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Amazon, Best Buy Tout Expanded Pickup Options

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon and Best Buy are both touting their expanded network of alternate pickup locations to deal with the holiday crush ahead of Black Friday, giving shoppers more options for getting their stuff fast. Amazon said it has Hub locations in more than 900 cities and towns, while Best Buy’s network is over 16,000.

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Shift Happens: Winning DTC with Consumer Behavioral Data

| David Tiberia

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) gives brands the ability to collect and utilize first-party consumer behavioral data to make the shopping experience more personalized, to build loyalty and improve advertising returns. The bigger and more detailed your data store is, the better you can target your core consumer and create repeat purchases.

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Lowe’s Rolls Out Pickup Lockers, With Plans to Go Chain-Wide by Q1

| Mike O'Brien

Catching up with category leader Home Depot, Lowe’s is rolling out lockers for ecommerce order pickup in the front of stores in the New York tri-state area, Philadelphia and Charlotte, NC, with plans to expand to all 1,729 U.S. stores by March 2021. Lockers will be added in Florida, Washington and Texas in the coming weeks.

Last Mile Service Providers Seeing Huge Coronavirus Demand Spikes

| Mike O'Brien

Amidst the massive pivot to online during the coronavirus crisis, providers of last mile delivery services are seeing huge growth in demand from various kinds of merchants, as house-bound consumers are ordering away for both essential and nonessential items. Demand is coming from a variety of sources, including stores, SMBs and CPGs.

Spate of Four Acquisitions in Operations and Fulfillment

| Mike O'Brien

This was a busy M&A week among operations and fulfillment vendors. FOG Software Group acquired shipping software firm ProShip from Quadient; Hy Tek Material Handling acquired Johnson Stevens Consulting; Dematic acquired Digital Applications International Ltd; and Aptean acquired TMS firm Paragon Software Systems.

Target Breaks Into Top 10 for U.S. Ecommerce Sales

| Douglas P. Clement

Target’s strong focus on ecommerce, including a 2019 holiday push on fast delivery options and BOPIS, has propelled it into the top 10 for U.S. ecommerce sales, according to a new report from eMarketer. Target checks in at No. 8 with projected 2020 U.S. ecommerce sales of $8.34 billion, increasing its share from 1.1% to 1.2%.

XPO Explores Sale or Spinoff of Up to 4 Business Units, Just Not LTL

| Mike O'Brien

Saying the market hasn’t been rewarding the company as it should, the board of XPO Logistics said the company was exploring strategic options including the sale or spinoff of up to four business units, which would not include its less-than-truckload shipping business. It has retained Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan as financial advisors.

Roadie Partners with Delta Cargo for Same-Day Delivery Across the Country

| Mike O'Brien

On-the-way delivery app Roadie has partnered with Delta Cargo to enable the first cross-country, same-day delivery service for critical items such as medical devices and machine parts using air cargo and last-mile drivers in tandem. While critical-need items are the most natural use case, ecommerce deliveries are not far behind.

Warehouse Giant Prologis to Acquire Rival Liberty for $12.68 Billion

| Mike O'Brien

Warehouse and fulfillment center giant Prologis will acquire rival Liberty Property Trust in an all-stock merger valued at $12.68 billion, the companies announced, greatly expanding Prologis’ U.S. logistics holdings as demand continues to ramp up. This is in addition to Prologis’ 2018 acquisition of DCT Industrial Trust for $8.4 billion.