A first-hand look at Amazon’s new ‘Sequoia’ warehouse robotic system at GeekWire. “We got a first-hand look and a guided tour of the new robotic system with Rain Wang, an Amazon senior technical product manager who leads the Sequoia project, during a tour at Amazon’s “Delivering the Future” event in Sumner. Later, we sat down to discuss the details with Scott Dresser, Amazon Robotics vice president.” Read more/Video
Ex-Amazon manager writes tell-all memoir about working while female at Seattle Times. “It’s a place, as she describes it, where no feedback is good feedback, “where you never feel like you’re really nailing it,” and where the frantic quest to prove yourself “nearly superhuman” — a criteria for becoming an executive — exacts a punishing toll. It’s also a place where she occupied rooms filled mostly with men and where she kept trying to convince the few women in her orbit, typically brilliant and self-flagellating, that they were not about to be fired.” Read more
How ‘household restocking’ startup The Rounds uses tech and AI to make sustainable e-commerce profitable at TechCrunch. “Launched in 2019 in Philadelphia, and now available in D.C., Miami and Atlanta, The Rounds allows customers to shop from across 650 SKUs, up from 150 just a year ago…At present, the service has north of 10,000 paying subscribers — a figure that could be impacted by the service’s price. “It is not the cheapest,” Torrey admits.” Read more
Moosejaw’s 1st Utah location opens as chain’s other nationwide stores prepare to close at KSL TV 5. “Dick’s Sporting Goods acquired the company earlier this year. Then, last month, it decided it would shutter most of Moosejaw’s nationwide locations…Moosejaw’s Salt Lake City location, which officially opened on Thursday, is one of three that will remain open in the future, joining a store in Bentonville, Arkansas, and another in Birmingham, Michigan.” Read more
Amazon Confronts a New Rival: TikTok at WSJ. “TikTok launched its shopping feature, called TikTok Shop, last month and is currently selling about $7 million worth of products like hairbrushes, teeth-whitening tools and fall-themed sweatshirts with leaves and pumpkins every day in the U.S., with a goal of reaching $10 million a day by the end of the year, according to people familiar with the matter…TikTok is spending heavily to build a logistics operation, poaching Amazon employees and trying to lure third-party sellers by offering them a bigger cut of sales than Amazon, according to sellers.” WSJ subs.
Amazon, Microsoft, and India crack down on tech support scams at The Verge. “Call center operators use pop-ups, malware, and cold calls to get people to pay for PC ‘fixes’ they don’t really need.” Read more
Costco shopper says he cracked secret to wholesaler’s price tags and mysterious asterisk at Fox Business. “Prices that end in “.99” are considered to be a full price or regularly priced item. Anything ending in a “.97” is counted as a “store manager deal.” “It’s exclusive to that store and it’s probably not gonna last long,” the TikToker continued. Prices ending in “.49” and “.79″ have the same meaning — a manufacturer special offer.” Read more/Video
Amazon considers offering veterinary telehealth at CNBC. “Amazon could turn to Pawp to fuel a potential pet telehealth offering in time for the holiday season because Pawp has already proven it can scale with a large retailer. Amazon could also partner with one of the dozens of other pet telehealth startups on the market or build its own practice, which is what Chewy did when it began offering the service during the Covid pandemic.” Read more
Why Ulta Beauty is piloting in-store sampling machines at Ad Age. “Ulta Beauty is partnering with SOS, a startup that provides digital vending machines of health and wellness products, for a pilot program. The six-month deal includes the installation of SOS machines doling out samples in 10 Ulta locations in New York, Massachusetts, Florida, California and Texas.” Ad Age subs.
Temu’s Win Over Shein in the US Is Hurting Its Bottom Line at Bloomberg. “Sales last month were more than double Shein’s in the nation. Both firms face growing ESG scrutiny, geopolitical headwinds.” Bloomberg subs.
Walmart teams with Chris Stapleton for “Heroes & Headliners” celebrity concert “On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, Walmart is celebrating the military community with a star-studded concert for veterans and their families. The first Heroes & Headliners concert features musical acts Chris Stapleton, H.E.R. and Imagine Dragons with Rob Gronkowski and Camille Kostek serving as emcees.” Press release
Halloween chocolate is pricier this year as El Niño hits cacao bean crop at CNBC. “Cocoa futures surged to $3,786 per metric ton on Monday, the highest since 1979…The price of candy in September was 7.5 percent higher than a year ago, according to the most recent consumer price index.” Read more