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Amazon Cutting 9,000 More Jobs; iRobot Facing Opposition

| Mike O'Brien

More bad Amazon news: 9,000 additional layoffs are planned on top of 18,000 previously announced, and there are efforts to block the $1.7 billion iRobot acquisition here and in the EU. On the plus side, the FTC reportedly won’t block Amazon’s purchase of One Medical, but reportedly not for lack of evidence of anticompetitive behavior.

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Society Brands Looks to Step Up Acquisition Pace

| Mike O'Brien

Society Brands, an Ohio-based acquirer with a small-but-growing portfolio, asks its founders to stick around as brand directors, incenting them with an equity stake from a future liquidity event or IPO over the next few years as the company accelerates its pace of acquisition. The company’s six brands were all acquired in 2022.

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Livestream Shopping Enhanced by Newegg to Attract Creators

| Mike O'Brien

Newegg is adding enhancements to its livestream shopping program in an effort to attract more creators who can earn commissions by selling tech products on eight different social media channels plus its own website and app, using the company’s upgraded production studios in California for free.

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Branded Group Sued by Acquired Seller for Non-Payment

| Mike O'Brien

Branded Group, a New York-based acquirer of digitally native brands, is being sued by Austin Naturals, a company it purchased in 2021, whose principals allege they are due $1.25M million as part of their agreement. The deferred payment was contingent on Austin Naturals hitting a first-year EBITDA target, which it claims it did.

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Walmart Cautious in 2023 Outlook

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart reported ecommerce growth of 17% in Q4 to $80 billion, representing 13% of total sales, and beat expectations overall, but warned of a challenging climate for the rest of the year based on consumer sentiment and macro signals, sending uneasiness through the industry and the markets.

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Nearly 90% of Amazon Sellers Report Profitability

| Mike O'Brien

Even in a difficult market, Amazon sellers are doing well collectively on the number-one online marketplace, with 89% of them reporting profitability at the start of 2023, while 37% say their net income is up from a year ago, according to an annual report from Jungle Scout. More of them are also diversifying across other sites.

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Amazon Ad Revenue Up, Ecommerce Down in Mixed Q4

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon reported a mix bag of results for its fourth quarter and year, with ad revenue up but ecommerce sales down, and even the vaunted Amazon Web Services, the company’s profit driver for years, fell short of expectations in what executives repeatedly called an “uncertain economy.”

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Buy With Prime Expands Nationally

| Mike O'Brien

Buy With Prime, the program that lets retailers not named Amazon offer shoppers the Prime experience and promise, is rolling out for all U.S. merchants as of Jan. 31, the company announced, ten months after a beta launch by invitation only for select users of Fulfillment By Amazon.

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Boxed, Amazon News Highlight Economic Woes

| Mike O'Brien

Boxed, the once high-flying online warehouse club that set out to be the ecommerce equivalent of brick-and-click competitors like Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s, is now exploring strategic alternatives, which euphemistically means looking for a buyer. And Amazon acknowledged an expansion of its corporate layoffs from 10,000 to 18,000.

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Amazon Raising Fees for MCF Sellers

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is raising the fees it charges sellers for its Multichannel Fulfillment (MCF) program, saying the hike comes with enhancements like app integrations with BigCommerce, Adobe/Magento and Wix — not Shopify — but sellers are complaining, saying they’ll be priced out of the offering.