AMZN vs WMT: Amazon rejects monopoly fees

Amazon faces an expanded antitrust complaint from District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, this time focused on the e-commerce giant’s dealings with wholesalers and allegations of anti-competitive acts.

Racine previously sued Amazon in May, claiming the company had monopoly powers due to its pricing contracts with third-party sellers. The new record says that Amazon’s “minimum margin agreement” with owner sellers has the effect of causing wholesalers to increase their prices for online marketplaces outside of Amazon, as these agreements require wholesalers to guarantee Amazon a minimum profit.

Read more: DC AG Racine Expands Scope of Amazon’s Antitrust Complaint

In a TV interview with CNBC’s Jon Fortt earlier this week, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said he didn’t think the company was about to have monopoly power, this which would lead to the possibility of increasing prices “indefinitely”.

“We are competing with very large companies,” Jassy said. “It’s companies like Walmart, Target, and Kroger, and some really successful digital companies like eBay, Etsy, and Wayfair, and we don’t have the capacity to raise prices endlessly… The rhetoric sounds good, but you have to watch what [the] the reality is.

Beauty and the Beast of Commerce

Consumers hoping for a second Prime Day this year may have been slightly disappointed this week when reports revealed that Amazon instead planned to launch a beauty event next month to attract first-holiday shoppers and bolster its market. position in the category.

The e-commerce giant sent a slideshow to beauty brands saying the company will likely host the event between October 4 and October 25 this year, CNBC reported. Amazon presents the event as a way to attract customers during the week of Black Friday “but also in the long term with additional marketing levers”.

“This is a unique opportunity for the selected brands to reach both more buyers and new customers,” Amazon wrote in the slideshow.

Read also : Amazon to offer beauty sales event in October

After months of being locked indoors, consumers appear to be embracing a post-pandemic beauty trend, driving traffic to retailers like Ultra Beauty and getting others, including Target, JCPenney, and Kohl’s, to open up experiences. in-store shopping.

The beauty industry has also caught Amazon’s interest as it tries to diversify, as the company strives to expand its offering. According to data from PYMNTS, Amazon had 4% of sales of health and personal care products in the second quarter, although it had a 44% share of ecommerce purchases in the category. Walmart, for its part, held a 5.9% share of the health and personal care category.

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Autonomous road paving

Walmart Collaborates With Ford and Argo AI To Launch Driverless Delivery Services In Miami; Washington DC; and Austin Texas, allowing consumers in parts of those cities to place online orders for groceries and other items for self-sufficient door-to-door delivery.

See: Ford, Argo AI, and Walmart Offer Driverless Delivery in Miami, DC, and Austin

This is far from Walmart’s first foray into driverless technology, but the partnership with Ford and the launch in three of the largest cities in the United States shows the company’s confidence in the technology and marks a leap forward in its deployment. The box store giant estimates that 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store.

“This collaboration will strengthen our mission of getting products to our customers’ homes with unmatched speed and ease, and in turn, will continue to pave the way for autonomous delivery,” Tom Ward, senior vice president of Walmart US last mile delivery. , said in a statement.

Argo and Ford have been operating in Miami and Washington, DC since 2018 and in Austin since 2019 to create standalone rideshare and delivery services; Walmart had already tested with Ford in Miami in 2018.

Earlier this year, Walmart also expanded its pilot of using driverless trucks from a company called Gatik for inter-store deliveries, performing human driverless tests as a backup after 70,000 miles with a person riding a hunting rifle. The retailer also launched a test in Louisiana in which a driverless truck travels 20 miles between New Orleans and Metairie to deliver items from a Supercenter to a “pickup point” for customers.

Show me your hands

Not to be outdone technologically, Amazon also said this week that it would bring its palm-scanning equipment to entertainment venues across the United States through a partnership with ticketing company AXS, the first time it will be used outside of a retail space.

Read More: Amazon One Palm’s Digitization Technology Goes Into Entertainment With AXS Collaboration

The e-commerce giant launched Amazon One contactless technology a year ago as an alternative to using a QR code or app to enter its automated Go stores, an extension of the Just Walk initiative. Out of Amazon. The collaboration with AXS will first see manual sweeping stations installed at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver before moving to more than 350 sites managed by the company.

Bryan Perez, CEO of AXS, said Amazon One was entering the industry at a time when there was demand for “fast, convenient and contactless ticketing solutions” due to the pandemic. According to a PYMNTS study, 63% of consumers would switch to transactions with companies that implement contactless payment capabilities, and 48% said they would no longer buy from physical stores that do not offer payment. contactless payment options.

Live events were particularly hard hit early in the pandemic, with most events postponed for months or canceled outright throughout 2020 and early 2021. Even with venues reopening, cases spike. of COVID requires certain actions to be proceeded with caution. Earlier this month, Dave Matthews Band was forced to perform a series of shows in Washington state in an “alternate format” due to potential exposure to the virus; and Bonnaroo canceled its 2020/2021 festival last month after postponing at least four times since March 2020.



On: Eighty percent of consumers want to use non-traditional payment options like self-service, but only 35 percent were able to use them for their most recent purchases. Today’s Self-Service Shopping Journey, a PYMNTS and Toshiba Collaboration, analyzes more than 2,500 responses to find out how merchants can address availability and perception issues to meet demand for self-service kiosks.

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