Amazon is expanding its Amazon Key program, which lets its delivery drivers access a Prime customer’s garage to drop off orders, to more than 5,000 U.S. cities and towns, wherever its grocery delivery services are available from Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market. The program, free to Prime members, was first tested three years ago.
Fulfillment and Delivery
The founders DynoSafe, maker of a patented refrigerated smart safe for home grocery delivery to the porch won a deal on “Shark Tank,” with shark Robert Herjavec taking a 25% stake in the company for $150,000, with Mark Cuban also on the board. The husband-and-wife team are looking for deals themselves with major grocery chains.
The National Labor Relations Board has accused Amazon of illegally firing two tech workers last year who spoke out publicly about its treatment of fulfillment workers and its sustainability policies, and upheld a complaint by a worker who led a Queens, NY walkout in 2020. Amazon also apologized for a tweet attacking a political critic.
A California regulatory agency has fined Amazon and one of its delivery contractors $6.4 million for alleged wage theft violations between April 2018 and January 2020, saying drivers were not paid properly on long shifts and often had to miss meals. The investigation cited Amazon and Green Messengers of Santa Ana, CA.
As 2020 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect back on a wild and crazy year in retail, to paraphrase the Festrunk brothers from Saturday Night Live. COVID-19 came in like a wrecking ball in February and March, causing widespread shutdowns that hit retail especially hard, leading to hockey-stick growth in ecommerce.
Walmart on Sept. 9 launched a second pilot drone delivery program, this time in Fayetteville, NC, using a control system from Israeli firm Flytrex, zipping grocery and household items to nearby customers. This is in addition to a program drone program Walmart launched in April in Grand Forks, ND, again with Flytrex.
Ware2Go, a UPS-owned provider of fulfillment on demand through partnership with warehouse owners, via an integration with Google Shopping, lets merchants offer free shipping early in the search and discovery process on Google, aimed at increasing conversion. Ware2Go handles fulfillment through its partner network.