical retailers is grim, the sector roiled by store closings, layoffs and bankruptcies. This year, Amazon will surpass Macy’s, which last year announced it would shut 100 stores, to become the largest seller of apparel in America, by several analysts’ estimates.

"It is looking at ways to keep expanding, too. Amazon is exploring the possibility of selling custom-fit clothing, tailored to the more precise measurements of customers, and it has considered acquiring clothing manufacturers to further expand its presence in the category.

"If there are tipping points in retail — moments when shopping behavior swings decisively in one direction — there’s a strong case to be made that apparel is reaching one now, with broad implications for jobs, malls and shopping districts."

There's been a lot of talk about the demise of retail lately, for good reason. Online shopping has already had dramatic effects—think Circuit City for electronics, Borders for books, the list could go on.

Amazon's not about to back down either. I can't help but imagine the possibilities of their patented custom-fit clothing process combined with the Echo Look of a few years from now.

Read on The New York Times

For more on this general topic. Check out this episode of The Information: Modest Conversations.

Header image from nytimes.com.