amazon key feature

Amazon Key Garage Delivery Expands Nationwide

| Mike O'Brien

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.

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Walmart, Target Stepping Up Last-Mile Fulfillment

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart and Target both announced plans Thursday to improve last-mile fulfillment and delivery from their stores, taking alternate routes via an investment in self-driving car project Cruise, and a new sortation facility powered by acquired technologies from Grand Junction and Deliv, respectively.

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DynoSafe, Smart Porch Safe, Wins “Shark Tank” Deal

| Mike O'Brien

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.

Amazon fulfillment center feature

Amazon Wrongly Fired Workers For Speaking Out, NLRB Says

| Mike O'Brien

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.

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Flowspace Raises $31M in New Funding Round

| Mike O'Brien

Flowspace, a provider of warehouse-on-demand software and services, has raised $31 million in a new round to expand its business and build on capabilities like predictive analytics to help retailers achieve fulfillment network optimization through precise fulfillment hub and inventory positioning.

Amazon, Delivery Contractor Fined $6.4 Million

| Mike O'Brien

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.

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Amazon Gives Break to SFP Merchants

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is giving merchants using its Seller Fulfilled Prime a break in terms of service level commitments, removing a plan to have them meet one- and two-day shipping requirements, in light of ongoing challenges on speedy delivery from carriers, CNBC reported.

shoppers on retail queue covid-19

2020 Year in Review: Retail Upended, Reset Continues

| Mike O'Brien

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 Flytrex drone

Walmart Launches Second U.S. Drone Delivery Pilot in North Carolina

| Mike O'Brien

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.

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Ware2Go, Google Fast-Free Shipping Offers Aim at Conversion Lift

| Mike O'Brien

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.